Let Him Take You Over
Arrowverse 2021 Season: Week 26
After losing a couple of our shows earlier this season, with the end of Black Lightning and the season finale of Batwoman, it did finally feel like we were getting into some kind of groove with the ArrowverseWhen it was announced that the CW was creating a show based on the Green Arrow, people laughed. The CW? Really? Was it going to be teen-oriented like everything else on the network and be called "Arrow High"? And yet that one show, Arrow has spawned three spin-offs, various related shows and given DC a successful shared universe, the Arrowverse on TV and streaming. shows, but then, just as we were getting settled in we have to prepare for further endings and more shakeups. The Flash ends next week, Superman and Lois ends two weeks after that, and Legends is already well over halfway into this season's run. Sure other shows are gonna crop up to carry the banner for a little while -- the rest of the final season of Supergirl, plus Stargirl's second season, but this nice status quo we had right now is but an illusion.
Thankfully, the shows we do have, for whatever time we have left with them, are in a good groove. Since we've covered The Flash twice in a row (and it was the only thing on last week), we'll focus on the other two shows we have right now in this week's coverage:
Superman & Lois, Season 1, Episode 12: Through the Valley of Death
After another short break of a couple of weeks, Superman & Lois returns with the next twist in the path to the finale. Before the break we saw Superman foil Maxwell Lord's plans to turn all the people of Smallville into Kryptonian hosts, but then Superman had to bend the knee to Max after the evil Kryptonian figured out who Clark actually was; he threatened Superman's mortal family and Superman submitted. Now we see what Max has planned next: to make Superman into a host for a Kryptonian conciousness and have him be the rightful leader of the conquest of Earth, making it into new Krypton. That conciousness: General Zod.
I can see why the show went this route as Zod is a famous character; if anyone is easily recognizable as someone that should not be given Superman's body it's Zod and everyone, everywhere knows that. Of course, if you've been paying attention to the Arrowverse like I have then you know that Zod was defeated by Supes years earlier (as mentioned in an episode of Supergirl) and there's no way that his mind could be in the Eradicator like Lord said, so that's just yet another thing "Crisis" has rebooted that we're just learning about. Man, this continuity is a mess.
With Superman's mind getting taken over by Zod, Lois, her general father, and John Henry Irons plot a way to defeat the Kryptonians and potentially save the Earth from conquest. Lois went John (Steel) to try and talk Superman down, to remind him of why he's here, on Earth, while John and the General both think that they;ll have to kill Superman with a "Red Sun Bomb". Lois (correctly) points out that if they shoot and kill Clark they won't have a weapon for Maxwell Lord, but John is blinded by his hate of Superman. Of course, then, with Lois in his ear as he fights Clark/Zod, Steel realizes she's right and backs off, talking him down after all. Supes shakes off Zod's influence and then it's just a matter of shooting Max with the "Red Sun Bomb" like they were always going to because these shows don't have amazing plotting.
So here's the thing: I really like this show. I think the casting is great, that the dynamic they have between not only Clark and Lois but also their kids, Johnathan and Jordan, is great. This show has really nailed down the family life of a superhero and when it's just focused on that, on Superman being a great dad and a protector of Smallville, the show is amazing. These last few episodes, though, have not been so great and that's likely down to, mostly, the fact that the CW simply can't so the kind of big, bombastic stories that the writes have ambition for.
Maxwell Lord isn't a character, he's just an evil guy in a suit that has some random plotline hung on him from one week to the next. He goes from using the X-Kryptonite to try and make Kryptonians to trying to put a soul into Supes to, then putting the souls (all of them from the look of it) into himself for... reasons? There's no focus to his story largely because we don't really know him as a character. He just has a lot of things attached to him but none of them really stick. He's not developed the way great villains are, he's just this guys that, "Twist!" turned out to be a Kryptonian because the show needed it for some reason.
This whole storyline really sucks and the only reason I'[m not down on the show more is because Superman and Lois are great and the actors are absolutely killing it with their dynamic. There's only three episodes left to this season and then Maxwell Lord will, presumably, go to the old villains' home never to be seen again. Then the show can right the ship and go back to doing what it does best. We hope.
Legends of Tomorrow, Season 6, Episode 9: This is Gus
Welp, this is certainly a Legends of Tomorrow episode. That should tell you all that you need to know, but in case you were still on the fence: the team goes to a filming of a pot-based comedy, one that was Behrad's favorite growing up, only to then screw up the episode and drop an alien right in the middle of it. This drastically changes the sitcom which then drastically changes Behrad, going from pot-smoking lovable burn out to money-hungry power-douche yuppie, and the team has to figure out how to fix the show-within-the-show so Behrad comes back to normal. Because time travel.
If there's any credit to the show it's that the show-within-a-show really sucks. Behard loves it but the rest of the audience hates it, and I can see why: it's not funny. When the alien shows up it shakes life into that sitcom and the procuers want to keep the alien and ditch everything else about the sitcom. I'm just shocked that Behrad liked it so much growing up because this sitcom is a tedious chore.
And... well, that's about it to the episode. Zari struggles to bond with her brother, hates hime as a burn out but hates him more as a yuppie, and then everything is set back to normal, lessons learned all around. As far as furthering any of the storylines for the season this episode doesn't do that; instead it's a light and enjoyable hang out as the Legends chill, screw up, fix it, and have fun in the process.
But then, isn't that exactly what we want from the Legends. This is the show operating just like it should and it's delightful the whole way through. Just, no more with the baby space alien, please: it's ugly.
Elsewhere in the 'Verse
- The Flash gave us all speedsters, all the time, As Nora Allen (XS) and Bart Allen (Impulse) came back from the future to help their dad defeat Godspeed. And, in the process, "Uncle Jay" came along to play (despite the fact that I thought he was wiped away in "Crisis"). It's a busy, but not terrible episode, and it was almost good enough to talk about this week but we had other shows just coming back from break that needed attention. Next week for you, Flash.