Batwoman Season 1 Episode 2 - The Rabbit Hole
Ruby Rose stars as Kate Kane in CW's 'Batwoman'
Photo Credit: TV Promos – YouTube
In Episode 2 of Season 1, Jacob and the Crows are on the hunt for Alice, while Kate is trying to convince her father that Alice may very well be her thought-to-be-dead sister, Beth (cue soap opera organ). Kate arranges a meeting with Alice to try and understand where she's been all this time, but the latter just seems to be playing mind games and furthering her own agenda against Jacob.
Meanwhile, Luke is gradually coming around to Kate's heroics in the batsuit, despite his own reluctance at using his father Lucius' tech. Elsewhere, Mary is trying to get Kate to reconnect with her as adopted sisters, all while her secret medical bay is under threat from Alice and the Wonderland Gang.
I don't want to reduce this down to "well, at least the pilot was promising," but I didn't really love this episode personally. It's not enough to make me jump on the Batwoman-hate bandwagon, but it does make me concerned going forward.
For one thing, this feels very much like it's trying to tie up loose ends of the pilot - where does Kate's stepmom fit into the plot, how do Sophie and Kate feel about their past relationship, is Alice actually considering sparing Kate's life? It's not that these ideas aren't interesting, but we took on those last week, we should move on to newer stories and further where these characters are going. That's coming from someone who defends the pilot (see last week's review).
That's not to say there aren't any further explorations in this episode. Despite my criticism that this feels like "Pilot 2.0," I like how some of the side characters are given a bit more to do here. Jacob, in particular, gets a lot of focus this time around, switching the focus from him as protecting Kate to protecting the legacy of Beth. Can he fathom not only Beth being alive, but being a sociopath bent on destroying everything he's worked to protect? The flashback scenes are done quite well, and Dougray Scott gives some wonderful depth to the character that I certainly didn't see coming from the pilot.
I also really like the potential of Kate and Alice's relationship going forward. The scene of them in their childhood park is very well-paced, with both characters trying to figure out the other, and the tension of knowing the Crows will show up at any minute. Kate wants nothing more than to understand why, something her father hasn't coped with yet, and, at least to me, it enhances her strength as a character more than I saw last week. I wish it hadn't ended with Alice escaping, seemingly thinking Kate is responsible, but hey, it's the CW - I knew the melodrama was coming.
There are some cool pieces to this week's episode of 'Batwoman,' but I do hope that they start veering away from the obvious plot points are start exploring some of the mythology that is already built-in.
Overall, I give 'Batwoman' Season 1, Episode 2 a score of 6.5/10.
Supergirl Season 5 Episode 2 - Stranger Beside Me
Chyler Leigh and Melissa Benoist star in CW's 'Supergirl'
Photo Credit: TV Promos – YouTube
In Episode 2 of Season 5, Kara continues to be at odds with Andrea's new policies at CatCo, the latter of whom will only accept Kara's more investigative pieces if she works overtime on other articles. Her schedule catches the eye of William (played by Staz Nair), one of the new reporters Andrea brought on and who seems to be interested in Kara's absences from work. Along with Alex and Brainy, Kara is attempting to track down J'onn's brother, who has teamed up with a White Martian for unknown reasons.
Meanwhile, Lena has captured Eve Teschmacher (played by Andrea Brooks) as part of her experimentations to improve humanity. Eventually believing Eve to be trustworthy, Lena uploads her A.I. Hope into Eve's body, allowing Hope to become Lena's assistant in-person. Elsewhere, Kelly and James attempt to help J'onn decipher the memories of his recently discovered brother, and what secrets J'onn might not even know that he knows.
In contrast to last week's episode, this feels like we're finally delving into what the bulk of Season 5 might address. Quite frankly, I'm fine putting the Kara/Lena storyline on hold for a week if it means delving into other elements that might become important later on, specifically the Kelly Olsen character. I wasn't crazy about her introduction in Season 4 or the seemingly rushed romance she seemed to develop with Alex, but this episode convinced me otherwise. She seems like she'll be vital to the storyline down the line, whether it be her connections to Andrea's tech endeavors or her relationship with Alex, which I bought into this time around.
