Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

ireactions wrote:

Well, I hope you're happy, Slider_Quinn21. I'm now going to watch another often expressionless but favourite performer, Saoirse Ronan, and hope she doesn't fall off my list too.

Ha, I haven't seen her in much, but I thought she was great in Brooklyn.  I think you're good there.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

More rumors flying around the Arrowverse than usual.  Arrow ending after Crisis (season 8).  Legends and Supergirl on the bubble after Crisis due to continued low ratings.  A new Superman show featuring Tyler coming in to replace Supergirl.  Cisco and Caitlyn leaving Flash.

I have to say - if they want to do a major shake-up, that’s what Crisis was made for.  From the various articles I’ve read, it seems like Cisco leaving has the most weight to it.  If so, XS already name dropped his replacement at the start of this season - Ryan Choi (the successor to Ray Palmer’s Atom in the comics):

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/8/88/AllNewAtom.jpg/250px-AllNewAtom.jpg

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I think the Arrowverse could use a shakeup.  Who's the biggest death in the Arrowverse that wasn't written out?  Dr. Stein?

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

And I'm interested in seeing what happens with Oliver.  We were teased with TF's thought in Part 3 - both Barry and Kara were supposed to die, and they're the ones who die in the original Crisis.  Obviously Oliver made some sort of deal with the Monitor to die in their place - but does that mean that Arrow won't get renewed?  Or would they really be able to kill off Oliver mid-season, possibly on an episode of a different series?  If they announce that Arrow is going to only be 11 episodes next season, won't that be a pretty big tip-off that something is going to happen?  Or would they actually try and do a final half-season of Arrow without Oliver on it?

Well, I sorta nailed this.  Stephen Amell came out on Twitter and announced that Arrow is only coming back for 10 episodes next season.  Would put their finale around the time of the crossover.

Would they really kill off Oliver in a crossover?  Would they really make a crossover the series finale of Arrow?  Or would he die in the crossover and then the finale is aftermath?  Or would it be the opposite - the actual end of Arrow is prior to the crossover, and the crossover would be the end of his character?

Or is it all built for hype to make people believe that Oliver is actually going to die?  They could never pull off "JUST KIDDING, we're actually back for a full 23 episodes" after the crossover, but it'd be incredible to see them try that.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I'm sad that ARROW is ending, but it makes sense on every level. I could have seen ARROW going on and on like SUPERNATURAL, but ARROW seeded a whole family of shows with THE FLASH, SUPERGIRL, LEGENDS, BLACK LIGHTNING and BATWOMAN. SUPERNATURAL will likely cease to be a going concern once Jared and Jensen retire as neither BLOODLINES nor WAYWARD SISTERS went to series; the Arrowverse doesn't need ARROW to keep going.

Season 1 of ARROW was a masterpiece of unintentional comedy, trying to do a grim and gritty Christopher Nolan movie on a SMALLVILLE budget. Season 2 found its feet as an operatic, larger than life fantasy with Felicity's regular role lending some much-needed self-awareness. Season 3 started strong until it stumbled into the nonsensical mythology of death cults and magic resurrections and what-not.

Season 4 was even more nonsensically magical with demons and telekinetics and voodoo rituals and Stephen Amell was appalled, declaring that if Season 5 didn't return to ARROW as a street-crime series, there shouldn't be an ARROW series at all. Season 5 was almost universally acclaimed as a return to form; Seasons 6 - 7 have retained that back-to-basics template and some people like it and some don't.

Stephen Amell confessed in his podcast with Michael Rosenbaum that he was tired and that it would be up to him if ARROW were to have an eighth season and he would make that decision with thought and care.

I'm glad ARROW will get a good finale. I'm glad that Stephen Amell, having launched the DC television universe, can get some well-earned rest and maybe drink beer and eat chips again. I'm grateful that ARROW introduced us all to our friends Barry and Kara and Caitlin and Iris and Cisco and Alex and Jefferson and Jennifer and Sara and Ray and Nate and Eva.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Looks like my Earth 2 theory was wrong.

But if this is canon and Oliver is alive....I guess he won't die in the crossover?

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I can't quite figure out what the problem with THE FLASH is this season as each new episode seems to have a different set of problems. It was interesting to watch last week's FLASH and last week's ARROW. THE FLASH has spent all season plodding with low intensity towards a confrontation with Cicada, but as noted above, Cicada is simply a thug with a knife and not remotely compelling. There is no reason why Barry can't knock him out like any other freak of the week.

