Arrowverse Recap Week #3 - 10/20 to 10/26

Batwoman Season 1, Episode 3 - Down Down Down

Ruby Rose stars in CW's 'Batwoman'

Photo Credit: TV Promos – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfQv907D1Yc

In Episode 3 of Season 1, Kate makes a deal with Alice to stop killing until she can convince Jacob to release Alice's second-in-command, Dodgson (played by Brendon Zub). This conicides with the arrival of Tommy Elliot (played by Gabriel Mann), an old friend of Bruce and Kate's who believes that Batman's return means that Bruce may have returned to Gotham as well. Luke reveals to Kate that one of Bruce's prototype weapons has been stolen and he suspects Tommy may be involved.

Meanwhile, with Alice still at large, Sophie is assigned to Mary as her bodyguard, with Sophie trying to understand why Kate didn't want to join the Crows. Elsewhere, despite Catherine's pleas, Jacob continues to be twisted by Alice's claims that she is in fact his long-lost daughter.

I won't pull any punches - this is my favorite episode of the series thus far. Yeah, I know I jumped the gun a bit last week and, granted, there's only been three episodes so far. But the story and pacing of 'Down Down Down' felt the most natural and interesting to me thus far, and I finally started to get the feeling of "oh now we're cooking" with the worldbuilding and characters.

For one thing, the writers aren't relying on the Kate/Alice and Kate/Sophie storylines, it actually feels like they're starting to branch out into other avenues of storytelling. Nowhere is this more evident than with the introduction of Tommy Elliot and, while I can't say he's as interesting as Alice, he does two things that are very important: 1.) He's a legitimate threat to both Kate and her immediate allies and 2.) He allows the show to explore Alice outside of her relationship with Kate.

We're allowed time for flashbacks and seeing her continue to play with Jacob because Kate's busy with something equally as important. It also leads to a great moment at the end of the episode, with Kate coming to realize that she may not be able to redeem Alice if she continues on her current path.

That's another benefit - we get to see Kate develop a lot in this episode, and I'm all for it. Not just taking the mantle of Batwoman properly (the new suit looks excellent by the way), but she isn't staying tied down to her memories with Sophie; she's being allowed to move on with her life, and the new possible love interest in Reagan (played by Brianne Howey) seems like a fun character to explore.

I will say I still have no idea in what Catherine's connection to Alice is, and quite frankly, that hasn't hooked me yet. I hope that whatever role she does wind up playing in the story influences what direction Mary takes as a character. I'm starting to get the reaction from the fandom, she quite a delightful character, but I want her to start taking charge like we saw in this episode and not just being relegated as the ignorant stepsister.

In addition, while I like that the show is utilizing it's source material a bit more, I do hope that, as the show goes on, we don't hear Bruce Wayne name dropped what seems like every 20 seconds. I get it, he's a pivotal character in Kate's development and in the story, but if 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D' can move past mentioning Tony Stark every episode, there's no excuse.

Overall, I give 'Batwoman' Season 1, Episode 3 a score of 8/10.

Supergirl Season 5, Episode 3 - Blurred Lines 

Chyler Leigh, Melissa Benoist, and Mehcad Brooks star in CW's 'Supergirl'

Photo Credit: The CW – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j26DzX1v7qk

In Episode 3 of Season 5, Malefic makes his move to recover his lost abilities, disguising himself as a patient of Kelly's named Pete Andrews (played by Sean Astin) to persuade her to use the Obsidian technology on his mind. In the process to determine the secret of his brother, J'onn requests that Nia uses her abilities to naturally access his repressed memories, only to come across a haunting memory involving his entire family that could be the key to understanding Malefic's plan.

Elsewhere, Kara begins to reform her relationship with Lena after revealing her secret identity. Lena confides in Kara that she still has nightmares about Lex, and that his federally-secured journals may offer closure. However, Lena and Hope really believe that the journals may offer the secret to Lex's research, allowing them to further their own goals of strengthening humanity. All of this coincides with the team, along with James, tracking down a woman infected by alien spiders, giving her unique abilities.

If Season 5 is starting to move away from monster-of-the-week (or alien-of-the-week) storytelling in terms of bigger storylines, this episode indicates to me that that might be for the better. I wasn't against the Auarafacian as a threat, but I was just more interested in everything else going on in the episode, like the J'onn/Malefic storyline.

