8:00am PT by Sydney Bucksbaum
DC TV Watch: What's Next After That Mega 4-Show Crossover
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: The mega four-show, three-part crossover that aired this week didn't officially begin until The Flash, even though Supergirl was included. It continued as an episode of Arrow before concluding as an episode of Legends of Tomorrow.
Supergirl midseason finale
The end of Cadmus? Quicker than expected, Cadmus was caught by the authorities after Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) betrayed her mother Lillian (Brenda Strong) and turned her over to the police after she tried to unleash an alien-killing virus in National City. With Lillian heading to jail (like mother, like son) and Cadmus probably getting disbanded so early in the season, does this mean Superboy isn't going to appear on the show? That would definitely be disappointing, and a huge missed opportunity for the series. For those who don't read comic books, Superboy, aka Kon-El, was a clone created by Project Cadmus. Many first believed Chris Wood was going to play this iconic character when he was cast on the series, but when it was announced he was playing Mon-El, that killed the speculation.
Mon-El's secret: Speaking of Mon-El, what is he hiding? After kissing Kara (Melissa Benoist) while sick from the Medusa virus and later pretending he didn't remember it even though he clearly has feelings for her, a scene at the end of the finale showed an alien ship aggressively tracking Mon-El's pod. Could the story he told Kara about escaping Daxam have gone down differently? Perhaps he wasn't as heroic when Daxam was being destroyed as he claimed to be.
The Sanvers saga continues: Alex (Chyler Leigh) has had a very emotional journey this season coming to terms with her sexuality and coming out to her family. Making things even more complicated was her love interest Maggie (Floriana Lima), who encouraged Alex to come out before they could be together, but then saying they couldn't be together while Alex was so newly out and exploring her new identity. Alex rightly called Maggie out for sending her mixed signals, and Maggie realized after getting shot that life was too short to keep the people you love at arms' length. After telling Alex, "We should kiss the girls we want to kiss," she finally made a move on Alex. It took a while, but it looks like these two are finally going to try having a relationship.
Why Supergirl wasn't an episode of the crossover: While there was a scene at the very end of the episode with Barry (Grant Gustin) and Cisco (Carlos Valdes) appearing in Kara's apartment to get her help on their Earth, this episode was not officially a part of the crossover as that scene was also repeated on The Flash. "Part of what made it a little bit difficult was all the other shows — Flash, Arrow and Legends — all have a subsequent episode to the crossovers, but with Supergirl, it was our midseason finale," executive producer Andrew Kreisberg said. "So we wanted to make sure that episode eight of Supergirl spoke to what had been happening on the first seven episodes of Supergirl and not just as a tie-in. And then just logistically speaking, last year we did two shows with a sprinkling of Legends, and this year, we went to three shows. The idea of going to four full shows, I'm not sure we could have pulled off logistically speaking."
Gotham fall finale
Mama drama: Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) was thrown for a loop in the fall finale when her estranged mother reappeared in her life. But it turns out this is a story that the Gotham showrunners have been planning on introducing for a while. "I found out that Selina would be meeting her mom last season, actually," Bicondova told THR about that shocking twist. "The writers had mentioned it to me about doing it in season two and I was really excited about it. But it didn't happen until season three, so when they told me it was actually happening this season, I was both shocked and super stoked. I was just eager to start work on it."
The Flash, night one of the crossover
Fallout from the crossover: "Based on episode seven of Flash, Cisco and Barry were probably at their lowest point because Cisco learned that Dante [Nicholas Gonzalez] died in the Flashpoint conundrum, to suddenly make it a Big Bang Theory title," Kreisberg said. "But their friendship has been renewed through the course of these episodes. So when we come back in episode nine, Team Flash is in a really good place and strong again, which they need to be, because they're going to confront Savitar in episode nine."
But more Flashpoint ramifications are still coming: The consequences from Barry's decision to alter the timeline in the season premiere will continue to rock the DC universe, but it won't be the biggest crisis Team Flash will face. "There's a villain coming up who's another one of the husk villains that was created by Alchemy, so there's that to deal with," Kreisberg said. "But the midseason finale, episode nine, kind of creates a new problem for our heroes that they weren't anticipating, something that they've never faced before. It's so big, we're actually considering changing the saga sell from talking about Flashpoint to talking about that, because that's really what's driving the episodes for the rest of the season, actually. Flashpoint won't loom as large as the challenge that presents itself in [episode] 309."
Getting the Wests involved: It was great to see Iris (Candice Patton), Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) having such a big role in the crossover this year, and that was a conscious choice the showrunners made. "One of the things we always try to do, especially with the crossovers, is not make it feel like all of a sudden we’re in this evergreen world that’s completely disconnected to everything that’s been happening previous," Kreisberg said. "At the end of [The Flash] episode 307, Wally became a speedster. That’s huge. That’s big news. To sort of gloss over that and not have anybody react, considering the myriad of reactions Joe has had to Barry becoming a speedster and Iris finding out, it felt like we’d be doing a disservice to the people who were watching The Flash and enjoying it. We didn’t want you to feel like, for the people that have been watching The Flash, that suddenly their show disappeared for a week while we had all these superhero shenanigans. Also, this was a good opportunity to advance Wally’s story in terms of they all kind of got over their, 'Oh God, Wally is a speedster,' within the course of this giant episode where, what was the point of making sure Wally stays out of danger if the world is going to be destroyed by aliens? Him stepping into the fray and getting a little taste of things felt like it was an opportunity rather than something that we had to service because the story was telling us to."
