Four Color Television - Supergirl / Arrow - Week 2 Recap / Review
The Four Color Ark
Four Color TV Week 2 Part 2
Supergirl Season 3 Episode 2: “Triggers”
Morning in National City and so very much is going on: Alex and Maggie are having their happy breakfast, while newcomer Samantha Arias (AKA Reign played by Odette Annable) is making breakfast for her daughter Ruby before going off to start her mysterious new high paying job. Elsewhere, a still slightly mopey Kara Danvers is prepping for what turns out to be Lena Luthor’s first day owning Catco. Lena shows up and blindsides Jimmy by announcing that she will be working exclusively at Catco until she has a better understanding of the media company she just purchased. Kara gives her new boss a planner before flying off to the DEO because of an alert on her phone. Meanwhile at the DEO, Alex and Maggie are arguing over whether they should have a band or a DJ at their wedding when Supergirl shows up to ask what the alert was about. Winn informs the team that two banks have been knocked over by a mysterious woman who never drew a weapon or threatened anyone, the guards simply laid down in terror and let her empty the vault, an alert goes off notifying the team that another bank is being robbed as they speak and Supergirl races off to save the day. Of course things are not so simple, as the thief is a meta named Psi (Yael Grobglas) with telepathic powers who forces the people around her to experience their worse fear – and Supergirl is not immune to this power. Psi cripples Supergirl with fear and waltzes away with the money in the vault. Back at the DEO afterwards, J’onn scans Kara’s mind and comes back with evidence of telepathic tampering from a Meta that causes him to set Winn off on creating a psychic dampening device. Kara heads back to Catco where it looks like Jimmy and Lena are about to get into a serious turf war over the leadership of the company, there is some sort of tension brewing there – but it doesn’t heat up completely yet. Samantha is called from her first day at her new job because her daughter got in a fight at school, and Samantha takes the rest of the day off to deal with the situation thanks to her surprisingly cool mystery boss. Ruby thinks that her mom has superpowers and wants her to admit it.
Supergirl goes after Psi again and gets whammied again, this time she remembers enough to note that Psi’s powers are fear based – which narrows down Winn’s approach and we see that her fears are tied up in the destruction of Krypton. Back once more at Catco, Lena rightly tries to get a moody Kara to do her damn job as a reporter and gets into a kerfuffle with the girl of steel over whatever issue is plaguing her. Ruby sneaks out and goes to a pizza joint by herself and it just happens to be where Supergirl and Psi are going to have their final confrontation. When the powers start flying and the danger is all around, Ruby thinks this will give her mom a chance to prove she’s a superhero and save her. This does not go as plan as it just ends up endangering both Samantha and Ruby who are both thankfully saved mid fight by Supergirl. Psi whammies Supergirl a third time and we finally reveal her real fear, that Mon-El is dead and it is her fault. Alex tries to comfort her sister, and it is enough to get her to face Psi again and draw the strength to overcome her fear and defeat the Meta. Samantha gets Ruby to accept that she doesn’t have powers, Psi is taken away in cuffs and Kara heads back to Catco to apologize to her boss and friend Lena whose head she thoroughly bit off earlier. Lena and Kara come to terms and all seems happy, which is when Lena’s stand in at LCorp arrives for a meet and greet with Lena. Samantha arrives at Catco to meet Lena and is introduced to Kara Danvers. The Kryptonian bioweapon who doesn’t know she’s a bio weapon shakes the Kryptonian superhero’s hand. Finally at a bar, J’onn J’onnz gets a psychic message from Miss Martian that he is needed on Mars, and that there is another green martian.
Mopey Kara Danvers, even if it is less mopey than last week, still doesn’t work very well – though a metahuman threat with an emotional component is far closer to this shows wheelhouse than last week’s shadowy businessman/mercenary bomb threat. The slow build up of the reveal of Supergirl’s worst fear was well handled, giving a satisfying emotional punch when we finally get to the moment where Supergirl finally breaks down in tears repeating again and again that she killed Mon-El. On a lighter note, this episode featured a little more cohesion from the DEO team, and it certainly gave Jeremy Jordan his biggest opportunity to shine as Winn in quite a while. The tension between Lena and Jimmy could lead to a massive showdown between Superman’s best pal and Lex’s little sister, but I suspect this is going to move into more or a traditional plotline where the two hook up. Katie McGrath’s accent is still questionable, but slightly more American than Irish in this episode. The Reign story feels a little too pat for my tastes, that she just happens to be working for Lena Luthor and just happens to be the new Exec at LCorp feels contrived.
Episode 02 MVP: Jeremy Jordan* who reminds us that when written properly Winn can be the most supportive player on team Supergirl.
