Four Color Television - CW/DC TV Week 5 - Recap / Review
The Four Color Ark
CW/DC TV - Week 5 - Recap/Review
We’ve been doing some really in depth and lengthy recaps/reviews of all four of the CW tv series. This week we’re going to try something different – we’re going to see how you guys feel about shorter recaps. So below, in one column: let’s look at week 5 of the DC/CW shows.
Supergirl Season 3, Episode 05: “Damage”
Alex and Maggie are definitely going to break up over the fact that Alex wants to be a mom and Maggie doesn’t want to have kids, meanwhile random children all throughout National City are getting incredibly sick with symptoms of lead poisoning. Morgan Edge has leveraged the illness of these children into an opportunity to take down L Corp by blaming Lena Luthor’s lead weapon that ended the Daxamite invasion. Lena goes out of her way to try to prove in this crisis that she is not Lex Luthor, she steps aside from her leadership roles in both L Corp and Catco until the issue is resolved – but she quickly turns her proactive steps at saving the brand into a slide into self-recrimination and heavy drinking. Too drunk to actively engage with resolving the problem, Lena sleeps it off while Kara teams up with Samantha to investigate. Ultimately the two find that all the affected children swim in a community pool that has been treated with a chemical that mimics all the symptoms of lead poisoning. Kara tells a now sober Lena what they have uncovered and the name of the company that manufactured the chemical – Lena recognizes it as one of Morgan Edge’s holdings and goes to confront him. Edge incapacitates her and stages her on board a plane full of more of the dangerous chemical to take her out once and for all: but Supergirl saves the day. Lena and Jimmy do some serious flirting, and Alex pulls the trigger on breaking up with Maggie. Kara rushes to her sister’s side and tells her to pack up, they’re going home to Midvale for a little post break up R&R
Kevin Smith Returns! Kevin has directed some of the best episodes of The Flash and Supergirl over the last two years, and this episode is sadly the first real clunker he’s helmed. Through no fault of the direction, this episode never really gets off the ground, the B story of the Alex/Maggie breakup sucks a lot of the oxygen out of what is obviously a fairly straightforward corporate frame job in the A plot. The way that Lena reacts to the negative press and the possibility that she will forever be stained with the same brush as Lex leads to some really heavy handed person recrimination that comes off a little hollow from Lena who still is unsure what country she is from, but for some reason is now being set up for some James Olsen canoodling.
EPISODE 05 MVP: Chyler Leigh* once again who brings some real heartbreak to the aftermath of her breakup with Maggie.
The Flash Season 4, Episode 05: “Girls Night Out”
In Central City we’re drawing ever closer to the impending nuptials of Barry and Iris, which means it is time for the bachelor/bachelorette parties. Felicity Smoak takes some time off from the craziness in Star City to join in on Iris’ party - but mysteriously Caitlin is trying to skip out on the party and leave town. The girls convince Cait to stay and they head out for a dinner featuring: Iris, Felicity, Caitlin and Cecile. The boys gather for a quiet bachelor party at Joe’s - but are interrupted by an uninvited Ralph Dibney who takes Barry, Joe, Harry, and Cisco to a strip club. The girls soon find out that Caitlin is afraid that the metahuman drug dealer/mob boss who helped her over the summer is after her, and Killer Frost comes forth to try to take out the dangerous Amunet Black (Katee Sackhoff) before she can get to Caitlin. The girls spend the episode working to take down the meta crime boss without the boys’ help, while the boys get themselves into a fight and eventually get thrown in jail. Iris helps Caitlin get a better handle on both sides of her identity, while a very hungover Barry Allen helps Joe get over his fears about being a dad again so late in life. Both the girls and the guys are vague with each other about their horrible evenings.
