Four Color Television - The Flash / Legends of Tomorrow - Week 3 Recap / Review
The Four Color Ark
DC CW Television Week Three Part One
The Flash Season 4, Episode 03: “Luck Be a Lady”
Becky Sharpe (Sugar Lyn Beard) is one of those poor unfortunate people who has been the victim of bad luck her entire life, until her constant misfortune puts her in the path of the Thinker as she gets on a mysterious bus with last week’s villain Kilg%re. Meanwhile Team Flash is enjoying a little R&R with some Laser Tag and a picnic hosted by Cecille and Joe when they get an alert that a breach is opened. The team races back to S.T.A.R. Labs just in time to see Harry Wells pop through from Earth 2 bearing an unfortunate device known as a break up cube sent by Jesse Quick to be delivered to Wally, Harry’s bed side manner in dealing with delivering the bad news to Wally that Jesse is dumping him is as tactless as ever. Shortly after the team learns of several banks reporting missing money, and we learn that Becky Sharpe has somehow managed to luckily walk into banks and walk out with money without ever getting caught – it’s like she has become the luckiest girl in the world. Barry races to a bank Becky is currently robbing and as she is making her effortless get away in an ber that waited patiently for her, a shipping crate falls off of a truck releasing thousands of ball bearings that trip The Flash before he can stop her. Cisco gives Becky the metahuman codename: Hazard. Cecille and Joe begin experiencing incredibly bad luck at the West house as pipes are breaking and the heretofore awesome house has become a money pit. Bad luck is also the name of the game for Iris and Barry who lose out on not one but two wedding venues due to unexpected cancellations. Harry and Cisco are at each other’s throats until Harry reveals that Jesse Quick has basically kicked him out of his own home because he had become overbearing in helping her create a support team of her own much like Team Flash.
Joe is able to ID Becky based on her previous bad luck, but there is only one problem: Becky didn’t come to Central City until after the Particle Accelerator explosion. Much like Kilg%re before her, there is no way that Becky became a meta like all the others. Harry and Cisco track her dark manner energy to the point where it is the strongest and that leads the two of them and Barry to a spot in the middle of a Central City street. Harry and Cisco are stumped, but Barry immediately realizes what happened, because this is the same street where Cisco’s breach into the Speed Force opened up and allowed Barry to leave. Harry explains that the dark matter energy poured out of the Speed Force into the surrounding area and in particular onto a bus that was engulfed in the breach and anyone who was on that bus has the potential to be a Meta. Barry tracks Becky down at CC Jitters and has a conversation with her about the fact that she is a meta, and Becky shows that her luck powers can and will negatively affect others with dangerous results unless Barry let’s her go. Later at S.T.A.R. Labs Team Flash is moping because they blame themselves for creating the new batch of metas and Cisco believes the team is now cursed, at the West house things are getting worse and worse and we soon learn that Central City itself is in grave danger.
The luckier Becky gets, the stronger the field of bad luck around her gets – and she is currently at a casino winning roll after roll of craps. Planes are about to crash, storms are raging, and the particle accelerator is powering back on. Barry races to the casino to stop Becky but somehow manages to put power dampening handcuffs on himself instead of her. Harry and Cisco race to try to shut down the particle accelerator in fear of another explosion until Harry suddenly has an epiphany and urges Cisco to just let the accelerator explode again. The accelerator sends a wave of particles out in a massive explosion that interacts with the charged luck field around Becky and the two cancel each other out. Barry, now free from the dampening cuffs, arrests Becky. Cisco tells Harry that he is welcome to stay with Team Flash and build a life with them on Earth one, and after agreeing to rejoin Team Flash Harry discovers that both Becky and Kilg%re were on the bus affected by the Speed Force along with 10 others. Harry posits that The Thinker manipulated Team Flash into opening the Speed Force to retrieve The Flash in order to create 12 metahumans. Wally decides he needs to get away from Central City for a while and leaves for Blue Valley to stay with a friend, and Joe goes home to Cecille where she reveals to him that she is pregnant.
Aside from the fact that he rolled back in with the most terrible wig this show has ever employed, Tom Cavanagh’s return as Harry Wells was the kick in the ass this episode needed. Doubling down on an old school “fun” episode of The Flash, the first experience with Hazard definitely mined the light hearted side of Flash lore. We got a pay off from some of the pieces of gibberish that Barry was spouting back in the season premiere, in particular the mysterious translated: “This house is bitchin’” existing as an exchange between Cecille and Joe West when discussing whether or not to sell the West household. Of course the “We’re going to need more diapers” might also connect to the West pregnancy, though I suspect it is going to be reserved for the Tornado Twins. Speculation is running rampant over whether or not this new West child will be named Daniel (the third Reverse Flash was named Daniel West and was Wally II’s father) and whether or not he’ll be a speedster. The reference to Wally moving to Blue Valley is a cute homage to the origin of comic book Wally West. On lesser notes, this episode felt very light and insubstantial except for the S.T.A.R. Labs moments. Episode 04 will introduce a classic DC comics characters, so maybe that will be a bit stronger.
