Arrowverse, DC, News, TV

RTF Review: Tales From the DC MulTVerse #16

rtf-review-tales-from-the-dc-multverse-16

This weeks Tales From the DC MulTVerse is packed with a full compliment of shows, with the return of Supergirl.  So lets fire up a Boom Tube and traverse the Arrowverse!

ARROW:

“Oliver and Felicity are disappointed after they learn that William is hiding something from them. Wanting to focus on his family, Oliver steps back from his Green Arrow duties and let’s the team take over tracking down a serial killer. However, when the team becomes targets for the killer, things take a bloody turn.” (The CW)

As the description suggests, Oliver is busy this episode, mostly with family issues.  What are those issues, namely a disgruntled William. Returned from school after being suspended.  As Oliver tries to talk with his son, William isn’t very cooperative, or receptive.  Until he verbally blows up at Oliver. He feels ignored by his father and the violence William has witnessed, has frightened him, to the point that he calls his grandparents, wanting to go live with them.  Given everything that’s happened to young William, since he met his father, this reaction is not only authentic, but justifiable.  Having said that, I found Young William’s whining and temper tantrum to be rather annoying.  It takes a lot for younger actors to impress me and in these scenes, he didn’t.  The most poignant part of this scene, is that while Oliver has not failed his city, he feels as though he failed his son.  That is emotionally powerful.

As for the rest of Team Arrow, they are hot on the trail of the Star City Slayer.  After checking his latest casualty for any info, they discover that our villain uses a paralyzing agent on his prey, before killing them.  Curtis tracks the last purchase of the paralytic drug to a home.  As Team Arrow searches the house, they separate, and this search through the house becomes like a scene out of a horror film.  This was very well executed and I enjoyed it.  Speaking of executed, the Star City Slayer, nearly does just that, when he stabs Dinah with the paralytic drug, before slitting her throat.  Fearing that she will bleed out before they would get to the hospital, Curtis uses experimental new tech from his t-Spheres, to cauterize the wound.  Had Curtis not hinted that he was leaving, I could’ve bought into Dinah getting killed off.  However, this will likely cause the loss of Dinah’s Canary Cry, which is a pretty big consequence. As they were tending to Dinah the Star City Slayer attacks his next victims, Oliver, Felicity and William.  After dousing the trio with the paralytic gas, the Star City slayer enters their residence, revealing himself to be Stanley, Oliver’s former former cellmate at Slabside.  The actor playing Stanley, did a fantastic job of playing the creepy, insane villain.  Especially since, during most of his previous scenes, he was more meek, demure and nerdy.  The fact that Oliver subdued Stanley, by hitting him over the head with a bottle, was quite anti-climactic, given the tension built up in this scene.  I was a little disappointed in that, to be honest.

The future flash forward see Mia and Connor Hawke in the now defunct Arrow cave aka the bunker.  Also there, is William, Dinah and Zoe.  Naturally, an altercation ensues.  As William threatens to shoot Mia after gaining the upper hand, she reveals that he won’t do it, because she is Mia Smoak, daughter of Oliver and Felicity and his half sister.  I should’ve clued into this but her first name being Mia, I though she’d be the future Speedy! Mia so far, has her fathers toughness, and her mothers technical acumen.  Thankfully, she doesn’t appear to be anywhere near as annoying as her mother, at least so far!  Arrow enters another week of Tales From the DC MulTVerse, with another superb entry!

Score: A

BLACK LIGHTNING:

“Tobias activates one of the Masters of Disaster, and sends him and Cutter to bring him the other pods. Napier gets Jeff a chance to get his old job back, and Anissa learns more about Grace’s history.” (The CW)