Last week’s introduction of Ralph Dibney felt like a possible turning point on an off season, this week felt like a return to the aimless wandering of the episodes that preceded Dibney’s arrival. Granted this is a classic Bachelor Party gone wrong trope episode, and the gender swapping so it was the Bachelorette Party that drove the episode was a nice change – the episode still just felt like a series of bad choices from characters who should damn well know better. We’re now told that Caitlin Snow and Killer Frost are two different entities and we’re given a Banner/Hulk comparison to explain it – which establishes that the Marvel comics are indeed comics in the DC Television universe. Since no other meta has behaved that way, I’m unsure of why Caitlin is broken like this. The comedy deriving from a drunk Barry Allen was great the first time it was on screen; it unfortunately wore out its welcome fairly quickly. Katee Sackhoff’s debut as Amunet Black was marred by her strange choice to use an over the top and terrible British accent for the character. Perhaps in the crossover episode in a few weeks the Earth 38 Lena Luthor and the Earth 1 Amunet Black will have a vocal chord convergance and each will appear afterwards using their native accents and we can just give up on either trying to be from the side of the Atlantic they weren’t born on. Next week’s episode looks like it might return to the momentum we expected after the Elongated entry into the show.
EPISODE 05 MVP: Emily Bett Rickards* who proved once again that her character fits much more effortlessly into the world of Central City and S.T.A.R. Labs than she does her own digs over on Arrow.
Legends of Tomorrow Season 3, Episode 05: “Return of the Mack”
Rip’s back and this time he’s defying the time agency that he created to hunt a mysterious time traveling villain, and the Legends meet him in 1897 trying to track down a time traveling Vampire. Ray and Jax forward their study into separating the Firestorm by severing the psychic link between Jax and Stein, which gives Jax some issues with his short term memory. Rip tells the Legends that he needs their help hunting the mysterious and manipulative Mallus who has been orchestrating events through time and creating his own aberrations; and that Mallus must in some way be connected to the Vampire. The hunt for the Vampire leads our heroes to an 1890’s coroner who has a PalmerTech smart watch on his wrist that he claimed from a corpse that literally fell from the sky. A quick fingerprint analysis back at the Waverider shows that the watch has three sets of fingerprints – one belonging to the coroner, one to Oliver Queen and one to a mysterious third party – presumably the owner of the watch. While searching for the Vampire, Nate gets kidnapped by a Stein’s ancestor who works for Mallus and is involved with the plot to revive the corpse from the future. A quick call to 2017 Star City reveals the identity of the third fingerprints: none other than Damien Dahrk. Dahrk’s daughter Eleanor (Courtney Ford) performs a ritual that brings Damien back to life – and she is briefly possessed by the disembodied voice of Mallus (John Noble) who taunts Rip Hunter and the Legends. Dahrk kills some lackeys before time travelling to destinations unknown. Team Legends calls Rip on his need to be an anarchist, even on teams he creates himself – and Sara turns him over to the Time Bureau in exchange for the freedom for The Legends to do what they want with the Waverider. Stein discovers what Ray and Jax are up to and after feeling slightly rejected, he comes around to understanding that Jax is trying to give Stein the gift of his freedom. Stein agrees to help Jax figure out how to sever the Firestorm linkage between them.
We haven’t progressed very far from where we started at the beginning of Season 3, Rip is still terrible and kind of a pain in the ass; Nate is still horribly unfunny even though they think he’s the comedic center of the show; and the rest of the team is perfectly serviceable in their roles. This episode did however have a great deal of charm, as Legends often does – mostly in this episode deriving from the hurt and rejected feelings of Martin Stein once he realized that Jax wants to break up Firestorm. Mick as a vampire obsessed criminal who carries around stakes just so he can destroy the undead in case he ever comes across one is just the kind of kookiness I love and expect from Mick. Victor Garber in a double roll as both Martin and Martin’s ancestor the slightly evil actor was a delight, as was seeing Brandon Routh’s longtime girlfriend Courtney Ford appear as Damien Dahrk’s daughter. The true joy of the episode though was in the return of Neal McDonough as Damien Dark resurrecting to chew scenery in a dance/fight choreographed to Mark Morrison’s Return of the Mack. This sequence was so delightfully quirky in a way that was perfect for both Dahrk and Legends as a whole.
