Well, Berlanti’s Arrowverse is back for another season of humor, heart, and spectacle. Here’s the (Spoiler Free) Breakdown of how the first week went from worst to first.
I believe it was Huey Lewis, of the Marin County Lewis’s that first said that the power of love is curious thing. For example, it can make one man weep, another man sing. No better evidence is there of the power of love and it’s curious (read super ass convenient) capabilities than the Season 4 opener of The Flash. It is here where love times love divided by love will conquer all.
As you may recall, at the end of Season 3, Barry decides that he will become the Speed Force’s captive, leaving Team Flash to fend for themselves. Jumping to present day, Iris (You’ll remember her as the one whose foretold death wasted half of every episode last season) is running point for Team Kid Flash, made up of Wally, Cisco/Vibe and Joe in a police issued SUV. They’re on the job, chasing down and capturing Metas, all the while having fun as they go. But it’s bittersweet, as everyone misses Barry. This is about as far as we can go without specifically ruining anything. Oh and Caitlin isn’t evil anymore. Yeah. Like that.
The Flash, while having been one of the best shows the last couple years while Arrow dipped into whatever the hell it dipped into, has a bad habit of high stakes cliffhangers with very underwhelming pay offs. Remember Flashpoint? The jaw-dropping season 2 ender that had all of our minds racing? What was going to happen?! A ripple in the fabric of time and space so big that it could help undo all of Arrow’s missteps! It could be the catalyst for a full season of plotlines and story arcs about Barry’s selfish mistake and–oh it’s done? With very little real consequence? Except for you, Diggle of course. RIP Baby Sarah.
This opener was lazy. It was lazy, uninspired, and underwhelming. I’m talking Moffatt Doctor Who levels of lazy. Eric Bischoff’s Monday Nitro levels of underwhelming. My inability to come up with a third example’s level of uninspired. The writers once again couldn’t paint themselves out of the giant corner they were stuck in so they HAHA SCIENCE!!’d and YAY FOR LOVE!!’d themselves an answer. This is getting to be a nasty habit, and it needs to change fast before the average viewer catches on. Guys, get it together. You’re better than this.
The Girl of Steel is back and broody as hell. That’s what happens when the alien love of your life gets lead poisoining and is sent off planet. Typical.
Well, Kara’s in a bad mood and in an attempt to cope has thrown herself into her work as Supergirl. National City is grateful for the drop in crime, but her friends and family are worried about her.
Meanwhile, Nathan Petrelli…no…Glenn Talbot…no…Morgan Edge…no…Nathan Petrelli is in National City to fill the male megalomaniacal CEO void left by Peter Facinelli’s Max Lord after the network switch.
Supergirl is a steadily consistent show, if not a little on the bland side. She serves as a strong role model for young and not as young girls alike, which is always a good thing. Season 1 and 2 benefitted from using the plots of some of Superman’s better stories, but that can also hinder it in the long run. We like the show, but it feels like it’s still finding it’s voice. It bounces back and forth between light-hearted and overly serious. There’s a medium there, and if they keep working at it, they’ll find it. (Hint: It’s more to the light-hearted side). It could really benefit from somehow finding itself on the same universal plane as the rest of the Arrowverse. A little crossover action, if even a simple cameo, never hurts. The first crossover with Flash in season one is one of the best episodes to date.
At the end of last season, there were a lot of promises made. More accurately, vows. Even more accurately, ONE vow: Arrow had until the crossover to sort itself out or I was done forever. What was once my favorite hour of the Arrowverse managed to adorably trip over itself like an at first likeable but long term annoying as hell nerdy girl sidekick turned non-canonical love interest, much like the other real-world super powers predecessor, Heroes. The difference being that Heroes went bad almost immediately, while Arrow got through 2 seasons before it started to turn.
If you remember, we left our heroes on the banks of Lian Yu, where Adrian blew up all the sidekicks with an extraordinary amount of C-4 for a DA to procur. Well, we find out early on that they all survived. Well, almost all of them, you find out, as the show’s decided not to ditch the flashbacks as previously hoped, but flashback to the story of how they survived.
Meanwhile, in the present, Ollie has his hands full with fighting off a new group of terrorists led by Black Canary, while also raising his son Conn…sorry, William…who is having problems trusting his dual identitied father, if you can imagine such a thing. Also, Felicity isn’t as annoying thus far, but they made two separate hints that her and Oliver have “the talk” coming just over the horizon…there was a whole island of C-4! She couldn’t just have caught even one…never mind.
I give this show grief because I love it, and only want the best for it. And I’m not alone, thankfully, as my voice will continue to go unheard. Stephen Amell’s voice, however, that has a little more sway, and he’s made his point.
In a recent interview, while discussing a conversation that he had with Arrowverse creator Greg Berlanti, Stephen Amell said this about the show back in Season 5:
“You know, I think that there’s a lot of things that we do well,” and Greg goes, “I would agree,” and I go, “Can we do those things?”
I have to be honest, we’re only one episode in, but it feels like they really are trying to do them. Arrow was the second place winner this week. They genuinely seem to want to get back to where we all know Arrow can be, but there’s a lot of work left to do. I can’t figure that the introduction of Michael Emerson (Lost, Person of Interest) as a big bad is anything but a further step in the right direction. So I’m staying true to Arrow, but so help me if the wedding storyline comes back on the table, I will burn that bridge once and for all.
But please don’t, guys. Seriously. What am I going to watch instead? S.H.I.E.L.D.? Come on.
LEGENDS OF TOMORROW
There is a clear winner this week, and that winner is Legends.
This is the third season for this show, and if this opener is any indication, they’ve found their tone. The Legends work as a goofy band of screw-ups that really do want to do right, but can’t get out of their own way. The episode where they have to save George Lucas from becoming an insurance agent is one of the strongest of the series thus far.
In this episode, their former captain, Rip Hunter has left them on their own, and formed the Time Bureau: a group of suits that go around fixing anachronisms in the space-time continuum, a lot of which are the doing of the Legends themselves. Not to be outdone, and as a way of proving their worth, the Legends defy the Time Bureau and try to fix the mistakes themselves.
This one has finally found the humor. They aren’t all trying to look tougher by brooding or sex each other, at least not so far, they’re trying to prove to everyone that they really are the good guys, even if they get it wrong sometimes. Their new motto is “Sometimes we screw things up for the better”. They aren’t quite as zany and quippy as the Guardians of the Galaxy, (and hopefully they never will be), but they have that flare to them.
I enjoyed Legends most of all, and I hope they stick with this new “we do what we want” attitude as it will strengthen the core and bring this show up in the ranks as a contender instead of what it’s been so far, an also-ran. It certainly did this week.