Arrowverse, DC, TV

RTF Review: Tales From The DC MulTVerse #14

rtf-review-tales-from-the-dc-multverse-14

Another full week of shows to discuss, so fire up a Boom Tube and let’s explore brand new Tales From the DC MulTVerse.

SUPERGIRL:

“Kara joins Nia on a trip to Nia’s hometown to visit her family during the town’s annual Harvest Festival. While home, Nia’s mother encourages her daughter to embrace her destiny. Meanwhile, Alex deals with a street drug that is turning people violent and giving them temporary superpowers.” (The CW)

Supergirl begins once again with the “Red Son” Kara in another training exercise, battling nukes, rockets and tanks.  After the training exercise, she experiences nose bleeds and faints.  We next see her unconscious at episodes end. We see one of her superiors declaring that in order to fix her, he needs to contact someone in America.  Two questions I have here; First, will this plot point somehow involve Lex Luthor? Secondly, why has this happened to the Russian Kara? Is it because she is only a part of Kara/some sort of copy or clone? If so, will this same issue befall our Supergirl?  Speaking of our Supergirl, we start seeing the fallout between Kara and Alex, following Martian Manhunter’s mind wipe of Alex, and Kara’s secret identity as Supergirl.  The first casualty is the fact that Alex can’t remember Kara’s favorite movie.  More egregious, is the moment  where Supergirl, Alex and the DEO are battling knockoff  Children of Liberty terrorists.  When the alien attempts to defend himself from his attacker, Alex  intervenes and is a lot harsher when she reprimands the alien.  When Supergirl confronts her on it, Alex tells Supergirl not to intervene, as she wouldn’t know what it’s like to feel fear, or pain, since she has powers and invulnerability.  Her tone was rather cold and vicious.  At first this is jarring and seems like a step too far, even despite the partial mind wipe.   However, Martian Manhunter explains that Alex’s understanding and perception of aliens was entirely formed and influenced by growing up with Kara.  With those memories gone, her position on aliens among us, is completely changed.  That makes so much sense but is also more powerful and painful, as it not only affects Kara and Alex’s relationship but has also, altered Alex’s tolerance to aliens as a whole.

I’ve got to be brutally honest, I lost interest in the segment with Nia Nal and her family.  The idea that the Dreamer powers passes down to the daughter in the family is intriguing.  However, the friction it causes between Nia and her sister, when the sister finds out Nia got the powers instead of her, is incredibly contrived and forced.    They obviously did it to parallel Alex & Kara’s troubles.  However, this falls flat for me, because I don’t have any history with this relationship, like I do with Kara and Alex.  Even the death of Nia’s mother lacked any emotional resonance for me. I just me her and have zero attachment to any of these people! When I watched this on my PVR, it took immense willpower  not to fast forward through this segment.  This Supergirl episode was a decent, yet unspectacular start, to this weeks edition of Tales From the DC MulTVerse!

Score B-

ARROW:

“The past comes back to haunt both Oliver and Laurel. Curtis is upset when he discovers that Diggle and Lyla have restarted The Ghost Initiative with Diaz, China White, Kane Wolfman and Carrie Cutter.” (The CW)

This episode of Arrow may not have the most epic fight scenes but it holds up as a gripping and thoroughly entertaining episode, none the less. I love the fact that two of our main characters, Oliver and Laurel, had to confront their pasts head on.   For Oliver, this episodes threat is demanding that Oliver Queen resigns from the SCPD, or cops will die.  This threat is actually perpetrated by the son of Robert Queen’s body guard, who’s father was killed way back when by Robert Queen, so that Oliver could have the life raft for himself, ensuring his son’s survival.  Naturally, Samuel blames Oliver for his fathers death and is angry that many years of false hope that his father lived, prevented him from closure.  Oliver takes responsibility for his part in Samuel’s father’s death and apologizes.  Though that isn’t enough for Samuel, who now demands that the cops kill Oliver.  However Dinah and Oliver are able to subdue Samuel.  Oliver later holds a news press conference explaining what happened all those years ago, confessing that his father wasn’t the upstanding individual everybody thought him to be.  I loved that the show went back and picked up a thread from the pilot episode.  For viewers from the beginning, these continuity pulls have a little extra meaning.  Also, seeing Oliver own up and admit his fathers failings, is a great step forward in Emiko learning to trust him and developing their relationship

