Crisis Management:Batwoman, Supergirl, The Flash & Black Lightning Weeks 1 & 2; Arrow Season 5

I remember back in the winter that I realized a new era was coming to The Fangirl’s Dilemma this year, as four very very big nerd culture moments were happening in 2019

Avengers: Endgame (I loved it!)

Game Of Thrones Season 8 (I did not love it!)

Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker (We shall see!)

And, last and probably least in the minds of the greater public.

CW’s Arrowverse taking on of Crisis On Infinite Earths. 

The Arrowverse, so named for it’s flagship show, which I haven’t watched in years, but is wrapping up this year, so I’m gonna do my darndest to catch up on it…is approaching critical mass. It has (at least) 3 mainstream universes where it’s shows take place. (I have my theories about Doom Patrol and Titans…) Not to mention the others that jump to on The Flash semi-regularly.

The crossover is promising to bring back almost every single actor to ever play a DC character on television. (There are a few conspicuous absences, MESSRS. ROSENBAUM AND CAIN.) Including things none of us ever thought we were going to see, like Brandon Routh as Superman again, or Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne.

Anyway, as I have a tendency to let myself get behind on these shows, I figured that a good way to keep up would be to give the Arrowverse the Monday slot for now. I may move it when The Mandolorian hits (to Thursday, likely) but for now, this most constant place in my schedule goes to The Arrowverse.

Batwoman: Season 1: Episodes 1 &2: Pilot & The Rabbit Hole

We, the CW superhero loving public met Kate Kane last year when Kara Danvers, Oliver Queen and Barry Allen (Body swapped at the time) wandered their heroic leather clad booties into her city in search of a secret book that would rewrite reality.

Kate, it was established was Bruce Wayne’s cousin, (Kara did not reveal the secret, partially I think because she finds it hilarious.) and that since Bruce left Gotham for oblique Bruce-ish reasons I’m sure, she’s taken up the mantle of Batwoman. The pilot brings us back to Kate’s earliest days as a vigilante.

After being kicked out of the army for homosexuality. (It was pointed out that this backstory for Kate would not be applicable if she were even 5 years younger. Which is INSANELY COOL AND GREAT!) Kate travelled the world training to join her father’s private security firm, The Crows, who are defending Gotham in Batman’s absence.

Kate resents the Caped Crusader, who she doesn’t know is her beloved cousin, as he saved her as a child but didn’t manage to save her mother and sister. OR SO SHE THOUGHT.

Kate teams up with Luke Fox (Dare I dream of Batwing on my TeeVee, Oh friends, I dream, I dream big time) and becomes Batwoman, evading her dad, and fighting the mysterious Alice, who it is revealed is in fact Beth Kane, Kate’s supposedly dead sister. Oh also, Kate’s ex girlfriend is working for her dad and is now married to a man, and also her dad is remarried to a scheming socialite type and her step sister Mary is a med student who’s running an illegal free clinic for Gotham’s downtrodden.

It seems like family and sisterhood are going to be major themes for this show and since these are both themes that these shows handle incredibly well.

The show is good so far. I like Ruby Rose far more than most as Kate Kane. She’s already got a pretty good supporting cast around her. (LUKE MOTHER FUCKING FOX CHILDREN!) I think the show could grow into something special.

Supergirl: Season 5: Episodes 1 & 2: Event Horizon & Stranger Beside Me

After exposing Lex Luthor and getting a Pulitzer Prize for her trouble, Kara Danvers is ready to take on the world, of course there’s all kinds complications. Lena knows her secret and is being made to feel like she was betrayed. (Because of course she sort of was.) Also Lena sold Catco to Andrea Rojas, who wants to paper to like, make money? Or something? Anyway, she’s very into getting clicks, so Jimmy quits in protest, and now might be running for senator.

OK, Jimmy, you go do that. (I know Mehcad Brooks is leaving the show, which I think is for the best. I think he’s gifted and quite good looking, but the writing’s never been there for James Olsen, dreamy boy photographer/late in life helmetted superhero, especially once Jeremy Jordan left the show.)

Alex, meanwhile continues to rock fabulous queer lady haircuts and is dating James’s cool sister Kelly, who is a scientist and a badass, and also works for Andrea. (If the Crisis does not net a queer lady power shot like the “She’s got help” moment where Alex, Sarah Lance, Kate Kane and Anissa Jefferson kick some butts, we will have WORDS BERLANTI) That’s twisted and also Alex is mega awkward and bad at relationships, but otherwise, this is a story I am enjoying.

J’onn’s evil brother M’al’a’falak is on the scene, transported in by The Monitor, presumably to test team Supergirl. This is not good for J’onn but is great for me, because I love Martian shit.

The Flash Season 6: Episodes 1 & 2: “Into The Void” & “A Flash Of Lightning”

The Flash is probably going to be doing most of the heavy lifting for pre Crisis prep which is a good call, since Barry’s going to die and all, plus they hop between universes on that show like the Arrow folks go through bar bells, or Jefferson Pierce does inspirational quotes.

Barry and Iris are morning Nora, who they know will be born. (Or not, since Barry is going to die) but they still miss her. Of course this is Barry and Iris, so they’re dealing with it by gazing soulfully at one another, and Barry working too much. But they’re dealing. Killer Frost has decided that she wants a life, and Ralph and Caitlin are determined to give it to her, which is completely adorable. Cisco is now power free and loving life with his new girlfriend, but I miss vibe, y’all, I miss him a lot.

