This Week in the Arrowverse: Nov 14th - 17th (REVIEW)
written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
It’s a full week of DC CW goodness this past week. Supergirl faces a major villain debut when Parasite makes his Arrowverse appearance, Wally West begins dreaming of his time as Kid Flash in Flashpoint, so it begins with Prometheus but Team Arrow has to deal with a new vigilante, and the Legends go back to the old west to help out their good buddy Jonah Hex.
First off, Supergirl this past week featured classic comic villain Parasite. When researchers discover the body of a prehistoric arctic wolf thanks to the melting icecaps, this discovery leads to more questions when the discover the corpse was still warm. It’s here we first see Parasite, an alien life form that feeds off its host while granting the host superhuman strength and endurance.
Dr. Rudy Jones is the unfortunate host who Parasite latches on to next, forcing him to kill his fellow researchers to feed off their life energy. This of course isn’t played out as explicitly as one would like, leaving the D.E.O clueless as to what is happening when they “rescue” Dr. Jones.
On the Kara Danvers front, Mon-El begins finding his own way in the world. After his stint at Cat Co didn’t exactly pan out as expected, he begins working as hired muscle for what I can only assume is an alien loan shark. This doesn’t sit well with Kara, calling him out for being selfish and using his powers only to better his standing in life. Not content to just keep the troubles to Mon-El, Alex struggles with her newfound feelings and tries coming out to Kara… something that ends in awkward levels of disaster.
After discovering the truth behind what happened to the good doctor, Supergirl and Martian Manhunter go after it. This of course doesn’t go as planned when Parasite drains both of them of their powers, causing the host and the parasite to evolve into an unstoppable rage monster. Back at the D.E.O. both J’onn and Kara are out of commission. Without a Supergirl to save the day, the heroics end up falling to others. Primarily Mon-El and James Olsen. James begins hounding Winn to give him his suit, while Winn exclaims that the Guardian suit isn’t quite ready yet, James wins this argument when he tells Winn that he’s going out there with or without the suit… but at least with the suit he has more of a chance to survive. Alex appeals to Mon-El, hoping that the Damaite will use his powers… though not as developed as Kara’s… to help wit the Parasite problem.
Though a bit rushed, it’s here we see the birth of who these heroes are meant to become. It’s a season of evolutions across the Arrowverse, and if Barry and Ollie can’t do it by themselves… even the Girl of Steel could use a helping hand. Mon-El jumps headfirst into action while James finally makes his debut as Guardian. It’s great to see Mon-El becoming the hero he’s destined to be, but James in that suit give crime fighting on Supergirl a grounded approach that such a fantastical show needs.
Back at the D.E.O., J’onn isn’t recovering and Alex pleads with M’gann to give some of her blood to help save him. Of course at this point noone knows yet that M’gann isn’t a Green Martian but is rather a White Martian. It isn’t clear what a White Martian to Green Martian blood transfusion will do to J’onn, but judging by how M’gann apologized to J’onn lying there… it can’t be good.
When Supergirl gets up on her feet again, she opens up with Alex about how her coming out was something she didn’t expect. It threw her off and she apologized that she didn’t do much to help make her feel at ease with telling her. Of course this has to wait with both Mon-El and Guardian out there tangling with Parasite. The trio swiftly dispatch Parasite and Kara is forced to destroy him. Guess that’s that last we’ll see of Parasite. As a villain, I felt they missed a note here, killing Parasite off so swiftly. It feels like the first season of The Flash with notable comic book villains inadvertently dying instead of sticking around long enough for a rematch.
Speaking of The Flash, times are tough in Central City when Alchemy begins calling out to Wally. He begins dreaming of being Kid Flash in Flashpoint, the same dreams that plagued both Magenta and the Rival before being given their powers back. To make matters worse, a new meta begins terrorizing the city.
Shade makes his Arrowverse debut, a metahuman with the ability to manipulate his appearance, making it seem like a shadow is killing people. This distraction couldn’t come at a worse time. Wally ends up getting placed into the pipeline for his own protection and Caitlin struggles with her frosty tendencies. Caitlin asks Cisco to vibe her, hoping that there is a chance that her powers aren’t going to make her go full on supervillain… but unfortunately Cisco vibes a future where he is going 1v1 against Caitlin in full Killer Frost regalia.
When Shade attacks an outdoor movie showing, possibly one of the only normal moments in their lives, Team Flash is forced to mobilize to take down the shadowy meta. Somewhat anti-climactic, but the whole Shade business wasn’t the main focus of this episode.
Wally is still dealing with onset headaches and agonizing pain from being called by Alchemy. Team Flash coordinates with CCPD, using Wally as bait. The final showdown happens at an abandoned warehouse (of course) with Alchemy and several of his followers present, it looks like the perfect chance to get a drop on them. Of course right when everything feels like it’s going right… this season’s big bad FINALLY makes his appearance. In all the commotion, Wally goes for a mysterious stone that after touching it immediately encases him in a cocoon.
Welcome to the Arrowverse Savitar, a speedster who fancies himself the God of the Speedforce. After dispatching some of CCPD’s finest, he goes after Barry. Somehow everyone else but Barry can’t see him, why now? There isn’t an explanation. Overall, this section of my review was shortest because up until the last couple minutes this episode was more so a snoozefest. Shade wasn’t that great of a villain but hopefully with the episode ending on a cliff hanger, we get more of Savitar the following week.