Episode 03 MVP: Tom Cavanagh* who returned as the gruff and awesomely snarky Harry Wells and brought back a much needed foil for Cisco.
Legends of Tomorrow Season 3, Episode 03: “Zari”
Time Agent Gary is in the near future trying to stop an anachronism involving the attempted murder of an outlaw named Zari Tomaz (new castmember Tala Ashe) and gets caught up in a serious fight where he feels he’s in enough danger that he needs to call in some back up. The only problem is that his distress call is picked up not by the Time Bureau, but by The Legends. On board the Waverider Nate and Professor Stein are both attempting to figure out why Amaya is having trouble with her powers, much to the annoyance of Amaya herself who tells Sara she finally understands what the term “mansplaining” means. Sara gets word of Gary’s plight and decides it’s time for the Legends to intervene on his behalf, so they set their course for the not too distant future to stop a time traveling assassin. The team goes off to figure out what is going on and come across a future where A.R.G.U.S. has criminalized metahumans and holds all the powered people in a metahuman prison. The target of the time travelling assassin Kuasa* (Amaya’s evil granddaughter) is Zari Tomaz, a woman with a rap sheet a mile long who claims to be looking to free her brother from A.R.G.U.S. Zari, reluctantly, agrees to let the team use her as bait to draw out the time travelling assassin – so long as the team helps her break in to the A.R.G.U.S. prison to free her brother. Mick, Ray, Sara and Jax head off with Zari to do some B&E, while Nate convinces Amaya that the best way to explore the problem she is having with her powers is to go on a vision quest and talk to the previous wielders of her totem. To achieve this Nate has Gideon synthesize a ritualistic psychotropic drug that he administers to both himself and Amaya.
Meanwhile in the A.R.G.U.S. prison, things go terribly wrong when Zari turns on the team and reveals that she was just using them to break in so that she could steal an item that once belonged to her dead brother, an amulet that is incredibly important to her. Her ruse exposed, it is too late to turn back because A.R.G.U.S. agents and Kuasa are descending upon them. Overwhelmed by the inhumanity of A.R.G.U.S. Jax releases all the metas from their cells as a diversion. Zari reveals that her amulet provides her with powers, and uses the power of flight to bolt from the scene. Ray chases off after Zari, and all the Legends who can’t fly call for backup from a Nate who is too stoned to properly fly the Waverider. Amaya on the other hand is having a legitimate vision about how to handle her power fluctuations and is greeted by her ancestor who tells her she must protect a mysterious “her” whose fate she is tied to.
The Waverider is about to go back up Ray when a much larger time ship pops out captained by Agent Sharpe. Sara sends the team off in a shuttle to help Ray and Zari, while she battles Agent Sharpe. The team arrives to find Ray and Zari battling with Kuasa, Amaya now fully in control of her powers again faces off against the woman she does not yet know is her granddaughter and defeats her handily – but in the process learns the truth. Sara manages to chase Sharpe away and the team gathers back together, Amaya invites Zari to join the team believing that she is the one whose fate is intertwined with Amaya and her totem. Zari agrees to join the team and Agent Sharpe threatens the Legends. Meanwhile in the 1980’s young Ray Palmer is running from some bullies and decides to hide in a storm drain where he meets a weird growling alien.
Before I go too deep on any major plot point I’m going to start with the worst part of the entire episode and that is Nick Zano’s terrible “high” performance. Think of every movie of the week cliché about how someone behaves when on drugs, and that is how Nate Heywood behaved on the drug that gave Amaya her visions. For a show that likes using a sense of realistic human behavior to take the wind out of the sails of more traditional superhero storytelling convention, this was an incredibly disappointing piece of over the top comedy that wasn’t necessary at all in this otherwise great episode. Introducing Zari in such a way that her amulet may be a totem tied to Amaya’s totem, but leaving open the possibility that the spirit of her ancestors is warning her about Kuasa instead is a wonderful little touch – and I hope that it remains unresolved for a little while just who the ancestor spirit was talking about. Mick instantly bonds with Zari, who while motivated by acquiring a family heirloom is still a criminal; it will be nice to have some prime time for crime time with Mick again. The not so distant future seems to be an outcropping of the anti vigilantism measures that are being discussed in the present timeline in Star City, which is a nice nod to wherever the Arrow team is taking that story.
Episode 03 MVP: young Jack Fisher who in maybe 45 seconds of screentime as the 1980’s Ray Palmer set up a perfect E.T. arc for this weeks episode.
Next Time: We finally review Week 3’s Supergirl and Arrow.