I do hope that we start to get a bit more invested in the Andrea and Will characters as a whole, especially the latter. It seems like the writers are trying to build something up with Will in terms of where his allegiances lie and I really don't care at the moment whether he's good or bad. His relationship with Andrea seems like plot convenience at best, and the whole "I'm writing for whichever interests benefit me" thing just isn't that interesting. As for Andrea, she's still incredibly unlikeable, but I do think there's something below that I'm not seeing yet. Maybe her relationship with Lena will turn into something huge, I'm not sure yet.
The best part of the episode is easily J'onnn's journey. I always appreciate when the father figures of the Arrowverse (J'onn, Joe West, Quintin Lance, etc.) are put through their own demons, and J'onn definitely has demons to address. The fact that he might not remember one of the most important and tragic events of his life and the fact that someone seemingly erased his own brother from his mind is haunting to explore. Going back to Kelly, I love the dynamic that these two have in trying to retrace J'onn's memories, and how it seems to progress where they are in terms of the team. Because J'onn puts his trust in Kelly, we do as well, and it leads to a great student/teacher dynamic.
But then there are some other things that just felt kind of lazy, like the whole "oh no, there's a doppelganger of Alex, which one is the real Alex?" that we've seen a billion times in shows like these. I also wasn't really a fan of Brainy and Nia's subplot about Brainy trying to give her the perfect day. It winds up being kind of cute in the end, but I thought last week put us past the obvious trope of "look at Brainy, he's clearly learning to be human."
I just feel like, in contrast to last week's episode that had so much emotional weight riding on it, this week's was just alright. Enough good things to keep me interested and some good foreshadowing, but nothing that made me locked in, at least as of right now.
Overall, I give Supergirl Season 5, Episode 2 a score of 5.5/10.
Black Lightning Season 3 Episode 2 - The Book of Occupation: Chapter 2
China Anne McLain and Bill Duke star as Jennifer Pierce and Agent Odell in CW's 'Black Lightning'
Photo Credit: The CW Network – YouTube
In Episode 2 of Season 3, Jefferson and Lynn are moved into an upgraded holding room at the A.S.A, while attempting to help a young meta-human named Maryam (played by Zoe Renee) control her camouflage abilities. Jefferson believes that Agent Odell is trying to pit Lynn against him by framing their research as crucial to saving the lives of the pod kids, while Lynn believes that Jefferson is willing to sacrifice innocent children solely to rid Freeland of occupation.
Meanwhile, Anissa, as Blackbird, is housing the escaped meta-humans at the home of the Perdi in the woods, but comes into conflict with the family about how to keep everyone safe and away from A.S.A scouts. Elsewhere, Jennifer receives a visit from Agent Odell about her place in the coming fight, and a seemingly revived Khalil is tested under Odell and Commander Williams.
Let's not push this under the rug: KHALIL IS BACK AND KILLS HIS MOM, WHAT? But really, I wasn't sure how Khalil's retrieval at the end of Season 2 would play into this season, but they're starting out strong on this one. Khalil seems to be completely devoid of his past personality and memories, only serving his A.S.A programming and, as a result, forcing us as the audience to look at the character in a different light (or just keep adding to reasons of why Agent Odell is terrible). Is it too much to ask for Jennifer not to get her heart broken again, especially after the stuff we see her go through in this episode?
One of the best things this week was seeing Jefferson and Lynn debate whose method of dealing with the A.S.A is better. Season 1 gave us a lot of these moral arguments between the two, and this feels just as compelling between these characters. You get where Jefferson is coming from with his distrust, but you also clearly see that Lynn is just trying to help these kids who want nothing more than their lives back. It's a tribute to the shows writing that we see the complexities our characters experience and how far they're willing to go to do the right thing.
