Wednesday, 2 March 2016

REVIEW: FLASH 2-14 & 2-15, plus SUPERGIRL 1-14 & 1-15


Well, it's a part two, and it does the things we expect it to. Killer Frost gets good, there's a lot of angst over alt-Joe's death and alt-Barry shows how pants he is compared to our Barry. The most interesting parts of this episode concern Barry's time in captivity, with the mystery of the man in the iron mask and the question mark is places over Jay's head. (The next episode will complicate matters even further, but that guy who's been pumping up with Velocity-7? He's no Flash.) Overall, straightforward, predictable but fun.


Only The Flash can combine heartfelt guilt at the loss of a comrade with the pursuit of a giant shark-man. King Shark's previous appearance was all too fleeting, so now they've brought him back for a proper fight, and it's joyous to have a proper monster stomping around on the show. While the apparent death of Jay is the catalyst, all the main characters' relationships are pulled to the fore for the episode, some more effectively than others. So much so that it feels a little overblown having Diggle turn up from Arrow as well. There's also a worrying trend developing with the newer, younger additions to the cast; I'm hoping this doesn't turn into a teen angst show. Jesse's just been saved from certain horrible death and can only complain about how she'll miss her friends, but at least she's positive and cute enough to remain likable. Wally, on the other hand, is just an insufferable oik, and the thought of him hanging around to become Kid Flash is off-putting in the extreme. Minus points: trying to find something to do with Caitlyn with the laboured "ice queen" tat. Plus points: we finally find out who Zoom is. Now that is interesting... although in this series, with face-swapping and dimension-hopping, it's still doesn't tell us much.


This series is definitely improving. It's still the least challenging of drama series but it's tremendous fun, and the stakes - both personal and global - are getting higher as the episodes progress. The Master Jailer makes a reasonably effective villain, and I'm enjoying the addition of more aliens for the DEO to track down. This is the way the show should go, in my opinion: more and stranger aliens, for a Men in Black sort of vibe, to make it stand out from the other superhero shows currently on TV. Interesting to see that not all the aliens in Fort Roz were murderous monsters. Kara's mother really was a right-wing nutter before her planet blew apart. On the less frivolous side, it's good to see there will be some fallout from the death of Astra. The addition of a rival PA to CatCo is a bland storyline, though, and Italia Ricci lacks character. The DC TV casting grows ever more incestuous, though: after having Melissa Benoist date her real-life husband on the show, now Robbi "Firestorm" Amell's partner is on the cast.


And I was just saying they should have Brainiac on the show. Naturally, for Supergirl they've gone for the female Brainiac-8 version, aka Indigo. Who, in the grand tradition of Superman/Supergirl actor recurrence, is played by Laura Vandervoort, who played Supergirl on Smallville. Anyway, this was a pretty fun episode, with all the best moments going to Calista Flockhart as usual. She really is the best thing in the show and the only thing that makes the otherwise dull CatCo scenes worth watching. Perhaps a little soon for the Astra/Alex/Hank debacle to be resolved, but then there's surely more room for exploration there.

Only three more episodes till the crossover!

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