Arrow Season 6 Episode 2: “Tribute”
Mayor Queen does a press gaggle on his way into City Hall where he deftly claims that he isn’t the Green Arrow and suggests that the photo dropped at the end of episode one has been doctored. Having gotten past the press, Rene informs Ollie and Quentin that the city has just been granted an insurance payout of 20 Million dollars over the damages to the SCPD HQ from last episode. Before they can discuss further they arrive at Oliver’s office to find FBI agent Samanda Watson (Sydelle Noel) waiting for him to inform him that they are opening an investigation into whether or not he is indeed the violent criminal known as The Green Arrow. In the Arrow Cave, Felicity and Curtis start trying to figure out the origin of the mysterious photo of Oliver in the Green Arrow costume; and at the SCPD Dinah and Diggle are rehashing the issue with him not firing his gun at all. Oliver, Quentin and a group of reporters go to a warehouse that will be the future home of a company owned by Markovian businessmen in an initiative to bring 800 new jobs to Star City. In the midst of this great announcement, Russian terrorists show up and start shooting up the place – capturing some of the Markovian businessmen. Ollie is able to get most of the reporters to safety and they speed away in the van that brought them to the site of the press conference, but not before he sees Anatoly (recurringly awesome David Nykl) who indicates that he will hold the Markovians hostage. At this point Ollie assumes that it was Anatoly who leaked the photo of him as Green Arrow to tie his hands in the midst of this hostage plot, but before he can react in any way as Mayor of Star City – he is called to an emergency involving his son William who has gotten into a fight at school with some 8th graders over whether or not Oliver really is The Green Arrow. Ollie mistakenly gives William some advice about fighting by recommending he break the nose of the biggest kid on the playground; William tells Oliver he doesn’t care about the fighting and that what upsets him is the knowledge that Ollie might die one day and leave him alone. Oliver tells William that he will never leave but –ever the bright kid – William points out that it isn’t Oliver’s choice so long as he continues to go out as Green Arrow. The team raids a Bratva restaurant and save all of the Markovians except their CEO. Dinah continues to throw shade on Diggle for not acknowledging that he is a liability to the team; the FBI informs the Mayor’s office that they intend to interview Ollie’s son in connection to the Green Arrow case. Oliver and Rene discuss the situation and Oliver expresses real regret at having lied to William in an attempt to calm him down. It is at this point that Anatoly calls to video chat with Oliver. He has introduced a poison into the CEO and will deliver the antidote when Oliver delivers the 20 million dollar insurance payout to Anatoly. Felicity and Curtis manage to use the photo of the CEO to diagnose the toxin Anatoly used on him, and send Diggle and Dinah to get the antidote from the hospital. While getting the cure from Dr. Schwartz Dinah discovers that what is wrong with Diggle is that he has degenerative nerve damage which is causing his tremors, he admits to being compromised and says he’ll tell Oliver.
The entire team arrives to the Bratva stronghold and sneak in, and Ollie finds his way to Anatoly who after killing the CEO explains that he and Oliver are longer friends and that he has to publicly destroy that relationship to regain face with the rest of the Bratva. Oliver accuses Anatoly of betraying his principles, but Anatoly reminds Ollie that he remains an honorable man and proves it by explaining all the ways he could have gone about gaining revenge on Oliver, including harming William, but he didn’t because of their friendship. Ollie accuses Anatoly of leaking the photo, and Anatoly swears that he didn’t. Anatoly moves to escape, and Oliver threatens to shoot him, but Anatoly knows it is a bluff and indeed Oliver cannot bring himself to kill his former friend. Felicity and Curtis discover that the photo outing Oliver as Green Arrow was faked and gets the info to the news, Oliver talks to William and explains that he is working on a plan to make sure that he’ll always be around to protect his son before heading off to have a conversation with Diggle. Before Diggle can tell Oliver about his injury, Oliver asks him to take over as the Green Arrow and not just as a feint to throw the FBI off the scent – but permanently so that Oliver can retire. Diggle agrees.
Let’s begin with the BIG news. The press conference at the beginning of the episode doesn’t just involve Ollie claiming he isn’t The Green Arrow, he does it by referencing Bruce Wayne – confirming for the very first time that Bruce exists in the Arrowverse. The name drop amongst name drops, the only bigger one would be if they suddenly decided to reference Clark Kent. Very cool and very unexpected.
Last week I talked about the real possibility that this episode would just reverse the Oliver as Green Arrow reveal, and of course that is indeed what happened – but it didn’t revert to the status quo as so many of the CW shows often do. Placing Diggle into the role of Green Arrow shows a willingness to continue shaking things up in this sixth season, and it is a welcome endeavor. For the second week in a row I find myself noting that Arrow delivered the best episode of the four DC/CW Universe – a statement which admittedly stings my soul just slightly.
Of course the status quo will be restored, before long Oliver will be back in the green leather as the one and only Green Arrow in Star City, but until then – I’m on board with this topsy turvy world where Arrow is seemingly at the top of its game.
Episode 02 MVP: Stephen Amell himself who delivers the most nuanced performance in six seasons, drawing on so many layers as the episode twists and turns – giving us glimpses of not just the scowling Arrow we know and love but also that young man who we last saw on a life raft with his father way back in season one. The decision to give up being The Green Arrow is rooted in every choice Amell has made as an actor to date and it ALL pays off in the scene in Williams room where he hints at his plan for the first time. Brilliant performance.
NEXT WEEK: J’onn goes back to Mars and meets his Dad. Barry runs into a meta that makes him unlucky (and Harry Wells returns). The Legends meet The Mighty Isis. John Diggle is The Green Arrow