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Welcome back to The Hollywood Reporter‘s weekly DC TV Watch, a rundown of all things DC Comics on the small screen. Every Saturday, 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, Black Lightning and Gotham did not air new episodes this week.
The big news: New antihero Manchester Black (David Ajala) made his debut.
What this means: The comic book fan favorite makes a splash in this week’s episode, joining forces with J’onn J’onzz (David Harewood) to find his missing fiancee. Charming, sarcastic and wonderfully British, Manchester is a welcome addition to the Supergirl roster. Viewers learn all about his dark past in the hour, and how Fiona (Tiya Sircar) helped him walk the path of good. But now that she’s been killed thanks to Agent Liberty (Sam Witwer), it appears that Machester is turning back to his old ways of violence, buying a large supply of weapons at the end of the episode. If he ends up on the wrong side of Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and the DEO, hopefully he comes out the other side because his snarky, confident presence is already a season highlight and shouldn’t be abandoned so quickly. Plus, it’s interesting to note that Supergirl has changed up the character from the comic book source material: this Manchester Black is decidedly human with no psychic or telekinetic abilities.
Other noteworthy moments: Alex (Chyler Leigh) finally embraces her new responsibilities as DEO director, but it comes with a price. While she saves the day (with the help of Supergirl and J’onn) from Agent Liberty’s mind-controlled alien attacks, she goes directly against the orders of the POTUS (Bruce Boxleitner) to do it. Now she’s earned herself a babysitter at the DEO in the form of Col. Lauren Haley (April Parker Jones), who is seen whispering into the president’s ear earlier. What kind of power does she have over the commander in chief? And how is she going to wield it at the DEO?
James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) goes on quite the emotional roller coaster this week as he suits up as Guardian for the first time since he wasn’t indicted as a vigilante. He helps save the day (and a lot of lives), and there are surprisingly no new charges leveled against him, despite being told he would be arrested if he ever suited up as Guardian again. But then the other shoe drops: the “Earth First” anti-alien movement uses his return and twists the proceedings to suit its propaganda needs, falsely claiming Guardian as its new mascot/warrior. Yikes.
In addition, Brainy (Jesse Rath) and Lena (Katie McGrath) work together in one of the funniest scenes of the season to rid the Earth’s atmosphere of Kryptonite so Kara no longer has to stay in her armored suit. While fans speculated the suit would be around for a while (perhaps to give Benoist a mini-hiatus for her Broadway run), it only appeared for one week.
And while the big DC TV crossover doesn’t air for a month, this week features a surprise crossover when Legends of Tomorrow favorite Beebo makes his Supergirl debut as a plush toy at the National City carnival. What can’t this fuzzy blue bear do?!
The big news: A new Canary takes flight while the flash-forwards reveal that Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) is potentially dead in the future.
What this means: While an arson case and one of Ricardo Diaz’s (Kirk Acevedo) Longbow Hunters keeps most of the former Team Arrow busy this week, it is the flash-forwards that take center stage with the biggest reveals yet. After Dinah (Juliana Harkavy) gifts Rene’s (Rick Gonzalez) daughter with a canary pin in the present-day storyline, the flash-forwards pay off that foreshadowing by making the grown version of Zoe (Andrea Sixtos) a vigilante herself, part of a resistance group. It turns out that future Star City falls when The Glades rises, erecting a wall to keep people out and using the SCPD as hired guns. Something big happened between now and 20 years in the future to completely decimate every part of the city that isn’t The Glades, which is ironic considering The Glades has always been the part of the city to suffer on this show. But apparently along the way, Felicity finally did bring her fated Smoak Tech empire to life … and died, according to the future Dinah. But is that actually true, or did Felicity fake her death to put her mysterious plan in motion to bring William (Ben Lewis) and Roy (Colton Haynes) back to the city? Does she want her son and old best friend to take back Star City and return it to its former glory? This is one of the series’ original characters (although not in the pilot, she made her debut in the second episode and never looked back) and losing her would be a huge moment for the series, for good or bad. Is Arrow actually going to pull the trigger or is this all going to be a big fake-out?
Other noteworthy moments: In his new home on Level Two, Oliver (Stephen Amell) is subjected to psychological torture and electroshock therapy without his consent by the psychiatrist who works to help “redeem” violent criminals. By the end of the episode, Oliver seems to give in to the twisted doctor’s methods, becoming calm and losing his trademark alpha anger. But has he really been changed, or is he faking it to make the doctor believe he’s no longer violent, thus granting him access to the Demon, for whom he got himself locked up on Level Two in the first place?
Supergirl isn’t Beebo’s only crossover appearance this week, as the fuzzy blue bear also shows up on Arrow this week. Curtis (Echo Kellum) brings a large stuffed Beebo to Rene’s daughter while she recuperates in the hospital from an attack in the present-day storyline. And Curtis has the right idea: “Don’t hate on Beebo.” Is this the best week for Beebo or what?
Legends of Tomorrow
The big news: Maisie Richardson-Sellers makes her return to the Waverider as new “myth-tery” Charlie, aka a shape-shifter.
What this means: After Richardson-Sellers’ first character Amaya left the Waverider last season to fulfill her destiny as the grandmother of Vixen, Legends of Tomorrow producers revealed that the actor wouldn’t be leaving the show. Speculation ran wild as to who she would play next, and this week’s episode serves as her new origin story. Her new character, Charlie, is a shape-shifter the Legends pick up in London in the punk-rock ’70s, but she isn’t evil and doesn’t do anything to deserve being sent to hell. Ray (Brandon Routh) actually befriends her and defends her to the point where the rest of the team couldn’t doom her to an eternity in hell, so they capture her and bring her on board the Waverider until they could figure out what to do with her. But Constantine (Matt Ryan) foresees the issues a shape-shifter could present on the ship, so he performs a spell, taking away her powers. Now she’s stuck wearing Amaya’s face, which she only took on to manipulate the team into not sending her to hell, playing on their love for their former team member. But despite her looking identical to Amaya, this punk rebel is nothing like the character fans are used to seeing from Richardson-Sellers, and this is already a beautiful beginning to her new run on the series.
Other noteworthy moments: But Charlie’s new residence on the Waverider does present a big problem: Nate (Nick Zano) has only just gotten over his break-up with Amaya and seems ready to return to the Legends after his stint at the Time Bureau. Sara (Caity Lotz) decides to have him remain at the bureau a little longer, and doesn’t tell him about their new roommate. What is going to happen when Nate finds out about Charlie? How will he react to see his ex’s face on a different person?
Plus, shoutout to that meta “Dare to Defy” line. Taco Mondays really is breaking the rules. Nice one, Gary (Adam Tsekhman).
And it shouldn’t be overlooked that Ray got a tattoo this week while trying to fit in with a punk rock band. His tattoo of choice? A corgi with a mohawk … representing the time he stole one of the queen of England’s royal dogs on a dare. Is it ever going to get old saying that this week’s Legends of Tomorrow was a series highlight because of how it’s wacky, zany hijinks work against all odds? Nope. Never.
Supergirl airs Sundays, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow air Mondays, The Flash and Black Lightning air Tuesdays, all on The CW; Gotham returns Jan. 3 on Fox.
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