Wednesday, May 10, 2017

REVIEW: The CW's 'Supergirl,' 'The Flash' and 'Arrow' (May 8-10)

Reviews for The CW's Arrowverse shows from May 8-10:

The CW's Supergirl - Episode 2.20 "City of Lost Children"
The CW's The Flash - Episode 3.21 "Cause and Effect"
The CW's Arrow - Episode 5.21 "Honor Thy Fathers"

Due to the demands of Peak TV, it is becoming more and more difficult for this website to devote the time to full length episodic reviews. And yet, there are still thoughts to be had about the ongoing adventures on a number of series. As problematic as they may be, the Arrowverse shows on The CW are having interesting and engaging seasons at the moment. So I thought it would be good to still write down a couple of brief thoughts about each episode on a weekly basis. Of course, you can still expect full reviews for premieres and finales. If The CW should make screeners available, those episodes would get detailed analysis as well. But for now, this will be the way to continue to provide content for these shows while also being a lighter workload for me.

Supergirl - "City of Lost Children"
When an alien attacks National City, Supergirl and the DEO learn the alien is a Phorian, an otherwise peaceful race with telekinetic powers. Guardian gets a lead on the Phorian's address but instead of finding the culprit, he finds a very scared boy named Marcus. Marcus will only trust James so it is up to Guardian to stop the attacks on the city. Rhea's plan escalates. Directed by Ben Bray with story by Robert Rovner and teleplay by Gabriel Llanas & Anna Musky-Goldwyn

James has been the least engaging character on this show across the entire series run. This season has tried to incorporate him into the superhero activities more. But his new identity as Guardian hasn't been all that interesting to watch. He still feels separated from everything else on the show. So an episode that primarily focuses on him could have been very problematic. Instead, it's still mostly effective. It works because James is involved with the DEO and helps aliens as himself. Don't know what it's all trying to set up though. Meanwhile, it's great that Rhea isn't operating in the shadows for very long. Kara and Mon-El learn she's still on Earth and causing problems. The first half of this season was all about humans being wrong to fear an alien invasion. But now, Rhea is invading with her alien race. That's a very ominous final note for this episode that sets up an interesting end game for the season. B

The Flash - "Cause and Effect"
Barry takes drastic measures to stop Savitar. Meanwhile, H.R. continues to push Tracy Brand to design the trap for Savitar and Killer Frost returns with an interesting proposal. Written by Judalina Neira & Lauren Certo and directed by David McWhirter

This show was so much fun to watch in its first season. That quality has largely been beaten out of it in the seasons since. This episode proves just how delightful it is when Barry can smile and enjoy being a superhero again. It's fun and delightful to watch. Bart is such an amusing version of the character. But it's incredibly cruel for the show to then say, "yeah, this version of the character will never exist again because we've put him through too much trauma and tragedy." That's very annoying. The actual story of this episode really doesn't mean anything either. It's just an experiment that doesn't change anything in the war with Savitar. Plus, this show should really stop with time travel. It's broken every rule it's ever set up. And now, Savitar justifies that by saying "the more you mess with time the more chaotic and broken the rules become." That's just so lame and lackluster. It makes it impossible to follow anything regarding time travel and that's such a disservice to the audience. B-

Arrow - "Honor Thy Fathers"
Oliver returns to the mayor's office and faces one of his most pressing issues yet - the forced release of dozens of violent criminals prosecuted by Adrian Chase. Meanwhile, a crate is delivered to Oliver's office containing a mysterious corpse encased in concrete. Written by Marc Guggenheim & Sarah Tarkoff and directed by Laura Belsey

The hunt for Adrian Chase really hasn't been the focus over the last few episodes. That changes with this one. Chase is at the forefront of the action once more. But more importantly, so are all of the characters' daddy issues. That's a shared thematic link between all of them. It gives this hour a nice hook to it. Even though it's lame that Chase is willing to drop everything just by learning a new detail about his father wanting to disown him because he was crazy. He's clearly surrendering because he wants to be in an ARGUS prison. Oliver and company not realizing that makes them look dim. Plus, the idea that they should just leave the past alone is a powerful message that the show just reiterates over and over again until it no longer has any meaning. Thea returns though. But she's still in angst and really hasn't changed since the last we saw of her. Meanwhile, it's devastating that Rene doesn't show up for his custody hearing. But for the amount of screen time it's gotten lately, it doesn't hit as hard as it could. B