Batwoman Season 1, Episode 4 - Who Are You?
Ruby Rose and Nicole Kang star in CW's 'Batwoman'
Photo Credit: The CW Network – YouTube
In Episode 4 of Season 1, Kate and Luke decide to loan the necklace of Martha Wayne to a gala to draw out a new villain, Magpie (played by Rachel Matthews), a cat burglar with an eye for jewelry. This coincides with Kate and Reagan's relationship beginning to grow, but also with Kate recognizing Bruce's playboy personality may have been a bit of a mask to deal with his vigilantism.
Meanwhile, Kate, as Batwoman, brings a critically injured Dodgson to Mary to stabilize him, and Mary attempts to get him to leak details on Alice's plan. Elsewhere, Alice threatens to reveal a secret of Catherine's if she doesn't leave Kate and Jacob's past alone.
Last week's episode was the best yet in my opinion, and this week tries to continue that momentum, mostly to success. Again, I like that 'Batwoman' is actively trying to expand out its own lore and, in the process, stay very far away from its 'Arrow' and 'Flash' counterparts. Kate gets some great development in this episode, both recognizing her own burden in taking up the mantle of Batwoman may affect any potential relationship she may have, and finding a possible avenue to help Gotham as herself in Bruce's absence.
Like Oliver Queen before her, I hope that Kate's foray into creating a legacy of her own allows us to explore her beyond the cape and cowl. Maybe this can allow certain other Batman figures to enter the fray, like Renee Montoya, Harvey Dent, and maybe even villains like Clayface (or maybe that's just my inherent desire to see a live-action Clayface, you'll never know). Even in her civilian identity, I like that we get Kate to realize early on that being a vigilante took a toll on Bruce, and it could very well take the same toll on her.
This was also the first time I got connected with a lot of the characters. Kate and Luke's back-and-forth throughout the episode is better paced than I've seen up to this point, and the show is starting to explore what kind of team we're going to get with them. More to the point, Catherine finally has something interesting to her, SHE LET JACOB THINK BETH WAS DEAD! Where does this leave Jacob? Does Sophie step up to lead the Crows, or will Jacob simply continue to deny his own trauma? Does Caroline eventually try to atone by teaming up with Batwoman? I just have a lot of questions from this, alright?
In contrast to last week's surprising foray into Tommy Elliot, Magpie doesn't feel all that interesting. She's a jewel thief who seems to have a grudge against the city's elite and, in the process of her activities, inspires Kate to reexamine some of Gotham's housing issues. But Magpie herself is neither threatening enough nor compelling enough to root for onscreen, and she wound up kind of fading into the background for me. I'm also starting to wonder where Sophie's arc is going from here. She clearly still has loyalty to the Crows, but I'm not sure what else we might be getting from her as far as the main story is concerned.
According to showrunner Caroline Fries via Twitter, next week's episode will finally catch up to the rest of the Arrowverse after the 'Elseworlds' crossover (and will supposedly be giving us a plentiful amount of Kate/Alice dynamics). I'm hoping that the show will utilize that potential time jump as a way to show some further avenues for the characters to explore
Overall, I give Batwoman Season 1, Episode 4 a score of 8/10.
Supergirl Season 5, Episode 4 - In Plain Sight
Melissa Benoist stars in CW's 'Supergirl'
Photo Credit: The CW Network – YouTube
In Episode 4 of Season 5, Kara and the team attempt to track down Malefic, who now has the ability to control the minds of anyone he comes in contact with. This coincides with her and Nia finding secret details on William's life, leading Kara to investigate if her co-worker is who he says he is.
Meanwhile, Lena is brought in to help J'onn and Brainy repair the Phantom Zone projector to capture Malefic, thought Lena has an agenda of her own for Malefic's abilities. Elsewhere, not wanting to risk Kelly's safety, she and James return to their childhood town of Calvintown, where they discover rampant corruption and James' old paper woefully understaffed to report on the issues.
So if you couldn't tell, there's a lot that happen in this episode, and I'd be lying if I said it all comes together in a tight and balanced way. Oh there's some good stuff for sure, but I will admit finishing the episode and forgetting certain plot details even happened.
Surprisingly, the J'onn/Malefic storyline seems to be progressing pretty fast. In this episode alone, J'onn flat out atones for his sins, almost begging for Malefic's forgiveness for his past actions. But Malefic, having lived a life nurtured by the White Martians and seemingly exiled from his own people, can't get past that betrayal (at least not yet) and seems to be working with Lena of all people. I thought this would be dragged out a bit more as precedence for this seasons narrative, but this tells me there might be more to Season 5 than I expected.
Speaking of which, then there's William, who joins the ranks of 'Batwoman's Catherine in finally being kind of interesting. William (if you believe him) seems to be caught up in some sort of vast conspiracy involving Andrea Rojas and Obsidian, and (as I have yelled for weeks now) I hope this leads to some sort of plot point with Leviathan. I'm sorry, you can't just give us this massive tease for Season 5 and do nothing with it, and William seems like the epicenter for that to build out.
