God Speed, Moon Cat!
Arrowverse 2021 Season: Week 27
Well, this season started in fits, with Batwoman premiering on her own before the other shows slowly staggered in to join her, and now we're getting those same fits and starts as the season slowly comes to an end. This week sees the end of season seven for The Flash, and it really does feel like it came out of nowhere. But then I guess with the COVID crunch, everything is just working on accelerated timelines to get something cranked out.
Let's get to The Flash, and also discuss Superman & Lois as that's another show heading towards its end game pretty soon:
The Flash, Season 7, Episode 18: Heart of the Matter, Part 2
So only three weeks ago we had the return of Godspeed, a villain that we've occasionally seen -- a speedster from the future with white lightning -- but they've never really had a solid arc. If this "graphic novel" for the show was finally supposed to be that arc, I have to say it kind of failed. It failed mostly because Godspeed isn't much of a character, he's just a concept that never really got any development. And then, with only four episodes for this section of the show, we go from introducing the character, having him finally get any kind of development, and then immediately finishing him off. That's the opposite of what we need from the show, just giving us the worst impulses (no pun intended) of the series all over again.
In this episode Barry finishes up his "mind conversation" with Godspeed (who's trapped in his own body but the main mind can't remember who he is or what's going on). Godspeed wants organic speed, not the artificial stuff he's been using (which has charged off the Speed Force just fine so I fail to see the issue with it) and he's threatening to destroy the city unless Barry gives him what he wants. So eventually Team Flash caves (because negotiating with terrorists is always a good idea) and, supercharged, Godspeed pulls all his clones in and leaves it up to Barry to fight him for the fate of the future. Which, of course, "arry wins (although with the help of the Reverse Flash, which is a nice touch), and Godspeed is gone just as soon as he was introduced.
That's not to say there wasn't some fun to be had with the episode. Every speedster that's available (sorry Wally) showed up, including Jay Garrick, Impulse, XS, Iris (charged up by the Speed Force temporarily), and the Reverse Flash, and they all play their part. Sure, some obvious people were missing (not just Wally but we'll also continue to lament the missing Jessie Quick, lost in the "Crisis"), but in generally I did enjoy the show paying tribute to all the damn speedsters it has now.
And I really did like that "arry called in, of all people, Thawn to fight beside him (all because the Reverse Flash would never let anyone else kill the Flash; that's his gig). Sure, that end fight was beyond silly (did you want a lightsaber fight on The Flash because, stupidly, you got one anyway). The show managed to create a lot of good moments which helped to paper over just how threadbare this whole arc has been. But that doesn't make for a satisfying whole at all.
I am still wondering where this show is going to go for its eighth season (and beyond?). With the introduction of Impulse (played fantastically by Jordan Fisher) the show could try to do a "future Flash" spin-off after the next season (although we did see how well that went for "Future Arrow" show Green Arrow and the Canaries last season). I think it more likely that we'll get one more season of this show next year (or, really, this year starting in October) and then The Flash will head off into this good night.
This season wasn't a total wash and I did, in the end, end up enjoying it more than the last few seasons. In general, though, I do think this show has run its course (some pun intended). If we can take this "Flash Family" that was built over the last two episodes and do one more season with them battling Reverse Flash I think that would be perfect. Take the show back to where it all started, Flash vs. Reverse Flash, and send it out with a bang. CW, please, don't draw this out any longer. This show is just about over and you need to let it go.
Superman & Lois, Season 1, Episode 13: Fail Safe
Meanwhile, over in Smallville, Superman & Lois is struggling to continue being the great show it was at the start of the season. When it focuses on the characters in Smallville -- Clark, Lois, their kids, the Lang-Cushing family, it's pretty great. When it goes to its super-heroics, though, man does it fall apart. Most of the reason for that is, still, Morgan Edge. This character is a total snore and I honestly think the writers know it because they keep trying (and failing) to make him interesting.
To the show's credit, the villain they have is interesting on paper, and works as a solid deep-cut from the pages of Action Comics. Those comic book geeks in the audience probably know the Eradicator as one of the four fake Supermen to show up during the "Reign of the Supermen" arc after Superman died (and then eventually came back) in the mid-1990s. I didn't realize (and I'm sure plenty of other fans as well wouldn't) that the Eradicator was actually a bit of tech developed by aliens that then captured the souls and spirit of Krypton, carrying it on after that planet blew up. The CW series picked up all of that and used it in an effective means that carries on all those concepts. I can really appreciate that.
What doesn't work is the character they've saddled with the role of playing "The Eradicator" as far as the show is concerned. Morgan Edge went from douchey billionaire to douchey Kryptonian, but there hasn't been much to his character. He's a weenie, really, always being told what to do by other people instead of making decisions for himself. He came to Earth to conquer it because his father, Zeta-Rho, told him to. He tries to enslave humans because that's what daddy wants. The one time he disobeys is so that he can try and convince Kal-El to join him, but then he immediately goes running back to daddy the second Clark says anything bad about the whole "conquering Earth" plan. Morgan Edge doesn't think and is really just a pawn in his own story. That's not interesting at all.
I get that the show wanted to setup a lot of future ideas for where the series could go -- Jordan as Superboy, John Henry Irons as Steel, maybe even some form of "The Death and Return of Superman" arc with the Eradicator (and Steel) there. Hell, counting Superboy that gives us three of the four and they could easily bring Cyborg Superman over from Supergirl once that series ends -- but this arc right now is a snooze. Morgan Edge absorbed the Eradicator at the end of the last episode and it takes all of this episode for any of that to pay off. He's a drag and the show needs to move on from this tired character.
But hey, only two more episodes and then we never have to see him again. I wish the show could invest in this character the way it does for everyone else on the show, but I think at this point Morgan Edge is a lost cause. Better to get him out of the way and try again next season with a new villain.
Elsewhere in the 'Verse
- Legends of Tomorrow dealt with Constantine losing his magic while the rest of the crew tried to raise an alien baby. The alien stuff, despite ostensibly being the overriding plot line of this season, was just a B-plot. I have a feeling Constantine, and his battle to get his magic back (and the stupid decisions he's making along the way) will likely be the real source of whatever Big Bad we're going to see this season. Right not the season is very fun, but rather aimless, and it'd be nice to have some direction going towards this season's end game.
- For the next two weeks Superman & Lois is once again on a break, even though it just came back from one. With The Flash over for the season and Stargirl and Supergirl not coming back until at least middle of August, we're here with just the Legends to entertain us for the next two weeks.