Last week, Nora was exposed as being in league with Thawne and it fell flat, partially because we've known for weeks and are ahead of the characters. But it also occurs to me that THE FLASH isn't really using superspeed in daring, inventive ways this year. Barry and Nora are just speeding in and out. Aside from a few isolated moments, there have been no memorable moments of exploring frozen time or manuevering through impossible situations. Even Nora's endless timeloop episode had Nora unable to stop Cicada because of what looked suspiciously like luck without the story presenting an actual no-win situation. Have the writers used up all their ideas in previous seasons? In contrast, the combat in ARROW this year is quite deliberate in creating situations that call for Oliver to use a bow and arrow.

The Barry/Iris/Nora relationship hasn't come alive. Nora is a grown woman and doesn't seem like a child. Barry's tutorials for Nora have been extremely limited and laboured and there is no sense of Barry imparting wisdom or knowledge or ability or confidence that Nora didn't already have. As a result, when Nora confesses that she's been working with Thawne, there's no warm father/daughter bond to shatter, just dialogue that has them declaring their relationship.

THE FLASH seems really slow this year. Compare that to ARROW which showed Mia Smoak's upbringing and combat training in a swift montage. The infiltration of the Glades was taut and gripping. ARROW has a propulsive energy and Katherine MacNamara gives Mia this deranged, homicidal smile before she launches into combat. ARROW has pacing, momentum, a compelling set of parent-child conflicts. THE FLASH has Barry and Nora talking about how much they like each other and Nora telling Iris how Iris has impressed her. THE FLASH has the heroes talking about how dangerous Cicada is when he's just Chris Klein with unpleasant kitchenware. THE FLASH has lost its sense of showing over telling.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I think it would be hilarious if they went back and re-examined their strategies with Cicada after finding out about Nora.  They know that she's working with Thawne, and by putting her in the Pipeline, Barry shows that he can't trust her.

Who was the one who said that Oliver couldn't beat Cicada?  Nora.  So wouldn't it be great if they decided to ignore that, sent in Oliver, and he took out Cicada rather easily?

************

Regarding lazy use of speed, I laughed as Cicada 2 showed up, and while all the other heroes fired energy blasts of one form or another, Barry just started circling the room.  There's a thousand other things he can do, but he decided to just do a boring lightning bolt.

That being said, I've always found their use of speed to be lazy when it comes to big bad villains.  All of the big "fights" between Flash and any of his speed-based villains always ended up being some sort of race followed by two seconds of punching.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I'm having trouble identifying with Jon Cryer's Lex Luthor.  I think he does a solid-enough job.  I'd like him to be more physically imposing, but I think he has a posture about him that's imposing enough.  I think he has the attitude right, and I think he plays it fairly well.

Am I just bothered by the goatee?

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I thought Cryer's Luthor was great, with a facade of goodwill, charm, consideration and warmth that is plainly a thin layer on top of a cruel, vicious sociopathy matched with a sincere empathy that allows him to manipulate people into doing what he wants. From telling Lena he was cruel to bring out her ambition to mentioning the prison warden's mother and bringing lobster for his fellow inmates, Luthor makes people think he cares about them while Cryer and the writing make it clear he's looking for pressure points to control them.

It was also really neat how in his second episode, Luthor reveals that he has been the villain the entire time: he manipulated President Marsdin's exposure, he saw to it that Ben Lockwood would serve as a figurehead for the humanity first movement, he's been pushing for the superhuman serum and I have to wonder if Manchester Black also factors into his plans. Cryer is terrifying. It's a relief to know that the clumsy non-actor of SUPERMAN IV has blossomed into this incredible talent and a master of his artform.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Apparently Emily Bett Richards isn't coming back for the 10-episode season 8.

If the flash-forwards are real, Felicity is in hiding while Oliver is...somewhere.  So he could be doing something while apart from Felicity and then potentially die in the crossover.

I know Informant will be happy, but I don't really know what Arrow looks like without Felicity.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I don’t see how you can have ARROW without the lead character’s wife, but then again, flash forwards have shown that Oliver and Felicity aren’t physically together for whatever reason, so...

