8:00am PT by Sydney Bucksbaum
DC TV Watch: 'The Flash' Runs Back to Its Funny Roots
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.
Back to the good stuff | Sure, most of the season premiere of The Flash was sad as Team Flash grieved losing Barry (Grant Gustin). But now that he's back both physically and mentally, he's lighter than ever. Whatever he went through in the Speed Force during his six-month absence helped him shed all his baggage and trauma, and now he's carefree and loving life. And as a result, the series, which many criticized for its dark and depressing season last year, is fun again. Check out the new sizzle reel for season four below to see just how:
Who knew therapy could be so hilarious? | As for those teases of Barry and Iris (Candice Patton) in couples therapy, that's not just a one-and-done joke. The engaged couple will start seeing a therapist in next week's episode to discuss all their serious relationship issues, and according to executive producer Todd Helbing, that is a story that "we certainly go back to more than once." But why do Barry and Iris even need therapy? "Barry left and six months passes by," Helbing tells THR. "You sent out the save-the-date cards and you're about to get married and then your fiance is gone, so she had a lot of explaining to do to people about why this wasn't happening anymore. So when he comes back, how do you just jump back into a relationship with somebody like that when they were gone? There's a learning curve and there's a lot of work that has to be done for them to get back on track and get back to the place they were at before he left. Couples therapy felt like the perfect place for them to work on that stuff." Expect those scenes to become a series highlight.
Uncracked code | But will Barry's experience in the Speed Force ever come to light? Before Iris was able to bring his consciousness back to normal, Barry was speaking in some weird code, drawing symbols on the walls over and over again. Cisco (Carlos Valdes) tried to crack the code, but it just came out to: "This house is bitchin'." Um, what? That's probably going to be important later (the uncracked code, not the phrase Cisco "solved," of course).
The plan all along | The Thinker (Neil Sandilands) made his Flash debut in the final scene of the premiere, and it's more than a little ominous that he was the one who wanted Barry out of the Speed Force, and therefore kick started Team Flash's plan to get him out. Should we thank him for bringing season one, happy Barry back? Why does he want Barry? What is his ultimate goal? What's up with that weird chair he's hooked into?!
Confirmed casualty | After a long summer with essentially no teases on who survived the Lian Yu explosion, Arrow took its time in the season six premiere confirming via flashbacks that all but one character survived. Samantha (Anna Hopkins), aka the mother of Oliver's (Stephen Amell) son William (Jack Moore), died on the island. Everyone else is alive (for now). It's interesting that this is the only death to come out of the massive cliffhanger, since it was basically spoiled in trailers for the new season, as Samantha dying is the only logical explanation for William moving in with Oliver.
Lasting fallout | But that doesn't mean everyone is OK after the explosion. After a fakeout that made it seem like Thea (Willa Holland) died in the blast, it turns out she was just majorly injured. In Star City present day, she's in a coma, lying in a hospital bed. There wasn't any explanation of her injuries though, just a shot of Oliver visiting her hospital room, so expect more information to come in subsequent episodes. The other lasting effect is Diggle (David Ramsay), who can't seem to shoot his gun anymore without missing. His shaky hands and nerves have something to do with getting hit with flaming debris in the chest during the explosion, but he's keeping it a secret from the team for now. While it's a relief to know that all of Team Arrow is alive (although not quite whole), it's disappointing that Arrow didn't the pull the trigger and shake things up by killing off a main character after such an explosive and mysterious cliffhanger. The secrecy all summer long now feels like a waste and completely missed opportunity for the long-running series to take a big swing.
Guess who's back, back again | Black Siren's (Katie Cassidy) back, tell a friend. Despite Quentin (Paul Blackthorne) thinking he had shot and killed her on Lian Yu, a mysterious man took a helicopter to the island to help get her back to Star City, where she was alive, well and ready to cause some serious damage five months later. Who is the man helping her? What do they want with one of Curtis' (Echo Kellum) T-spheres? And why didn't Quentin stick to the rule of always making sure to double-tap your opponent, even if you think they died with one gunshot? This is TV, stick to TV rules!
Cerebral conflict | Executive producer Wendy Mericle warns that the big bad this season will be unlike anything Oliver has come up against before. "He's using his brain. That's a different kind of enemy for Oliver to face," Mericle tells THR. "He can't punch this guy and call it a day. It's going to take a lot more than that." Is she talking about Black Siren's mysterious helper, or someone else?