Laurel’ past comes to haunt her when she starts receiving threatening stalker notes.  At the same time, she encounters a man named  Brett Collins.  On Earth 2, her Earth, Brett Collins was the drunk driver who had a hand in killing her father, Earth 2’s Quentin Lance.  While Laurel isn’t a detective like Batman, she figures that this is the same man, who has somehow ported over to Earth 1.   Felicity stops her from physically assaulting him.  When the two new found friends find some private time, Laurel reveals that her Earth’s Brett Collins, was the first person she used her Canary Cry against.  She also reveals that she blames herself for her fathers death, as he forgot to pick up her birthday cake, she threw a tantrum and forced him to go back out and get her cake.  The vulnerability and sadness Katie Cassidy displays in these scenes are great.  If you look back when we first met Black Siren and watch this, you’ll see hoe much the character has changed and progressed. Even when Felicity was talking her through it and consoling her, I actually believed it was genuine.  Shocker, but in these scenes, I actually enjoyed Felicity and Emily Bett Rickards.  Take note of that, as I’m not sure when, or if, it will happen again.

I’ll come right out with it, I don’t really like the new Suicide Squad at all.  The team seem like “bottom of the barrel” villains to me.  The name “Ghost Initiative”, still feels like a rejected idea for Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.  Also, while the virtual reality sequence where Mr. Terrific tricks Diaz into revealing pertinent information on the “Dante” case was visually exciting, it was disappointing when you realize it wasn’t really happening.  Despite these negatives, Arrow delivers a near perfect shot, for Tales From the DC MulTVerse this week.

Score: A-

BLACK LIGHTNING:

“Jefferson zeroes in on Tobias as a suspect for a recent malicious attack. He thinks Henderson will back him but is in for a surprise. Lynn confronts her difficult past.” (The CW)

The bulk of this episode deals with the aftermath of Tobias’ violent beating of Khalil.  After having his spinal implant ripped out, Khalil is clinging to life in hospital .  The doctors advise there is nothing they can do for him and he doesn’t have long to live.  At first Jennifer and Lynn seemingly refuse to accept this.  Jennifer wants to use her powers to give Khalil a boost, in hopes that his body will respond and the electrical neurons will be able to help Khalil heal.  Lynn orchestrates Khalil being moved to the ASA facility and contemplates putting him in one of the pods, putting him in stasis until she finds a way to cure him.  I’m glad that even though the show presents these options, none of them work.  Not because I dislike the character but if every one of these shows starts finding a loop hole for death, than Khalil’s actions would never have had any consequences and his redemptive character arc, would have lost all weight and meaning.   Meanwhile, Jefferson is more determined to put Tobias away for this and all his crimes, so he turns to Inspector Henderson.  He finally lets him all the way in, bringing him to the secret base of operations beneath Gambi’s tailor shop.  His reaction to all the tech, and  discovering Gambi alive, was priceless.  His humorous question of ; “What kind of food you got down here”, gave me a good laugh, in what was otherwise an extremely serious and somber episode.  This was expertly placed comic relief.  The end of the episode sees Tobias and his crew break into the ASA to retrieve the 4 meta humans in the pods he’s been tracking.  That means we’re one step closer to his super powered army, something I’ve been waiting for, since the end of last episode!

