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The Legends try to keep calm and fight a giant worm, Batwoman decides to fight for her city and suit, and The Flash has to worry about kids and a speedster villain on…
Batwoman S02E18: “Power”
Out-of-Context Quote of the Week is from Alice’s hallucination of Ocean: “Now that you know you’re capable of this feeling, go chase it again.”
Batwoman’s season 2 finale kicked off with Black Mask encouraging Gotham to pick up some plastic masks and tear up the city. This was part of his extremely vague plan to cause chaos in his villainous persona while using his public face to save everyone. Considering that Black Mask has a pretty ironclad grip on the underworld at this point, it’s unclear why he’d suddenly go to these extreme lengths. In any case, the easily persuaded citizens instantly decide to wreak havoc across Gotham. Since Circe still has the Batwoman suit, Ryan pens a letter to the city suggesting that she’s stepping down and it’s all in their hands. While I liked the idea behind this dialogue between Gotham and Batwoman, the episode strangely doesn’t spend much time with the citizens. We only get quick glimpses of the city’s chaos and how they’re dealing with things. It would’ve been nice to see average Gothamites do more than light candles in their window that encourage Batwoman to save them.
Amidst the chaos, Tavaroff gets Bane’s Venom in his system, becomes incredibly strong, and breaks out of Mary’s clinic. He chases her until he’s stopped by Luke Fox wearing a Batwing costume. Earlier in the episode, we got a great scene where Luke finds out his dad turned his childhood drawings of a Black batman into a fully functional bat suit. He uses it to turn the tables on the Venom-enhanced Tavaroff. While I would’ve liked to see their fight go on a little longer, this scene served as a solid preview for future Batwing adventures. And speaking of fun fights, the episode gave us a short and sweet dust-up between Alice and Black Mask. Neither one gives a single inch in the fight. In the end, Alice ends the fight in a gruesome fashion by spraying Black Mask’s face with Joker’s acid and pushing the mask down. It’s a great nod to his comics origin and felt like something that would happen in the gruesome Gotham City. With Black Mask dealt with, it was time to focus on Circe/Kate Kane and Ryan.
Ryan’s journey was…odd in the finale. After a pep talk from Sophie, she decides to get back into the fight. Ryan forms a reluctant partnership with Alice in the hopes that the two of them can get the Batsuit back. In an awkward bit of dialogue between them, Ryan is told to feel guilty about her mom dying in childbirth. After she hits Alice for the comment, the two immediately go back to working together. I genuinely can’t tell how they feel about each other. Their partnership is put aside when Ryan chases Kate down and hits her with a compound that restores her memories. Shortly after Kate finally recovers her memories, Alice is whisked off to jail and Ryan has a successful parole hearing. We then cut to the two Batwomen talking about the position. After Kate gives Ryan her blessing and immediately leaves town, Alice hints that Ryan’s biological mother is still alive. This sudden mom reveal felt like an odd cap to her story this season. I think her story would’ve been better served exploring established plotlines like her anxiety over the mantle or the parole hearing. Instead, both threads are rushed through to get to this cliffhanger.
Final Thoughts: Although Batwoman’s finale sets up a lot of great scenarios, the episode didn’t always take enough time to see them through. The hints of Batwing and Alice’s attack on Black Mask were ultimately the best parts of a very cluttered finale.
Legends of Tomorrow S06E08″ “Stressed Western”
Out-of-Context Quote of the Week is from Beharad: “The town is too nice. Must be our alien or gentrification. Either way, we gotta stop it.”
The Legends try to get back to their normal routine by chasing down an alien in the old west town of Fist City. Although Sara is back and ready for a mission after being kidnapped, she’s not quite ready to tell the team that she’s half-alien. Since Spooner has an empathic link with extraterrestrials, she can sense something’s up but can’t quite articulate what it is. Sara tries her best to stay under the radar as the Legends dive into one of the most dangerous towns in the old west…and find out that everybody is nice and calm. Nobody seems to drink hard alcohol, gamble, or fight. There’s even a nice guy on guitar who narrates everyone’s journeys. This overly nice town was a fun way to subvert the old west cliches. And things get even better when the mystery behind everyone’s calm demeanor was revealed.
It turns out that the town’s sheriff has control of a gigantic alien worm that can sense conflict. As soon as someone tries to poke a fight with Astra, they’re devoured by the huge creature. The legends are forced to consider how to get the whistle without starting a fight. While the main plot is engaging, the side plots are a mixed bag. Constantine continues his journey to reclaim his magic. Since he knows that Gary might have the answer, Constantine tries a bunch of different approaches to try to get the secret. But every time he’s denied, he unravels a little bit more. While their conflict was a fun continuation of a previous plotline, a story focused on Behrad’s romantic problems fell pretty flat. His conflict with his sister Zari also felt like it was retreading the much better sibling story that took place in the oddball burger episode. Ultimately, it seems like his problems were just there to help fuel the much better final conflict.