Oh boy, I'm in on this storyline! I highly doubt that this will be the main focus by the end of the season, but if we need something to keep the team busy until Lena makes her move, this is more than interesting enough. I've always been fascinated by J'onn as a character - both in his commitment to his people and his deep-seeded trauma from losing them - and this episode brings those emotions into a whole new light. The reveal of J'onn taking it upon himself to wipe his own and his fathers memories of Malefic

In addition, as much as I'm loving the Malefic storyline, I do hope we get an explanation as to why The Monitor released him from the Phantom Zone. We seem to be getting a lot of 'Crisis' teases from 'Arrow' and 'The Flash,' but this seemed pretty clearly tied into Monitor's plans at the end of Season 4, so why?

Other than that, while any kind of intimate moment between Kara and Lena is more than welcome, it does feel like, because there's so many other things this episode is trying to do, I never felt the emotional connection I wanted to with it. I do also have to wonder where Nia and Brainy's storyline is going from here. I think they'll be alright in the end, but we're three episodes in, and it seems a bit rushed as far as their relationship is concerned.

Also, WHERE IS LEVIATHAN? Is William supposed to working for them? Because right now that's the only think I find interesting about him. I don't know, if next week starts to go full force into the Malefic storyline and put Leviathan on hold, I can forgive that, but I do wonder where Season 5's plan is actually going from now on.

Overall, I give 'Supergirl' Season 5 Episode 3 a score of 7.5/10.

Black Lightning Season 3, Episode 3 - The Book of Occupation: Chapter 3

Bill Duke and Jordan Calloway star in CW's 'Black Lightning'

Photo Credit: The CW Network - YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91PM1XlTMMg

In Episode 3 of Season 3, a virus has begun to affect the meta-humans in Freeland, and Agent Odell asigns Lynn to find a cure. He also gifts Jefferson with a new suit and convinces him to attack a Markovian terrorist outlet in the hopes of recovering the previously kidnapped Dr. Jace. Secretly, he also proceeds to torture Tobias to find the location of his briefcase, and tells Jennifer that Khalils mother was killed by the Markovians. Meanwhile, Anissa reunites with Grace, who seems to have gained stability with her shapeshifting abilities and wants to rekindle their relationship.

This week seemed to be forcusing on the "Agent Odell being a manipulative puppetmaster" portion of Season 3, and I really don't have any issues with that. Bill Duke is doing an excellent job giving us just enough tidbits into Odell's moral compass, while also maintaining that sense of ominous leadership that makes the character so interesting to watch.

Unlike someone like The Monitor in the other Arrowverse shows, I feel like we're getting a lot more to infer about Odell's endgame, especially with his relationship with Tobias, the latter apparently being foreshadowed to come back in a major way somewhere down the line.

But you also have, in the midst of Odell's plan, the Pierce family finally reuniting, and it's so sweet (even with the abrupt ending which I couldn't help but get a laugh at. We also see Anissa and Jennifer possibly finding new relationships: Anissa with Grace, who seems to be back (at least temporarily), and Jennifer with a new student named Brandon (played by Jahking Guillory).

I've always thought Grace and Anissa worked together, and I hope the show starts to allow them to trust one another again. As for Jennifer, well excuse me if I remain skeptical after everything with Khalil. Brandon seems like a nice change of pace for her, but I'm not sure if I'm totally buying into him just yet.

Aside from the Pierce's reuniting, I don't think this is going to wind up being as crucial of an episode as I think. There's something brewing with the Markovians that I want to see explored a bit more before I can pass judgement on the main conflict. I also find it a bit hard to believe that the meta-human virus has been dealt with, because that's just too big of a narrative point to pass up. Maybe Officer King's husband, who Chief Henderson interacts with later in the episode, will have a bigger focal point to view the story through, but I'm not sure yet.

Overall, I give 'Black Lightning' Season 3, Episode 3 a score of 8/10.

The Flash Season 6, Episode 3 - Dead Man Running

Grant Gustin stars in CW's 'The Flash'

Photo Credit: TV Promos – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvyHCA0c-Fo

In Episode 3 of Season 6, Barry confronts the team about what he saw on Earth-3 and the impending Crisis, though leaves out the part about his death being necessary. Believing he has to make the team ready for his death, he takes Killer Frost under his wing to see how much of Caitlyn has rubbed off on her. They reluctantly team up with Ramsey to track down Mitch Romero (played by Shawn Stewart), a gunrunner who has seemingly been turned into an unkillable dark matter zombie.

Meanwhile, Allegra discovers a seemingly alive Harrison Wells in the city, but Iris asks her to hold off on pursuing him. She and Cisco track down the new Wells, known as Nash (played by Tom Cavanagh), who seems to be tracking an artifact on Earth-1. Elsewhere, Ralph's mother Debbie (played by Amy Pietz) seeks his and Cecille's help in proving her innocence in a gambling case.

