“Into the Speed Force.” The Flash, Season 3, Episode 16. Directed by Gregory Smith. Written by Brooke Roberts and Judalina Neira.
“Moonshot.” Legends of Tomorrow, Season 2, Episode 14. Directed by Kevin Mock. Written by Grainne Godfree.
With Supergirl replaced with Howie Mandel so that the Music Meister two-parter can happen next week, this is a rare occurrence where, instead of having one key phrase per show, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow share the same key phrases: “Aromantic,” and “Orphaned.”
“Exodus.” Supergirl, Season 2, Episode 15. Directed by Michael A. Allowitz. Written by Paula Yoo and Eric Carrasco.
“The Wrath of Savitar.” The Flash, Season 3, Episode 15. Directed by Alexandra La Roche. Written by Written by Andrew Kreisberg and Andrew Wilder.
“Land of the Lost.” Legends of Tomorrow, Season 2, Episode 13. Directed by Ralph Hemecker. Written by Keto Shimizu and Ray Utarnachitt.
Supergirl leaves everyone feeling betrayed, Barry and Wally are the Elric brothers, and I accept Rip back to Legends.
Oh, and here’s HR being giddy.
Mxy, Grodd, Camelot: It’s fanservice week, and with almost no annoying objectification problems. Thank goodness!
“Mr. & Mrs. Mxyzptlk.” Supergirl, Season 2, Episode 13. Directed by Stefan Pleszczynski. Written by Jessica Queller and Sterling Gates.
“Attack on Gorilla City.” The Flash, Season 3, Episode 13. Directed by Dermott Daniel Downs. Teleplay by Aaron Helbing and David Kob. Story by Andrew Kreisberg..
“Camelot/3000.” Legends of Tomorrow, Season 2, Episode 12. Directed by Antonio Negret. Written by Anderson Mackenzie.
Villains get along better than heroes, Lucifer makes sacrifices (not to any deity, granted), and Cisco wants to get laid
“We Can Be Heroes,” Supergirl, Season 2, Episode 10. Directed by Rebecca Johnson. Written by Caitlin Parrish and Katie Rose Rogers.
“A Good Day to Die,” Lucifer, Season 2, Episode 13. Directed by Alrick Riley. Written by Joe Henderson and Chris Rafferty.
“Dead or Alive,” The Flash, Season 3, Episode 11. Directed by Harry Jierjian. Teleplay by Zack Stentz. Story by Benjamin Raab and Deric A. Hughes.
“The Legion of Doom,” Legends of Tomorrow, Season 2, Episode 10. Directed by Eric Laneuville. Written by Phil Klemmer and Marc Guggenheim.
“Raiders of the Lost Art.” Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Episode 9. Directed by Dermott Downs. Written by Keto Shimizu and Chris Fedak.
This review is a week late. Let’s pretend I made a very witty time travel-related joke and move on.
Tonight’s episode brings the camp–only with a dull hero in the form of Nate Heywood.
“Shogun.” Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Episode 3. Directed by Kevin Tancharoen. Written by Phil Klemmer and Grainne Godfree.
We get samurai. We get Ray (Brandon Routh) facing what makes him a hero. Stein (Victor Garber) and Jax (Franz Drameh) discover Rip’s secret from Barry Allen’s (Grant Gustin) future, and Mick (Dominic Purcell) discovers ninjas and maybe a new friendship from new stowaway Amaya (Maisie Richardson-Sellers). Sara (Caity Lotz) kicks ass. Many of these details are sufficient in one way or another, be it camp (samurais and ninjas), action (Sara), character development (a new path for Ray to contribute to the team, Amaya learning more about her new teammates), and setting up future storylines (Barry’s future message).
And in this episode, Nate (Nick Zano) gains his superpower–and I do not care.
“The Justice Society of America,” Legends of Tomorrow, Season 2, Episode 2. Directed by Michael Grossman. Written by Chris Fedak and Sarah Nicole Jones
Spoilers for this and future episodes of Legends of Tomorrow
The challenge I have watching the initial episodes this season of DC on CW shows is that it is a lot of setup for the rest of the season. I don’t bother with Arrow, The Flash is extending repetitive mysteries about arc villains, and Supergirl is just absolute fun. While each of those shows has its supporting cast, and Arrow expanding its own cast this season, still these are shows focused largely around their titular characters, making the shows into the protagonists’ stories and having their develop determine the major themes being explored.
Legends of Tomorrow has the additional challenge of a larger cast of characters, potentially diluting show’s focus, struggling to juggle multiple storylines and potentially conflicting themes. There are shortcuts this season seems to be taking already, such as shifting Nate (Nick Zano) to the position of our hero on the Joseph Campbell journey, and removing Rip and promoting first Stein (Victor Garber) then Sara (Caity Lotz) as leader. Yet the addition of the Justice Society of America for this episode only enlarges that cast. The Society returns later this season, for a few reasons I’ll clarify in the more spoiler-heavy discussion below, so some focus had to be given to Rex Hunter, Commander Steel (Matthew MacCaull), and Vixen (Maisie Richardson-Seliers), while their teammates take a back-seat along with the as-of-yet unmentioned Legends.
What helps Legends, even when the focus is diluted among so many characters, is the camp. When your story has the heroes fighting Nazis, however, camp requires a deft hand–or else you get something as monotonous and dark as Hellsing. And this episode of Legends is not campy enough or dark enough for that kind of content.
Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 Episode 1, “Out of Time.” Directed by Dermott Downs. Teleplay by Marc Guggenheim and Phil Klemmer. Story by Greg Berlanti and Chris Fedak.
I was promised Sara Lance in a Nathaniel Hawthorne short story–and darn it, I didn’t get what I was promised! And how did Mick narrate this when he wasn’t there for most scenes?!
I’m just going to assume the theme for this year’s DC on CW shows is “Resetting,” with Legends of Tomorrow being the latest.
Legends of Tomorrow offers a serviceable finale. That’s damning with faint praise: there is nothing terrible about the finale, and I could list favorite moments (most of them involving dialogue by Mick) as the focus is on character more than plot. But when the team is facing such a conflict as an immortal like Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) attempting to destroy the Earth and all of time itself, the finale feels a little underwhelming.
For an episode to be about how much exertion humans have over their lives, “Destiny” does not hit this well-worn but rich topic in as many exciting ways as it could. Part of the problem owes to too much telling and not enough showing. And another part of it owes to a last-minute introduction of new technology that supposedly imagines the entire season as inevitable and fated, not by time itself but by the guiding hand of the Time Masters.
Legends of Tomorrow has been built on the idea of whether people can affect the world. Can Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) save his wife and his son from Vandal Savage (Caspar Crump)? Can this team, told by Rip to have had no significant impact on the future, make a positive difference in the world, even at the cost of their lives? The first question is going to have a disappointing answer: either Rip does save them, so his team is competent and negates the second question, or he does not save them, which may make the journey seem pointless. The second question can still be interesting, as just about every teammate has a different goal in mind for what it means to have an influence on the world (Snart: steal everything; Mick: burn everything; Stein: expand human knowledge; Sara: atone for the past; Ray: help people), hence each character provides the potential for exciting stories.
But with such a large cast, that accomplishment has been deferred so many times this season that it feels like trolling: for example, having Snart now become a reluctant hero is less interesting than a reluctant hero who also happens to steal a lot while he’s on the job.
The problem is when you set up an object to explain away inconsistencies earlier in the series, that object being the Oculus, a device that shows the future as it is preordained to exist. (more…)