DC on The CW: I Wanna Be a Superhero, Too!

Reading Time: 8 minutes
All images: The CW.

The fellas (James Olsen on Supergirl, Wally West on The Flash, and Nate Heywood on Legends of Tomorrow) want to be heroes, though none of them is cut out for the job. Meanwhile, the ladies (Caitlin Snow on The Flash and Evelyn Sharp on Arrow) clearly must be evil as their abilities grow, right? This is American society in late 2016 reflected back at us on television. Join Jim, Lisa, Will, and Joey as we break down the week that was in the DC on The CW.

Supergirl, Episode 2.06 “Changing”
Jim: I didn’t like this version of Jimmy (excuse me, JAMES) Olsen in the pilot, and now it feels like they’re doubling-down on it. So now Jimmy is Guardian, only with a tediously generic SWAT costume and a razor-thin reason for putting it on. I wish they had turned him into Turtle Boy or Elastic Lad. Guardian should be a cop who has to put on the costume in order to get around the rules. Jimmy Olsen should be a sidekick.

Lisa H: Okay full disclosure. I have yet to see this week’s episode. We were preempted in NY for the Giants game (GO BIG BLUE!!) But…Jimmy (he doesn’t get to be James because he is acting like a child) is annoying the crap out of me this season. He’s all like “Waah woe is me, I’m amazingly hot and funny and kind but I was rejected by Supergirl so I wanna be a superhero.” I want him to go back to being a pretty face. Can we make that happen? More after I’ve actually seen the episode!

Jim: “Waah, I’ve been promoted to a dream job and everybody thinks I’m aces, but Supergirl doesn’t love me!”

Lisa H: Okay I’ve seen the episode. Can I get a rewrite? The line “I’ll get the alien you get the girl.” Just painful.

Is anyone else waiting for Will Smith to show up and punch a Ballchinian? Just me? Okay.

Full stop. I am not okay with Winn and Jimmy-boy the Superfriends. Nope. Not one bit.

Jim: Corrina mentioned last week that the super/alien stuff was obvious and silly but the emotional moments with Alex and Kara were real and moving. That trend continues this week, with Alex taking a courageous step out of her comfort zone and getting a gut-punch for it. Knowing that Maggie was right and wise and mature and responsible didn’t make it any better. Chyler Leigh gave a really solid performance and made us feel the pain of reaching for the golden ring and not getting it. She’s one of the best actors on the show, and has mostly been relegated to stern-jawed lecturing and action scenes until now.

Will: I really couldn’t care less about the rest of this episode but all the moments between Alex and Cara and Alex and Maggie were phenomenal. Getting to watch Alex try to process all of this on screen is amazing, heart wrenching, and so human. This is exactly the kind of TV we need right now.

Jim: Is there anyone out there who doesn’t know or hasn’t yet figured out M’Gann’s secret? They certainly are dragging it out. I’m not dropping any spoilers here, just in case.

The Flash, Episode 3.06 “Shade”
Joey: First off, Wally won’t make much of a hero if he can’t take a punch better than that.

Lisa H: Again, like Jimmy in Supergirl, “Waaah I wanna be a superhero!!” Over it.

Joey: It’s interesting to me to see how they are treating Caitlin getting her powers almost like a cancer diagnosis. Why has the notion that getting frost powers will force Caitlin to become evil gone unchallenged? What happened to choice and free will? That assumption is predicated upon the fact that Earth-2 Caitlin had powers and was evil. Why are the scientists assuming that correlation must equal causation here? The Earth-2 dopplegangers were vastly different than their Earth-1 counterparts in many ways. Earth-2 Cisco was the evil Reverb, yet no one cautions Earth-1 Cisco against vibing because using his powers is the path to the dark side. I’m not yet understanding why this is different when it applies to Caitlin.

Jim: <sarcasm>Because Caitlin is a gurl, silly. She’s overemotional and irrational and I don’t even want to know what happens if she’s PMSing with those powers, man. </sarcasm>

Lisa H: Jim took the words out of my mouth. Caitlin, who has traditionally either been wishy washy or (on Earth-2) evil clearly doesn’t get any middle ground. Women get to be portrayed as good or evil. (Okay full disclosure, Caitlin has annoyed me from day one and I’ve yet to see any permanent character development.)

Will: I really don’t get this either. Why do her powers automatically make her Killer Frost? Why can’t she be Friendly Frost instead? I agree, this is driving me crazy.

Lisa H: But you are looking for logic there. That doesn’t exist in the Berlantiverse.

Joey: Beyond that, why is noone questioning what Cisco vibed? It was a scene without context. What if he was the evil one, not Caitlin? What if neither were evil? What if that wasn’t Earth-1 Cisco or/nor Earth-1 Caitlin. Again, I’m not buying into this plot thread. It feels like a lazy fabrication to attempt at creating drama that doesn’t hold up under the most basic scrutiny.

Lisa H: Seriously, what was that? What happened to the future was in flux and changeable? Ya know, it’s timey-wimey and all. Everyone knows that.

Jim: Wait, something on one of these shows feels contrived? That can’t be! (Sorry, I thought I’d turned off the sarcasm.)

Lisa H: Ha!

