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 depicting weekly on the small screen. Let’s recap and discuss what happened last week for DC on TV.
It was a doozy of a week. I watched every episode at least twice. So good!!! Let’s talk about those crossover episodes.
The Flash – “Flash vs. Arrow”
The CW is doing amazing things with their two properties. The consistency between the two has been great (when Felicity visited Central City and that visited was reiterated in Arrow) and clearly building up to this huge crossover event. The marketing and promotion leading up to this week’s episodes was very well done. For those who only watch one of the two shows, the crossover event may be the perfect gateway to increase fan bases. And all of this is why it isn’t weird that they begin with “Previously on The Flash and Arrow…” (emphasis mine).
The episode begins with Barry’s voiceover talking about the power of emotions and feelings and the relationship (or non-relationship) to science. I know I must sound like a broken record, but it’s yet another example of the stark difference in tone between Arrow and The Flash (which we are kind of beaten over the head with in Arrow, but I’ll get there). The Flash continues to display hope, humor, and a much lighter tone. This was perfectly exemplified by much of the dialogue in this episode, including some choice lines by the visiting cast of Arrow. I don’t know about you but my favorite moment had to have been Cisco raising his hand and saying “That’s my bad! That’s on me” when the boomerang brought from the Arrow crew went haywire inside of STAR labs. Although, that is very closely followed by Cisco’s Yoda speak and Diggle’s reactions to Barry (“you’re fast…”).
The episode pits Barry as The Flash against a meta-human with the ability to “whammy” people into a rage. The Arrow crew has followed the trail of Captain Boomerang to Central City based on the boomerang. I couldn’t help but smile, just like Barry, with Oliver’s entrance to the episode. Of course the father figures in Barry’s life are not happy about ‘the Vigilante’ being in the city. Barry defends the Arrow, but does come to question his methods, particularly when Oliver shoots Barry in a training exercise. This also leads Barry to go after the meta-human on his own without Oliver which of course leads Barry to getting ‘whammied.’ Barry becomes a giant asshole, even pulling poor Eddie out of a moving vehicle and it takes an incredible, epic fight scene between The Flash and the Arrow to un-whammy Barry. The fight scene alone makes the episode worth watching…
Other things worth noting:
- Can we talk about the moment Captain Singh mentions his boyfriend requiring him to eat healthy at home? Did it feel out of place and forced? It’s almost as though they wanted to make sure they are checking all diversity boxes.
- How about that mention of Batman and Gotham City?!?!
- Iris’s declaring that Oliver Queen is on her list was fantastic.
- “You mean like over coffee with Deathstroke and the Huntress?”
- Oliver telling Felicity “there is something off about [Dr. Wells]” is perfect lip service to the fans watching.
- Oliver’s baby mama!!!!
- Firestorm is coming…
Arrow – “The Brave and the Bold”
Again, we begin with “Previously on Arrow and The Flash…” and the Arrow team returned home to Starling City and still tracking Captain Boomerang. They end up face to face with several ARGUS agents. Turns out, the Boomerang killed an ARGUS agent which puts pressure on Diggle to get information from Lyla. I’ve got to say, with all the references to Diggle and Lyla not actually being married, the question at the end of the episode was really not a surprise. This episode was definitely not subtle (Diggle and Lyla, Starling City versus Central City, etc.). And of course to continue the crossover event, Cisco and Caitlin end up in Felicity’s office (in a company that big she would have been notified they were there!) asking to see the “Arrow Cave.” With Cisco and Caitlin in the “Arrow Cave” when the call comes in that Captain Boomerang is assaulting the ARGUS office, it really is no surprise that Barry shows up to help too.
In the aftermath of the assualt, Lyla explains who the Boomerang is and that she had to make the call to ‘sanitize’ the team. I’ve always loved the way Arrow has represented the Suicide Squad (Deadshot has been incredible). I think it is interesting, and not a coincidence, that the Suicide Squad cast announcement which includes Jai Courtney as Boomerang happens the week Captain Boomerang makes an appearance in DC on TV. This is genius planning to introduce casual fans to a character not many know about it. (As an aside, I agree with Stephen Amell about the poorly timed DCU slate, which includes a new Flash, announced just when The Flash is trying to find its footing and audience).
Oliver Queen tries explaining to Barry that Starling City works differently and that Barry has to follow the Arrow’s rules. Once again, Barry is not too pleased with Oliver’s methods. It’s yet another example of the differences between the two series, the darkness in Arrow and the light in The Flash (this is also explicitly stated by Oliver: “You live in Central City, where its sunny all the time.”). Oliver rattles off a litany of terrible things that have happened in Starling, including the murder of his mother in front of him. It’s telling that Barry can counteract with the same story and different behavior. The flashbacks in this episode are brilliant in explaining how and why the Arrow operates has he does. The moment Oliver and Lyla both quote Amanda Waller is another telling moment. They had the same training and see the world differently than Barry and Diggle. And it’s even more explicit when Cisco refers to Barry as hope. This is kinda what I meant about beating us over the head, but I don’t mind it because it is true and it serves as an introduction/warning to potential new Arrow viewers brought in by The Flash.
Boomerang attacks the Arrow cave (I think I’m only going to call it that from now on) and Lyla is severely injured which opens the eyes of Cisco and Caitlin. It also makes Oliver second guess his methods. Barry is able to offer Oliver solace and hope. It’s refreshing to see Oliver listen to Barry. Because they both do what they do, Oliver seems to listen and accept Barry’s comments more than he ever has those of Diggle and Felicity. To a point.
Other things worth noting:
- Can we talk about how badass Arsenal is looking and acting? And the fan service that we get through Cisco echoing our thoughts.
- “Exotic killers are more our thing…”
- Lyla’s reaction to Barry, who is clearly not good at keeping his secret identity, is fantastic. And mirrors Diggle’s reaction from the night before quite nicely.
- How heartwarming was the installation of a case in the Arrow Cave for Barry’s suit? And Cisco’s gift to Oliver.
- Barry calling The Arrow a douche….
Constantine – “Blessed are the Damned”
Constantine continues to get better and better. I will be extremely sad if we aren’t blessed with a second season. This episode shows us a bit more about the angels and Manny. After being bitten by a poisonous snake, a small town preacher gains the power to heal (a man regrows his missing leg). Unfortunately, that power does not come without a price. The man ends up killing his doctor and a cop has he makes his way back towards the preacher. Turns out, the preacher managed to get a feather from the angel coming to collect him after being bitten by the snake. And those who are healed are drawn to the feather. Constantine and Zed track down the angel who has fallen to earth as a result of the missing feather, with cryptic directions courtesy of Manny. After placing her in a protective circle, they try to retrieve the feather to return it to the angel. Things get a little crazy here. The final 10 minutes of the episode were incredible. The cinematography and effects were stunning. I really don’t want to spoil the episode but I can’t help but post this photo:
What did you think? And how about Manny?!? I had to rewind and rewatch the ending sequences multiple times.
As you should know from last week, Gotham is on break until January (so watch some Jane the Virgin on Monday nights – it’s actually super cute.). And next week we get the mid-season finales for The Flash and Arrow. And they are bound to be doozys! We get ‘the man in the yellow suit’ (comics fans – you know who this is!) and we get Ra’s al Ghul.
Are you still watching the DC on TV shows? What do you think? Loving them? Hating them? Are you doing me a favor and watching Constantine? Are you getting more people to watch it? Let’s talk about DC on TV stuff!