EPISODE 05 MVP: You guessed it: Neal McDonough*. Damien Dahrk is a fan favorite, and his return his was stellar. Can’t wait to see him meet up with the John Noble voiced Mallus.
Arrow Season 6, Episode 05: “Deathstroke Returns”
With Slade Wilson calling in a favor, Oliver has to decide if he’s going to leave the country on a mission to help Slade find his son or not. It turns out that Joe joined the Australian intelligence service just like his father and a mission gone wrong landed him in a Kasnian prison. Slade tells Ollie that he doesn’t have to come along, but if he does join the mission it won’t be as Green Arrow, but it will be as Oliver Queen Mayor of Star City. Oliver talks to William and tells him he plans to help his friend Slade find his son, William understands and Oliver agrees to go. In Star City, Vigilante has resurfaced right as the debate over the Anti-Vigilante Bill is heating up. Last season’s mysterious second masked vigilante resurfaces and seems to be targeting the sponsor of the bill, and gets in the sights of The Black Canary. In a confrontation between the two, Vigilante’s mask is shattered by Dinah’s Canary Cry and Vigilante is revealed to be Dinah’s former CCPD partner (and lover) Vincent Sobel who it turns out was given incredible healing powers the night of the particle accelerator explosion. As Vincent races to kill the sponsor of the anti-vigilante bill, Dinah races to save her. Dinah comes out on top and Vincent manages to get away. In Kasnia, Oliver poses as a member of an amnesty organization there to barter for Joe’s release – but he is told that Joe was killed in the prison yard. Slade and Ollie investigate and it turns out this is all very fishy, they return to the prison and speak to the warden who reveals that a terrorist group called The Jackals have taken Joe. Slade preps to take on the Jackals to get revenge, and drugs Oliver to prevent him from getting involved so that he can go home to William in Star City. Slade assaults the Jackals compound, violently cutting through them all, Oliver comes to and rushes to assist Slade – arriving just in time to watch as Slade comes face to face with the leader of the Jackals: his own son whose “kidnapping” was just a cover for a rescue by his own men.
After a single week reprieve, I type out the following words once more: “this week, again, Arrow is the best of the CW/DC TV series.” This week it is because Arrow had an exceptionally good episode, while the remaining three shows had exceptionally mediocre episodes. The B story with the reveal of Vigilante was frankly not overly good, but it was handled in a somewhat plausible and straightforward way that kept the narrative moving in and around the A story. The A story, frankly, is all the fans actually came for – and Manu Bennett’s Slade Wilson does not disappoint in this episode. His interactions with Ollie are on point, and he has the single most amazing fight scene the show has had in some time, and Arrow is known for its great fight scenes. The stunt work as Slade takes on Jackal showed the TV audience the brutality that Deathstroke is capable of in the comics, and it was awesome. We didn’t just get Manu working with Stephen Amell in the present as the one eyed, embittered but once again Noble Slade – we got Flashbacks. There may not be any more flashbacks to Oliver stranded on Lian Yu, but we got some truly terrifying flashbacks to Slade’s job before he himself went to Lian Yu. Flashback Slade is the kind of father who takes his son on a camping trip just as cover so he can get close and interrogate a Chinese national about the location of Yao Fei… Slade Wilson is not winning any father of the year awards… but what he is getting is:
EPISODE 05 MVP: Manu Bennett*. Seriously: Marc Guggenheim, Manu says he wants Slade to have his own streaming platform series where he can be the hyper violent Merc that Deathstroke deserves to be: MAKE IT HAPPEN sir. A lot of us would watch a Manu Bennett Slade series.
NEXT WEEK: Supergirl goes back to Midvale. Ralph Dibney gets a supersuit. The Legends go to old Hollywood. Slade Wilson faces off with his son.
Also Next Week: JUSTICE LEAGUE