The first of the week has become comic book central at our house as we watch Supergirl on Monday night, followed by The Flash and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on Tuesday.
As the opportunity presents itself, I thought I would give some brief thoughts on each episode and think about what’s next.
After a significant amount of hype, a major TV network push and budget, Supergirl debuted and there’s definite promise there. It, thankfully, deviates from the dark tones of virtually every DC movie and most TV shows (with Flash being the noteworthy exception).
The writers give nice twists and plays off of superhero tropes. Kara Danvers has been hiding her true abilities, but is thrust into the spotlight (literally) because her foster sister’s plane is about to crash. She relishes the opportunity to be who she was born to be, but Alex, her sister, dampens her spirits.
Unbeknownst to Kara, Alex has been working with an alien taskforce to spy on her. The dynamic between the two sisters should be the emotional center of the show moving forward.
The supporting cast, including the evil boss, lovable best friend, and love interest coworker are all standard characters, but could be developed deeper as the season moves on. I appreciated Supergirl following The Flash’s move by having bringing in actors from previous series, as Kara’s parents are played by former Superman Dean Cain and former Supergirl Helen Slater.
For better or worse, Supergirl is a CBS superhero show. That means it will be big budget, look great, and have a chance to develop, but it can start to feel too safe and vanilla. Like her literally standing in a spotlight after rescuing the airplane, that’s just too on the nose.
The action and fight scenes from the first episode seem to indicate the show is willing to take risks when need be, so that’s encouraging. We will definitely be watching for now to see where Supergirl flies next.
THE FLASH: “THE FURY OF FIRESTORM”
The Flash is fast (get it?) becoming one of my favorite shows on television. It’s not perfect, but it’s fun and that’s important when so many shows take themselves way too seriously.
The Fury of Firestorm avoided the classic Flash episode setup of having Barry Allen not trust someone, rush ahead, cause problems, only to be proven wrong later in the episode. But it avoided it only because it Caitlin was the one who didn’t trust someone, rushed ahead, caused problems, only to be proven wrong.
This episode brought us a new Firestorm half, Jefferson “Jax” Jackson. He seems like a great addition to the team as an occasional back-up and future member of the Legends of Tomorrow, the upcoming spinoff of The Flash. We saw the return of Harrison Wells (or at least Wells from Earth-2), but oddly Jay Garrick was nowhere to be seen.
Iris told her mother to leave town even though she was dying because the inquiring reporter found out her mother had a son by Joe and never told him. That son will, perhaps not surprisingly, be part of the show moving forward. (Spoilers on the character here.)
My main complaint with the show continues to be the lack of consistent character development. In one episode, a character — be it Barry, Caitlin, Joe, Cisco, or Iris — seemed to be advanced only to have them revert back to the same mistakes and viewpoint a few episodes later. While I recognize in real life we can make similar mistakes repeatedly, shows need to have more of an arc that pushes the characters forward after learning from their past.
Having Wells on the show, regardless of how long it lasts, will provide some emotional turmoil for Barry, which could mean good things for The Flash as a show moving forward — as a superhero, probably not so much.
AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: “4,722 HOURS”
The writers must feel comfortable with the show and the network’s support because this was a risky show. It was set entirely on a different planet with alien landscapes, only one show regular and one new character. This type of episode doesn’t get made if the creators feel they are in danger of being cancelled.
Personally, I felt this was a great episode of Agents. We were given a lot of answers that served to raise more questions, give more character depth, and provide a more complex story. We found out why Simmons wants to go back to the alien planet. She wants to rescue Will, a stranded astronaut who helped her survive.
The relationship between Simmons and Will, while predictable, was understandable and will increase the intra-S.H.I.E.L.D conflict when he is inevitably rescued and becomes part of the team.
These are those one-off episodes of a show that deviate from the traditional setup. Sometimes they feel like they are thrown together just for the sake of change or as a budget saver over other higher priced episodes. “4,722 Hours” didn’t seem like that at all.
I loved the blue hue over most of the episode. It made everything stark and alien. Simmons was brilliant as she coped with the range of emotions that would seemingly be elicited by being trapped lightyears from home.
This was a confident Agents episode and that makes me excited for what they are willing and able to do moving forward.
Did you watch any of these three episodes? What did you think?