DC Entertainment has entered a new era expanding their universe into several different television series on network television. As a huge fan of DC Comics, I’m excited to see some of my favorite characters and story lines depicted weekly on the small screen. Let’s recap and discuss what happened last week for DC on TV with all new episodes from all four series…
Gotham – “What the Little Bird Told Him”
This was an interesting episode, not quite as much fun as previous episode though it did have its moments. This also makes the second episode in a row without any appearance or even a mention of Bruce Wayne. I can’t say I miss him (though I do kind of miss Alfred). This episode tries to balance the continuation of the previous episode (the escaped Arkham inmates and Gordon’s quest to retrieve his Detective’s shield) with the schemes of Fish Mooney. It is fairly successful up until the Gruber aspect fizzles (literally) and Mooney’s plans backfires. I’ve got to say my favorite scenes were those that included Maroni. I think Penguin is walking on very thin ice with Maroni and it will be interesting to see how things shift as a result of Fish’s failure and Falcone remembering who he is…
Gotham continues to have some great lingering shots (sly smiles and evil grins balance with city scapes) and fantastic one liners given to Bullock (“He’s dead; Fried like a donut.”), and numerous story lines. It’s still interesting to me how it continues to try to balance the massive cast and numerous threads. In this episode we get some of Edward Nygma and his failed attempt to woo his crush with his riddles, an extremely uncomfortable scene with Barbara returning to her parents’ home, and the increasing attraction between Dr. Leslie Thompkins and Gordon. Barbara’s scene felt completely out of place and the strange arrival of Thompkins at the end of the episode made me feel like I couldn’t trust her. But I will admit that kiss was hot!
The Flash – “Revenge of the Rogues”
This was an interesting episode of The Flash for a variety of reasons, namely how Barry is starting to find himself listening to Dr. Wells more and more. The episode begins with Barry admitting he is not the fastest man alive and we see him training to improve his speed and reflexes. This has become his priority and is encouraged by Dr. Wells, even to the point of denying his own nature to protect and aid others. Leonard Snart returns with plans to specifically draw The Flash out for confrontation, but Dr. Wells advising to ignore him to focus on the Reverse Flash. Barry in turn tells Joe that not going after Snart is “a question of priorities.” This feels wrong coming from Barry and Joe echoes our thoughts when he confronts Dr. Wells later in the episode and realizes the words were parroted by Barry from Dr. Wells. I appreciate the way Dr. Wells and Detective Joe West are at odds. I look forward to seeing this develop more and Barry becoming more aware (hints are beginning – Barry considers them friends, while Dr. Wells considers them partners).
While I enjoyed seeing the Rogues, the dialogue between Cold and Heat Wave was often flat and stilted. I admit that it is in large part to highlight the calculated nature of Snart, but it is kind of hard to endure. If not for the pleasure of seeing Prison Break veterans reunited, it probably wouldn’t hold as much appeal.
Perhaps the highlight of the episode, for me anyway, was the reference to Ghostbusters and the resultant battle where Barry tries to ‘cross the streams.” Who knew that Ghostbusters was ‘surprisingly scientifically accurate”? The very public battle also creates a new dynamic for The Flash moving forward – one where the general public knows he exists and where the police actually respect him. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Arrow – “Left Behind”
Arrow returns with a very dramatic episode which doesn’t really answer any questions but does present grief in a very tangible way. Let’s start with Oliver since that was the shocker of mid-season finales. We saw that Maseo looked at this body at the end of the last episode. Well, he didn’t just look. Somehow he managed to get Oliver off that ledge and dragged him to a building where we see Tatsu and Oliver alive! How and why are all left to be discovered. The flashbacks in this episode were beginning to lead us to the story of what happened to Maseo’s wife back in Hong Kong after her abduction by China White but they didn’t quite get there. I’m so much more invested in those flashbacks at this point because I’m dying to know what happened to Tatsu and Maseo and then how Oliver was returned from the dead. Are Lazarus Pits involved at all? I’ve heard denials but that’s really not surprising….
Back in Starling City, Ray Palmer is still trying to put together his superhero suit and become the ATOM while Diggle, Ray and Felicity are trying to continue saving the city without Oliver. This proves harder and harder to do as they come to grips that Oliver is most likely dead. Malcom Merlyn’s revelations lead to a heartbreaking display of grief by Felicity and her ultimate decisions. It will certainly be interesting to see Danny Brickwell hold court over all the criminals whose release he has orchestrated and Laurel’s decision to take up the Black Canary mantle. Are you excited to see her in that role?
Constantine – “Quid Pro Quo”
In this week’s episode of Constantine, we get to learn about Chas. Through a series of flashbacks we discover why he can return from the dead. Given the real life events of a fire in a club, it was rather disturbing and somewhat more grounded in reality. Constantine had cast a protection spell on him that was in many ways thought to be a myth. It worked and Chas essentially ended up absorbing the lives of the 47 people that died in the club fire. The only way Chas found he could live with the burden of those other lives was to fight evil by John’s side which in turn led to him not being present for his wife and daughter and therefore divorce.
Chas still loves his family and so when his daughter’s soul is taken he gets extremely impatient and frustrated with John for not saving her immediately. He even goes so far as to knock John out and take things into his own hands. And Chas saves the day, through two more deaths, and a little help from Achilles’s heel.
This episode was anther brilliant entry into the world of John Constantine, even if he wasn’t the central focus this time. Constantine is brilliantly depicting stories from Hellblazer and the related world (tonight’s episode pulled from Mike Carey’s All His Engines graphic novel). Seeing Mark Margolis (“American Horror Story”, “Breaking Bad”) brilliantly depicting Felix Faust was a treat. I sincerely hope more people will recognize the brilliance of Constantine and give it the second season it truly deserves.
So what did you think of this past week of DC on TV? A lot happened! I should also note that Gotham has officially gotten a second season pick-up. Melissa Benoist has been cast as Kara in the upcoming Supergirl series for CBS. And there’s talk of another DC show spinning off from Arrow – one based on ATOM. With all this, can we get more support for Constantine?!? I really want another season of it. How else will we see Dr. Fate?