*NOTE: 'Black Lightning' was on a break this week and will return next week.
Batwoman Season 1, Episode 5 - Mine Is A Long And Sad Tale
Rachel Skarsten and Ruby Rose star in CW's 'Batwoman'
Photo Credit: TV Promos – YouTube
In Episode 5 of Season 1, Kate manages to track down Alice through Dodgson. She calls Jacob, knowing that he'll trace the call, and uses this as leverage to convince Alice to reveal what happened to her after the car crash. Flashbacks reveal that Beth was rescued by an unnamed man and his son, Johnny a.k.a Mouse, the former of whom holds Beth captive for weeks after the accident.
Meanwhile, Jacob and Sophie attempt to track down Kate's phone call to bring in Alice. Jacob reveals to Sophie that Catherine had lied about Beth's death and his conflicted feelings as a result. Elsewhere, Mary learns the truth from Catherine herself and, in trying to find Kate, winds up with Luke at Wayne Tower.
This week finally gives us some much-needed exploration into trauma, specifically Alice/Beth's (for the sake of this not becoming confusing, I'm going to be referring to Alice as Beth unless absolutely necessary because using Alice/Beth for everything seems too elongated). As far as Alice's trauma goes…wow, I wasn't expecting this to get dark.
If the goal of this was to make Alice a more complex antagonist to Kate, then this episode gets a big old ribbon next to it. It's not just that I felt bad for Beth; the gradual build-up to Alice turning the framing to Kate and Jacob's failed search is heartbreaking to watch, only giving us more understanding to Alice's mental state. There's a lot of hinting of things we don't see, and that only allows the episode to build up both nail-biting tension and Alice's future relationship with Mouse (even if we still don't really know what the two of them are actually up to, but I'm sure that'll pop up later).
Then we get to Luke and Mary's subplot, which is a combination that I never knew I needed; they're so wonderful together! I have a feeling this is all a pretty blatant set-up to the inevitable creation of Team Batman (as I sort of referenced in my Week 1 recap), but I was definitely intrigued by what we got. In addition to just being a solid comedic duo, I also like that they both seem to trust in one another and not just through their association with Kate.
Even though I love the main focus of the episode, it does leave certain things a bit under-developed. Sophie is given a bit of a cold shoulder this week, and I feel like there was a missed opportunity to allow her to help Jacob through his doubts because of their own relationship. We also barely get anything with Catherine this episode, which is odd because she's very much one of the focal points of the narrative. I have to think Catherine will have more to do after this, but we get no hints to her re-forming her relationships with the main characters, nor any allegiance-shifting I thought might happen.
I'm also starting to get a bit irritated by all of the Alice in Wonderland quotes (only certain ones seem to be actually interesting) and you would be forgiven if you missed that this was the first post-"Elseworlds" episode – in terms of the timeline – because there's no semblance of any sort of time jump at all.
Overall, I give 'Batwoman' Season 1, Episode 5 a score of 8.5/10
Supergirl Season 5, Episode 5 - Dangerous Liaisons
Melissa Benoist and David Harewood stars in CW's 'Supergirl'
Photo Credit: The CW Network – YouTube
In Episode 5 of Season 5, Kara convinces William to let her in on the investigation into Andrea Rojas and her family. Through information gained by Brainy using the Auarfacian symbiote (the sentient alien tattoos from a few weeks ago), their investigation leads to a plot against the new Obsidian Tech launch, involving a new mercenary named Rip Roar (played by Nick Sagar) and a seemingly infinite number of connections for the duo to pin down.
Meanwhile, Lena and Hope experiment on their new technology with a new ally: Malefic, whom the duo intercepted during his exile to the Phantom Zone. Lena believes Malefic's mind holds the key to her research, only to learn that Malefic has an agenda of his own that Lena may be of help with. Elsewhere, Alex struggles to keep Kelly out of the suspicion on Andrea (whom Kelly wants to work for), while the two plan for the anniversary of their relationship.
After five long episodes, FINALLY, AT LONG LAST...Kelly gets Alex her beloved motorcycle helmet! Oh, and also Leviathan shows up, and I guess that's cool too.
In all seriousness though, I am ecstatic that we are finally getting some teases into Leviathan that was first teased in the Season 4 finale, and the plot continues to thicken around them. So...Andrea is involved, but her family might not be? Or maybe it's the other way around? Either way, I'm just excited that we actually get them referenced, seemingly confirming that they have a hand in Season 5's story (although where Lena may fit into this is still completely unclear).
