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Entertainment Weekly

CW Superheroes

Superhero Insider: Heroes return for heartbreak

Bob Mahoney/The CW; Diyah Pera/The CW; Daniel Power/The CW; Katie Yu/The CW

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Each week, we break down the biggest moments from Supergirl, The Flash, Black Lightning, and Arrow — both here on EW.com and on SiriusXM’s EW Live every Friday during Superhero Insider.

After a brief hiatus, the CW’s quartet of superhero shows returned with Supergirl on Monday, as the Girl of Steel got an assist from the Legion of Super-Heroes. The Flash followed on Tuesday, with Barry on trial for the murder of DeVoe, followed by the debut of Black Lightning, featuring the electricity-manipulating superhero otherwise known as Jefferson Pierce. And Arrow closed out the week with Oliver determined to take down Cayden James. Here are the highlights:


Diyah Pera/The CW

After a few months of teasing, the Legion of Super-Heroes finally made their debut in tonight’s episode. Sure, Mon-El and Imra have been hanging around for a few episodes now, but the midseason premiere, which also introduced a very endearingly awkward Brainiac 5 (Jesse Rath), was the first time we saw them throw on their black X-Men movie-looking supersuits and live up to their name. With Supergirl out of commission following her fight with Reign, it was up to the Legion to step in with their awesome flight rings and spaceship to defend National City’s prison against an assault from Reign until Supergirl woke up. What I found most fascinating about the Legion’s introduction is how Supergirl is mirroring what Smallville did. In season 8, Smallville also introduced the Legion after Clark Kent faced off against, and was defeated by, a Kryptonian weapon of mass destruction (Doomsday) that was masquerading as a normal human. However, the similarities end there. While the Legion was only present on Smallville for one episode, Supergirl intends to keep them around at least for a few more episodes, and I’m definitely looking forward to learning more about what kind heroes Mon-El, Imra, and Brainiac 5 are. —Chancellor Agard
Related: Read our recap here, scoop from Melissa Benoist on Reign here, Benoist addressing the Andrew Kreisberg firing here, and news on the show’s renewal chances here.


Katie Yu/The CW

Adapted from one of the seminal comic book storylines “The Trial of The Flash,” the hour was certainly a roller coaster ride of emotions. Above all else, Barry Allen is a hero, so to see someone tear him apart in court was heartbreaking, especially as some of what the D.A. was saying was actually true, just missing the important context that DeVoe is a megalomaniac hellbent on getting the Scarlet Speedster out of his way to achieve his ultimate plan. While Grant Gustin delivered a pitch-perfect performance, equal parts somber and anguished, Candice Patton once again rose to the occasion, opening the floodgates as Iris tried to reveal Barry’s super secret to keep her husband from going to prison — their “frozen-in-time” scene was one of the best this season. Props are due to the episode’s writers, Lauren Certo and Kristen Kim, who also penned “Girls Night Out.” —Natalie Abrams
Related: Read our recap here, and news on the show’s renewal chances here.


Bob Mahoney/The CW

When I first heard that Black Lightning wasn’t definitively attached to the Berlanti-verse (or Arrow-verse, if you will), I was a bit nervous about how the show would be embraced. After all, viewers had already endeared themselves to Barry Allen before he was spun off to his own show, and the same goes for most of the Legends. But I could not be happier that Jefferson Pierce and the world of Black Lightning are — for now — removed from that sometimes fantastical universe, because it makes the plight of Freeland all the more powerful. This gritty and realistic portrayal offers a glimpse into what, honestly, feels like the world we currently live in, with issues we see on the news every day, or face in our own lives. It’s also not necessarily an origin story — though I can’t wait to see Jefferson’s daughters exploring their powers — but a tale of someone who has already spent years working to make his community a better place. Maybe I’m just getting to the age where I relate more to the parents than the kids in shows, but I’m fully on this ride to see how Jefferson handles being an “elder” hero, both when he’s suited up and when he’s not. —N.A.
Related: Read our recap here, our interview with Salim Akil and Cress Williams here, scoop on what’s ahead here, spoilers on how Jefferson will react to his daughter’s powers here, and our review here.


Daniel Power/The CW

At the end of Arrow‘s midseason finale, I was worried the winter premiere would end with the status quo restored and Curtis, Rene, and Dinah back on Team Arrow. Thankfully, the opposite happened, and the show is stronger for it. At the end of “Divided,” Oliver, having realized that he can’t handle Cayden James’ cabal on his own, apologizes for violating the team’s trust and asks the team to come back. But, in a surprising move, they decline his offer because they’ve decided to form their own team, which was absolutely the best decision storywise because having two teams will definitely add more tension to the season. Furthermore, I’ve loved how generous the show has been this year in giving supporting characters like Curtis, Rene, and Dinah their own arcs that are separate from Oliver, and putting them off on their own will hopefully lead to more of that. As the season’s new opening title indicates: This season isn’t just about Oliver anymore. It’s about everyone. —C.A.
Related: Read our recap here, and news on the show’s renewal chances here.

This Week’s Crossover Moments

Listen to Superhero Insider

Click below to listen to this week’s Superhero Insider, which airs every Friday at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s Ch. 105, hosted by Kyle Anderson and Natalie Abrams.

Supergirl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET, The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET, followed by Black Lightning at 9 p.m. ET., and Arrow airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.