I also love that Lala (played by Will Catlett) is not only back in the main fold of the story, but he's now the leader of The 100, which means they're now in play too behind the scenes. It seems like a small thing in contrast to the overarching Markovian threat, but Lala has been one of the most fascinating supporting characters to follow over the course of the series, and putting him in a position of power like this makes him prime for an anti-hero turn for his character.
This week's episode of 'Black Lighting' symbolized for me a key element of Season 3: pushing characters into areas and positions that are new for them, whether it be Jefferson helpless to stop violence on the streets or Khalil helpless to stop himself from killing his own mother It's the exploration of these ideas and the continued use of characters in new ways that keeps me constantly invested, and I can't wait for next week.
Overall, I give Black Lightning Season 3, Episode 2 a score of 9/10.
The Flash Season 6 Episode 2 - A Flash of Lightning
Grant Gustin stars as Barry Allen in CW's 'The Flash'
Photo Credit: The CW Network – YouTube
In Episode 2 of Season 6, The Monitor reveals to Barry and Iris that the Flash must die on December 11, 2019. Not entirely believing him, Barry attempts to time travel to the point of his death, only to find an anti-matter wall in his way that he cannot pass. Traveling to Earth-3, he teams up with retired speedster Jay Garrick (played by John Wesley Shipp), who believes he can send Barry's mind into the future rather than his body. But this backfires, causing Barry to experience billions of timelines in his mind, including the one where he dies to save the multiverse.
Meanwhile, Cecile takes the case of a young meta-human named Allegra being framed for murder, though Cecile's abilities tell her Allegra is telling the truth of her innocence. At the same time, Ralph and Cisco continue to help Killer Frost navigate having a life of her own outside of Caitlyn.
I read an interview with showrunner Eric Wallace a week or so ago, and he kept foreshadowing how Episode 2 was going to be a big shift in the season. Yeah, I think I get what he means.
For Barry in particular, this episode presents the biggest obstacles for him. Because he doesn't know Oliver's journey with The Monitor, he takes the duty of stopping the big bad Crisis on his own. While this can be a bit irritating in terms of where past seasons have taken the character (Barry...Jay is right...TIME TRAVEL DOESN'T SOLVE YOUR PROBLEMS), in this episode, we get the realization of that notion. Barry can't just run his way out of this (literally) and he can't just give up on his own. Paralleling Oliver's journey in Season 8 of Arrow (be patient, we'll get to it), Barry is realizing the extent of where he fits in to the events to come and where he has to focus his attention in the midst of that.
I'm also surprisingly enjoying some of the side plots we seem to be getting, even for as gimmicky as they sound. I like seeing Joe and Cecile go at it over whether or not the latter's powers are absolute. I like seeing Kamilla and Iris build up the Central City Citizen as journalists. I get a real kick out of seeing Killer Frost basically being a whiney teenager with Cisco and Ralph acting as life coaches, and those specific misadventures haven't gotten annoying yet.
The only area I'm not crazy about is Ramsey's side story about furthering his research. Apparently, there's some big ramifications next week from his test subjects, but as far as this episode was concerned, I was focused on pretty much anything else. But I also won't dismiss Ramsey as a villain just yet because I have a feeling that a medical-based human antagonist can be really interesting given a bit of patience (so long as it's more interesting down the line).
This week's episodes of 'Arrow' and 'The Flash' were big teases for Crisis, but 'The Flash' feels much more focused on its central protagonist. I'm hoping next week we actually see Barry step up and tell the team of the Crisis so they can all be on the same page, but as build-up goes for this week, I got a kick out of it.
Overall, I give The Flash Season 6, Episode 2 a score of 8/10.