Like 'Batwoman,' this is another high point for this week. It's one of those episodes where, even if it's story beats don't feel the most cohesive to one another, it just kind of works in the kooky way only Arrowverse shows can pull off.

The initiative for Ramsey as our season big bad starts to build momentum this week. While I like the relationship between him and Caitlyn, the confrontation between Ramsey and Barry later in the episode seems to be incredibly important for developing the hero/villain dynamic. Ramsey is very much an antithesis to Barry, almost a warning of allowing grief and mortality to consume him, and having that in Barry's viewpoint is going to be key as the group prepares for bigger problems ahead.

I also loved Killer Frost's arc in this episode (or just Frost, I'm not sure what to call her at this point). I can see how the sort of "whiny teen" angle could get annoying, but I think the writers are doing a great job at balancing Frost's angst with a nice sense of dark humor and, in this episode, real pathos involved. Her being both angry and confused about her seemingly shortened life in the face of the Crisis is both emotional weight to her own story and surprisingly relatable. Have yourself a happy birthday Frost, you deserve that much at least!

If there's any downside here, it's the storyline with Ralph and his mom. While it's nice to see Cecille and Ralph interact, I just never really bought into either the comedy or the family drama involved (although I grew to like Felicity and her mom on 'Arrow,' so you never know). I'll also add that, while the episode does a great job at foreshadowing the new Wells' goals on Earth-1, I do wish we had gotten a bit more of a baseline from the character to go off of.

Overall, I give 'The Flash' Season 6, Episode 3 a score of 9/10.

Arrow Season 8, Episode 2 - Welcome to Hong Kong

Katherine McNamara, Joseph David-Jones, and Charlie Barnett star in CW's 'Arrow'

Photo Credit: TV Promos – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Z_5isHM4IQ

In Episode 2 of Season 8, Oliver, Diggle, and Laurel are saved from Earth-2's destruction by The Monitor, who brings them back to Earth-1 Hong Kong in 2019. There, they are tasked by The Monitor to track down a scientist, Dr. Robert Wong (played by Derek Lowe), who has been assigned to recreate the Alpha-Omega virus by China White (played by Kelly Hu). While tracking down White, they are assisted Lyla (played by Audrey Marie Anderson) and by Oliver's old friend, Tatsu Yamashiro (played by Rila Fukushima). Cautious of The Monitor's intentions, Tatstu agrees to help Oliver and Diggle, while Lyla and Laurel attempt to track down an old contact who may be able to return Laurel to Earth-2.

Meanwhile, in the flashforwards to 2040, Mia, Connor, and Zoe attempt to intercept J.J. at a black market deal, while William stays at the bunker to repair a device stolen from the Deathstroke Gang. While at the deal, J.J. and Connor attempt to settle their past differences, while having agendas of their own.

It was going to be tough to follow up last weeks bombshell of a finale, but this week's episode actually got a slightly better reaction from me this week, mostly due to the fact that I actually cared about the flash forwards this time aound. I know that a lot of people have voiced criticisms of the 2040 storyline - both Seasons 7 and 8 - but I think there is real potential with these characters, and this week showed at least a little bit of that off.

I'm still wondering what on earth Zoe's purpose is within the group, but I'm glad we're finally starting to see the J.J./Connor dynamic a bit more, and seeing the latter as a proper threat to the team. There's those little teases of parallels between their dynamic and Oliver and Slade's from Season 2, and I want to show to start exploring those beyond the more boring tendencies of the future storyline.

But more to the point, two episodes in and I'm fascinated by the main storyline with Oliver and company (and please, someone PhotoShop the cast over the Disney film, sincerely, a fan). I loved seeing Tatsu back in the fold, as her relationship with Oliver was one of the high points of Season 3 for me. Both Oliver and Laurel get fantastic emotional beats this week, paralleling Laurel's loss of her world with Oliver's separation from his family, and even including Tatsu's loss of her family as well.

It almost makes the background conflict with China White feel a bit lackluster; she's always been a cool villain to see pop up throughout the series, but I admit I was more interested in everything else going on rather than another entry in her vendetta against Oliver. Nonetheless, the ending reveal with Lyla and The Monitor provides yet another story beat that I didn't see coming, and I want to see how Lyla (and to an extent A.R.G.U.S) function into the 'Crisis' foreshadowing.

Overall, I give 'Arrow' Season 8, Episode 2 a score of 8/10.

What did you guys think of this week in the Arrowverse? Comment below and let me know your thoughts!

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