I wonder why Rickards isn’t doing the last 10 episodes. I don’t think she would’ve been contracted for anything past this season as all the actors signed at most, seven year contracts, so either she didn’t want to come back or couldn’t agree on a salary or she’s in a sex cult that demands she give her full attention to human trafficking. Hopefully, she can at least be secured for guest appearances.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

People seem to think she's gone gone.  I don't know if she has some sort of problem with the writing, but I've read that she was against the writers making Felicity pregnant because she didn't want to be defined by that.  If she's been unhappy on the show, she's been less vocal about it than Candice Patton or even someone like Katie Cassidy.

It could be pay.  Maybe she wanted to get paid for a full season even though it's a half season.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I can imagine a situation where a performer is being offered other roles in films and TV that are a better offer than a half-year job for half the money and deciding to complete her existing contract and move on. But I find it so difficult to think that Rickards won't come back for at least the finale of a show that elevated her from guest star to recurring to regular to lead -- although I find it hard to believe she won't just endure the last ten episodes. Maybe she wasn't expecting an eighth season when her contract ended at the seventh and made other plans?

I have a lot of irritation with actors who sign multi-year contracts and then complain about fulfilling their agreements, but in this case, Rickards has done her job and given notice so that she can be written out, so I can't really find fault with her aside from wishing she would just stick around for another half a year. I assume that Felicity will go into hiding and her hacker role on the team will be fulfilled by Alena Whitlock?

**

I'm not up to speed on Candice Patton and Katie Cassidy and Emily Bett Rickards' problems with the writing. What's going on there?

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I'm assuming she gave more advanced notice than yesterday because they're probably done shooting now, right?  Or, at the very least, done writing.  Again, with the flash-forwards, we know that Felicity stays in that cabin outside of town with her daughter.  If those flash forwards are canon, there's the reason for her to be gone.

One interesting question will be what time period an eighth season would take place / where season 7 ends.  Are we going to end a month or so from where we are now?  Flash forward to the cabin after Mia is born?  Or, as someone online suggested, maybe the 8th season takes place entirely in the future with the future Team Arrow.  Unless that storyline is resolved, it's something they could do.  I mean, it didn't work on Fringe, but maybe it can work here.

*****

I don't know a ton about it because, frankly, it's all quite exhausting to follow all these sects of Arrowverse fandom.  Just like there were Felicity and Laurel sects, there are also Caitlin and Iris sects.  So whenever I tried to go down the rabbit hole, everything is tainted with some form of bias, and it's hard to tell what's true and what's rumor based on assumptions from a comment that may or may not have been innocuous.  So take all this with as much salt as you'd like.

Candice - As you might know, racist assholes have been bothering Candice for her entire run on the Flash.  Whether they don't like the race-swapping or the interracial aspect, she's had to deal with a bunch of crap in what was supposed to be a fairly big break.  While she's taken it in stride, some feel that she's bothered by Iris' lack of a clear role or lack of any storyline that she can identify with.  Caitlin fans say that she can't act, and that Caitlin (despite not being the romantic lead) is the female lead of the show.  There was also some drama with Danielle Panabaker behind the scenes that I don't know anything about.  She apparently made some sort of comment that made it seem like she was the only female in the show, but I couldn't find too much about it when I just scanned twitter. 

There's been rumors that one or both of the actresses are leaving the Flash.  And rumors that Carlos Valdes is leaving.  And accusations that Grant Gustin is phoning in his performances.

Katie - The only problems with her stem from her getting killed off originally.  I know she wasn't happy about that.  What's strange is that she had that contract that was supposed to let her appear on all the shows, but I'm not sure she ever appeared on Legends after that and only appeared on Flash once.  There's apparently rumors that she might go to Legends next season.

Emily - The only thing I know is the thing she mentioned that she didn't want to see a pregnancy storyline.  From a TV Guide interview:

"I don't know if I would be interested in exploring that storyline right now with Felicity," Rickards said at the time. "I feel like she deserves a little something more than that, and I don't want that to be taken the wrong way. I'd just be interested in seeing her, I don't know, like, deal with a villain face-to-face for a consistent number of episodes."

So maybe the writers were going to make her more of a "mom" character (or worse, someone who abandons her baby to do "more fun" stuff) and that's not what she wanted to do.  So she thought if that's what they want her to do, Felicity can be that offscreen.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

WOW. I confess that Reddit is my discussion forum of choice, but the ARROW subreddit is so overrun with deranged hatred for Felicity (as opposed to Informant’s critical distaste for her) that I just avoid it. The KSite forum seems unused.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Yeah I had no idea the same sorta stuff happened with fans of the Flash, but apparently there are about 20 sects of fans inside the Arrowverse fandom.  And they all seem to hate each other.  I fell down the rabbit hole around the time that they announced that Arrow was done after season 8.  It was a trending topic on Twitter, and I looked at the top posts about it.  I clicked on one of those posts, and I saw some infighting.  Fans of the Flash were gloating because their show was finally going to the full stage.  Arrow fans said they'd never even have a show without Arrow.

