While the television season is still in its infancy on The CW, the tone and some arcs have been established on Supergirl, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Arrow. Meanwhile, over on Fox, The Gifted is nearly a third of the way through this ten-episode season. We have thoughts on last week’s episodes and on the start of the seasons as a whole over on the GeekDad Facebook page, where we invite you to join us every week to discuss the episodes as they air and in the days that follow.
Let’s take a quick look at each series below.
In a storyline taken directly from the M. Night Shyamalan film Unbreakable (which is grossly underrated, in my opinion), little Ruby is convinced that her mother, Samantha, has superhuman strength. Maybe Sam does, as evidenced from the season premiere’s rescue of Ruby from fallen scaffolding. Maybe she doesn’t; Sam was unable to bend a crowbar in the garage when no one was looking in the most recent episode. With word that Sam is going to be revealed as Reign the Worldkiller, it will be interesting to see how her arc plays out opposite Kara’s arc as the issue of what it means to be Kyrptonian versus human appears to be the central theme of the season.
Moreover, the writers and producers are giving us a tight circle of female leads. Lena is boss to both Kara and Sam, with the three of them sharing screen time at the end of the most recent episode, and we’ve had some sort of Alex and Sam interaction in both of the episodes this season. As the worlds these four inhabit draw closer, we’ll be watching to see how their relationships inform the decisions they make and the paths they take. Could the TV version of Reign be something more–and more nuanced–than the version from the comics? Could Sam’s turn be antagonistic without being villainous? Could Reign actually be right?
Finally, while we know that Alex and Maggie have had their relationship speedbumps in the past, the first couple of episodes have given us a pair of potentially relationship-derailing disagreements, first regarding the couple’s impending wedding plans, then last week with the “I do/don’t want to have children” discussion. With actor Floriana Lima, who portrays Maggie, no longer a series regular this season, will Kara be trying to help heal Alex’s broken heart while still dealing with her own issues following Mon-El’s departure?
I love The Gifted. I’ve stated as much here in the Same Geek Channel posts and on social media (my own and GeekDad’s). The Gifted is the most X-Men thing on television, on film, or in the comics right now. Maybe ever. That said, we need to talk about the kids.
There are a lot of moving parts on The Gifted. The Mutant Underground. Polaris and the prison. The agents of Sentinel Services. The mysterious scientist who is so darn interested in the Strucker family. Then there’s the Strucker family itself. Reed’s moral dilemma. Caitlin clinging to hope that there is somewhere or someone from her old life that she can turn to for help. And the kids.
The stories we’ve had so far have been excellent. Mostly.
Let me ask you a question… what are the Strucker kids’ names? No Googling. No, “ragey emo guy” and “airbender” don’t count. If you said “Andy” and “Lauren”, you’re right. I know you are because that’s what turned up when I Googled them.
The Gifted was promoted as a series about what happens to a family when the children begin to exhibit mutant abilities, and that’s what we’ve gotten. That and so much more. The “more” has been so good, too, but the “more” has come at the cost of developing the characters of the two people–Andy and Lauren–whose abilities have broken the Struckers out of their safe place and thrust them into danger. When Andy eventually does snap, is it going to feel inevitable because that’s the only side we’ve seen of him, or will it feel tragic because we know he’s a good kid who has gotten a raw deal and a rough time, even before his abilities manifested? Based on what little we’ve seen of Andy so far, the answer is likely more of the former, if we even care at all. I’m more invested in tertiary characters at this point than the Strucker kids, and that could be a liability for the series going forward.
The CW’s most-watched program feels fun again. Again? More like “finally”. We’ve been beating our drums, trying to get The Flash‘s writers and producers attention, clamoring for a more fun Flash. Now we have him, and The Flash hasn’t been more enjoyable. Throw in a charming cast and a non-speedster big-bad who seems to have a plan to put together a set of rogues from the various villains of the week, and after ending last season wondering whether or not I’d keep The Flash on my watch list, I’m all-in for season four.
Legends of Tomorrow
The Flash might be The CW’s most watched program, but Legends of Tomorrow remains the network’s most watchable. The Flash‘s cast might be one of the most charming on television, but Legends of Tomorrow boasts one of the most charismatic. Dinosaurs. Romans. Circus clowns. Gary from the Time Bureau. The Legends are off to a great start so far this season. As for that secret threat that Rip isn’t telling the Legends about? The team’s reaction–to laugh it off–is the perfect response for this group.
Don’t call them heroes. They’re Legends.
— Arrow (@CW_Arrow) October 20, 2017
First, the name-drop. Would I like to see Batman on Arrow? You bet. Do I need to see Batman on Arrow? No. Would it bring more eyes to the screen? Maybe. I’m not certain it would be the big boost others seem to think it would be to the show’s weekly ratings, but it would probably have some impact initially. You know what I’d settle for? Give me a well developed Dick Grayson. Maybe he’s an agent investigating Oliver by day and Nightwing by night, investigating–sometimes running up against but ultimately on the same side as–Team Arrow. I think that could be potentially more interesting than Batman, if handled correctly and unexpectedly.
Next, it’s hard to buy into the whole Diggle as Green Arrow thing. I’m saying that as the guy who advocated that the writers and producers do this very thing over on The Flash by making Wally the Flash for a while. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of Diggle under the hood and the legacy it begins with John Jr. (remember little John grown up and going by the name Connor Hawke as the Green Arrow in the Legends of Tomorrow episode that took place in Star City 2046?). But, for whatever reason, I’m not sold on the move. It feels a little too much like a comic book death. We know that Oliver is going to be the Green Arrow again, likely by or at the crossover event in November, so anything we see that sells Diggle–who is compromised from the explosion on Lian Yu–as the Green Arrow feels at this time like build up for nothing.
Finally, I like the focus on the rest of the team. Everyone even got their own symbol, Legends of Tomorrow style, in the opening logo. If the focus is going to be off of Oliver for the next month, then fleshing out the rest of the characters is a great idea. We’ve had some great performances from these actors (watching Rene and Quentin trying to buy Oliver time with FBI Agent Watson was as legitimately uncomfortable-funny as Barry and Iris’ couples therapy session on The Flash), and hopefully we’ll explore pairings we haven’t seen that much yet.
What are your thoughts on the start of the current season of any or each of the shows? Which are you enjoying as much or more than you thought you would going into the season? Which do you feel are not living up to your expectations? Share your thoughts in the comments below, then be sure to join us on the GeekDad Facebook page for posts on new episodes every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings.