The days are shorter and the air is cooler. Nature is preparing to bust out its autumn palette. There’s pumpkin spice everything on the store shelves. Let’s face it, fall is upon us. With it comes the new television season. This year, The CW brings four hours of DC Comics hero programming to your weeknights, with Supergirl‘s move from CBS.
This year, we’re taking a different approach to covering DC on The CW. Every week, we’ll discuss the happenings in National City, Central City, Star City, and all up and down the timestream in a round-table recap. The participants might change from time to time, but you can count on GeekDads and GeekMoms to deliver the goods on the DC/CW television universe. This week, we prepare for the returns of The Flash and Arrow with Joey Mills, Lisa Hollander, Will James, and Jim MacQuarrie. We invite you to jump into the conversation by adding your thoughts about the upcoming seasons in the comments section below.
Joey: The biggest news from the off-season is Supergirl moving from CBS and officially joining the shared DC/CW universe. Yeah, we had the Supergirl-The Flash crossover last season, but when we last left our heroes, National City and Central City existed on two different worlds. How are the Powers That Be going to bring the two together? Via the Flashpoint plot device? Or, will the two cities remain on separate worlds?
Lisa H: Flashpoint is TOTALLY going to be the reason National City is now part of Earth 1 with the rest of the crew.
Joey: Aside from the network change, the other big news is the casting of Superman, who was an unseen presence in season one. Is it just me, or was anyone else disappointed that the producers didn’t cast Tom Welling in the role? I mean, I understand not wanting to create the impression that whatever happened on Smallville has any bearing on Supergirl, but they did cast Dean Cain and Helen Slater as the Danvers and are adding Lynda Carter in season two, though, admittedly, not in the roles the originally portrayed in the DC universe.
Will: I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to get him in another role like they did with Cain and Slater, but it’s also possible they tried, and he said no. It would certainly be a nice nod to fans to have him come in for at least a small cameo. Maybe a super villain!
Lisa H: I’m one of those folks who really enjoyed the first season, even though it took some time to find its footing, and it wasn’t always the feminist ideal we were promised. By the end of the first season, the cast had gelled and I was eager to see what came next. While that is still the case, I’m concerned about adding Superman so quickly. He cast a big shadow over the first season in nearly every way and seemed to swoop in several times and save Supergirl from whatever mess she had gotten herself into. So while the recently dropped trailer does seem to have them working together as equals, I worry that the writers’ room won’t really allow her to take the lead when he’s in the picture.
Will: I’m really worried about Superman being added to the show as well. I did like that they made him susceptible to Myriad so that he couldn’t swoop in and save the day at the end of the season (while also setting him up to be there for season two). I’m very hopeful that they’ll use him sparingly and only in a few episodes. He does have his own city to worry about after all.
Joey: Before we get to the Supergirl premiere on The CW, the DC/CW universe makes its return with The Flash. The last time we saw Barry, he had gone back in time (again) and saved his mother from Reverse-Flash. The producers have stated that the repercussion of that decision will play out in some variation of the Flashpoint paradox. Word has it that Flashpoint will have an impact on the other shows in some form, so it makes sense that the DC series start with The Flash this season, right?
I understand that part of the appeal of these characters is that they are human. They make mistakes. They prove their heroism by continuing to try to make things right. I get it. That said, is Barry Allen the worst hero on television? How many times has he been told “Don’t do the thing” only to have Barry run right out and do the thing?
Lisa H: Corrina always maintained that Barry is the worst hero on TV ever. I always disagreed, until the season finale last year. I mean seriously, how many times does he need to be told not to do something? He’s worse than my 6 year old! More than anything, I’m sticking around for this season in hopes that he stops being a moron.
Will: He really is terrible at being a hero. Killing bad guys, constantly screwing with the timeline, never listening to anybody, keeping secrets from those who would benefit from knowing them. Maybe Jesse and Wally can show him what being a hero is really about.
Jim MacQ: Since The Flash introduced Simon Stagg a while back (and then promptly killed him), what are the chances we’ll see Metamorpho soon?
Joey: Also returning with new episodes this week is Arrow. At the end of season four, the team appeared to be in disarray. Laurel is dead (but for how long?). Thea and Diggle have gone to take some time away. Quentin Lance is no long on the SCPD. All that are left of Team Arrow are Felicity and Oliver, who was sworn in as interim mayor of Star City. Perhaps the biggest question from the fallout of the season finale is where did all of the people who were colonizing the HIVE bunker disappear to?
Famously, we know that Oliver Queen was missing for five years after the crash of Queen’s Gambit before making his return to Starling City. That means that this season’s flashbacks mark Oliver’s final year before catching up to the events in season one. What ground are you hoping they cover in the flashbacks this season? Are you ready for the show to move away from season-long flashback story arcs and to more LOST-style specific character flashbacks next season, as we’ve been promised?
Jim MacQ: I’m watching this season primarily for a new cast member. Madison McLaughlin appeared last season as Evelyn Sharp, the Black Canary imposter, and they liked her enough to bring her back this year. For her return, Evelyn will assume the identity of Artemis, the archer character introduced in the Young Justice cartoon show. Madison was previously seen on Chicago P.D., Supernatural, and Mad Men, but I know her because she and her sisters are among my archery students. I’d like to take credit for helping her get the role, but I know they didn’t cast her for her skill with a bow. She’s a talented actress and an absolute professional, very easy to work with, and I’m not at all surprised by her success. I’m watching as a fan, not as her coach.
Lisa H: I’m watching this season in hopes that Stephen Amell’s abs make an appearance. That’s it. Nothing else.
Joey: Finally, we have the return of Legends of Tomorrow next week (along with new episodes of Supergirl making their CW debut next week). The Time Masters are no more. Leonard Snart is “dead”. The weakest part of the show, Hawkman and Hawkgirl, have left the team. After an uneven first season, Legends of Tomorrow received a full-season pick up at The CW. Where do you all hope the show goes from here?
Lisa H: This was easily the weakest link in the Berlantiverse’s chain. It was as if the producers said “Hey what if we made Doctor Who with Superheroes?” I’m here for the DCTV universe continuity, that is unless they get their act together and start being interesting TV. That and the musical crossover episode, that will obviously cover all four shows, I need Joss Whedon to direct.
Jim MacQ: I really want LoT to dive into the deep end of DC’s library of weird and goofy. In no particular order, I want them to meet Arak, the Metal Men, Enemy Ace, Stanley & His Monster, Tomahawk, Bat Lash, Angel & the Ape, the Inferior Five, Dolphin, the Challengers of the Unknown (how great would that episode be???), Rima the Jungle Girl, the Atomic Knights, Kamandi, the Creeper, Hawk & Dove, the Sea Devils, Anthro, Space Cabbie, Metamorpho (The Flash crossover?), Detective Chimp, the Doom Patrol, and the Phantom Stranger. What’s the point of having a “go anywhere, do anything” show if you’re not going to go to the weird stuff?
Will: Although LoT was the most disjointed of the shows, it was also the most fun to watch. Even if there were some weak characters and forced story points, overall, the acting was overall better than the other shows and the characters were more interesting and had more depth. I think after a slightly rocky first season, they can tighten it up and have a great second season making it the best of The CW shows.
Which of the DC superhero shows are you most looking forward to returning this season? Are you ready to see how Supergirl gets integrated into the lineup? Are you interested in how Flashpoint plays out not only on The Flash but across all four shows? Are you concerned that the roster of vigilantes on Arrow will take the focus away from the original members? Are you watching and waiting for Legends of Tomorrow to dip into the weird? Let us know in the comments!