Superhero Insider: Familiar faces elevate Batwoman, The Flash
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, Batwoman and The Flash revisited seeds planted at the beginning of their respective seasons; Melissa Benoist made her directorial debut on Supergirl; and DC's Legends of Tomorrow were terrorized by a demon dog.
If this week’s Batwoman looked and felt different to you, there’s a reason: James Bamford directed it. Arrow’s secret weapon when it comes to action and stunts brought his signature expertise and the hour truly benefited from it. Beginning the episode with a gorgeously executed, gritty action sequence set the tone for what might be the best hour of the series yet. Each fight scene had an energy that’s been somewhat lacking until now, so here's hoping Bamford's influence leaves a lasting impression on the show. And with twist after twist — multiple characters finding out Bruce is Batman, Mary joining Team Batwoman, Tommy Elliott moving closer to going full Hush, all the secret alliances, etc. — “If You Believe in Me, I’ll Believe in You” is a season highlight. —Sydney Bucksbaum
For her directorial debut, Melissa Benoist was handed a difficult episode and knocked it out of the park. By nature, "Deus Lex Machina" was a very expository hour because, as the clever title suggests, it's primary purpose was revealing how Lex Luthor has been pulling everyone's strings since "Crisis on Infinite Earths" ends. Handled incorrectly, the episode could've felt like an information dump, albeit a necessary one. But it didn't because Benoist brought energy to every dialogue-heavy scene and pulled a nuanced performance out of the typically great Jon Cryer. Furthermore, Katie Rose Rogers and Brooke Pohl's script used the episode as an opportunity to add new layers to Lex by exploring his compulsive desire to be loved and how tendency toward obsession are both his greatest strength and Achilles' heel. If I had one complaint about the episode, it's that it definitely didn't need that Sun Eater climax because the character work being done was thrilling on its own. —Chancellor Agard
Who do we contact about getting Hartley Rathaway on The Flash full-time? Every single episode featuring him is an instant highlight, and “Pay the Piper” was no exception. Learning that the reason Hartley hates Team Flash post-Crisis is because Barry put his right-hand henchman in a coma-like state during a season 1 fight was puzzling until we learned that the henchman is actually the love of Hartley’s life. Supervillains need love too! And the end tease that Cisco is heading to Atlantis to get something they need to build a perpetual motion machine is extremely exciting, except you know we’re not actually going to get to see his trip onscreen. All these Atlantis namedrop teases are going to kill me. But with only one episode left this season, there’s only so much we’ll get to see — and since the “finale” is going to focus more on Eva’s plan to get revenge against her husband and (hopefully?) answers on Godspeed, we’re likely going to have to wait for a resolution regarding Barry’s artificial Speed Force until next season. —Sydney Buckbaum
Related: Read our B-grade recap.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Mick's burgeoning relationship with his daughter Lita is one of the best things about Legends of Tomorrow, especially because it captures how much Mick has grown since the pilot. In "Ship Broken," Mick brought Lita onto the Waverider for some father-daughter bonding time, which ended being more fraught than he expected because they started to connect over potentially criminal activities once Lita discovered his treasure trove. However, after four and a half seasons, Mick immediately realized this wasn't a good idea and swerved away because he doesn't want his daughter following in his footsteps — and watching Dominic Purcell work through this tricky situation was a joy because he gave a seemingly effortless yet dynamic performance. —Chancellor Agard
Related: Revisit EW's recent chat with Tala Ashe about Zari and Constantine's "uncomfortable attraction."
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. ET/PT, followed by Supergirl at; 9 p.m ET/PT.; The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT, followed by DC's Legends of Tomorrow at 9 p.m. ET/PT, on The CW.