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Your CW-DC-TV Sidekick – Week Three: Get Ready to Rumble

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.


Supergirl 2.02 “The Last Children of Krypton”

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I don’t want to get too hyperbolic here, but Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman is the best on-screen iteration we’ve had in a long time. He’s an antidote to the grim mess that the DC Film Universe has made of the character, a reminder of how fun and optimistic the character can and should be. It’s easy to call a victory this early in the game when you got a player like Hoechlin draining shots, but we’ve just been deprived of quality Superman for so long. He harkens back to the classicism of Christopher Reeves in his natural charm and boyish optimism while still retaining a certain ownership of the role as his. If the CW ever attained rights to make a full-on show with Hoechlin, I’d happily watch him play Superman all season long. Clark Kent has left the show’s narrative for the moment, but I look forward to his return.

With Winn at the DEO now, we get an upped dosage of comedy. Winn starts crying when Superman compliments him. When Superman offers a handshake goodbye, Winn goes in for a hug. When Superman and Martian Manhunter’s beef gets real, Winn observes “Superman and Martian Manhunter are gonna fight. This is terrible….this is awesome!”

One of the only unfortunate casualties of the show moving to the CW is less Calista Flockhart, due to the shooting locations moved from Los Angeles to Vancouver. Cat Grant is taking a leave of absence from her company to explore new challenges, which means less of Cat oggling Clark Kent and less of Flockhart’s delightful and layered performance of Cat.

Project Cadmus have stepped out of the shadows of season one to announce themselves the villains of this season, stating their mission to the world to get rid of the Kryptonians and all other alien races. Sort of an “Earth for the Earthlings” mentality. With their whole nationalist rhetoric and trying to use fear and xenophobia to gain supporters for their cause, is it just me or are they pretty similar to Trump? Is that stretching this too far? Then again, with Supergirl’s themes of hope, Trump’s almost the perfect villain for Kara’s goodwill and optimism to triumph over. As they’ve been saying: I’m with her.


The Flash 3.03 “Magenta”

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Jessie and Earth 2 Harrison Wells return for help in testing Jessie’s speed force abilities while they work through some father-daughter drama. Teased last season, Jessie has evolved into Jessie Quick, a nice way to bring the pair back to the show’s narrative.

Armen V. Kevorkian. “Magenta”s man behind the camera, directed the best episode of last season, “Rupture”, bringing a truly cinematic feel to how he shot his scenes while displaying the heart-renching emotions achingly. He doesn’t get the same caliber of material to work with here, after all, we’re still setting the stage for those big moments, but he does make the episode an exciting one. The whole tanker sequence feels appropriately big and epic and the emotion between Wells and Jessie is felt. The ensemble gets their comedic moments to go around. Harrison Wells keeps saying “NOT” sarcastically after everything, seemingly having just discovered irony. Joe West, pioneer of Dad-Cop calls Barry his second daughter.

Alchemy is turning out to be a pretty compelling villain, if still just a tertiary one, as he’s restoring the powers of everyone who had them in the Flashpoint. He’s a literalization of Barry’s mistakes coming back to haunt him, and he may be the first primary villain to not be a speedster on this show, which is exciting. Prediction: Wally goes to Alchemy to get the speed force and become Kid Flash.


Arrow 5.03 “ A Matter of Trust”

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The WWE vibes in this hour began early and often. Oliver opens “A Matter of Trust” by interrogating a drug dealer as the poor sap hangs over a building’s ledge. He ends the exchange with “I’m not gonna kill you, but I can’t guarantee you’ll walk away from this.” Then he cuts the dude free and he falls off a building. Arrow is doing one-liners again!

Arrow named a designer drug “Stardust” then had Cody Rhodes (WWE wrestler who performs under the moniker “Stardust”) come on to play the villain. Incredible. His name is Derek Samson, a drug dealer who dies when he falls into a vat of chemicals but comes back to life and is now seemingly impervious to dying. He’s basically like a zombie but he’s still cognizant and can engage in a fist fight and talk about how much he loves Gary Busey.

Taking the WWE links further, Curtis gets his Mister Terrific moniker from Terry Sloane, a professional wrestler in their universe (and the original Mister Terrific in the comics). When the team goes on their first mission together, Curtis is DECKED OUT in wrestling ready cosmetics. Stephen Amell is pretty much living out so many childhood fantasies right now – he’s playing a superhero, and he got to fight in the WWE when he laid out Stardust at Raw 2015.

Thank God their final fight features some WWE theatrics. First, Oliver shoots a grappling hook arrow into Samson, which he uses to fling themselves together so Oliver can punch him mid-air into the ground. There’s a whole bunch of other moves they put on each other, including Oliver putting Samson in an armlock and breaking his arm. I’m a little disappointed we didn’t get a single stunner or Goldberg spear, but the fight was still a whole lot of heightened wrestling fun. Wait, so what’s Oliver’s finishing move? He’s one-liner is clearly “You have failed this city!” which he busts out again in “A Matter of Trust” but it’s clearly a crime that he doesn’t have a definitive finishing move.

It’s pretty cool to see each of the team do their thing in the climax – Wild Dog and his guns, Artemis and her acrobatics, Curtis glamming himself up for no reason, and, ah yes, Ragman, the man of rags, using his magical rags to take out baddies. Ragman is the most ridiculous character on a show where a dude can show up to a machine gun fight with a bow and arrow and win effortlessly, and I’m all for it.

Deadshot is Diggle’s cellmate, which is something because Deadshot died back in Season 3. But hey, this is Arrow, dead people come back to life every 6 episodes. Luckily, he’s still dead, as Diggle was just hallucinating Deadshot so he could work through some things. This little plotline was kind of lacking in excitement, but it’s okay, because it leads to them doing a prison break next week!


Legends of Tomorrow 2.02 “The Justice Society of America”

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The opening scene is fantastic, as the newly introduced Justice Society of America hands an ass-kicking to the Legends, soundtracked by some bitchin synth music. We got Commander Steel, Stargirl, Vixen (the grandmother of Arrow’s Vixen from last season), Hourman, Obsidian and Dr. Mid-Nite as our WWII superheroes. One of the cool things about the Arrowverse is how they take all these C and D level characters from the DC universe and make them exciting and relevant. The Justice Society of America is the latest of those, a team of heroes forgotten in time and the comic book movie arms race. Turns out, Heywood is Commander Steel’s grandson. Dr. Mid-Nite narrates what’s happening like it’s a wrestling match in a giddy performance from Kwesi Ameyaw. I hope we get more Dr. Midnite.

The JSA let the Legends leave 1942, but they have to turn back once they discover that the JSA will need saving in the near future. They have to infiltrate a Nazi club in Paris to locate the JSA and help them recover an amulet the Nazis have stolen. Martin impersonates a German singer that Hitler loved to get into a club, but of course they make him sing. He chooses “Adelweiss” from The Sound of Music, and what do you know, he’s got some good pipes! When the team doesn’t shout “Heil HItler!” and salute at the end of the performance, their cover is blown and a bar fight breaks out. These are the sort of silly antics the show is getting good at.

Even better, their version of Nazis are the ones after occult powers, which is my favorite fictionalized version of Nazis.This one Nazi takes a serum that Eobard Thawne gave him and basically becomes a Hulk Nazi. Last season, I joked with a friend that the only problem with this show was that it wasn’t Danger 5. Now it kind of is, at least playing in the same silly ballpark that Danger 5 did where the Nazis are basically spy villains after the most ridiculous plots to further their power. All Legends of Tomorrow is missing now is Johnny Hitler. Make it happen DC.

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