8:00am PT by Sydney Bucksbaum
DC TV Watch: All Those Midseason Premiere Developments Explained
Welcome back 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. This week, we're breaking down all the midseason premieres now that most of the shows are back from their winter hiatus. Note: Legends of Tomorrow and Gotham did not air new episodes this week.
The Legion has arrived | After the longest tease, Supergirl finally debuted its Legion of Super-Heroes in true style. Mon-El (Chris Wood) led his wife, Imra, aka Saturn Girl (Amy Jackson), and Brainiac 5 (Jesse Rath) in the fight against Reign (Odette Annable) while Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) was unconscious. (And they did it all to the tune of Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer.") The Legion held their own against the World Killer. Viewers got a taste of everything — from their Legion flight rings to their different powers and ability to work together. Mon-El and Imra also seem to have encoded the secret for survival against the Blight in the future, so they can't risk their lives in the present until they can figure out how to get back to their own time. Since the Legion is made up of real heroes, they won't be able to sit back and let Reign terrorize innocent people. We've hardly seen what Saturn Girl can do, so look for her to really let loose in upcoming episodes.
A new connection | Speaking of the Legion, did you catch that chemistry between Supergirl and Brainy? Think the series will explore a love story between those two? Or at least a creepy stalker version? The comics delved into both storylines as Brainiac 5 did indeed have feelings for Supergirl. That said, there's little chance that Mon-El will leave his wife for Kara, so it's time for her to move on.
Level the playing field | Now that Kara is awake and teamed with the Legion, Reign has also gained a new ally in her fight against National City. She has recruited the knowledgeable Thomas Coville (Chad Lowe), aka the man who devoted his life to learning all about Kryptonian religion and history. That eliminates her weakness of not knowing her purpose or origin thanks to having Coville by her side. However, that doesn't mean anything good for Supergirl, especially now that Coville let Reign know that there are other World Killers out there. "Stronger together" was an ominous way to sign off for the week.
Justice served? | No surprise here, but given all the evidence The Thinker (Kendrick Sampson) mounted against Barry (Grant Gustin) before the latter knew what was happening, the Scarlett Speedster was found guilty of DeVoe's murder. What was surprising about the way Barry's trial went down was how little of a fight he put up against the charges. Sure, he didn't want to out himself as The Flash. But there are a million other ways he could have proved the evidence against him was wrong. Yes, the knife was a wedding gift to him, but were his fingerprints on it? He never touched it. Where was DeVoe's wheelchair at the crime scene? If he went to Barry's apartment on his own, it should be there — yet it was nowhere in sight. Also, the timing of the murder doesn't line up; Barry discovered the body after DeVoe was dead. It seemed like Barry was resigned to go to prison long before the trial even began. That won't help him if he seeks a retrial. And for comic book fans hoping to see popular run "The Trial of the Flash" get its due here, this trial only lasted one episode. Hopefully, that means the series has something bigger and better coming up and didn't want to spend too much time in court.
Like father, like son | A twist of the knife came at the very end of the episode, when Barry was locked in his prison cell for the first time. He turned around only to see his father's handwriting on the wall: "Henry Allen was here." Talk about brutal. What are the odds that Barry was assigned the same cell as his father? Did that comfort him or was it only a reminder that justice can take decades to be served?
Rewind | The nonsense that Barry mumbled in the season premiere is starting to make sense. Upon realizing that something Barry said to them after coming out of the Speed Force connected to his trial, Team Flash is now going to go back through the footage of Barry's rambling in the police station to see what other time-displaced things he said. Could that be the answer to getting one step ahead of The Thinker? Team Flash sure could use the break, especially now that DeVoe has retained Dominic's mind-reading abilities when he took over the metahuman's body. An all-knowing mind-reading villain is pretty much unstoppable.
Elastic heart | Who would have thought that Ralph Dibny (Hartley Sawyer) would be the one to deliver the most heartfelt and moving speech of the night? When Joe (Jesse L. Martin) decided to plant false evidence to help acquit Barry, Ralph deceptively convinced Joe not to — while disguising his ploy as agreeing with the plan. It also provided insight into Ralph's abrasive exterior, since he destroyed his own life by planting false evidence to arrest a guilty criminal. Up to this point, he hadn't shown remorse, but this eye-opening moment displayed his true colors: He knows he ruined his own life and doesn't blame anyone but himself. He's also lonely and knows he pushed everyone in his life away. Hopefully, this moment of his opening up to Joe helps him bond more with his new team and, as a result, softens his frustratingly grating and defensive personality.
Secret's out | Twenty-one days after Cayden James (Michael Emerson) revealed his villain cabal to viewers, he also revealed that secret alliance to Oliver (Stephen Amell) the first time they came face-to-face in the midseason premiere. Why didn't he keep that secret longer? Cayden may be 10 steps ahead of Team Arrow, but showing his cards so soon seemed a little too egotistical. Just think of all the things he could have accomplished had Oliver not had his eyes opened so soon.
A team divided | Maybe Cayden doesn't need to worry about Oliver gaining any kind of upper hand, since Team Arrow has never been more fractured than it is now. After Oliver swallowed his pride and apologized to Dinah (Juliana Harkavy), Curtis (Echo Kellum) and Rene (Rick Gonzalez) for how things ended in the midseason finale with their leaving the team, the three newbies still didn't bury the hatchet. They rebuffed Oliver's olive branch and decided to form their own team to take on Cayden and his cabal, knowing full well that Oliver, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and Diggle (David Ramsey) were working on the same mission. How they think that's a good idea is completely baffling, considering they have the least amount of experience and resources.
Good as new | It took a few attempts, but Diggle has the full use of his hands and arms thanks to Felicity and Curtis finally fine-tuning their bio-implant. Oliver's OTA team now has two fully functioning field operatives instead of just the one. While Oliver definitely needs the assistance out in the field, watching Diggle get used to life as a bystander would have been fascinating to see play out. Given the show's track record when it comes to exploring physical injuries with the team (i.e., Felicity being confined to a wheelchair with no permanent or lingering effects after only a few episodes), that isn't surprising. But it's definitely a major missed opportunity.
Guess who's (probably) back? | After all the times that Arrow name-dropped season one antihero The Huntress (Jessica De Gouw) in this week's episode, it's probably time to start prepping for her return. Her cousin told Oliver that "she's underground," meaning she's probably still running around in the shadows taking down dudes who wronged her. What does that mean for Cayden James, who had her only remaining free family member killed in cold blood? Is revenge for his death what brings her back to Star City? And what does that mean for her and Oliver? Will the exes again be on the same side for an enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend alliance? Talk about a throwback.
Lightning and the ... | By the end of The CW's newest DC premiere, Jefferson's (Cress Williams) oldest daughter, Anissa (Nafessa Williams), was shocked to discover her own super strength (but because she doesn't know about her dad's metahuman powers, she has no idea what's happening to her). While the debut of superhero Thunder won't come for a while, as Anissa struggles to understand her own origin, the series sets up something truly unique in the DC TV world: an out-and-proud lesbian superhero. The way the series depicted Anissa in bed with her girlfriend made her story less about being gay and more about being a person. With her outspoken personality, passion for standing up for what's right and confidence in herself, Anissa could be the breakout star of Black Lightning.
Gotham returns this spring on Fox. Supergirl airs Mondays, The Flash and Black Lightning air Tuesdays, Arrow airs Thursdays, and Legends of Tomorrow will return next month, all on The CW.