This Week in DCTV 12/14/2019
Welcome to This Week in DCTV, where the Twisted Cape examines, breaks down, and gives a quick review of all the original shows that DC has released this week. This will run weekly and start on Sunday and end on Saturday, so we catch everything on the CW, Fox, and the DC Universe streaming service. We’ll also include an average on the week to help determine whether the week was a success. Keep in mind there will be spoilers on a regular basis so read on at your own risk. NOTE: We will not be covering Epix’s Pennyworth at this time.
Weekly Score (Out of 5) – It’s Crisis week, BABY!! What a week this was. Crisis started with a bang and kept it rolling. Twist of the Week goes to Watchmen yet again for the story around Dr. Manhattan. Quick note – after next week, we’ll be on hiatus until Crisis resumes.
Supergirl – 4.5/5 – “Crisis on Infinite Earths, Part 1”
The Monitor sends Harbinger to gather the worlds’ greatest heroes, Supergirl, The Flash, Green Arrow, Batwoman, White Canary, The Atom and Superman in preparation for the impending Crisis. SPOILERS – This episode got off to a fast start when the team is quickly assembled. It was awesome to see so many assembled so quickly. A few huge developments out of the gate: Earth-66 (Adam West Batman) is gone, as is Earth-9 (Titans/Doom Patrol Universe), Earth-38 (Kara’s Universe) is gone, but many people were saved, thanks to a sacrifice by Oliver Queen – but this sacrifice saves billions. He dies in the very first episode! Talk about unexpected. His death scene was hard to watch, and you really see it from Mia and Barry. Excellent start to the crossover. Also, meta-point here – they openly refer to it as ‘The Crossover’ which is entertaining. I love that we got to see the team battle Shadow Demons, directly from the source material.
Batwoman - 4/5 – “Crisis on Infinite Earths, Part 2”
The group uses Ray’s invention to track new recruits to help save the universe. SPOILERS – In this episode, the Monitor identifies the 7 paragons who play an important role in the struggle, despite Oliver’s death. 2 are already aboard the Waverider that they commandeer: Kara (Hope), and Sara (Destiny). They all split to find the remaining paragons. This episode is cool because we get multiple Supermen as the plot develops, including Lex Luthor’s role in hunting down the aforementioned Supermen (including Smallville’s Tom Welling). Barry takes Oliver’s death hard knowing that it should have been him and his team sets out to find a Lazarus pit to bring him back. I love seeing Grant Gustin take it so far, especially since he and Stephen Amell haven’t shared a ton of screen time in recent years. This is also the episode where we get Kevin Conroy’s Bruce Wayne, which was wildly different than I ever expected. Speaking of unexpected, I wish we had more interaction between Barry and Constantine. The Superman vs. Superman battle was an unexpected treat. I love the update to the Superman Returns costume – the black and red pop across the bright blue. The most confusing moment of the episode is where they try to lay out the timeline between Kara and Kate (the paragon of courage), but it doesn’t make sense, since Kate is just getting started. We also get a direct from the comic moment where Lyla is influenced by the Anti Monitor. Good episode that got better upon a rewatch
The Flash - 4/5 – “Crisis on Infinite Earths, Part 3”
Pariah enlists Black Lightning to help stop the Anti Monitor after Flash 90 shares what he learned from his battle in Elseworlds. SPOILERS – The antimatter wave is happening more aggressively, as it destroys the Birds of Prey universe and the cast gets bigger. The remaining paragons are revealed: Martian Manhunter (Honor), Flash (Love), and Ryan Choi (Humanity). A fun recurring thing is how Cisco hates the name Anti Monitor. We also got a crossover with Lucifer – if nothing else, this whole crossover went as big as they could on all current and previous DC properties. Sadly, we lose Earth 90 Barry Allen as he disappears on the treadmill. In that sequence the team meets Black Lightning as well, which is long overdue. His scene with Barry on the Waverider was excellent and I hope to see more of it in the future. Kara and Kate debate the use of the book of destiny to bring back Kara’s world, which they decide against and Kate gives Kara the Kryptonite taken off of Earth 99 Batman. I hope we get to see more of these two together in the future. This episode also reminds me how damn good Brandon Routh was as Superman, despite the movie not being a great movie. It looks like Ollie becomes The Spectre, but we won’t know for sure until next year. My one point of contention with the ending is that we didn’t need the Lex twist on top of the already amazing Harbinger/Anti Monitor twist and to me that hurt the episode. It would have been better as the first thing to happen next time.
Black Lightning – 3.5/5 – “The Book of Resistance: Chapter Four: Earth Crisis”
The Pierce family fears for Jennifer’s life. SPOILERS – What the hell?! I didn’t expect an offshoot of Crisis from this show, but we got it anyway and it makes me happy that we got a story affected by Crisis but not in the thick of it. I was quite curious about how this show would be affected by the crossover and oh boy, it was. It was a Jen-centric episode, and it was written in a way that made her more susceptible to the antimatter wave that was taking place. She got to see multiple versions of herself and how the choice that she’s struggling with changed her other Earth counterparts. One watched her father die at the hands of Agent Odell because he ran Anissa’s underground railroad, while another killed her family altogether as a result of working directly with Odell. The struggle for Jen was apparent this episode, but ultimately proved fruitless as the antimatter wave washed over this Earth and wiped everything except Jeff out. Jeff was transported away to join the other heroes seconds before the wave wiped out the entire cast of the show.
Harley Quinn – 3/5 – “So You Need A Crew?”
Realizing she needs a crew to pull off heists that will attract the Legion of Doom’s attention, Harley attempts to recruit Dr. Psycho (TONY HALE) and Clayface (ALAN TUDYK). SPOILERS –This episode is funny, but at times seems unfocused when it comes to developing Harley in meaningful ways. I’m hoping when I look back at the season I feel differently. Especially since the secondary characters are so great. Ivy is fantastic and pairing her with Frank is hilarious. Clayface is a standout this week, which is funny because it’s another Alan Tudyk voiced character. This episode did have some good dick jokes, though and that earns some bonus points from me.
Watchmen – 4.5/5 – “A God Walks Into Abar”
Angela’s mysterious past in Vietnam is at last revealed. SPOILERS – This episode was a nice fill in the blanks style episode, but that doesn’t mean it was without major revelations. We met Dr. Manhattan in full form this week and how all of the players find a way to be related to each other. The depiction of how Jon experiences time is really cool, especially when the moments circle back around or connect. I’m confused about whether he’s actually dead though, especially since the first thing he learned is how to reatomize his body. I love the exchange with Veidt around the way to wipe out his memory and also the lengths Ozymandias goes to keep the illusion of aliens alive. The most interesting moment is when Angela realizes that she started the whole thing in the present day, by asking her grandfather about Jed when he was never aware of him. I didn’t like the decision to hide his face for the majority of the episode. I don’t know why, but that really bothered me. But otherwise, excellent episode leading up to the season finale.