I think more significant than any of the main storylines going on here is the apparent conclusion of James' story, with him returning to Calvintown and buying the newspaper there. I've been critical of some of the choices made to James' character over the last few seasons, but this is probably as appropriate an end to his character as I can think.
James has always been inspired by those around him - Superman, Supergirl, Kelly, Lena - and this episode really allows us to see James as the best version of himself, in this case, a fantastic journalist passing what he's learned to the next generation and continuing to fight for what's right. There's even some nice callbacks to James and Kara's relationship since Season 1 that help bring the whole thing together and I'm sure we'll see James again in a more limited capacity.
If anything, like I said, there's a lot happening in this episode and not all of it ties together. The J'onn/Maleflic storyline, James' arc, Kara and William's back-and-forth, Alex being used by Malefic, Nia and Brainy's relationship, Lena's work - it's a lot to keep up with, and not all of them are equally as fascinating. Again, it seems like there's something bigger coming down the line if this early in the season we're introducing this much stuff. The good stuff helps alleviate a lot of that pressure, but it does feel a bit overly ambitious.
Overall, I give Supergirl Season 5, Episode 4 a score of 6.5/10.
Black Lightning Season 3, Episode 4 - The Book of Occupation: Chapter Four
Cress Williams stars in CW's 'Black Lightning'
Photo Credit: TV Promos – YouTube
In Episode 4 of Season 3, Jefferson and Lynn are re-establishing their lives after being in ASA captivity. Jefferson returns to Garfield High, where Principal Lowry reveals that the now-ASA occupied school has re-assigned him as a guidance counselor at the school. Lynn is continuing to work with the ASA on finding a cure for the meta-virus, but in the process, begins experimenting Green Light on herself.
Meanwhile, Anissa and Grace continue to rebuild their relationship, though Grace seems to be struggling to maintain her abilities around Anissa. Elsewhere, Jennifer receives video footage from Agent Odell about the actions of the Markovians, while Chief Henderson comes into conflict with Major Sara Grey (played by Katy M. O'Brien), an ASA officer using the police station as a holding area.
This week's episode was meant to be a sort-of "reset" episode, where we finally get all of our main characters back in the same environment with one another. Jefferson, while still at Garfield, is now a guidance counselor, and seems to have settled any major disputes with Principal Lowry. I think this could be a really good fit for him, as some of the highlights of Jefferson's civilian character have been him interacting with the other students. Though I will say I wasn't crazy about him returning to vigilante work with Blackbird, I don't know, it feels like the show is holding back a little bit, at least, for now.
This week also brought us what might be in contention for the "Worst Thing Agent Odell Has Done to Our Characters" award, that being secretly getting Lynn hooked on Green Light. I felt so bad for Lynn in this episode, especially because she seemingly won in the end - finding a cure for the metahumans in Freeland. We also see Jennifer continue to be persuaded over to the side of ASA, between her budding partnership with Odell and with her conversations with her classmates.
I do have to wonder why the inclusion of the Sara Grey character was needed. I like the character fine, but if we're looking for an antagonist for Chief Henderson, we had Maj. Williams already. Maybe this is a way of framing it as the police v. the ASA, rather than Henderson v. ASA Major (Insert Name Here), but I don't know if I like that choice just yet, especially with Henderson's character seemingly being propped up for bigger things by the end of the season.
In addition, while I'm still a fan of the Grace/Anissa relationship, I'm curious as to where the former's character goes from here. We did get an interesting development in this episode - to my knowledge, Jefferson and Grace haven't had an interaction yet (correct me if I'm wrong) - but I do have to wonder where does their relationship go from here? Does Grace join Anissa's efforts as Blackbird, or does she find some way to help Freeland otherwise? Or does she not help the city at all, and run away again? I think there's some cool prospects here, and I hope they actually move forward with it.
Overall, I give 'Black Lightning' Season 3, Episode 4 a score of 7.5/10.
The Flash Season 6, Episode 4 - There Will Be Blood
Sendhil Ramamurthy and Grant Gustin star in CW's 'The Flash'
Photo Credit: TV Promos – YouTube
In Episode 4 of Season 6, Barry attempts to teach Cisco how to lead S.T.A.R Labs post-Crisis. Nash Wells appears again, and agrees to help Barry and Cisco steal a serum that can repair any type of damaged tissue. However, the two of them disagree on how to utilize it; Barry believes the serum should be given to Ramsay to help him in his research of curing HLH, while Cisco believes the serum could theoretically help Barry survive the events of the Crisis.
Meanwhile, Ramsey is growing more obsessed with his work, as we see flashbacks to him dealing with his mother's diagnosis. Elsewhere, Iris gives Ralph a lead on his missing person's case of Sue Dearbon, but he refuses believing that, if he can't save Barry, he may not be able to save anyone.
