This was a relatively short week. Galavant ended and it was extremely entertaining. You, Me, and the Apocalypse debuted. I’m not sure about this show yet. It did exploit a story technique that I love. The potential character twist might prove interesting. And I certainly enjoy the cast. I’ll definitely keep watching. And a new show was added to the mix.
Lucifer – Pilot
I’m always excited to see another show that is both urban fantasy and based on a comic book but Lucifer is unapologetically rooted in the campiest tropes of its parents genres. The show is simultaneously entertaining and horrible, and I think that will be its downfall. Lucifer doesn’t fit into the current trend of genre programs. It’s a mid-season launch, so that means the powers that be know it has an inherent risk of failure. I honestly don’t think that this show will last. The premise is absurd, but the show doesn’t try to justify itself. It says what’s happening and sticks to its guns. That’s a good thing. Lucifer is not a clever show. The main character spent the entire pilot episode telling everyone who he is. And for being a fallen angel with dominion over Hell, his powers are incredibly lame. Maybe that’s because he’s on Earth, but still. Give a demon some magic mojo. But maybe being straight-forward will be Lucifer’s salvation. (See what I did there?) Most other genre shows have a deep mythology with lots of complicated details. They don’t appeal to the average viewer. Lucifer is not only easy to understand, but it’s funny and sexy. It might be able to gain a following. I think it’s also worthwhile to note that this is yet another show that makes depicts Satan as a slick guy in a nice suit. It also humanizes a mythical figure that is typically framed as the source of all evil and temptation. These are interesting trends. I’m curious to see if Lucifer will explore any of these topics, even though I’m pretty sure it won’t. Whatever happens with Lucifer, it’s a better show than Gotham.
The Flash – The Reverse-Flash Returns
This was not a bad episode, but I didn’t enjoy it. Bringing back Reverse Flash only to send him away instantly was pointless. The season didn’t need another evil speedster. And all of last season was spent letting Barry deal with his yellow nemesis. This entire episode did nothing but provide a back story to season one. I don’t think this was even necessary. There was also a lot of build up for an easter egg that most people won’t even notice. I do appreciate the fact that the Flash writers are acknowledging the comic books and making a real effort to include all these fun little tidbits. But in general, this was a boring episode. I’m also disappointed in the decisions to remove Patty from the picture. I’m sure there will be an appropriately dramatic return, but for now, I think this is the wrong decision. It’s an incredibly classic trope, but it typically happens after there’s been more of the relationship established. Flash can be a silly show and still function properly, so it could’ve easily pulled off the goofs of Barry making ridiculous excuses to go be a superhero. Plus, almost every other main character in the show knows who Barry is, so adding one more person to the mix isn’t really a big deal. I don’t think this is a problem that Flash cannot recover from. It’s just slight misstep in an otherwise outstanding plot. With all the Earth-2 fun that is right around the corner, I think that Flash will get really good really fast.
Arrow – A.W.O.L.
Wow, a flashback that’s not about Oliver! But then it is! Felicity gets a code name and there’s a terrific nod to one of my favorite DC characters ever which also confirms that a certain caped crusader exists in the Arrow universe! Another mysterious government agency is added to the plot but it’s handled with lots of punching! There’s a very surprising death! The Diggle brothers work out their problems! Just like Flash, this was an episode that didn’t seem to matter to the actual plot. But I enjoyed it a lot more. I am unashamedly more of an Arrow fan. That being said, it was frustrating to have another week go by with no progress towards the main plot resolution. It was also frustrating to have Felicity’s crisis get resolved so quickly. This is the kind of thing that could’ve been dealt with over time in order to provide some interesting character growth, but instead it’s waved away immediately. I understand why. Arrow functions as a team and Felicity is a core element of that team. There can only be so many “oh, if only we could hack the thing” episodes. With this problem taken care of, hopefully Arrow will be back on track and return to dealing with Darhk and whatever his grand plan is.
Legends of Tomorrow – Pilot, Part 2
Oh, they resolved the thing about the clothes. Cool. Hopefully, this will lead to seeing White Canary fight in the best historical fashion trends. And the show opened with lots of time travel mumbo jumbo. Love it. And Darhk shows up! Then an absolutely off the rails comic book brawl breaks out and it was awesome. Legends is the most comic book show out of all the comic book shows currently on television. In only the second episode, it’s already dealing with screwing up the time line. Plus, the links to the other DC shows on the CW (I guess there’s only one time traveling AI that everyone shares) are very satisfying. I could’ve done without all the drug references. Yeah, it’s the 70s. I get it. Rory and Snart are quickly becoming the best parts of the show. Their dynamic with the rest of the team is highly entertaining. Plus, they typically deliver the most logical views of all the crazy events. Carter’s fate was very predictable, as was its use to unite the team. I still don’t like how Savage’s immortality has been tied to the hawk-folk, but it does function as a useful tool provide some sense of cohesion to this insanity. With the pilot now complete and the team and their plans established, I’m looking forward to see what happen next. Legends is certainly the most exciting of the DC shows on the CW (there has to be an easier way to say that) and it has the most potential to be simply entertaining without a deep complicated plot. Given the context of the other two shows, this is very necessary and it rounds out the triumvirate nicely.
Supernatural – Into the Mystic
It’s been a long time since Sam and Dean stood over an open grave. It was nice to see that iconic scene again. However, it brings up the question of how many bodies the boys have desecrated while hoping a ghost was at fault. As monster of the week episodes go, this wasn’t great. The effects for the banshee were absolutely horrible. The amount of random coincidences pushes the limits of what Supernatural normally delivers to viewers. The old lady Mildred was just way too accepting of the truth shown to her. It’s nice to have another hunter in the mix, but it really just reminds me of the old days when hunters were encountered regularly and everyone knew the Winchester name. I think that this episode points out what’s been wrong with Supernatural for the last few seasons. The focus has shifted towards a huge, world-altering story instead of smaller local impact stories. Sam and Dean used to travel the country, solving cases and stumbling into trouble. There was always something larger going on, but it tended to be more background to their daily lives. Now, the huge story is all that matters, but there’s not enough content to drive the season so these filler episodes are crammed in. The pacing doesn’t feel right anymore. I’m not saying that I don’t love Supernatural. I do. I’ve watched this show ever since it premiered. But it’s certainly changed, and not necessarily for the better. This episode did deliver some great moments from Castiel, though. Watching him basically play multiple characters is highly entertaining. I love the fact that Cas was the one to accept the deal, even if this exact story has already been played out. Cas always acts with a desire to help people, regardless of the consequences. Even though the resolution of this arc is pretty obvious at this point, I’m still excited to see what happens next.