8:45am PT by Sydney Bucksbaum
DC TV Watch: Can 'The Flash' Really Kill Iris?
Welcome to The Hollywood Reporter's weekly DC TV Watch, a rundown of all things DC Comics on TV. Every Friday, we round up the major twists, epic fights, new mysteries and anything else that goes down on The CW's Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl and Fox's Gotham and what it all means. Note: Supergirl, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Arrow return with new episodes next week.
Riddler's revenge: The only DC TV show to air a new episode this week wasted no time in getting into the action and drama for the back half of the season. Gotham juggled five different storylines in the winter premiere, but it was Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) who stole the show. He set in motion his revenge plan on Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) for killing his girlfriend, and the first phase was truly brilliant. He actually convinced Penguin that he was losing his mind, seeing the ghost of his dead father (Paul Reubens) and manipulating him to lose it on national TV. If this was only the first step in Nygma's plan, there's no telling what lengths he'll go to to destroy his former BFF. It's a compelling storyline to watch, but Nygma returning Penguin's romantic feelings still would have been the most rewarding path to take. That missed opportunity forever will be a sore spot for Gotham fans.
Returning villains: Supergirl may have put the head of Cadmus behind bars in the fall finale, but there is no shortage of villains returning to the series in the back half of season two. "She's still facing Cadmus," executive producer Andrew Kreisberg tells THR. "There's going to be another couple of returning villains. Livewire [Brit Morgan] is coming back, Parasite [William Mapother] is coming back, she's going to face off against Mr. Mxyzptlk [Peter Gadiot]. We've got a bunch of classic DC Comics characters."
High-stakes romance: But what Kara (Melissa Benoist) really should be focusing on is her new love interest. After sharing a romantic moment with Mon-El (Chris Wood) in the fall finale, it was revealed that he may be hiding the truth about his past from everyone when an unidentified alien spaceship seemed to be hunting him down. "A lot of the pull of the next episodes is the mystery of Mon-El and what is he hiding and who are these people tracking him?" says Kreisberg. "That coincides with the two of them growing closer and seeing where that relationship goes."
No more secrets: Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) has learned his lesson when it comes to keeping secrets from his friends and team, so his glimpse of the future in which Savitar kills Iris (Candice Patton) won't be kept from the STAR Labs team when the winter premiere begins. "We're going to pick up right away," executive producer Aaron Helbing tells THR. "Seeing Savitar kill Iris is going to have a profound effect on the team, on Barry, on Joe [Jesse L. Martin], on Wally [Keiynan Lonsdale] for the rest of our season. They'll find out right away. What Barry's learned throughout the season is that lies and secrets destroy his relationships or have the potential to destroy his relationships, so having learned his lesson, he opens up pretty quickly. Barry and the rest of the team are going to do whatever it takes to make sure that future doesn't come true."
Changing the future: Barry also has learned that he shouldn't change the past after the repercussions of Flashpoint. But what about changing the future? Does that lesson also apply to not messing with time when it's an event that hasn't even happened yet? "It's the woman he loves, he just moved in with, has been in love with for a very long time so at this point, he's just throwing caution to the wind and focusing on saving her, realizing that there could be ramifications but he'll deal with those ramifications after he's taken care of this problem," says Helbing.
No more WestAllen? When The Flash showrunners first began developing this storyline concerning Iris' fate, they "definitely know where" they were going to take it. "I don't want to spoil anything, but we love Candice Patton so much. We love Iris and Barry together," says Helbing. "We just found it to be so interesting. Barry couldn't save his mom. He couldn't save his dad. And now he wants to be with Iris forever, so it gives us a lot of opportunities to revisit that future event based on Vibe's [Carlos Valdes] abilities, and to us that felt exciting to try and see what happens when one of the team is killed and it's the most important person to Barry and he's willing to do whatever it takes to make sure she survives."
But does that mean the showrunners can envision a future for the show without Patton in it? "We don't take killing characters lightly, but we wanted to explore how that would affect Barry in a different way," says Helbing. "You have a specific relationship with your mother and your father, and a very different relationship with the woman that you want to spend the rest of your life with. Because it's Iris, we get to explore deep down what Barry is willing to go through and what everyone else is willing to go through to make sure that she isn't killed by Savitar. Wally is going to continue to push himself because of that. It's an incident that drives everybody to come together to keep her alive. When Ronnie [Robbie Amell] died, he sacrificed himself for the team. When Eddie [Rick Cosnett] died, he sacrificed himself for the team. This is just straight up murder and so it's a different kind of story."
Mystery revealed: Arrow wasted no time in getting to the bottom of Laurel's (Katie Cassidy) mysterious return. In fact, the show spoiled itself in promos for the winter premiere weeks ago. Our earlier prediction was right: This isn't actually Laurel but instead it's her Earth-2 counterpart from The Flash, Black Siren. While there is still no word on how she got out of the pipeline prison in Central City or why she's showing up to destroy Team Arrow from the inside, it's understandable that some things are still left to be revealed in an actual episode. That's what makes watching TV so fun.
Legends of Tomorrow
Legion of Doom: When Legends of Tomorrow returns in its new time slot, Tuesdays at 9 p.m., the new villain team of Damien Dahrk (Neil McDonough), Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) and Eobard Thawne (Matt Letscher) debuts in all its glory. Watching these three formidable villains on their own over the course of seasons of Arrow and The Flash proved they could hold their own and almost bring about the end of the world, but it makes sense that a team up of superheroes — or Legends — would need a bigger obstacle to defeat than just one supervillain. With Dahrk's magic, Merlyn's ruthless killing skills and Thawne's speed, the Legends soon will see just how insurmountable their newest challenge is. Plus, Rip (Arthur Darvill) returns, Nate (Nick Zano) has an awesome reason for naming the villains the Legion of Doom, and the show honors the Star Wars trash compactor scene in a truly original way, so "Raiders of the Lost Art" will easily rank as one of the series' best so far.
What did you think of all the shocking twists, reveals and mysteries on the DC Comics shows this week? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Gotham airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox; Supergirl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on The CW; The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW; Legends of Tomorrow airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on The CW; and Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.