Joey: It seems like the producers are continuing to set up the possibility that Julian is Alchemy. Julian can’t go to date night at the park; Alchemy attacks Wallace. Julian isn’t answering his phone during the ill-fated raid when the SCPD confront Alchemy. Was good guy Julian a swerve, or are the hints that Julian might be Alchemy the swerve?

Whomever is under that mask, Alchemy got his “this is just the beginning” moment like Prometheus had in last week’s Arrow. Quentin as Prometheus and Julian as Alchemy certainly fits the much overplayed “your ally is really your enemy” model that Berlantiverse relies on way too much.

Lisa H: Didn’t we talk about who we thought Alchemy was at the beginning of the season? But to your point Joey, I think, okay maybe I hope, in an effort to have that “twist moment” where fans think “wow I didn’t see that coming” neither Quentin or Julian will turn out to be the big bad this season. They’ve laid that track so well, it’s going to derail.

Joey: Hey, look… another speedster supervillain. Yay?

Lisa H.: Bored now.

Will: The speed god? I’ll admit I haven’t read all the latest Flash comics, but is this a thing? It seems really lame. He looks more like one of the Transformers from the Bayverse!

Joey: I have the feeling that they are building Barry’s disappointment in this timeline in order to set him up to try and find a way to fix the timeline, consequences be damned.

Lisa: But…but Joey he learned! He learned his lesson! Why do we have to go back again? Why?!

Joey: If by “learned”, you mean that the cup of coffee Barry had with Earth-2 Jay is enough to correct his inherent nature to fix all the things… the same nature that led him to disaster season after season, then yeah, he “learned”. For now. The real mystery is not if but when. Will Iris die in the mid-season finale, causing Barry to go back in time again, or will it be closer to the May finale?

Lisa H: Didn’t he say something after he “got back” from the other timeline? He wouldn’t go back and save Cisco’s brother, because he could change something bigger. I saw that as Barry learning his lesson.

Joey: Sure. Easy to say that when Iris is still breathing. She’s the keystone. Remove her and his sense of rightness/righteousness will topple.

Bonus points for Earth-19 having many MANY sentient gorillas like Grodd. Hopefully we’ll get our Gorilla City someday.

Arrow, Episode 5.07 “Vigilante”
Joey: Oh, snap, Jim… your girl is a traitor!

Jim: Of course they want you to think that.

Joey: Seriously, though, with M’Gann and Artemis becoming live-action characters and the animated Young Justice getting a second life with a third season, can we just turn the Berlantiverse into a modified live-action Young-ish Justice series? Bring on the Robins!

Lisa H: Shocked. I am shocked that Evelyn Sharp/Artemis is going to betray Team Arrow. Shocked I tell you. Once again…the new girl is the villain.

Bored again.

Jim: We know how these stories always play out. The “traitor” is actually a deep-cover double agent infiltrating the enemy, and only the hero actually knows what’s going on. And she’s gonna ride in like the cavalry for the rescue at the last minute.

Legends of Tomorrow, Episode 2.06 “Outlaw Country”
Joey: Since this episode was set in the Old West, it only seems fitting that we take a look at…

The Good
Joey: I love me some Jeff Fahey. Mick is always a treat, both when he gets to cut loose with the action and one-liners, but even more so when he gets to be something more nuanced.

Lisa H: I wholeheartedly agree. And I kinda love the bromance he’s got going with Ray.

Joey: Wasn’t expecting the hard cut to the crossover, but with no new episode on Thanksgiving, I guess the time to pull that trigger is now.

Lisa H: It was like the writers weren’t really sure how to tease it. So BAM. “Hey y’all we’re going back….to the future.”

The Bad
Joey: Look, the new guy is going to die. Again. Worst hero ever.

Lisa H: He’s another one! “Waaah! I wanna be a superhero!”

Still bored.

Joey: I’m not a big fan of the lack of cohesion this season. Are we hunting for Rip? Are we fixing time anomalies? Are we fighting Darhk and the Reverse-Flash? It feels like we’re floundering. Also, Gray spending the episode moping around on the sidelines is a wasted episode.

Lisa H: I literally yelled at the TV “pick a villain damnit!” Come on LoT writers! Focus!

The Ugly
Joey: Again, just inconsistent application of the societal norms. One episode is set during the Civil War and it focuses on race, touches on the idea of a woman being useful, and has colloquial inconsistencies. A couple of weeks later and a few years down the timestream, we have an episode set in the 1870s where a woman in charge is the focus of conflict, no one mentions Jax and Amaya being treated as equals, and the attempt to play with the colloquialisms feels flat.

Lisa H: Agreed. I can’t help but feel like the writers are missing an opportunity, especially in the current political climate, to speak to equality in a meaningful way. Black-ish has shown us that it can be done while being funny and entertaining. And I think while those opportunities are available throughout the Berlantiverse, there were some explicitly missed ones in this show specifically.

This week, we have new episodes of Supergirl and The Flash on Monday and Tuesday, but no escape from the family and feasting on Wednesday and Thursday. After that, it’s Heroes vs. Aliens in the big four-part crossover event. What are you hoping to see during the “Invasion!” event? Maybe Felicity finding her ex’s spare Atom suit still in the back of her closet, next to the collection of Neil Diamond albums he left there? White Canary showing Supergirl how to lead a team? Mick and Caitlin teaming up as Heatwave and Killer Frost? Let us know in the comments!

 

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