Superhero Insider: New heroes rise on CW super shows
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.
During this week’s episodes, Supergirl hit us right in the feels amid a exciting girl power hour, The Flash saw Ralph Dibny come into his own, Black Lightning saw the rise of a new superhero, and Arrow gave us one of Felicity’s best scenes ever. For the most part, it was a great week for the women of The CW’s superhero shows. Here are the highlights:
Another week, another powerful episode of Supergirl that set a shining example — in this case, that women can and should support each other, despite their differences. To see Kara (Melissa Benoist) team up with former foes Livewire (Brit Morgan) and Psi (Yael Grobglas), as well as Mon-El’s wife Saturn Girl (Amy Jackson), showed not only a lot of growth for her character, but also for those former villains as well. To think, just two seasons ago I loathed Livewire — a testament to Morgan’s acting ability — and now I’ve shed tears over her as she willingly sacrificed herself for the Girl of Steel, whom she called her friend just moments prior. Pour one out. I’ll miss Livewire. But at least Psi is still imprisoned by the DEO, so there’s hope for her yet. —Natalie Abrams
Related: Read our recap here, our interview with Amy Jackson here, get scoop on Mon-El and Kara here, and check out a first look at Supergirl’s battle with second Worldkiller Purity here.
First off, The Flash is probably the best CW superhero show at harkening back to its roots — from original Scarlet Speedster John Wesley Shipp as Henry Allen to Amanda Payes reprising her role as Tina McGee and Mark Hamill returning as the Trickster. Tuesday’s episode included yet another connection to the ’90s series with Corinne Bohrer reprising her role as the villainous Prank, an acolyte of the Trickster who is the mother of new Trickster Axel Walker (Devon Graye). With Barry (Grant Gustin) incarcerated, a family reunion forces Ralph Dibny (Hartley Sawyer) to finally step up as a hero, willingly putting himself in harm’s way, even when he now knows he’s not indestructible. It’s taken a while for Ralph to evolve from the cocky misogynist, but his new turn as an actual hero is a welcome one. —N.A.
Related: Read our recap here, and get scoop on Iris suiting up as a speedster here.
Black Lightning isn’t wasting any time introducing a second hero. “Lawanda: The Book of Hope” ended with Anissa thwarting a pharmacy robbery with her newfound powers, which were activated by the stress of the situation and used to send the robber flying across the store. It was her first real superhero moment and it made me squeal with excitement. The idea of a show featuring a black lesbian superhero brings me so much joy (you have no idea) and I can’t wait to see what’s next for Anissa’s journey to embracing her comic book destiny and becoming Thunder. —Chancellor Agard
Related: Read our recap here, and get a first look at Jill Scott as villain Lady Eve here.
Arrow is known for its strong fight sequences; however, in this week’s episode, the show did something new. As Team Arrow and Not Team Arrow went up against Cayden James’ forces in the field, Felicity delivered this powerful monologue to William — who found out about Oliver’s lie — about heroism and dealing with violence and risk. The fight was told from Felicity’s perspective, which is something the show has never done before. Usually, we just see Felicity providing tactical support, but here we come to understand how she feels having to watch the love of her life risk his life every night and what she’s learned from it. What makes this lyrical sequence work is that Emily Bett Rickards keeps a tight control on her delivery, making sure the speech never becomes maudlin. Furthermore, this moment is built on six seasons worth of history and that’s conveyed in the writing and Rickards’ excellent performance. You understand that this is what she’s learned over the past six years, and now she’s embracing her inner parent and sharing it William.—C.A.
Related: Read our recap here.
This Week’s Crossover Moments
- During a demonstration of the super-charged acid on The Flash, The Trickster Jr. and Prank used “axid” on a Beebo toy, which first appeared on Legends of Tomorrow earlier this season.
- After Ralph is injured by the axid on The Flash, the team mentions they now know his Kryptonite, an obvious nod to Supergirl since they technically don’t have Kryptonians on this Earth — that we know of!
- Oliver unveils the Spartan suit he had Cisco make for Diggle.
- William’s Flash backpack makes a reappearance!
Listen to Superhero Insider
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.