Supergirl 2.11 “The Martian Chronicles”
I’d like to talk about what actually happened in this episode and all that, which was by most judgement a good episode, but there’s something that happened early on that deserves more discussion: Maggie buys tickets to a Barenaked Ladies concert for Alex.
Apparently on this earth Barenaked Ladies still have concerts and people have decided that it’s worth their money. So much to unpack here. First of all, this is the first evidence that Alex and Maggie’s relationship is doomed. It’s their first concert, Maggie wanted to surprise Alex, and she picks Barenaked Ladies? Seriously? NOBODY HAS EVER GOTTEN LAID TO BARENAKED LADIES. How are you supposed to get down when they’re making fart jokes? Barenaked Ladies were only cool when I was in third grade because they had that line that made you say “underwear” and that shit was hilarious every time. But they should never ever played when you are trying to be romantic.
The Flash 3.12 “Untouchable”
There’s two small instances in this episode that highlight one of the many things The Flash is excelling at, and that is how well they’ve handled Cisco as Vibe and Caitlyn as Killer Frost. It seems each of the shows in the Arrow-verse eventually approach the trope of “everyone gets a superpower,” with Arrow of course handling it the worst last season, and Supergirl may be heading down similar rocky roads with the Guardian. Legends has been handling it just fine – that’s sort of the point of that show. But The Flash has handled this all the best, turning what has been a crutch to others into another path of storytelling and character. They only become superheroes when the story calls for it, so there’s still an element of excitability when they use their powers. In “Untouchable” Cisco vibes Flashpoint so they can locate Clive Yorkin to learn more about him. With Caitlin, she uses her powers to freeze Iris’s arm to slow the infection, all the while battling her darker side. Less is more when it comes to everyone having superpowers.
Also: WE’RE GETTING GORILLA GRODD NEXT WEEK!!!
Times I cried:
- When Joe finds out about Iris getting killed in the future.
- When Barry tells Wally he failed him as a teacher and he’ll do better.
- When Barry said “Run, Wally, Run.”
Legends of Tomorrow 2.11 “Turncoat”
Rip has been turned by the Legion of Doom, only partially restoring his memories. So he kills George Washington and then gives the British soldiers machine guns. This show is so smacked. Rip lets off an emp bomb and kills the power in both the wave-rider and Ray’s suit. So now Ray is running around as a mini-me and evading a rat that’s trying to kill him. At one point Rory teaches George Washington how to sucker punch people. Nate falls into freezing water so Amaya has to warm him up with “skin to skin” contact which of course leads to sex because apparently this shit is also written by amateur porn writers. This show is at a point where shows that are super washed end up at in like seasons 10-12, but it knows it and relishes in its ability to just shrug at each plot point.
Legends of Tomorrow has become a show where I watch it, go to bed, then wake up and go “Wait, what happened to me last night?” and I hope it stays that way. I don’t even know what to say about this show anymore, it is blissfully resistant to any critical discussion, let’s just get to Arrow.
Arrow 5.12 “Bratva”
In season 2, this show delivered one of its most bonkers episodes when it went to Russia to break out of a gulag. Given the flashback story set in Russia, I’m glad to see them heading back to do some more insane shit. Oliver takes Team Arrow, with the newly christened Black Canary (Side-note: having a meta on the team adds another layer of connectivity between Arrow and The Flash) to Russia to locate and stop a nuclear arms sale by General Walker. Quentin Lance comes back from rehab, so Oliver has Rene keep an eye on him while he’s off giving Russia some love, setting up a buddy comedy I never knew I wanted.
Rag-man, who we’ve been deprived of these past few episodes, gets to whip out his magical rags and stop a nuclear blast by absorbing them, with, you know, his magical rags. Unfortunately they stop working after that, because the rags are somehow sentient? Shoutout to the creators of rag-man, he is some seriously d-level comic book character toss-away material that is golden on this show.
This episode does a great job of connecting the threads between each timeline, making good use of Anatoly, who keep in mind, we’ve been building up since season two. We’re officially at the halfway point, and while Arrow hasn’t done much to progress the Prometheus and Vigilante angles, the end of this episode sets up the flashback narrative for the coming episodes nicely, with Oliver and Anatoly conspiring to kill Bratva leadership.
One of the benefits of Green Arrow as a character is that he doesn’t really have any definitive arc you have to be beholden to as a storyteller. Even though I wish he had an epic comic storyline, the most famous association most have with the Green Arrow is as a supporting character and older, one-armed version in The Dark Knight Returns (sweetly nodded to in one of the better episodes of season one of Legends of Tomorrow). The Flash was always going to get to Flashpoint, Supergirl was eventually going to have to show Superman. But Arrow never ran into those epic arcs to adapt, which has given it free reign to pick and choose from DC/Batman lore. Deathstroke as a pivotal villain? Sure. League of Assassins? Sure. And it brings us to Talia Al Ghul. A definitive character in Batman mythology, she’s been given a new creative lease on Arrow as a final mentor. I’m excited to see what they do with her and how she’ll play into Oliver’s legacy.