With Khalil dead and Jennifer’s rage building, she wants to embrace her powers head on.  Jefferson and Gambi sense that it’ll only be a matter of time before she wants to “suit up”, so they begin testing the limits of her power in a cantonment chamber.  They discover that she can almost go nuclear and has quite a bit more raw power than her father.  Naturally both Gambi and Jefferson urge Jennifer to take things slow, and hone her powers, learning to control them more and keep them in check.  They implore her not to go after Tobias.   Of course, she ignores them and goes to Club 100 on a rampage, looking for Tobias.  She uses her powers to assault and interrogate some of Tobias’ underlings.  The show could have gone the easy route and made Jennifer a master of her abilities.  However she over exerts herself, losing consciousness.  She would’ve been shot and killed while unconscious, had it not been for Anissa, coming to her rescue.  I like that the creative team managed to show off Jennifer’s impressive power set, yet also showing that she remains a work in progress,  The Arrowverse has had a habit of making characters far to skilled and proficient with their powers or fighting skill after, only a minuscule amount of training.  That annoys me. Yes Earth 1 Laurel & Roy Harper, I’m looking at you!  Let Jennifer’s emergence as a hero continue to build and make her official debut, be one of maximum impact.

Repercussions from last episode’s Freeland High incident are felt in this episode of Black Lightning.  Jennifer’s protest at Khalil’s hallway memorial, caused the principal to be fired.  The school board offers Jefferson the principal position back.  I thought for sure he was going to accept.  I was pleasantly surprised when he turned the offer down.  He tells the school board that the kids need stability and they need to give the current principal, more time to implement his strategies and ideas, for a better Freeland High School.  He reveals to Inspector Henderson that his life as Black Lightning is to preoccupying and doesn’t give him enough time to be there for his students.  In season 1, he thought he could do both.  However, acknowledging how the rigors of being Black Lightning, hinder his abilities as principal, is a tremendous sign of character growth for Jefferson, in my opinion.

Crazy Doctor Joyce is able to wake up one of the four meta’s in the pod’s.  The meta they decide to resurrect is Marcus, a criminal who’s meta ability is to produce vibrations.  Tobias is able to get this meta criminal to do his biding, by promising to treat him as a partner, not a lackey.  Well that, and a ton of cash.  His first assignment, is to join Cutter in retrieving the rest of the Green Light pod’s, before they are moved to a new, secret location.  With help from Dr. Joyce, Lynn is locked inside one of the labs, while Cutter and Marcus apprehend the pods.  There’s a great battle between Cutter and Marcus, battling against not only ASA security, but Markovian operatives as well.   The coolest part of this sequence was the aftermath, when Black Lightning and Thunder rescue Lynn.  As they enter the ASA facility they see injured and dead bodies, laying out on the ground.  This hints that the combination of Marcus and Cutter, will be a formidable dastardly duo, when they come face to face with Black Lightning. And Thunder, down the line.  While Lynn is safe, Cutter and Marcus managed to get away with the rest of the pods. I had zero issues with this episode of Black Lightning and the fact that the meta-humans arms race continues to be built up, is exactly what I want to see.  This installment of Tales From the DC MulTVerse, features one of the best episodes of Black Lightning’s sophomore season.

Score: A+

THE FLASH:

After Iris lands in serious danger, Nora races to save her mother. Barry puts the finishing touches on the metahuman cure, leaving Cisco with a rare night off so he decides to take Kamilla on a date.  (The CW)

Grant Gustin can be seen at the very beginning and end of the episode.  For the duration, he is off screen, in the speed force, helping to essentially “cook” Cisco and Caitlin’s metahuman cure, so it’s ready for use.  Therefore, this episode is entirely focused on Nora and Team Flash.  Of course, when The Flash is away, Cicada comes out to play.  He kidnaps Iris at her newspaper office, takes her to the roof, and ties her to a chair.   Team Flash is alerted and XS and Killer Frost spring into action.  When Cicada sees the purple lightning streak of XS, he throws his lightning dagger and when it returns to him like a boomerang, it males and kills Killer Frost.  Distraught, XS runs back in time, to just before the murder and tries to prevent it, by keeping Iris and Caitlin at Star Labs.  However, this time, Cicada kidnaps Ralph Dibny and the Elongated Man bites the dust.  XS goes back again and again and again, only for viewers to watch as she fails to save Sherloque Wells, Cisco Ramon and Joe’s wife Cecile West.  This episode was essentially Groundhog Day for The Flash.  I love that movie, so this aspect of the show appealed to me.  Seeing her try to change the past and keep everyone safe, yet fail was important, given that her more experienced father, has had his hardships with going back in time.  Even though she has had a hand in saving the day throughout the season, this amount of failure, shows that Nora is still quite inexperienced and has a lot to learn.  The fact that with the attempts we saw and a montage, XS went make and relived that scenario 52 times, was a great nod to DC’s 52 Earth’s in the Multiverse, as well as the New 52 from 2011.