Really, what we get in this episode focuses a lot on bringing Kara and William on the same page in regards to their investigations into Andrea's activities and, as a result, I think this is probably the best episode I've seen aside from the premiere. Kara to me has always been fascinating as a journalist and, paralleling her and Nia's relationship in Season 4, I felt like she was trying to reel in William's obsession with the case. William himself is also becoming more interesting; he's not great, and nowhere near trustworthy, but at the very least seeing where he came from and his hidden animosity towards Andrea allows for a nice contrast against Kara's instincts.
I also liked the villain this week better, even if "the twist" follows very much in the footsteps of the 'Batwoman' pilot as twists I saw coming from a mile away (people...I swear I'm getting better at this). Yet, I don't really mind because it gives William a personal connection to the stakes, gives more murkiness to where Leviathan's goals lie, and Rip Roar is just more threatening then alien spider lady from the other week; I mean, he almost destroys Antarctica and floods the world in a day! Side note: 'Supergirl' has now done versions of both Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus; I think the logical follow-up is a Kraven the Hunter-style villain who hunts Kryptonians, mustache and all).
This is also the first time this season I haven't been hooked by Lena's story arc. Mind you, there's a great scene between Lena and Malefic about how they've both been betrayed by loved ones, and it feels remarkably real for the two, especially as enemies to Kara and J'onn. I like where it ends up (and had a feeling that's where it would end up), but I was kind of hoping this would be something the show would take it's time with. I also thought the Alex/Kelly anniversary stuff felt a bit too cutesy, especially for the ending. Kelly clearly has some deep-seeded fears about losing Alex, just as the latter does about her, but the episode kind of shrugs off those discussions, at least for now.
Overall, I give 'Supergirl' Season 5, Episode 5 a score of 8/10.
The Flash Season 6, Episode 5 - Kiss Kiss Breach Breach
Hartley Sawyer, Carlos Valdes, Candice Patton an Grant Gustin star in CW's 'The Flash'
Photo Credit: TV Promos – YouTube
In Episode 5 of Season 6, Barry and Iris take a vacation, leaving Cisco in charge of S.T.A.R Breacher (played by Danny Trejo) returns to Earth-1 and reveals to Cisco and Kamilla that Gypsy died while tracking a notorious hacker named Echo. They meet Zak Zeal (played by Matt Ellis), an agent who worked with Gypsy and is investigating her death. Believing that there is more to Gypsy's death then meets the eye, Cisco and Breacher artificially re-create their powers to see her death, discovering a shocking possibility in the process.
Meanwhile, Ralph and Frost attempt to track down Ramsey, only to find out that he wants Caitlyn on his side in his research. Caitlyn agrees to meet Ramsey alone and attempts to remind him of his late mother's faith in him. Elsewhere, Joe follows Nash Wells underneath Central City, where the two of them are trapped in a cave-in the latter causes while looking for The Monitor.
The Collectors, and thus Gypsy and Breacher, have always been one of the more ambiguous points of the story in 'The Flash,' but anytime we can see Danny Trejo back in the fold is a delight. While I'm a bit sad we didn't see Jessica Camacho reprise her role, it is interesting seeing Cisco and Gypsy (or Josh, because that will never not be funny) bond as a sort of father-son duo. It's also really nice to see Kamilla continually getting a more prominent role in Team Flash; she's not just a love interest to exist, she has skills and insight to offer, and by the end of the episode, I really wound up thinking her and Cisco really work as a couple.
Where this episode really works is developing Cisco's character, especially in proximity to last week's episode. We don't often get a Barry-less episode of 'The Flash,' and this is probably my favorite thus far. The combination of Barry's confidence in Cisco's leadership skills and Gypsy's death would be a toll on anyone, and it's a credit that we get to see him pull himself up through all of it. The episode paces out like a great murder mystery, toying with Cisco's own psyche and belief, is very effective, but through it all, we get a clear resolution to where his character winds up. As Kamilla tries to point out, Cisco isn't The Flash, but he is someone who does the right thing and has always been a hero in his own right.