Our villain this year is Bloodborne, who is being played by Sendhil Rammamurthy and all I can think of when he and Caitlin were talking was about how well Caitlin and Dr. Mohinder Suresh would have gotten along. Anyway, he turned himself into a cancer monster oh no! (Remember when he turned himself into a bug dude? Oh, you didn’t watch Heroes after season 2? Anyway that’s a thing he did. He stuck to the ceiling it was really gross.) 

The second episode, begins Barry’s inevitable march toward Crisis death. (Can’t have a Crisis without a dead Flash) with a visit to Jay Garrick of Earth 3. John Wesley Shipp is always a welcome presence on any show, but especially this one. He lets Barry know that his decision to look into what’s happening with The Monitor is legit is a good one, and introduces his wife Joan. I squeed and clapped at Joan’s inclusion.

Killer Frost’s attempt at a life is going OK, Cisco and Ray Palmer (RAY RAY! We’re not getting Legends until after post-Crisis, which is both sad and something we’re all going to have to deal with) created a way for her to modulate her voice and make her eyes more normal, so she can go around in normal society. Of course she’s still Killer Frost, so she’s pretty rude, but she wants to be an artist.

Cecile and Joe are on a meta case, and Cecile’s empathy powers are working overdrive on the young woman she’s supposed to be prosecuting. The girl is clearly terrified and has been failed by the system and Cecile wants to give her a chance. Joe wants to follow the book. (Once trained by Anita Van Buren, always so trained)  Anyway, turns out the meta girl was in fact framed by her former foster sister, who has become Ultra Violet, and attacks everyone. After the defeat, Joe and Cecile decide to commit themselves to making the justice system more fair to metas.

Flash is crucial to the Crisis. Especially since we’re not getting a Harrison Wells this year, with Tom Cavanaugh playing Pariah. I miss his energy on the show, but totally get it.

Black Lightning Season 3: Episodes 1 & 2: The Book Of Occupation: Chapters 1 & 2: Birth Of Blackbird & Maryam’s Tomash

A lot is happening on this, the most socially conscious of the Arrowverse, but the most important part to me, is that Anissa names her AI Shonda and gets ready for a night out of supeheroing by listening to Chaka Khan, because she is a grade A badass and the best character in possibly this whole universe. (Did I ever think I would love like I loved Sara again? No. But I love Anissa.) (And frankly Chaka Khan is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the amazingness that is the Black Lightning soundtrack)

Jeff and Lynn are being held by Agent Odell, as Jeff is Meta Patient 0, as it were, and the Markovians are looking for metas. (The fact that both Young Justice and Black Lightning the two best DC Adaptations of this century IMO use Markovia is to be noted) (Also can we talk about how much I love that Lynn is continued to be referred to as Doctor Stewart rather than Mrs. Pierce RULES) (Seriously, this show is so good. I can’t believe it took me two seasons to catch on) Jen has to hide her powers, as does Anissa, though Anissa cannot be contained, and as it turns out not using her powers causes Jen actual physical pain. (Also, Jen’s new haircut is a very good look for her. In later weeks, when I have less ground to cover, I may talk about how the fashion and styling of the women of The Arrowverse is incredible.) Anissa is living up to Jen’s nickname for her by spiriting metas out of Freeland to the woods, and while the city lives under lockdown things are just getting worse.

Markovia is getting ready to invade the US, and war won’t be good for this community.

Also, I’m so so worried about Khalil. I do not like him being used as a weapon.This show just makes me worry about it’s children. Which is why I both resent and am relieved that they haven’t scraped the budget and story together to introduce us to Virgil Hawkins. (I know it’s going to happen and I really cannot expend the emotional energy to worry about Static to the extent that I worry about Jen and Khalil each week.) (But also like, when are we going introduce him?)

Arrow: Season 5

I gave up on Arrow when they killed Laurel Lance and her last words were about how Oliver now had her full dead ex girlfriend permission to marry Felicity. But since I’m a crazy person, and kind of a masochist, I’ve decided to jump back in.

In season 5, Oliver is mayor! Yay? Thea isn’t Speedy any more! Definitely not yay! Diggle is back in the army. Interesting. Felicity has a new boyfriend. Eh? There’s a new team Arrow in town (I like them, but I recall from recaps, they are wildly unpopular.)

Also, the big bad is Prometheus, the son of one of the corrupt businessmen Oliver murdered in season 1. He’s out to show Oliver that his quest has A) failed and B) destroyed everyone he loves.

So, anyway, that’s the story. Also, Black Siren shows up a few times, so killing Laurel was even more pointless?

But it does lead to some fun stuff, flashbacks to Oliver’s time in the Russian mob, Thalia Al Ghul, and a thrilling finale where we get Nyssa, Malcolm Merlyn and Slade Wilson back into the fray! Overall I’m glad I decided to catch up. Next week we’ll talk about season 6. I need to push through quickly so that I don’t lose access to the first few episodes of season 8.

This post is very long. In the future they will be less long, as they’ll only cover one episode per show instead of 2!

I did consider giving this spot to Watchmen or His Dark Materials,but until I know for sure that those shows are going to be worth analyzing (this doesn’t mean good. Which is why I never handed the spot over to Westworld despite really liking the show.) that’s a no go. Also, still a few weeks before HDM and I needed something in the meantime. I will cover both shows, if they prove to be the worthy successors that HBO wants them to be. But Arrowverse is having it’s biggest year ever. So, that’s where we’re at.

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