I was appreciative of the fact that it took all of Team Flash to foil Cicada’s plan.  This time he is the prey as, Iris lures him to the roof.  After he throws his dagger, Killer Frost and Elongated Man breach to the roof, using their powers and abilities to engage Cicada.  Meanwhile, XS runs in just as the dagger is making it’s return trip, and XS pushes Cicada into it’s path.  Cicada flies off and Team Flash wins the day.  I wonder if time traveling 52 times and altering the timeline, will have an affect on present day? If not, that’ll be pretty lazy writing.  One aspect of this episode I didn’t care for, was the various versions of Cisco’s date with Kamilla,  I found it annoying and trying to force humor into this episode.  Every time Ralph presented Cisco with his manifesto for successful dating, I wanted to punch him in the face.  Overall, this was a fun nod to Groundhog Day,  Though, had it had Bill Murray, it would’ve got a perfect score on Tales From the DC MulTVerse.

Score: B+

SUPERGIRL:

“With his P.I. shingle newly hung outside his office, J’onn welcomes new clients. Trying to take her mind off what happened at the DEO, Kara decides to team up with J’onn on his latest assignment, which unfortunately ends up tying directly into Alex’s current investigation that involves the villain Menagerie. Meanwhile, Lena shares some news with James, but his reaction isn’t what she expected. Nia invites Brainy to her Valentine’s Day party.” The CW)

This being the Supergirl Valentine’s Day episode, I’m not surprised it is one of, if not the show’s worst.  We’ve got Alex moping to Kara about her life, especially of the love aspect.  She complains that she had hoped her responsibilities, would fill the void of a lack of a relationship, or lack of a child.  Conveniently, at Nia’s Valentine’s party, Alex meets a past date from back in the day and the two get to chatting.  Meanwhile, Braniac 5 spends most of the party hiding in a closet, from Nia’s roommate Yvette, who is trying to get a dance out of him.  I have no problem with Alex finding love. I actually liked Alex and Maggie as a couple.  However, since those two ended, it’s been almost a full season, since Alex or her desire for a child has been a plot point! This all seems conveniently brought up because it was a Valentine’s Day.  Speaking of shoving this holiday down audience members throats, was the villain Menagerie, an alien symbiote, which bonded to a human host, and had a fetish for stealing human hearts and stealing jewelry! Connecting jewelry and the human heart… Holy overuse of Valentine’s Day stereotype’s Batman!  I found the CGI of the symbiote snake like alien, rather horrendous.  This episode felt like it took a rejected Smallville Valentine’s day episode, and spliced it together, with that show’s early freak of the week formula.

Out of nowhere, Nia Nal makes her superhero debut, fully suited up when she sees the battle between the DEO and Supergirl, trying to take down Menagerie .  Dreamer arrives all costumed up and saves Supergirl, very haphazardly mind you.  Supergirl gives her a “good job, nice suit, but train more” speech, before sending her inside, to check on civilians.  I know I complain when the Arrowverse shows a new hero arriving on the scene, with little training, yet looking like an expert, having mastered they’re abilities.  However, Dreamer’s debut, so abrupt, without training and essentially saving Supergirl, is ten times worse!  There were two good things I got out of this episode.  First, was the end of that horribly forced relationship between James Olsen and Lena Luthor.  He just can’t accept the fact that Lena has agreed to share her super power serum with the DEO, to give to humans and agents, so they can defend themselves from aliens.   Good riddance to that relationship.  The other positive part about this episode is Agent Liberty being released from prison.  Due to a loophole in a law protecting human citizens who engage in defending fellow humans from alien “threats” he is released and absolved of his crime.   While the reasoning is a little too convenient, Supergirl was better when Agent Liberty was the main villain.

For me, this was the absolute worst Supergirl episode in it’s 4 season run, and the worst episode of super-heroic television, I’ve written a review for on Tales From the DC MulTVerse.

Score: F

Next week, I’ll be covering an episode of The Flash that featured a fight between Gorilla Grodd and King Shark! Just typing that sentence, makes writing Tales From the DC MulTVerse fun to do!

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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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