Both sides (correctly in my opinion) complained about the drop in quality on both shows.  Both blamed the crossovers for ruining the other show.

As I clicked and read, I noticed some in-fighting with the Flash too.  How Candice Patton is going to quit because of racism and writing she doesn't like.  How Carlos Valdes is going to quit.  How Candice and Danielle hate each other.  How Danielle might quit and how great that'd be for Candice.  How Grant is phoning it in.  How dumb it was that Killer Frost was in all three parts of the crossover but Iris (the FEMALE LEAD) was only in one.  I didn't see any complaints about Wells or Tom Cavanaugh's acting like we talked about.  No one seemed to have any opinion on Ralph.

It all seemed so bizarre to me.  I like the Arrowverse as much as the next guy, but I've never felt the need to pick a side.  There are still devoted fans of Barry and Caitlin getting together, and that hasn't even been referenced since season one I don't think.  And even then, it was weak.  And as I was writing, I thought of how silly that is because Barry and Iris have been the definitive Barry Allen couple for decades, and it would be a big departure for him to end up with anyone else.  But then I remembered that we actually had that happen on Arrow with Oliver ending up with Felicity over Laurel.  So maybe the "Snowbarry" people have a case.  I don't know and don't really care smile

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I mean, I was a Snowbarry fan myself. But, looking back, I now see that Danielle Panabaker isn't as awesome as I thought and she works best when paired with another actor. When asked to carry a scene, Panabaker reverts to that vacant stare in GIRLS AGAINST BOYS and TIME LAPSE. When sharing the screen with Grant Gustin, the Caitlin character had grief, trauma, loss and duty: she was Barry's personal physician and had deeply passionate feelings -- towards Ronnie, her dead fiance -- feelings which for a time were directed in Barry's direction.

There could have been something romantic, especially given that Iris was written so blandly in Season 1 as a generic female in distress. However, as Iris became a reporter, an investigator and the team leader, it became clear that Caitlin worked best as Barry's doctor and that very much took romance off the table. A doctor should never be romantically involved with the patient and if Barry and Caitlin ever acted on whatever spark was between them, she could no longer be his doctor. I think it was for the best that THE FLASH never pursued that angle regardless of whether Barry was meant to be with Iris or not. Ultimately, I really enjoy seeing Panabaker and Gustin together and their platonic friendship is vivid and compelling.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I really liked the reveal of Nora West-Allen's origin story in the flashbacks, the team discovering her partnership with Thawne, Barry and Iris' reaction and Nora's eventual return. It provided something THE FLASH didn't have enough of in Season 3 and this year in Season 5: a sense of discovery. Too much of Season 5 has been running through what we already know about superspeed and the Flash's legacy. It was wonderful to see Nora discovering her powers for the first time and Barry and Iris having completely different reactions to Nora's friendship with Thawne.

Tom Cavanagh does incredible work at differentiating Thawne from his Season 1 incarnation and from Sherloque. Sherloque is one of Cavanagh's silly comedy accents but with a gentle yet oddly ruthless analytical mind, following the evidence wherever it goes but never seeking to cause people undue harm. Thawne has the ego and condescension of Season 1, but there's also pain and regret and the slightly feeble and unfortunate sense that being kind to Nora is going to be his only meaningful contribution to the world.

It's good. It's a shame THE FLASH didn't get into this material sooner. It's much more interesting than another villain of the week or another pointless faceoff with Cicada.

**

ARROW: I've liked ARROW a lot with Season 5 going back to basics. I've loved Seasons 6 - 7 -- but there came a point in Season 7 last week when I was appalled. Roy lost control of himself due to Lazarus Pit madness and killed two innocent security guards. So the team... cover up the murders, frame a villain for the crime and then proceed to include Roy on more missions. Are they insane? I thought reconstructing Damian Darkh's totem so he could steal it and repower himself again was stupid, but this is deranged.

