8:00am PT by Sydney Bucksbaum
DC TV Watch: Tyler Hoechlin Teases Superman-Supergirl Finale Battle
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: Legends of Tomorrow did not air a new episode this week.
Evil Superman? | Has Supergirl had any better cliffhanger than a surprise evil Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) appearing out of nowhere on the Daxamite ship to knock out Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) with a punch, presumably at Queen Rhea's (Teri Hatcher) command? The answer is definitely no. Fans knew Superman would be returning for the season two finale, but his appearance in the penultimate episode was a complete surprise. "I can tell you that obviously Queen Rhea is there and we assume that she might have something to do with this. That's about all I can say about that," Hoechlin told THR. "It was fun to open up the script and see something different for him. Exploring another part of him, everybody has things that make them angry or make them upset so to find what that was for him was cool to explore as an actor. I had done this character before, so it was nice that I got to do something fresh and new when I jumped back into it. There was even less pressure jumping back into it versus the first time around."
Rhea and Clark | Because Superman's story is tied directly with Queen Rhea's on the Daxamite ship, that meant Hoechlin got to work closely with Hatcher, which lead to some fanboy moments of his own. "Lois & Clark was the one that I grew up with, so to me she was always Lois Lane," Hoechlin said. "The first time I met her was in the suit, so that was a surreal moment. We had a lot of fun up on her ship."
Cousin vs. cousin | Kara wasn't able to get any punches in herself against her cousin because he had the element of surprise in this week's episode. That will change in the finale, as the two Kryptonian heroes will go head to head in one big battle. "I know they've been teasing it as the battle of the century, and they definitely did not hold anything back," Hoechlin said. "We spent a lot of time on this fight scene and then the stunt people did such a great job. I think everyone will be very pleased with how this looks. It's going to be an epic battle. Sometimes you do a fight scene and it takes half a day, sometimes it can take the whole day. This took multiple days. I'm really excited for people to see that."
A new dynamic | Hoechlin was pleased that he got to explore a new kind of relationship between Clark Kent and Kara this time around as adversaries (at least, at first) instead of allies. "The first two episodes that we did, it was nice to do that as family teaming up and taking on the world, but to be able to square off this time was definitely fun," Hoechlin said. "Melissa and I always have a good laugh with this stuff so it was great to find the humor and face off against each other once they called cut. We get into some things with Clark and Kara, and it's always nice when you get to step away from the action for a minute and see more of the heart that these people have and how much they care about each other. I'm most proud of his ability to be a part of a team as opposed to having to feel like he's got to always be the guy to save the day or the one to take credit. It's great that he's able to be supportive and not having to, I guess, save the day."
An answer worthy of Superman | When asked who he would pick to win in a fight between Superman and Supergirl, Hoechlin gave a very political answer. "I would love to see that fight," he said with a laugh. "I've gotten really good at this over the years."
Get your Superman fix now … | While Hoechlin promises there will be a suitable amount of the caped hero in the finale episode – "I spent quite a bit of time in Vancouver filming the finale so it's fair to say it will be more than a quick hello and goodbye," – he revealed there are currently no plans for Superman to return to the series again. "Nothing in the future," he said. "I think even just jumping in doing the first two episodes, at that time it was just those two episodes. I was excited and happy about that opportunity. I was very open and eager to go back up if that opportunity came up and thankfully it did for the finale. I'm just taking it a day at a time at this point."
Hoechlin's wish | However, Hoechlin already knows what he'd want to see from Superman on Supergirl should he ever return. "I'd love to see more about what his relationship with Kara and the rest of her family," he said. "I think it could be fun to see exactly how much he's kept up with them over the years. And the Superman/Martian Manhunter [David Harewood] thing is such a fun story arc. And with Jimmy Olsen [Mehcad Brooks] too, there's still a lot to explore with him and James. Obviously they have the greatest history of anybody on the show, so... now that he's doing his thing, it would be interesting to see how Clark and Superman feel about what James has been up to [as Guardian]."
Penguin and Riddler reunite | It took a while, but Ed Nygma aka the Riddler (Cory Michael Smith) finally came face-to-face with Oswald aka Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) when they were both kidnapped by the Court of Owls and held as prisoners in the same dungeon in this week's episode. The way that the Gotham showrunners decided to show their unexpected reunion was perfect, using complete silence as the two men stared at each other for an extended period of time before Oswald suddenly (and unsuccessfully) tried to grab Nygma through the bars. The tension was thick, and there's no telling where this former duo will go next. Will they work together to try and escape the Court's prison? Or will their desire to kill the other win out, leading to a Penguin vs. Riddler face-off round two? No matter which direction they go, finally having these two fan-favorite characters sharing screen time is the right call after keeping them separate for so long.
RIP Iris? | They did it. They actually did it. After a whole half of a season of teasing Iris West's (Candice Patton) impending death, The Flash played out Barry's (Grant Gustin) future vision and worst nightmare of Savitar killing Iris in front of his eyes, and he was too slow to stop it. The writers made the right call in going through with what they promised and warned about. It would have been cheap to have any kind of last-minute saves by Barry and the STAR Labs team. But there's no way that Iris is actually dead. After the way HR (Tom Cavanagh) was blaming himself for revealing Iris' hiding spot to who he thought was Barry (but was actually Savitar), it's pretty obvious that he took the Earth-2 tech that transforms a person into someone else to take Iris' place as a way to finally make himself useful to the team. Remember how HR was supposed to be on the roof using the speed force bazooka, as Barry saw in his future vision? He was nowhere to be seen this time around. All clues seem to point to him utilizing the distraction of Barry using the speed force bazooka on Savitar to swap places with the real Iris, sacrificing himself to save her. That way The Flash can still deliver on its tragic promise while keeping Iris around.
All the pieces in place | All the news about returning faces and ultimate showdowns coming up in the finale may have spoiled the surprises in advance, but it didn't make the journey getting to the final season five episode any less exciting. Black Siren (Katie Cassidy), aka Earth-2 Laurel Lance, was broken out of ARGUS prison thanks to some help from Adrian Chase (Josh Segarra). She immediately helped Chase, along with Talia al Ghul (Lexa Doig) and Evelyn Sharp (Madison McLaughlin), kidnap all the members of Team Arrow, leaving Oliver (Stephen Amell) on his own with no allies and nowhere to turn for help. So naturally, if he can't rely on his team of heroes, his next best choice is assemble a team of villains. He built his team of Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman), Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law) and finally, in the last moment of this week's episode, approached Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke (Manu Bennett) for help in taking down Chase once and for all. With everyone appropriately all on Lian Yu, the final battle is about to begin.
Evenly matched | But at this point, it's anyone's fight. The finale battle teams are pretty stacked on both sides. The finale promo promises fights between Canaries as Black Siren faces off against Dinah (Juliana Harkavy). Whose canary cry will prevail? Both are series regulars next season, so it's impossible to predict. As for the al Ghuls, the sister vs. sister showdown of Nyssa against Talia is also a toss-up. Both women were trained by their father for their entire lives, and we still don't know their relationship with each other. But if Slade agrees to help Oliver (and doesn't immediately stab him in the back), my money is on Team Oliver to pull the win. After all, if Oliver didn't beat Prometheus in the end, there wouldn't be much to see in season six, would there? Watch the trailer for the finale below:
What do you think of all the shocking reveals on the DC Comics shows this week? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Gotham airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox; Supergirl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on The CW; The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW; and Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW. Legends of Tomorrow will return for season three on The CW in the fall.