Arrow, night two of the crossover and 100th episode
Fallout from the crossover: "Going into 509, which is the Arrow midseason finale, you'll see that Oliver [Stephen Amell] has a new sense of purpose," executive producer Marc Guggenheim said. "The events of 508 basically forced him to emotionally double down on his mission, so he goes into 509 with a new sense of purpose, and I would say, also, a reaffirmation of his bond with Thea [Willa Holland], because they basically chose each other in 508. That carries through the midseason finale and, obviously, sets up things beyond it."
How Flashpoint will affect Arrow: "The midseason finale, there's a fair amount of discussion about Flashpoint, given the fact that the crossover outed Flashpoint to the Arrow characters who weren't Felicity," Guggenheim said. "They deal with — I think in some humorous ways, actually — some of the ramifications. For example, I think Curtis is concerned that maybe he was straight originally, as one example."
Why Arrow's 100th episode was also the crossover: "That was the challenge was just how much to service the 100th episode-ness and how much to service the crossover," Guggenheim said. "I think it’s pretty obvious that we chose to go 100th episode, but it was totally a challenge. It was Greg [Berlanti]’s idea to have our five Arrow people and basically enter them into — we call it the matrix, lowercase 'm' — the Dominator matrix, and that allowed us to have our cake and eat it, too. This was sort of Oliver’s version of Flashpoint and it’s a little bit the version of Oliver’s version of 'The Girl Who Has Everything' from last year’s Supergirl. There’s a reason why these stories are iconic or familiar tropes even in comic books. It’s because when you show the protagonist the path not taken and you basically put them in the situation where they can choose to stay on that path or go back to their life with all of its ugly aspects and challenges, and they choose the selfless choice of returning to that ugly past, it makes your character stronger because it forced Oliver to double down on his mission and commit to this life with all of its losses and failures and challenges."
Roy and Tommy: While most of the characters from season one were able to return for the 100th episode, Roy (Colton Haynes) and Tommy (Colin Donnell) only appeared as a hologram at the very end of the episode as Oliver looked back on his past before leaving the alternate reality he was trapped in. "That beat was not in the original break of the episode," Guggenheim said. "Honestly, I can’t even tell you where that idea came from. It was just I was writing that scene where Oliver goes back and it just popped into my head that basically all the actors that we can’t get, at the time I didn’t know who we could get and who we couldn’t, I’m like, this is a way we can get them. And props to our visual effects house — Zoic handled those shots and they did an amazing, amazing job, particularly with Colin and with Colton, because we couldn't reshoot them. We had to take them from old episodes and root them out and put them into this. It was hard, obviously, because they had to work with pre-existing footage. Yes, they had 99 episodes to choose from, but it was a lot harder than it makes it sound. They did an incredible, incredible job, as they always do."
Legends of Tomorrow, night three of the crossover
Fallout from the crossover: "The two big takeaways are obviously Stein's daughter — we haven't seen the last of her," Guggenheim said. "You'll see her again in a few episodes. As well as Ray got his suit back, and he's very, very happy to be a superhero again."
More crossovers are coming: Now that Supergirl has her very own inter-dimensional breach device, the potential for more crossovers between the four CW DC shows is endless. "It's easier," Kreisberg said of plotting out more crossovers. "They've gotten to the point where we wanted to make that a little bit easier, and the next time we do it, it means it doesn't necessarily have to be because Oliver and Barry need Kara; it could be because Kara needs them. Again, we don't have anything planned. We just barely survived this one, so we're not too concerned with what we're going to try to do next year, but it just gives us as storytellers another way to come at a story."
The return of the Dominators: The superheroes sent the Dominators packing by the end of the crossover, but that doesn't mean they're gone for good. "What’s so nice about the shows, for us, is each of the shows has their own identity," Kreisberg said. "Especially this season, it feels like every show has sort of doubled down on what it’s about. With Arrow, we’ve really returned to the sort of gritty crime drama that it originally was and there’s so many echoes in this season to the earlier seasons. Flash has the metahumans, Legends have time-traveling, Supergirl has doubled down on the alien aspect. I think that’s what makes the shows feel different, so you’re not watching four hours of the same stuff every week. Whereas now that possibility is open because they’ve faced aliens, there’s certainly no plans to have an ongoing or bring up an alien storyline on Arrow. That really feels like the purview of Supergirl. I will say, though, this is not the last you’ve seen on the Dominators. The Dominators will return on Supergirl later this season."
What did you think of all the shocking twists, reveals and mysteries 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; Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW; and Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.