Superhero Insider: Arrow, Batwoman, Black Lightning introduce new dynamics
Each week, we break down the biggest moments from Supergirl, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning, Batwoman, and Arrow — both here and every Friday on SiriusXM’s Superhero Insider.
This week in the Arrowverse, Arrow dealt with the aftermath of Earth-2’s destruction, The Flash started preparing for Barry’s eventual death, and Supergirl gave us a surprising guest-star. Meanwhile, Alice continued toying with her family on Batwoman, and Jefferson and Lynn finally gained their freedom on Black Lightning. Here are the highlights:
We’re only three episodes into Batwoman‘s first season, and it’s already becoming hard to resist the urge to just gush about Rachel Skarsten’s fun performance as Alice. In this week’s episode, Alice promised Kate she wouldn’t kill for 24 hours. Of course, she failed pretty quickly (and had fun doing it), and spent the rest of the hour playfully taunting her father Jacob, which was a thrill to watch. And the best part Alice and Jacob’s tragically interesting dynamic wasn’t the hour’s only fun pairing. It was also a delight watching Nicole Kang’s Mary interact with and stir up some drama with Kate’s ex Sophie, whom we learn, thanks to Mary, never told her husband about her relationship with Kate.
Surprise Sean Astin alert! J’onn’s evil brother Malefic took on the Lord of the Rings actor’s visage to trick Kelly into helping heal his Martian powers to incept/mind control others. It worked, and we won’t see Astin again as Malefic takes on new disguises, but what a fun, well-kept secret that turned out to be. And it’s all thanks to Astin’s daughter being a fan of the show, which just adds an extra adorable layer to the whole cameo! —Sydney Bucksbaum
Black Lightning basically turned into the Bill Duke show with this week’s episode, which followed the untrustworthy Agent Odell as he continued to play chess with the lives of Freeland’s citizens. Here’s a quick list of his accomplishments: He convinced Jefferson to go on an ASA mission by offering him an awesome new suit and his freedom; he successfully sent a brainwashed Kahlil out into the field on a deadly mission; and he manipulated Jennifer into working for him, too. I’m both interested in and concerned about that last point, because Jennifer working for the ASA can’t be a good thing. While it’s not news that Odell is manipulative, this episode really drove home the extent of his abilities. “The Book of Occupation: Chapter Three” also reminded us that Odell has a vicious streak in him, too, when he started torturing Tobias Whale with sunlight. —C.A.
Related: Read the recap, and watch Jefferson try on his new super-suit for the first time.
Has Lyla been the real Harbinger this entire time? In this week’s season 3-focused Arrow, we learn that she’s been working for The Monitor for years, after a tragic op in Afghanistan resulted in her praying to any god who would listen — clearly, The Monitor answered. We know that Lyla is going to suit up as Harbinger in the coming Crisis, but now we have to wonder if she’s been suiting up all this time… and we just haven’t seen it. Plus, Diggle has no idea that his wife is working with the cosmic being currently giving Oliver his missions. I’m so here for Lyla being even more badass and capable than we even realized, but now I’m extremely scared for her relationship with Diggle and her fate in the coming Crisis. Will she feel the need to “redeem” her “betrayal” by sacrificing herself? And I’ve got to give a shout-out to Katie Cassidy’s heartbreaking performance as Laurel learned of the extent of Earth-2’s destruction this week. Her denial and subsequent grief when accepting the news of her home world no longer existing was some of her best work on this show yet. —S.B.
Related: Read the recap, and gain some insight into the new Deathstroke from star Charlie Barnett.
After the stellar first two episodes, The Flash delivered somewhat of a filler/set-up hour this week that didn’t quite maintain the exciting pace of the season. Barry and Iris tell the STAR Labs team about the coming Crisis but withhold the revelation of Barry’s death until the final moment — and even then, it cuts off before we see the team’s reactions, giving the entire episode the feeling of treading water with no payoff. A new Wells arrives searching for Eternium, which is a fun easter egg mention that could wield a thrilling future storyline full of comic book goodness if the show does indeed go there. And there was still no mention of Earth-2’s destruction, which feels like a huge missed opportunity for the series that deals with that alternate Earth the most. But Barry’s awkward, dorky dancing at Killer Frost’s rave makes up for all the hour’s shortcomings, because the resulting GIFs are gold. —S.B.
Listen to Superhero Insider
You can hear Chancellor Agard and Kyle Anderson break down the Arrowverse shows every Friday on Superhero Insider, available on SiriusXM on-demand.
Batwoman airs Sundays at 8 p.m., followed by Supergirl at 9 p.m.; Black Lightning airs Mondays at 9 p.m.; The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m., followed by Arrow at 9 p.m., on The CW.
Kara (Melissa Benoist) steps out from her super-cousin’s shadow to become Supergirl and defend National City in the third Arrowverse show.