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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: Gotham did not air a new episode this week.
The big news: In an hour full of Snow family drama, one little Easter egg dropped a massive clue for what’s coming in the “Elseworlds” crossover.
What it means: When Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) reunited with her estranged father Thomas Snow (Kyle Secor) in his icy quarantine, before he went full villain he let slip that he’d been watching the STAR Labs team via a one-way video uplink for years, so he was privy to all their Team Flash secrets. He also revealed he’d kept in contact with many scientists including “Louise Lincoln, Victor Fries, and Harrison Wells.” Fans of the comics know that Louise Lincoln is another version of Killer Frost, and both comic book and TV fans alike know the long and sordid history of Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh), although it’s unclear if Thomas was in contact with the real Wells or his villainous imposter Eobard Thawne (Matt Letscher).
What’s important is the name Victor Fries, aka Mr. Freeze. One of the most iconic DC Comics villains is going to play a part in absentia in the upcoming Arrow-verse crossover, as his wife Nora Fries will be portrayed by Cassandra Jean Amell. Was Thomas working with Victor Fries before he became Mr. Freeze, or after? Did he spill all of Team Flash’s secrets, including Barry’s (Grant Gustin) real identity? Is this how Freeze’s wife comes into the picture in the crossover? Since Nora’s casting described her as “Mr. Freeze’s wife,” it’s clear that he’s already become the Batman villain from the comics, but how will Nora play into that?
Other noteworthy moments: In order to save her friends from her ice-cold father, Caitlin discovered the key to unlocking her Killer Frost alter ego/powers and was finally reunited with her long-lost friend. She also learned an important piece of information about her origin story: Thomas was trying to inoculate Caitlin against ALS, and the side effect of the cure was what sparked her metahuman-like abilities instead of dark matter. So she’s not actually a metahuman but something entirely different, which seems like crucial knowledge to keep in mind for this season’s big bad.
The big news: In its most politically charged season yet, Supergirl overtly referenced one of the biggest scandals currently happening in the real world now — that the CIA concluded that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman authorized the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post. In this week’s Supergirl, Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) got into a fight with James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks), who was embedding himself with the anti-alien hate group Children of Liberty in order to try and empathize with them to de-escalate the violence. “This is how journalists end up dead,” she told him in a heated moment.
What this means: Supergirl has always been the sunniest of all the Arrow-verse series ever since its debut on CBS. Kara’s (Melissa Benoist) genuine and caring disposition set the tone for the show, making it a great piece of escapist entertainment. But with the decidedly political turn this season, Supergirl dropped all pretense of fiction and instead became a much-needed cautionary tale of what this country can become in a short amount of time if the current political landscape is left unchecked. With the Children of Liberty releasing a manifesto in this week’s episode and unleashing a violent and hateful wave of attacks on innocent aliens (going so far as to break into their homes and beat them in front of their children and families), it’s scary to think that this isn’t too far a jump from where our country is now. It’s also interesting to note that Supergirl doesn’t preach, nor does it try to pretend there is a perfect solution to fighting hatred and prejudice. It’s been a third of the season and Supergirl is just as frustrated with fighting fear and hatred as real-world Americans are today. Where this season is going is anyone’s guess.
Other noteworthy moments: After Lena and James seemingly broke up over their differences of opinion about the Children of Liberty, Lena discovered that her secret experiments with the black Kryptonite created an indestructible human heart. Her plans to begin human trials means she’s one step closer to giving humans the same power advantages aliens have. But is that a good idea, seeing as how it’s humans who are targeting aliens?
Also, Supergirl fought a dragon, which was as amazing, horrifying and hilarious as it sounds.
The big news: After spending a third of the season behind bars and separated from his family and loved ones, Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) officially coming home.
What this means: Thanks to Laurel (Katie Cassidy) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) working together to build a case highlighting Oliver’s abuse inside Slabside Prison, plus the illegal psychological torture being conducted on Level Two, Laurel was able to get Oliver’s life sentence reduced. But the judge agreed to the terms only when Team Arrow/ARGUS captured Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) and used him as a trade for Oliver’s freedom. Now both are in prison together, with Oliver’s release on the horizon, and nothing can go wrong … right? It’s safe to say viewers shouldn’t expect Oliver’s release to go off without a hitch. But six (going on seven) episodes later and the main character is still behind bars? No one can say that Arrow doesn’t commit to a story arc under executive producer Beth Schwartz. This might be enough to erase the memory of the questionable three-episode arc of Felicity being paralyzed only to get up and walk away in stilettos. But only might.
Other noteworthy moments: While Oliver had no idea of what was happening outside the prison walls, he did realize his No. 1 Green Arrow fan/prison BFF Stanley (Brendan Fletcher) is actually the murderer he says he isn’t. He killed a guard and framed another inmate for the murder, and even manipulated Oliver into helping him do it. Yikes. That’s what you get for making friends in prison!
Plus, Anatoly (David Nykl) finally earned his comic book villain nickname KGBeast in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Easter egg name-drop. It only took a few seasons, but he finally got there.
Legends of Tomorrow
The big news: Not much world-shaking action happened in this week’s episode, aside from some fun side stories based around hungry “myth-tery” monsters and creatures, Thanksgiving and Mick (Dominic Purcell) getting back in touch with his literary side.
What this means: That’s not to say that this week’s Legends of Tomorrow wasn’t a great hour. It was! But with a lot of action and multiple fast-paced stories stuffed into one hour, there wasn’t much room for serialized development. Constantine’s (Matt Ryan) life was saved by Ray (Brandon Routh) and Nora (Courtney Ford) working together, which then resulted in Ray confessing his feelings for her and her redeeming herself in his eyes by handing herself over to the Time Bureau once Constantine was okay. Nate (Nick Zano) and Ava (Jes Macallan) spent Thanksgiving at his father Hank’s (Tom Wilson) house, which resulted in them bonding over their shared love and respect for their government work. But Hank is hiding something called “Project Hades” from his son, which may mean he’s actually a villain or just more complicated than he seems. And Charlie (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) is slowly becoming part of the Legends team by using her knowledge of all the escaped magical fugitives to help them defeat and capture them.
Other noteworthy moments: The fact that Legends is leaning into the joke of Mick’s talent for writing romance novels shouldn’t be overlooked — what a wacky thread to keep pulling! This week, it resulted in him making love to a woman with three boobs that he wrote who came to life. Wild!
The big news: Gambi’s (James Remar) alive!
What this means: After a whopper of a cliffhanger in the last episode, this week’s Black Lightning wasted no time in revealing that the tailor to the
stars heroes was not only alive but torturing and killing his would-be killer. But he’s keeping his survival a secret for the time being, not even clueing in the Jefferson family so that he can investigate who paid to have him killed.
Other noteworthy moments: Khalil (Jordan Calloway) finally learned the truth about who was responsible for paralyzing him back in season one. It’s not Black Lightning (Cress Williams), whom he’s been blaming this whole time, it was Tobias Whale (Marvin “Krondon” Jones III) who attacked the march that led to Khalil getting shot. Tobias slipped up and exposed his own culpability, and while Khalil tried to attack him, it just ended up with him getting hurt instead. At least he knows the truth now and is free to continue getting closer to Jennifer (China Anne McClain), but at what cost? And is it too little, too late after the blood he’s shed on Tobias’ orders?
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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