After Sara challenges the sheriff for a duel to get the whistle, he cheats and shoots her. But she’s able to instantly regenerate from the fatal wound. Unfortunately, Sara’s abilities can’t prevent her and the Legends from being trapped in a saloon together while the giant worm waits to devour them. While they all try to keep their calm, Astra and Spooner take a side trip. After they open up to each other, they come across Bass Reeves. I loved that David Ramsey, who plays Diggle, played this legendary historical figure. I only wished they used him more throughout the plot. At least he’s there when Nate lets all his pent-up frustrations and draws the big worm to the Legends. With a combination of Spooner’s alien communication powers and a powerful spell from Astra, they destroy the alien. The episode wraps up with the cowboy musician narrating a bunch of happy endings: Sara begins to accept her new body, Behrad comes to terms with…his issues and Constantine goes to search to restore his magic. In the final scene, the Legends climb on top of the fourth wall, become aware of the singing cowboy, and throw him off their time ship.
Final Thoughts: While this week’s episode could’ve used a little more Bass Reeves and a little less Behrad, it still served as a solid entry. The story did a great job at subverting expectations and balancing small character conflicts with big self-referential humor.
The Flash S07E15 “Enemy at the Gates”
Out-of-Context Quote of the Week is from Chester: “Why does the Flash need a car?”
After Barry gets a vision of his daughter Nora, he and Iris start believing that they’re pregnant. Since there’s a bunch of meta DNA involved, Barry needs to test the sample at a real lab. And he can’t run it over because it might damage the sample. This leads to a couple of legitimately funny scenes with Cecile and Chester as Barry tries to keep things under wraps. It was enjoyable to see a problem that Flash couldn’t solve with his Powers alone. Just before he can conduct a definitive test, he gets a visit from a clone of the fast villain Godspeed. When Berry tries to confront the villain, he discovers that there are five clones ready to ambush him. The Flash immediately abandons the battle and makes it back to Star Labs seconds before a force field closes. All the determined Godspeed power rangers follow him and try to make their way inside.
As Barry contemplates what to do next, we cut to a couple of solid side plots. After Frost rescues “reformed” villain Mark from being attacked at a bar, she brings him back to Star Labs to get patched up. While I’ve been lukewarm on Mark up to this point, they allow him to get some good jokes and additional layers in. And instead of instantly trying to do some good like other antagonists on the show, he keeps insisting that he’s a bad guy that can’t change. At the same time, Mark still has a desire for frost to see him and accept him as he is. As they go through that struggle, we follow up on Ultraviolet from last week. I was pleasantly surprised that the show took time to focus on her surgery and road to Rehabilitation. But considering how many people she’s assassinated, it’ll be interesting to see how she can get back in anybody’s good graces. Both of these storylines are interrupted when the Godspeed clones come for them in one of the show’s best sequences.
I can’t remember the last time I really loved a Speedster fight. But the Flash’s match-up with Godspeed made great use of choreography, slow motion, and a great song choice. Unfortunately, none of that helps Barry when the Clones overwhelm STAR labs. The Flash decides the only thing to do is to draw all the Clones to him. Hearing Barry scream “Come on!” and run out of Star Labs without a plan had me leaning forward in my seat to wonder: How would he get out of this one? And the answer is…a big deus ex machina. Just as Barry gets into real trouble, 5 more godspeed Power Rangers show up and attack the dangerous clones.
While I was a little let down by this sudden twist, I am still invested in the mystery of why this clone civil war started. I also found myself invested in Mark’s escape. Although he probably distracted Frost to escape STAR labs with his gauntlets, I’m curious to see if he stole anything else. Both mysteries are left hanging in the air as Barry answers one last question: Iris isn’t pregnant. After this (kind of predictable) turn leaves him reeling, Joe and Kramer continue their investigation into a rogue metahuman. The episode ends with their car exploding and their fates unknown. (Although they’re probably fine.)
Final Thoughts: The Flash continues this solid chunk of its season by splitting its time between running plot lines and new wrinkles. A fantastic fight sequence and hints at a bunch of new mysteries were just two great aspects of an engaging and strong episode.
Andrew Tejada is an NYC native so there’s a 90 percent chance this was written on the subway. When he’s not consuming movies/tv, he’s pitching his Static Shock screenplay to anyone who’ll listen. Andrew can also be found talking about DC Animated movies weekly wherever you listen to things @ Yet Another DC Animated Podcast.