Arrow Season 8 Episode 1 - Starling City
Stephen Amell stars as Oliver Queen in CW's 'Arrow'
Photo Credit: The CW Network – YouTube
After the events of Season 7, Oliver Queen (played by Stephen Amell) is sent on a mission by The Monitor (played by LaMonica Garrett) to retrieve a collection of dwarf star particles from a laboratory on the parallel universe of Earth-2. He takes the guise of his dead Earth-2 counterpart, returning from Lian Yu in a mirror to earlier events in the series. On Earth-2, Oliver's mother Moira (played by Susanna Thompson) is married to Malcom Merlyn (played by John Barrowman), with Oliver's sister Thea having died in a car crash years earlier.
Oliver's now-step-brother Tommy (played by Colin Donnell) is the Dark Archer in this universe, and plans to avenge Thea's death by executing "The Undertaking" (similar to the plans of the parallel universe version of his father in Season 1). Reuniting, with John Diggle (played by David Ramsey), along with Black Siren (played by Katie Cassidy) and the Earth-2 version of Adrian Chase (played by Josh Segarra).
Meanwhile, in the series' flash-forwards to 2040, the new Green Arrow, Mia Smoak (played by Katherine McNamara) and her allies struggle to deal with the recent threat of the Deathstroke Gang, led by J.J. (played by Charlie Barnett), the son of John Diggle and adopted brother to Mia's ally, Connor Hawke (played by Joseph David-Jones)
Here it is, the original Arrowverse show is finally back with its final season, and it's a pretty fun start. It seems like 'Arrow' may, oddly enough, become the biggest focal point for Crisis on Infinite Earths. From the very start, we're given throwbacks to the show's earlier seasons; in fact, this whole first episode is basically the first season summed up in one episode, very clever writers!
Then there's all of the new stuff with the Earth-2 mythology; The Batman mask on Lian Yu, the Earth-2 Queen/Merlyn family dynamics, and, particularly shocking to me, Adrian Chase as The Hood! I mean that was just as big a shock to me as the ending was, if not on a more visceral level, because Oliver has to look at the most twisted version of the man who has haunted him for years (and thank goodness they didn't go the easy route with Tommy as The Hood).
The best parts of the episode are two-fold: Oliver coming to grips with what he can do in preparation for the Crisis, and the last few minutes. 'Arrow' has always been a sort of gateway into expanding the shared universe of shows - magic in Seasons 3 and 4 being an example - and in Season 8, everything is reaching its peak, with Oliver in the center of it all. Having Diggle come to aid in his journey means that he won't be running into things alone, and that he'll always have a tie to his past life by his side. It's powerful development for the character, and I hope that by the time Crisis does come around, we see Oliver become that kind of central figure he's been built up as for so long.
As for those last few minutes, WOW, they're really pulling an 'Infinity War' on us, aren't they? I initially expected the end to tease a sort of wild goose chase for the dwarf star particles, the latter being a sort of McGuffin for whatever the Monitor's plans are. NOPE. Earth-2 is flat-out destroyed, and Oliver is forced to watch his mother and Tommy die AGAIN. It's a powerhouse of an ending that left me with so many questions and my hand over my face going "WHAT THE ACTUAL?"
The biggest disappointment in this episode comes in the flash-forwards, and coming from someone who really enjoyed Season 7's attempts to show the future of Team Arrow's actions, Season 8 isn't starting on the best note. I still enjoy seeing these characters, but my goodness I felt bored watching this portion of the episode. We're getting the legacy of Deathstroke taken over by Diggle's son facing off against the children of the Green Arrow and I didn't feel any sense of tension or engagement, even in the action scenes. In addition, going back to 'Supergirl' from last week's premiere, it does feel as though we're not getting a fair glimpse into how The Monitor plans to stop the Crisis. I don't want to know everything, but a little build-up and hint displacement would've made for something to build off a bit more, just saying.
Still, the main chunk of this episode had plenty of shake-ups and foreshadowing, with the action-packed intrigue that 'Arrow' has been great at.
Overall, I give Arrow Season 1, Episode 1 a score of 7.5/10.
What did you guys think of this weeks episodes of DC TV? Comment below and let me know your thoughts!
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