8:00am PT by Sydney Bucksbaum
DC TV Watch: 'Arrow' Star Promises a "Stronger" Black Canary
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, Supergirl and Black Lightning and Fox's Gotham.
Spreading her wings | While Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy) has been on Team Arrow for an entire year, it's really this season that she's come into her own. Acting less like a recruit and more like a partner, she could tell that Diggle (David Ramsey) was hiding something and confronted him until he finally confessed that he has degenerative nerve damage in his hand after getting hit with shrapnel from the Lian Yu explosion. "This season I have more time to interact with everyone on the team. She has reinvested herself as a fully committed member of the team," Harkavy tells THR. "She embraced her mantle, so we're really getting to see her relationships with everybody expanding and getting deeper." And that's why she's been able to take on more of a leadership role on the team. "It goes hand in hand with Dinah's personality. She is a fighter, she is a natural leader," Harkavy adds. "She also has a lot of respect for the hierarchy of the team, so she's not trying to take over, but she has a stronger voice and it's been a lot of fun to get to know that voice more and use and flex it and see how it fits into the rest of the team. She's become a stronger version of herself."
Diggle's dilemma | So now that Dinah knows that Diggle is compromised, what does that mean for their close working relationship? "Dinah is just a ball-buster so if she sees something like that, she's going to go for it and she's going to hone in and get to the bottom of it. Diggle is one of her closest friends and she's concerned, and this is her way of showing it," Harkavy says of Dinah's relentless pursuit of the truth. "She doesn't want the team to get hurt if he's compromised. She takes it upon herself to make sure nobody gets hurt." But she adds that Diggle telling her the truth about his injury "is a step in the right direction." Because she kept her own secret after Lian Yu that was exposed and she's been through the experience of losing someone, "she just has a lot of love in her heart and a lot of trauma, so she wants him to be OK. It's all coming from a place of love."
Change in leadership | Since Dinah is the only one who knows that Diggle isn't at 100 percent, the rest of the team will be looking to him to lead the group, as Oliver (Stephen Amell) has officially passed him the Green Arrow mantle. Since Oliver doesn't want to make his son an orphan, he's decided to focus just on being the major and a father. He offered Diggle his place as leader of the group, and Diggle accepted ... despite knowing he can't fight like he used to. Talk about an awkward situation that is only going to get more awkward moving forward. "Any time that the hierarchy gets shaken up, it's going to put a fault into the foundation and everything is going to shift," Harkavy says. "If somebody else is now the head, then how does the chain of command fall? The team is going to have to figure out how to restructure themselves and relearning everyone's strengths. Because without the captain, that's all you have to rely on." And Diggle continuing to hide the secret of his injury from the rest of the team "definitely concerns" Dinah. "It gives her even more reason to want to make sure that Diggle's going to be OK and figure out what's going on," she adds. "That's a big loss, not having Oliver, so to have the new Green Arrow compromised as well, she's concerned, for sure."
Canary vs. Canary | One of the best things about Arrow season six is the simmering feud between the new Black Canary and the former, now known as Black Siren aka evil Earth-2 Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy). After exchanging a few bullets back on Lian Yu, the Canary on (former) Canary crime is at an all-time high, and watching these two formidable women kick some major ass is truly a delight. And according to Harkavy, that's not going away anytime soon. "They just so vehemently hate each other, and they've been chasing each other down after Lian Yu, and Dinah has this extra chip on her shoulder," she says. "And Black Siren has a major grudge against Dinah as well. So it's just going to get even more heated and more exciting." She laughs before adding, "I don't think they'll be becoming friends anytime soon."
Healing her broken heart | Something that Harkavy is most excited to explore this season, however, is Dinah's softer side. When asked if Dinah will be getting a love interest soon, as she hasn't had one on the show since her tragic backstory of losing her partner (both romantic and professional) was revealed, Harkavy had some good news. "Yeah, that might be in her cards this season," she says. "She's really focusing on the team and her work and her promotion at the SCPD, but she needs balance and time for herself and getting her life up and going again. She sort of shut her personal life off and this is what I'm most excited about this season, to see all of the different layers of her. She's not just one-note, she's more multidimensional this year. She's exploring more now."
What did he just say?! | While this week's Arrow had a lot of shocking, game-changing moments, from Diggle's injury to Oliver passing the hood to someone else, it was a throwaway line in the very beginning of the hour that packed the biggest punch. When Oliver gave a press conference to announce that he wasn't the Green Arrow, he actually name-dropped Bruce Wayne, saying that anyone could have Photoshopped that other billionaire playboy's head on to the body of Green Arrow in a doctored photo. He then jokingly asked the press if Bruce had "left Gotham to hang out in Star City recently," having a laugh at how ludicrous that sounded. It's the crossover no one saw coming, and opens up so many questions about where the other masked vigilante fits in within The CW's Arrow-verse. Does this mean Fox's Gotham, about a teenage Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), exists in the same universe as Arrow, or is this another version of Batman, more CW-friendly? Could an actual Batman crossover happen now that it's been established Bruce Wayne exists in this universe, and he's so well-known that Oliver could joke about him? And how perfect is it for Oliver to name drop a billionaire playboy like Bruce as a joke about how he couldn't be a masked vigilante, when we all know that's exactly how Bruce Wayne spends his nights as well? These two have much more in common than Oliver thinks. No matter what this means, it's great to finally see Arrow having fun with one of the most famous DC Comics properties when it was formerly untouchable. And be sure to keep your ears open to catch yet another fun DC Comics name drop on next week's episode of The Flash ...