As for the side plots, they're admittedly more interesting than last week (although I have my issues with them in a minute). Joe's trapped-in-a-box storyline with Nash Wells is another fascinating parallel to Barry and Ramsey, that being the very human dichotomy of faith and loneliness. Can you truly trust the people in your life to come to your aid even if you have no definitive proof? We don't get that much of it from Wells' side (this is the "cool loner" Wells after all), but I'll watch any type of emotional monologue from Jesse L. Martin as this character.
If I'm being honest, like 'Batwoman' earlier in the week, this episode does try to hammer in a motif into its writing a bit too much, in this case, faith, whether Joe's faith in people, Breacher's faith in justice, Caitlyn's faith in love, etc. 'The Flash' has never been the subtle show of the Arrowverse line-up, but this just felt a bit too on-the-nose. Also, when Caitlyn confronts Ramsey, I'm surprised that we don't get any indication of Frost's presence as a security measure. Maybe she just believes in Ramsey enough to prevent any sort of argument, but with how much Frost cares about Caitlyn, I felt it was a bit out of character for the former.
Overall, I give 'The Flash' Season 6, Episode 5 a score of 8.5/10.
Arrow Season 8, Episode 4 - Present Tense
Katherine McNamara and Ben Lewis star in CW's 'Arrow'
Photo Credit: The CW Network – YouTube
In Episode 4 of Season 8, the 2040 Team Arrow (Mia, William, and Connor) is mysteriously transported to the bunker in 2019, coming face to face with Oliver, Diggle, Rene, and Dinah. After an equally awkward and sincere reunion, a new Deathstroke is revealed to be targeting positions throughout the city. Believing that J.J. also traveled back to 2019, Mia attempts to take him down, only for the truths of the future to be revealed to the 2019 team.
I won't pull any punches: I have a pretty good feeling that 'Present Tense' will wind up in my Top 5 episodes of 'Arrow.' Seriously, I loved (almost) everything about this, and my only negative might come as a bit of a surprise considering my feelings on Season 8, but we'll get to that.
From the very start of the episode, there's already a pretty fair idea of what we're going to get: the teams will be hesitant to interact (especially the Queens), they'll go on a mission, steps will be made to reform relationships, and by the end of it we still won't know why The Monitor is doing what he's doing. But here's the thing: I didn't care how blatant any of those structuring issues were because I was so attached to the developments both sets of characters go through in this episode, and everyone is involved.
Every character in here - even the future Team Arrow - are given real vulnerability and emotional storytelling within the confines of the narrative, something 'Arrow' has had mixed results with in recent seasons. The arcs with Oliver and his kids in particular really hooked me. William opening up to his father makes sense; he's had time with Oliver when he was younger, and the scene of him coming out to his father, the latter showing real pride in him, almost brought me to tears.
Just as effective is Mia, who has only known Oliver through stories and has already had to reconcile with her mother (see 'The Flash' Season 5). But seeing the two at Robert and Emiko's graves is so amazing to see for both of them; Mia has experienced loss and is dealing with her own grief, only furthering how much like her father she actually is, and they can both take an impossible opportunity to be in each other's lives.
Then there's the other side of that, with Connor's relationship with John, and eventually Rene and Dinah. Diggle has always been defined by his impeccable sense of emotional grounding, and having to not just deal with Connor lying about the future, but also Rene's own anger towards said future, really puts him through the wringer. I also love ideas we get about adoption and how that affects kids and parents (granted, maybe would've been better with J.J. and Lyla involved, but still). Rene also has to deal with the fact that Connor's brother kills Zoe in the future, and seeing him channel his rage into charisma and hope in the mayoral race feels like a natural progression to see.
Here's a conundrum: what happens when a season building its hype on surprise endings has an incredible episode, but arguably the least interesting ending tag so far? For one thing, comparing it to the other endings we've gotten this season, I just wasn't surprised by this turn from Laurel.
But the other reason is that I just don't like The Monitor pushing Laurel back towards her former life. I almost would've been more shocked if Lyla had been the one to confront Laurel, almost cementing some dramatic events coming down the line, and maybe even adding credibility to The Monitor's plan (which is becoming all the more confusing between this and 'Flash'). I guess if I also have to nit-pick, I would've liked to have seen Joseph Wilson (wait, sorry..."Kane Wolfman") back as Deathstroke, if not for the fact that he's actually been built up in past seasons and could've signified the timeline being altered by the future team.
Overall, I give 'Arrow' Season 8, Episode 4 a score of 9.5/10.
What did you guys think of this week in the Arrowverse? Comment below and let me know your thoughts!
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