What now? | Someone leaked a photo of Oliver in his Green Arrow uniform without his hood and mask on, and his face is now all over the news. This is unequivocal proof the city needs to know for sure that the mayor is the Green Arrow, and the FBI opens an investigation into Oliver in the next episode. So what does Team Arrow do now? "I don't know," a stunned Oliver told Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) in the final shot of the hour.
Legends of Tomorrow
Time to say goodbye | A member of the Legends team will be leaving the Waverider for good this season. Victor Garber's return to Broadway means that his character, Dr. Martin Stein aka one-half of Firestorm, will exit the series. And based on how sure he acted that he'd be able to return to his pregnant daughter in time for the birth of his grandchild means he likely won't make it to the end of the season alive. Sorry for that not-so-optimistic speculation, but it's how the rules of television go!
We need to talk about Amaya | After leaving Nate (Nick Zano) and returning back to her own time in 1942 to protect her home of Zambesi, Amaya (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) seemed to be more powerful than ever. When soldiers tried to attack her village, she used her totem to summon a whole pack of animals that rips the soldiers to shreds, something she's never been able to do before. As they scream in agony, she smirks, her eyes filled with a mystical blue fog. Has Amaya gone too far? Has something malicious taken a hold of the normally moral, level-headed Legend? She's definitely not herself.
Mal-who? | Rip (Arthur Darvill) dropped the name of the big bad for Legends this season to one of his Time Bureau agents: Mallus, a name executive producer Phil Klemmer previously let slip to THR. Is that a person? An organization? A supernatural entity? What has the former Time Master so spooked? There's nothing in the comic books to go off of here, so it's anyone's guess at this point.
Super timely | Once again, Supergirl proves its relevance by bringing the stranger-than-fiction insane reality of today's politics front-and-center with Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart), aka the new White House press secretary (for a very different kind of president). In her usual fabulous manner, she stood at the podium and called any president who does not believe in global warming a "moron." Preach, Supergirl.
Reign arrives | While at the unveiling for Supergirl's (Melissa Benoist) statue on the waterfront, a seemingly normal mother Samantha (Odette Annable) panicked and was able to pull a heavy steel column off her daughter who was being crushed. Totally not normal human behavior, which makes sense. Viewers know she's actually Reign, the Worldkiller sent to Earth as a baby at the same time as Kara. She doesn't know her origins yet, though, as her shock at her newfound strength was clear on her face. And as for that alien ship that was woken up underwater, it's probably the vessel that brought Samantha/Reign to Earth, buried and asleep for years, until now. Is that what caused Samantha to dream about Kara's mother Alura (Erica Durance) turning into a demon at the end of the episode? Her journey to becoming a villain has officially begun.
The wedding of the century | Sure, the CW's DC crossover is going to be about a certain Flash couple getting hitched, but it's really Alex (Chyler Leigh) and Maggie's (Floriana Lima) impending nuptials that will be the event of the year. Alex is planning the "biggest, gayest wedding" and asked for J'onn (David Harewood) to walk her down the aisle. Didn't expect to cry while watching the premiere? Too bad!
Meeting of the minds | Now that Sofia Falcone (Crystal Reed) has returned to her home city of Gotham to reclaim her father's title as leader of the criminal underworld, her first order of business is dethroning Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor). Not an easy task. But she faced it with grim determination, and the two dueling minds came face-to-face at the beginning of this week's episode, "The Demon's Head." She ended up using Penguin (who thought he was using her) to gain his confidence, and it resulted in four Falcone loyalists getting killed, and she didn't even blink. Gordon (Ben McKenzie) was horrified at how unaffected she was by that, but that didn't stop him from kissing her passionately. Gordon's taste of the dark side has him hooked.
"How do you spell — " | Speaking of the literal Demon's Head, the hard-to-spell Ra's al Ghul (Alexander Siddig) wasn't trying hard to operate under the radar while on the hunt for his ancient knife, killing the man Bruce (David Mazouz) hired to study it. That set both Bruce and Gordon on his tail, leading them first to Babs (Erin Richards), Ra's' new paramour/partner, before Ra's came to the GCPD himself. He escaped before Gordon could arrest him (but not before Alfred got to punch him in his face!), and kept hunting the knife he needed to reclaim his legacy. Bruce wouldn't give it up, even when Ra's held a dagger to a young boy's throat and slit it while Bruce and Gordon watched. Disgusted by his own actions, Bruce blamed himself for the boy's death, while Ra's allowed himself to get arrested. The smirk on his face when he arrived in prison does not mean anything good for Gotham.
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.