This is a fantastic episode of Black Lightning.  This goes down as the best episode of the season, in my opinion.  To all the Tales From the DC MulTVerse readers, BLACK LIGHTNING IS BACK and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

Score: A+

THE FLASH:

“When Sherloque wants to use a memory machine on Barry and Nora to help gain access to Grace’s memories, Nora panics, fearing her parents will find out the secrets she’s been keeping from them. Nora secretly decides to use the machine on her own which ends in disaster after she gets trapped inside Grace’s mind. Barry and Iris go in after their daughter and Iris is brokenhearted by what she finds. Meanwhile, Ralph tricks Cisco into going out for a night out on the town.” (The CW)

Superhero and sci-fi entertainment often taps into the plot point of entering either the main character or secondary characters, memories or dreams.  Inception is an obvious film example.  If we’re thinking of superhero television, look no further than Arrow, Supergirl and of course Smallville (several times), for other instances of this plot being employed. Sherloque gives Team Flash the machine to traverse the mind scape  He builds a version of the machine he used before.  On Earth 221, this machine was used to apprehend the Mad Hatter,  That’s a nice call out to the Batman rogue.  We also learn that Sherloque did have a partner named Watson, who cheated with one of Sherloque’s multiverse wives.  While this was meant for a laugh, it allows exposition to set up the idea that the machine will not only allow Barry & Nora to enter Grace’s mind but also each others minds.    Nora becomes concerned that her father will discover that she is working with Reverse Flash, so she decides to head into Grace’s comatose mind without The Flash.  While thinking pulling Grace out of her coma would neutralize Cicada was actually sound logic, Nora’s decision to go without her dad was not.

When inside Grace’s mind,  we meet a sweet girl who on one hand seems both comforted by reliving her memories, yet also confused and a little scared.  When Nora suggests getting her out of there and waking her up from her coma, Grace is all for it.  The mood takes a turn, when Nora tells Grace that Team Flash will help her Uncle.  When this happens, Grace turns, starts yelling at Nora, calling her a liar. Here’s where we learn that thanks to the dark matter satellite shard stuck in Grace, she can here everything her Uncle and others say on the outside world.  She knows that Team Flash has been trying to de-power and take him down.  When Grace realizes that Nora is the daughter of The Flash, she declares, like her uncle, that all meta’s must die. Nora is suddenly attacked by Cicada.  Not real Cicada, but a protective avatar.  When Barry and Iris realize Nora is in danger, they enter Grace’s memories. Instead, they find themselves in Nora’s memories.  We see The Flash Museum, full of visitors and an endless supply of action figures and comic books!  This is a nice meta scene. It mirrors the real world beyond the show.  Sadly, minus the Flash Museum.  While there, Iris and Barry witness a memory of Nora’s, where Iris catches her young daughter in the museum, playing with The Flash action figures.  She reprimands her and then in anger, breaks her action figure.  Nora saw this as Iris not wanting her to learn, or spend time, with her father.  In actual fact, Iris reacted out of worry and frustration, that her daughter ran off!  We finally got to see the moment that began the tension that Nora came armed from the future with towards her mother.

As Barry and Iris observe the memory, they are attacked by Nora’s protective avatar. Who in this case, is the Reverse Flash.  They eventually subdue and get past him and find their way to Grace’s memory.  There, Flash takes on the Cicada avatar.  Unfortunately, they aren’t able to convince, or pull Grace out of her memories, thereby out of her coma, but they do get back to the conscious world themselves.  The cinematography and color in Grace’s mind and Nora’s was unique.  The scenes featuring the avatars of Cicada and Reverse Flash were creepy, almost channeling a little of the horror genre.    The only thing I didn’t like was Cisco being coerced into going to a bar by Ralph, to try and get hm to meet a new woman. These scenes felt incredibly forced and unnecessary.  It seems as though this was only present to get Cisco some screen time.  There are rumors circulating that a main cast member will be leaving next season.  Given his reduced screen time, and the meta human cure story line, I can see Cisco leaving.  Either him or Jesse L Martin, who plays Joe West.  Overall, this was a great episode to end Tales From the DC MulTVerse #14.

Score: A

This edition of the column has ended. However, Tales From the DC MulTVerse isn’t going anywhere, as it was recently announced, that all the Arrowverse shows have been renewed for next year. Here’s hoping Batwoman is added to the lineup, beyond the pilot that is.


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Adam Basciano

I'm a long time fan of superheroes. I love DC and really like Marvel. Will be contributing comic book review columns, to Revenge of The Fans.

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