Jumping to Star City, the war with Prometheus has to be on hold for an episode when a brand new player starts taking out bad guys with lethal force. Vigilante makes his Arrowverse debut, a man with a some serious firepower and a master plan. He’s killing bad guys... and Team Arrow with their focus on not killing puts The Vigilante directly in their crosshairs… that is if bows had crosshairs.
This seems to create a bit of a rift among the recruits again. The idea of Oliver controlling who should and shouldn’t be a vigilante rubs the recruits, especially Evelyn, the wrong way. It’s given that with these recruits being rookies at best they don’t get the gravity behind Oliver’s decisions.
Someone like The Vigilante poses a serious threat to not just Team Arrow but also innocent Star City citizens. The episode opens with sex traffickers parading some “product” until The Vigilante dispatches the bunch of em. Both Oliver and Diggle agree that The Vigilante has to be stopped. A bank robbery that ended in bloodshed left one of the gang members out in the wings with that person being Team Arrow’s tie to finding this mysterious new player.
Outside of the mask and hero crowd, Oliver faces some stressful troubles and he turns to the unlikeliest of friends. Susan Williams, the lady who has gone so far as to crucify Oliver in the media seems to have taken a more personal interest in the young mayor. The ongoing father-daughter like relationship between Thea and Quentin evolves when Quentin comes clean with what he woke up to the last episode. The throwing star, the cut on his arm. Of course, Quentin can’t be Prometheus but this is proof that someone close to Team Arrow is literally messing with everyone allied with Oliver Queen and his crusade… Quentin may be the first but I doubt he’ll be the last. Thea forces him to go into rehab, so I guess we won’t see Quentin for a while… the guy does need a break… I know I’d go nuts if I had to have my daughters die multiple times…
As for the flashbacks; I’ve said it before and I will say it again, the whole Russia/Bratva arc has been hands down the BEST flashbacks Arrow has seen since the second season. After meeting with Kovar, Oliver learns that the Bratva are actually working with Kovar and his organization. Of course we all know that this won’t be the final tipping point for Oliver. Ever since season one, we heard the Bratva name drop and we know that when Ollie returned to Starling (at the time) City, he was still a Captain in the Bratva. How he rises to that role, we don’t quite know yet… but I have a feeling Kovar will be heavily involved in this rise… one way or another.
On the Vigilante front, the team tracks him down by looking for the bank robber that got away. After almost burning down a motel and leaving innocent people dead and injured, Team Arrow definitely has to drop this Vigilante and put him away once and for all. After getting his impromptu date with Susan Williams interrupted, Team Arrow plans to “rob a bank” to draw The Vigilante out in the open. It pans out when he shows up, but ended up unexpectedly when Vigilante takes Mister Terrific. After saving Curtis, Vigilante makes a speedy escape. While I feel like their interpretation of Vigilante feels very Punisher, with Arrow going out of their way to either kill or write off much of their villains… I feel like this won’t be the last we’ve seen of Vigilante. A little bit of comic book knowledge here, for those in the know... you know that the DA of Star City, Adrian Chase, is the Vigilante in the comic books. Perhaps Vigilante getting away hints at eventually unveiling Chase as the man behind the mask.
As for our time traveling friends, rather than chasing down Darhk and his time traveling partner, the Legends notice a time aberration in the old west… sending the team back to visit their old friend Jonah Hex.
When a Time Pirate crosses paths with this episodes baddie of the week, Turnbull, the outlaw kills the time traveler after learning why he was there… looking for Dwarf Star Alloy, the fictional mineral that fuels Ray’s Atom suit.
The discovery of Dwarf Star decades before its time creates a new future where the Old West stayed wild and full of outlaws, creating like an ever powerful land full of the baddest of the bad just being bad. This future is one that the Legends are there to prevent, but for our good buddy Jonah Hex he’s out for revenge. Turnbull was the reason that Jonah Hex’s face is horribly disfigured, and the outlaw’s penchant for killing innocents.
Following the shows format as of late, the ensemble seems to split up… handling their own personal fights. Sara and Hex play out as the leaders of the bunch, Amaya and Mick act as the forward guard, and the team of Ray/Jax/Nate attempt to infiltrate Turnbull’s camp. Martin Stein doesn’t spend any time in the field this episode. When it started he was having visions of a woman he didn’t know, but come the episode’s end he mentioned that despite not knowing who she is he feels that he is in love with her. Could a second adventure with his younger self have caused this time paradox? No full explanation this time, guess we’ll have to wait to unravel the rest of Martin Stein’s problems.
As for the problem at hand, when it’s discovered that Turnbull has weaponized Dwarf Star the Legends have to stop him on three fronts. Sara and Hex devise a plan to pretend as if Sara has captured Hex. This easily gets them into Turnbull’s camp, Amaya and Mick have a far more explosive plan… to blow up the mine while Mick goes full on beast mode on Turnbull’s men. As for the trio of Ray/Jax/Nate, they discover a plan to cut off most of the Eastern United States by sending a train full of Dwarf Star to explode. The most deliciously campy scenes from this entire Arrowverse week, Nate goes full on Citizen Steel and stops the train with brute strength.
Overall, it wa a fun and full week of Arrowverse goodness. The introduction of Savitar was fun but I still can’t get over the character being entirely CG. I feel like with the budget of the show, this schtick can get old fast. I was hoping for a more traditional comic book look to Savitar. While the God of Speed does look menacing, it felt campy still. Once again, my top pick for the week was AGAIN Legends of Tomorrow. This past week was full of everything I love about these comic book shows… and then some. Way to go Team Legends!