Since the CW just continues to load itself up with DC comic book shows – Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and now Supergirl – it seemed to just make more sense to recap them all in one fell swoop rather than stretch ourselves thin with the separate shows.
Flash and Legends are taking a bye week, so it’s just Supergirl and a very special episode of Arrow.
Supergirl 2.12 “Luthors”
A pretty packed episode this week in terms of plot! Lots of moving parts, let’s get going! Lena is introduced back into the narrative with her mother Lillian on trial for running Cadmus. She meets with Lillian, who reveals that she was the daughter of an affair her Luthor father had. Metallo gives testimony, spouting hate speech against aliens that is not far off from what Trump’s cabinet banters on about, before using his Metallo powers and busts Lillian out of there. Lena is implicated as the one who gave Metallo the kryptonite since she was the only visitor at the jail that night. She’s arrested after video evidence is submitted of her handling the kryptonite. Metallo shows up to bust Lena out of prison. Supergirl saves Lena before Metallo overloads and explodes, but Lillian and Cyborg Henshaw still managed to escape.
“Luthors” is a nice segue back into the season arc, showing strong momentum down the stretch returning to the core themes of hope vs. hate. We get a neat tease at childhood Lex Luthor, owning people at chess, furthering the world of mythology in the DC universe. It begs the question, if we’ve managed to get Superman on this show (by the way I’m ready for Tyler Hoechlin to reprise his role whenever you guys are) will we be getting Lex Luthor somewhere down the line?
Arrow 5.13 “Spectre of the Gun”
First off, they hit us with the “Tonight’s episode of Arrow is rated TV-14” so you know shit’s about to get real. Get the kids away from the television, this is TV-14 territory, it’s raw out here.
A masked man comes into city hall and starts shooting up the place, massacring the people in the building. Multiple lives are taken, and dozens are injured. Arrow goes full on after school special about gun violence in “Spectre of the Gun,” I was legit waiting for Stephen Amell to come on camera after the credits and talk to us about how to prevent gun violence and to talk with our parents. The shooter, James Edlund shot up City Hall because his family was killed in a mass shooting after City Hall failed to pass a gun registry law. Listen, a show about a dude who can bring a bow and arrow to a gun fight and win effortlessly is probably the last type of show I want to examine gun violence, but here we are. Conversations about race, violence and guns occur with the nuance and subtlety you would expect from a show where a month ago our main character was punching out aliens.
Rene gets the flashbacks this episode, revealing he had a wife and kid at one time. He also used to carry a pistol around for protection, which worried his wife. Apparently his wife was also addicted to pills. A gunman comes to collect on money she owes, and she ends up getting shot and killed. Rene ends up losing his daughter to child protective services. It’s an interesting, if ham-fisted way to get to know Rene’s past better and what drove him to become Wild Dog.
I can’t decide if I should be offended by this episode or not. It handles its subject matter so poorly, but what the hell else could I expect from a show where a guy has an arrow that explodes into a parachute? There’s a bizarrely enjoyable quality to how much Arrow fumbles tough subject matter – it doesn’t even come to much of a conclusion at all – in the same way that watching somebody slip around on ice for 30 seconds without falling is bizarrely enjoyable: The endpoint is cringing, but the blind effort is almost impressive. Literally just two weeks ago Oliver was flying around punching people while attached to a helicopter, how am I supposed to treat this with the same level of seriousness as The Night Of?