Check out the video of Arrow's infamous name-drop below:
Lighter as promised | The Flash promised more fun this season, and it's clear from the second episode of season four that it's delivering. From the couples therapy scenes with Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris (Candice Patton), to Cisco's (Carlos Valdes) "shmoopy" relationship with Gypsy (Jessica Camacho), even all the scenes with Barry just flat out enjoying his powers and being a superhero while Cisco's upgrades on his suit are malfunctioning, this is the lightest and most enjoyable The Flash has ever been. Talk about a course correction from the dark and dire season three, huh? Let's hope this continues and isn't just a beginning-of-the-season fluke, because this is what made this the best of all The CW's DC series back in season one. It's also fascinating to see Barry use his powers in different ways against non-speedsters, since we all know The Thinker (Neil Sandilands) is coming for him.
Best villain yet | Start the petition now, because Jane the Virgin's Yael Grobglas needs to make a return trip to Supergirl ASAP. Her psychic metahuman villain Psi, straight out of the pages of DC comic books, was a series highlight. Her unshakeable confidence in her ability to defeat anyone, her formidable powers and most of all her empowered attitude made her so much fun to watch. It was clear that she loved what she was doing, and it resulted in some amazing scenes. She proved to be quite the fearsome opponent for Kara (Melissa Benoist), literally bringing her to her knees by inducing fear in her mind. Although she was beat in the end by the Girl of Steel, she shouldn't be kept down for long. Watching these two strong blonde badasses face off was a real treat, so hopefully it's not the last time Psi comes calling.
Cleanup in aisle four | During one of Kara's Psi-induced panic attacks, she literally burst through the ceiling of the elevator, flying through the roof of the building to get out of the small space, leaving behind her clothes, bag and glasses. And it was never spoken of again. Um, did no one question why an elevator was suddenly demolished?
Trouble in paradise | While plans are underway for Alex (Chyler Leigh) and Maggie's (Floriana Lima) wedding — DJ or band? — a little nugget of information could spell major trouble down the line for these two. Alex definitely wants kids, and it's clear from Maggie's reaction at the topic getting brought up that she does not. It's weird this conversation didn't happen earlier, but it's not a good sign that there's dissent in the ranks. Could the issue of having kids be too much of a compromise to make?
Legends of Tomorrow
Wardrobe malfunction | THR was right last week with the prediction about Amaya's (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) powers growing out of control: Her necklace totem is too strong and she can't control it anymore. It only took her one episode before she was back with the Legends on the Waverider, confiding in them about her troubles. So how long will it take for her to fix it, especially since Kuasa (Tracy Ifeachor), a villain with familial ties to Amaya and the Vixen legacy, has been resurrected?
A new connection | The Time Bureau's Agent Sharpe (Jes Macallan) proved to be a worthy opponent for Sara (Caity Lotz) while fighting on board the Waverider, and it sparked a new potential 'ship. The two women eventually fell on the ground, equally exhausted, and agreed on taking a break for some water in between their knock-down, drag-out fight. If only they realized they were working toward the same goal in fixing the timeline instead of working against each other, then some real sparks could fly. Because honestly, the sexual tension between them was off the charts.
A threat to laugh about | While the mysterious "Mallus" threat that has the Time Bureau so freaked out being continuously mentioned, it was awesome to see the Legends laugh at the idea that anything could be worse than what they've already faced. They're wrong to underestimate what this will be, of course, but that doesn't make it any less entertaining to watch them screw up along the way.
Born on a Monday | The legend of Solomon Grundy played out on Gotham exactly as it did in the comic books, which was impressive since this is one comic book character no one ever expected to see in live-action (besides that one instance in 1979). Ripped from the pages of the source material, a brain-dead Butch (Drew Powell) was dumped into Slaughter Swamp by some immoral hospital workers to make space for more promising patients, as he had been in a coma for more than six months. Little did the hospital workers know that the swamp was also a dumping ground for Indian Hill chemicals, so what was supposed to be the last of Butch (real name: Cyrus Gold) ended up being his miraculous resurrection as a white-as-snow zombie with two hands (that's right, he grew back an entire hand) and monstrous strength ... and no memory of his life before. With his chilling theme song playing in the background as he happened upon some unsuspecting campers in the woods, he later ran into Ed (Cory Michael Smith), who took advantage of Grundy's new strength and amnesia to befriend the zombie. He convinced his new "friend" to fight for money, and it turns out the underground fight club's resident doctor is none other than Lee (Morena Baccarin), rocking a badass new look. This is one reunion no one saw coming.
The end of his reign? | One reunion that played out rather faster than expected was Bruce (David Mazouz) and Ra's al Ghul (Alexander Siddig). Ra's baited Bruce into ending his long life full of suffering by stabbing him with the ancient knife, and Ra's smiled as he crumbled into a skeleton right before Bruce, Alfred (Sean Pertwee) and Gordon's (Ben McKenzie) eyes. Is that really the end of Ra's on Gotham? Or will he resurrect somehow and this is the start of a new kind of reign for him? And what does killing Ra's mean for Bruce? Will he now have to take over Ra's' reign? And what "gift" did Ra's give to Babs (Erin Richards) before he died? There are so many questions left to be answered!
Gotham airs Thursdays on Fox. Supergirl airs Mondays, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow air Tuesdays, Arrow airs Thursdays; and Black Lightning will premiere midseason, all on The CW.