Comic Week 12/11/15

Hope your Christmas season is going well.  How is it for our heroes?

Supergirl

(1.07) Human for a Day

You know… this is starting to become a bit of a schizophrenic show.  Supergirl having to deal with being merely human for a time?  Good!  Cat Grant inspiring people?  Not bad!  Jem vs the DEO?  Not great…

Kara still trying to be heroic?  Yeah, I like that, that is the stuff of true heroism.  Using the uniform to stand down a mugger?  Kind of foolish, especially as he might have taken the shot anyway.  It’s one of those scenes where it seems to work at first, but not when you get to the fridge.  Because, what about all those other times she faces gun toting bad guys?  Notice how usually she just charges forward and overpowers them?  In show logic, it will probably never amount to anything, but in the real world there would probably be some real questions about why she was so “merciful” and cautious that one time while being too gung-ho others.  What if she had just talked him down not as the hero, but as just plain Kara?  I still kind of wish Jimmy was Steel instead and we had gotten him suiting up this episode.

But I did like Max’s scenes, even if I’m not sure if the show wanted me to or not.  Because whether people want to admit it or not: Max is not wrong!  Supergirl (or Superman) should be seen socially as emergency aid, not a crutch to always be relied upon, if for no other reason than they are still mortal.  If everyone grew complacent, then we would probably end up with a world where twenty trains are crashing and the Supers have to try and pick which two to save (for example).

On the flip side, a lot of people are complaining about Alex & the DEO scenes, (but not about J’onn J’onzz showing up) but then again, it’s hard to argue about it when the villain involved, Jem, is so ill defined.  Did Alex put everyone at risk by going down or could Jem have used his mind powers to get someone to let him out anyway?  Could the sealed doors hold back those mind blasts of his?  These are not light questions and the answers to them are needed for us viewers to figure out our responses to the scenes.

But nice to see Wynn get some small victories & recognition (even if he then flushes it all away for… reasons that baffle me) and to see, again, that Cat might be a good person, even if she’s not nice.

Finally I do like them expanding the range of the Super-family’s abilities in a logical way, even if the logic is a bit shaky.  The Kryptonian’s power runs like a battery or gas tank (ok so far).  Under certain conditions, the power from that battery/tank can be emptied and them rendered merely human, if not winding up killing themselves. (again, logical)  So then, why does Supergirl sunbathe completely covered up?  This isn’t just a horny guy talking, logically shouldn’t she have put on a swim suit or something to try and expose as much skin to the yellow sunlight for recharging as possible?  I mean in my Superman dream script I wrote a scene where he, needing power, does strip his shirt off to soak it up.  Is there something about the uniform that absorbs & amplifies the light rays?  If so, it would be nice to have the show establish that.

Final Grade: But the positives do slightly outweigh the negatives this episode, B+.

 

 

the Flash

(2.09) Running to Stand Still

Not a bad Christmas episode!  Rather funny that after I said in our roundtable that something about waiting for the other shoe to drop on Patty… the other shoe drops!

It’s uh… revenge?  I mean, ok.  Yes her backstory was well delivered by the actress but it’s like… that’s it?  Given the havoc some of these villains have caused, why aren’t more of their victims signing up for the metahuman task force?

Captain Cold just ends up vanishing for no adequately explained reasoning.  I half wish Rip Hunter just showed up in a costume with the words, “spin-off” stitched on the front and whisk Snart away.

Though by far the funniest part had to be the “science” the team uses to get rid of the bombs which was so made up I would have had an easier time believing it had Harrison Wells just outright chanted faux-latin over some made up symbol (but then that’s been a lot of science this season).  I was somewhat hoping Jay might take the speed drug again to back up Barry on the path of the possible “dealing with drugs” storyline but maybe they’re not going to do that.

Still, nice to see Wally West enter the show and the father/son aspects of it continue to be the strongest.  I somewhat wish they had edited things such that Barry’s forgiveness of Wells happens AFTER he talks Patty down, but it was still a nice scene.  Made all the more bitter by Wells being forced to betray Barry and force Barry to AGAIN loathe a man wearing Tom Cavanagh’s face.  Man by this point I’m really hoping they help him out somehow because he’s breaking my heart what he’s being put through.

Final Grade: Key quality moments (and quality Mark HAMill) overcome the face-palming bits to make this a B-.

iZombie

(2.09) Cape Town

WHY DO YOU KEEP BEING SO GOOD?? One of these days, iZombie… one of these days you’re going to have a bad episode and I’m not going to know how to handle it.  Supernatural was the last show I could think of which could drop a ground-shattering revelation (the cure is temporary) with immediate ponderings of deeper meanings.  Could the cure be like regular medicinal treatment? Would Evil Co figure that is more profitable than dead (again) zombies?  Will Major relapsing have an impact on his relationship?  Is zombism a metaphor for diseases that put strains on a relationship?  What does “until death do us part” mean when one of you is already dead? (hey, not every question has to be serious)

What I like even better is that while the show may eventually give an answer to some of these questions, it never feels like a sermon, like it’s preaching that “this is the right answer.”  Instead it invites you to question and think about it.  They show AN answer, but is it the best?  That’s left up to us, really, and I LOVE it.  Should Liv & Major split?  At least the split is logical & in character, AND over something major enough to be worth the drama.  Is Major on the right path as the zombie hunter? (side note: this episode also kind of highlights how he is a superhero as well, forced into vigilantism) Is his “3rd way” really that good of an idea?  Again, regardless at least his choices & actions are completely logical and believable.

Heck this episode was practically meta since, as its inclusion in this list might tell you, by a lot of measures Liv IS a superhero herself, before eating the vigilante brain.  But one working within the system, until the system fails her.  And yet we also see why that system is in place in this episode as being a vigilante means making snap decisions and, as the fog learned, sometimes those decisions are wrong.  A society sets up and establishes its justice systems to try and reduce human error as much as possible, even if human error will still leak into that system.

And of course in the midst of the case of the week, we get further threads on the ongoing arc as the forces of the city seem poised to break out into a four way war unintentionally (I’m particularly interested in seeing how the collision between Mr Big and Evil Co happens if it stays on track to).  I mean, this is a show that encourages and REWARDS us viewers for thinking about it.  How can you not love it?

Final Grade: The sheer amount of HOLY &@#* in this episode makes it a total A+.

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