12:48pm PT by Sydney Bucksbaum
DC TV Watch: Did 'Gotham' Just Introduce the Real Joker?
Welcome back to The Hollywood Reporter's weekly DC TV Watch, a rundown of all things DC Comics on the small screen. 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. Note: The Flash and Supergirl did not air new episodes this week.
Another year of superheroes | Earlier this week, The CW renewed every single Arrow-verse series including freshman drama Black Lightning. Arrow will return for season seven, The Flash will return for season five (reaching a milestone 100th episode, so expect an event episode with many crossovers), while Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow will return for season four. Other CW series returning next season are Supernatural, Riverdale, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Jane the Virgin and freshman series Dynasty.
Legends of Tomorrow
Ava fever | With the Legends of Tomorrow season four renewal came the announcement that Jes Macallan has been promoted to series regular. That means her Time Bureau agent, Ava Sharpe, will be around for a full season of romantic ups and downs with Sara (Caity Lotz). But since Legends revealed that Ava is merely one of thousands of clones from the future, this unfortunately doesn't automatically mean good things for Ava and Sara's relationship. Currently, they're still broken up after Ava rejected Sara's crazy idea of letting Mallus out of his cage to try and defeat him once and for all, and therefore rejected her proclamation of love as well. But even if they do get back together in the finale once the Mallus problem is resolved, Macallan's presence in season four doesn't mean their relationship will last, despite it being one of the rare lesbian relationships in the comic book TV show genre. This version of Ava might actually die in the fight against Mallus, leaving Rip (Arthur Darvill) to simply pluck yet another Ava clone from the future to replace her, as he's done 12 times before. It's likely that Legends will introduce more versions of Ava next year to play with the clone mythology, because why introduce a storyline of thousands of the same character if you're not going to have fun with it? Especially on a show as wild as Legends, which introduced a young Barack Obama, giant killer gorilla and evil winged demon come to life all in the same episode, there's no telling just how weird Legends will get next season. [Casting news first reported by EW.com.]
Ready for more magic? | At least another one of Sara's exes is sticking around for good. Now that Legends is guaranteed to return for season four, that means Matt Ryan will also be a series regular next year. John Constantine is officially going to join the Waverider for an entire season, which is the news all Constantine fans have been waiting to hear ever since NBC canceled Ryan's critically loved live-action series about the occult detective. The character has dipped his toe into the Arrow-verse many times since then, but it's taken years for any of the Greg Berlanti-produced shows to realize what a gold mine the character is, especially when he has fit in so well with so many different characters. Now that he's finally been welcomed full time on The CW, fans will get to see him on a weekly basis where he truly belongs: in a universe filled with wacky and charismatic characters just like him.
Runs in their blood | Just one week after Ben McKenzie teased the arrival of the real Joker, Gotham revealed how that would even be possible. Cameron Monaghan pulled double duty in this week's episode as maniacal Jerome Valeska, sporting a permanently scarred smile, as well as his never-before-seen-or-mentioned twin brother, Jeremiah. His more soft-spoken, calm and intellectually gifted brother seemed normal at first, but Jerome confronted him about how Jeremiah made everyone believe that Jerome was trying to kill him when they were younger. If Jeremiah was framing his own twin for attempted murder when they were just kids, there's no telling what else he's capable of. And with Jerome's new gas, which he intends to unleash upon his brother and all of Gotham and makes its victims laugh uncontrollably until their faces rip open into wide, bloody smiles, it's clear that Gotham is going to make Jeremiah the new real Joker. Once he's hit with the laughing gas, he'll be even more lethal and unpredictable than Jerome, whose psychopathic behavior was shaped by years of abuse instead of a mentally altering drug. And Jeremiah will also sport the iconic Joker smile, just in a different way than Jerome's scars. This is a very clever way to pay off the years of Gotham producers and stars denying that Jerome is the Joker while also keeping Monaghan in the family and allowing him to create yet another memorable Joker performance. Expect Gotham to transform Jeremiah into the new Joker and kill his brother since Monaghan won't be pulling double duty for much longer.
Unmasked | Every superhero show has to entertain a storyline involving the hero/vigilante getting "unmasked" only so they can come up with a solution to clear their name and continue operating under their secret identity. It's essentially a rite of passage for superheroes, and without fail, it happens on every show. Black Lightning took on that old superhero trope in this week's episode, but in a way that made viewers forget they were watching a comic book series. Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) was framed for dealing drugs to his students so that shadow government organization ASA could test him for metahuman powers, believing him to be Black Lightning. Instead of immediately fast-forwarding to when the ASA transported Jefferson to a black site, the series slowed down and showed in gruesome detail the horrors and reality of what it means to get arrested. Jefferson was booked, abused by guards and suffered extreme indignities in the process like full-cavity searches. This kind of attention to detail about what it's really like to get arrested, especially as an innocent black man, is hardly something that Arrow-verse comic book shows usually traffic in, but Black Lightning didn't pull any punches to show the truth of the situation. Eventually, Jefferson was cleared thanks to Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Gambi (James Remar) using a hologram of Black Lightning running around Freeland while Jefferson was still locked up. And Inspector Henderson (Damon Gupton) exposed the corruption of the police chief, clearing Jefferson's records and proving Jefferson was framed. So while this week's episode ended on a happy note, it will be hard to forget the images of what Jefferson had to endure, proving that tropes don't always have to tell the same old story.
The end of OTA | After six years of working side by side as the Original Team Arrow, Diggle (David Ramsey) and Oliver (Stephen Amell) broke up their bromance for good. In this week's episode, Diggle realized that everything bad that had happened over the last year with the team breaking up and Diaz's (Kirk Acevedo) rise to power was all because of Oliver's questionable choices. The more Oliver spread himself thin with his marriage, raising his son and becoming the mayor, the less he could focus on Star City and being the Green Arrow. And with Oliver refusing to give the hood back to Diggle, he finally snapped. The two former best friends said things they'll never be able to take back, blaming each other for all the dead bodies left in their wake. After a knock-down, drag-out fight, Diggle quit Team Arrow. These two men have been in fights before, but never this brutal or cruel. This is definitely a turning point for both of them, and it's one they can't ever go back on. Even if they do become friendly allies again, they'll never be able to get back to the kind of bond or trust they shared before this moment. With the recent season seven renewal, fans will definitely get another year of watching Diggle and Oliver, but it's never going to be the same. Diggle's going to join ARGUS, so he might not even be in the same scenes with Oliver. Hopefully, fans enjoyed the OTA scenes while they lasted, because this is truly the last time this dynamic will be seen.
Gotham airs Thursdays on Fox. Legends of Tomorrow airs Mondays; The Flash and Black Lightning air Tuesdays; Arrow airs Thursdays; and Supergirl returns Monday, April 16, all on The CW.