This week's episode focuses a lot on Barry's relationships with Cisco and Ramsey, and we get a sort of interesting trifecta between the two. Cisco is embodying Barry's best tendencies that he can save the people he cares about without exception. Ramsey, meanwhile, is the opposite, believing that he has to take those matters into his own hands because life is too precious to make the choice of tossing it away. Then we get Barry as a balance between the two, and it's fascinating seeing him interact as that focal point. He's convinced that, if anything, he can use his last days to save someone because that's better than trying and failing to save everyone.
There's a conversation with him and Joe at the end that really drives forward Barry's conviction at this point in his life. He's seen the bad, he's seen copious amounts of loss, and he sees the people around him powerless to help, but his priority isn't to live; it's to make sure others have the chance to embrace their own lives. It's powerful stuff, maybe even one of Barry's best moments to date.
Everything else in this episode is just ok. I have a feeling Ralph's storyline is going somewhere interesting, but he seems to be holding back a lot at this point that we're just not getting. Caitlyn/Frost aren't in the episode that much and, even though I've said the same thing in past seasons, I'm still not into the new Wells as his own character yet (though we do, however, get a VERY interesting end scene with said Wells).
Overall, I give 'The Flash' Season 6, Episode 4 a score of 8.5/10.
Arrow Season 8, Episode 3 - Leap of Faith
Stephen Amell and Willa Holland star in CW's 'Arrow'
Photo Credit: TV Promos – YouTube
In Episode 3 of Season 8, Oliver reunites with Thea (played by Willa Holland), the former revealing his family and new mission, and the latter revealing she has been on her own since Roy left to deal with the events of Season 7. The duo travel to the League of Assassins' stronghold to find information on The Monitor, where they team up with Talia al Ghul (played by Lexa Doig), who wishes to settle her debt with Oliver. They come into conflict with the still-active Thanatos Guild, led by Athena (played by Kyra Sagorsky), who wants to restart the League under her control. At the same time, Diggle and Lyla attempt to track down Sandra and Connor Hawke, the wife and son of Ben Turner (played by Michael Jai White).
Meanwhile, in 2040, the team returns to the bunker, reuniting with William. They learn that JJ was going after members of the city unification movement, killing several with the info obtained from the bunker. Mia orders the team to take the fight to the Deathstroke Gang, but Zoe believes that Mia may be leading the team into a trap.
OK...a lot happened this week, I'll try and make this quick and painless as possible. We haven't seen the Queen siblings together in a minute, but this was a delight to see them back on screen together. Thea has obviously gone on her own journey with Nyssa and Roy, and she seems to have really grown into her own developed character, acting just as determined and stubborn as her brother, but with a new sense of purpose to her. I also like the dynamic between the Queens and Thalia, all of whom have their own personal ties to the League and have their own reasons for going back and exploring those past demons.
The stuff with Diggle and Lyla is alright, although last week's twist brings in a bit of a cloud hanging over the two of them. The fan in me wants nothing more than for Lyla to tell Diggle the truth and for them to make things up, because they always do. I just don't think it's going to go smoothly with Diggle, especially with his apparent trauma having seen an entire universe die in front of him. If nothing else, we see how the two of them may wind up adopting Connor in the future (side note: this may be the first time we've seen both incarnations of Connor on-screen, it was odd).
Then there's the 2040 stuff (we'll get to THAT in a minute), and well...some of it's interesting and some of it is just as boring as it's been this season. One the one hand, I finally started to get some good character glimpse into Mia and William. Maybe having an episode paralleling Mia/William and Oliver/Thea's sibling dynamics was a bit too on the nose, but it definitely helped me see into Mia's personality a bit more, and I appreciated that.
Yet, on the other hand, then you some lackluster elements in Connor's story (his interactions with JJ don't feel nearly as interesting this time around) and Zoe's story (guess all she was good for was dying, wish that character was written better) that make me reconsider my appreciation of them in Season 7.
But now we have to get to the big stuff: THAT ENDING THOUGH. Goodness, 'Arrow' should just rename Season 8 "insane endings" at this point - Earth-2's destruction, Lyla's allegiance to The Monitor, and now, the future Team Arrow (including Oliver's kids) are brought back in time face-to-face with the original Team Arrow! I don't say this often, but this feels like a game-changer moment for Season 8, and I can't imagine what we get next in that vein.
This can be an amazing switch-up for the show; bringing characters who can be interesting into a time period and environment that is just that, and with potential character interactions that can really drive those points home. This can get real messy real quick ('Arrow' has screwed these things up before), but this season is quickly shaping up to give us more surprises than I initially thought.
Overall, I give 'Arrow' Season 8, Episode 3 a score of 8.5/10.
What did you guys think of this week in the Arrowverse? Comment below and let me know your thoughts!
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