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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.
DC TV takes a big step with LGBTQ storylines: We didn’t think it would happen, but Gotham decided to lean in to the fan-favorite relationship between Oswald “Penguin” Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) and Ed Nygma (Cory Michael Smith), aka the future Riddler. After a tumultuous year in which TV shows kept killing off gay or queer characters, supporting the controversial “Bury Your Gays” trope, Gotham is flipping the script on the iconic Batman canon with at least one of its villains, as Penguin revealed to his maid that he had romantic feelings for his best friend and mayoral chief of staff. Considering Nygma to be his one true love, he asked him to dinner, but with the introduction of a doppelganger of Nygma’s former girlfriend Kristen Kringle (Chelsea Spack), it is unclear whether Nygma feels the same about Penguin just yet. Regardless of how Nygma will react to Penguin’s emotional confession, this surprising development with Penguin is a promising step in the right direction for LGBTQ characters on TV. Plus it gives fans what they’ve been wanting since last season when the two villains shared an apartment and a deep friendship that left many questioning if it was more than just a platonic relationship. While Gotham has featured a bisexual character for the entire run in series regular Barbara Kean (Erin Richards), Penguin is such a huge DC Comics property that going off canon is a worthy twist, and a step in the right direction for this show as it is not being played for shock value, but rather a natural evolution for the character.
Coming out mystery revealed? This summer, DC TV producers revealed that a main character from one of the four CW superhero series would be exploring their sexuality and coming out, but they didn’t say which show or which character it would be. After this week’s Supergirl, all signs point to Kara’s (Melissa Benoist) adoptive sister Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh), as she hit it off with openly gay detective Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima). Together, they worked to solve a case and Maggie opened Alex’s eyes about being accepted for who you are, whether that means being an alien or being gay. The looks Alex and Maggie shared sparked insane chemistry and sexual tension, and it was clear that Alex was deeply affected by their time together. When Maggie left Alex to go on a “hot date,” was that jealousy Alex was feeling? It has never been officially stated that Alex is straight, and while she has been on a few dates with men on the show she has never shown interest in someone like she is now with Maggie. This could be the answer to the coming-out mystery Greg Berlanti was talking about when he first teased the storyline, and it’s perfect that it will happen on a show that constantly deals with allegories about the experience of coming out, whether that’s Kara coming out as Supergirl or Hank (David Harewood) coming out as the Martian Manhunter.
Yet another Harrison Wells: Tom Cavanagh sure has his work cut out for him on The Flash. We are now getting to meet a third version of Harrison Wells, as Earth-2’s scientist and STAR Labs ally realized he needed to get back home to his universe, but Barry (Grant Gustin) and the rest of his team still needed a Harrison Wells to help them with their adventures on Earth-1. So they sent a kind of “help wanted” riddle/math equation/coded message out into the multi-verse and got a response from Earth-19’s hipster Harrison Wells doppelganger H.R., and that’s currently who is living at STAR Labs. But he’ll totally turn out to be evil, right?
Killer Frost returns: While Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) has been able to keep her newly-surfaced Killer Frost powers a secret from everyone, that won’t last long. At the end of the episode, she accidentally lost control of her powers and froze her shower. Her hair began to turn white and her lips are blue. “When she starts to lose control of her powers, it’s scary for her,” Panabaker tells THR. “She doesn’t know who to turn to or who to trust. She doesn’t even know if she can trust herself. She met her Earth-2 doppelganger and look how well that turned out.” Her own fears will force her to turn to her estranged mother, Dr. Tannhauser (Susan Walters), a renowned biomedical researcher, in the hopes that her mother can provide some answers about her growing meta-human powers.
Another new superhero is coming: If it seemed like D.A. Adrian Chase (Josh Segarra) has more rage and bravery than your friendly neighborhood District Attorney should in this week’s episode during Tobias Church’s (Chad L. Coleman) attack, that’s because he’s destined to be much more than his current job asks of him. In the comics, Adrian becomes the DC Comics hero Vigilante, and it looks like Arrow is going to be telling that story, however in a subtle way. “[Episode] 507 is where we show our cards the most, in terms of Adrian’s character,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim says. “What’s fun about the way we’re writing Adrian and the way we’re portraying Josh’s character is we are writing with the knowledge that the audience has a certain amount of comic book knowledge. If they don’t, and if you’re not a comic book fan, it’ll fly over your head, and that’s totally fine; it’s like an adult joke in a Pixar movie. But if you are familiar with the comic, then you’ll probably interpret certain scenes in a very specific way, and that’s fun for us. I don’t think we’ve ever really done it in this fashion before: use their comic book destiny as part of the storytelling.”
Legends of Tomorrow
A family connection: When the Legends were forced to save Nate (Nick Zano) and Ray (Brandon Routh) from feudal Japan, they ended up running into distant ancestors of Arrow‘s Katana, aka Tatsu Yamashiro (Rila Fukushima). While this probably won’t come into play on any of the Arrow-verse shows in the future, it’s always fun when the producers find a way to include Easter egg tie-ins in the narrative. Arrow fans, this one was for you.
A new Legend: After stowing away on the Waverider, believing one of the Legends to be the “time traveler” that Rex Tyler (Patrick J. Adams) warned her about in his final moments, Amaya (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) realized that the Legends weren’t responsible for her former leader’s death. In fact, they were chasing that same rogue time traveler who killed Rex. And so Vixen became a new member of the Legends team, and surprisingly enough found that she had the most sparks with Mick (Dominic Purcell). Could there be a new romance brewing aboard the Waverider? She seems to think that Mick is more of a hero than he believes he is. She might be the push he needs to become a full-fledged hero, and not a thug forced to save the other Legends week-to-week. If and when Mick and his former partner Leonard Snart aka Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) ever come face-to-face again, it’s likely that Snart won’t even recognize Heatwave.
A surprising crossover: While repairing the Waverider, Jax (Franz Drameh) and Dr. Stein (Victor Garber) discovered Rip’s (Arthur Darvill) secret compartment with a large cache of future tech weapons and a message from Barry Allen from 40 years in the future. While we didn’t get to hear the message that Barry left for Rip warning him not to tell the other Legends, Jax and Stein did. Whatever they heard shook them to their core and they decided not to tell the rest of the team. Could the content of that message have to do with the four-show crossover coming up later this season? Does future Barry need Rip’s help with a problem or is he trying to help the past by warning Rip of something bad that’s coming?
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. 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.
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