Roy could lose it again and turn on the team or kill more innocent people. The team provide various reasons for why Roy can't be prosecuted: a biological attack is coming, Team Arrow cannot lose its partnership with the police department right now. I wasn't entirely clear if Roy knew the Lotus elixir had failed to treat his bloodlust or if he only discovered it after killing two security guards. But regardless, Roy should be held in Andy Diggle's old cell, not free to roam and wander. That said, there is definitely going to be some follow-up with serious consequences for the cover-up.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

THE FLASH: *sigh* And now we're back to mediocrity. Neither Cicada works as a villain. I wondered why for awhile and it's interesting to compare the Cicadas to Thawne in Season 1. Thawne could be avuncular, warm, earnest and kind. You could see him casually murdering the cast if it suited him, but you could also see him hitting Big Belly Burger for a snack. He had characterization outside his immediate need to be threatening and manipulative and cruel; he wasn't just a rasping voice who snarled threats.

In contrast, Chris Klein and Sarah Carter as the Cicadas exist to do nothing but raspily snarl threats. There was an episode of flashback for Chris Klein and it was singularly incapable in adding sympathy to Cicada probably because Klein is one of the worst actors in Hollywood today. Klein is incapable of appearing natural; he cannot even walk through a door without indicating that he is an actor trying to hit his mark and has rehearsed every movement. Sarah Carter is better, having salvaged the Alicia Baker character on SMALLVILLE and made a video game fight movie like DOA watchable, but her Cicada is just as limited.

There came a moment in this week's FLASH when I just gave up on the show -- the point where Joe has a crisis in the middle of a police station because he doesn't have the confidence to give orders. This is the veteran police detective of five years? And the reasoning behind Joe's inability to command is that Captain Singh isn't around at present, a nonsensical justification that ignores five seasons of Joe never having any difficulty providing anyone with instructions. Why is it there? It looks suspiciously like Bill Dial style padding to stretch out a script that was short a few pages. This is the first time in the history of THE FLASH that I've seen an episode clearly fail to fill its own timeslot as though extending stock footage of the speedsters a bit was not an option.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

So I'm not sure I fully understood where they're going with the Arrow finale.  And, by extension, I'm not sure where they were going with the season as a whole.  I never really bought the Ninth Circle or Emiko as a compelling villain.  In fact, part of me thought that there was going to be a revelation that she'd lied about being related to him in the first place.  I don't think the connection they tried to make between Oliver's guilt and Emiko worked.

At the end of the day, I hate bringing in a long-lost sibling this late in the game.  I don't think it worked.  I almost would've rather had the villain be someone like Huntress or even Roy.  If the whole point was that the team is what made Oliver a great hero, then show someone who tried to go Oliver's original route and it turned them on a darker path.

So where do we go from here?  It's a shortened season that seemingly ends with the crossover.  But....what's Oliver going to be doing?  Is the Monitor going to put him back on Earth in secret where he can never speak with his family?  I thought for a second, while they were wrapping things up, that he might be taking down the Ninth Circle (because that seemed to be the reason they went into hiding).

Is Season 8 going to be fully....is "galactic" the right word?  Will it be Oliver and the Monitor prepping for the Crisis?  Do we even need 10 episodes of that?  Or would it be better for Arrow to end there and have Oliver simply make his return in the Crossover?

Did season 7 give us the right closure?  Because I have a feeling that Season 8 is going to be more of an epilogue than anything.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

I’m getting the impression that Oliver is going to take on the role of Harbinger (The Monitor’s right hand in testing and recruiting people to fight the Anti-Monitor):

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harbinger_(DC_Comics)

I’m also sure it’s going to come up that the woman who became Harbinger in the comics already exists in the Arrowverse - she’s Diggle’s wife, Lyla.

If Oliver does take on the role of Harbinger, then he may also gain some powers of his own (like the ability to duplicate himself).  Regardless, it only makes sense for these last 10 episodes to all be Crisis related.  Will the other series follow suit?  I’m beginning to think Crisis really is going to be a season long thing and not just a three episode event in November.

Everybody may have the same big bad for their next season long arc.

1,073 (edited by Slider_Quinn21 2019-05-16 08:51:10)

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Yeah, I could see that.  It could be cool to do it that way, and they've definitely positioned both the Flash and Arrow to work that way.  You could even have Arrow have a mostly-new cast and have any of the Arrow cast move to the Flash full-time.

I don't think we'll see LoT involved full-time, and I'm also not sure Supergirl will go there.  I guess we'll find out after those finales.

*Edit - Legends is being held until midseason.  So there might be some aftermath from the crossover (and they might appear), but it seems like they're just skipping the whole thing.  I also forgot about Batwoman - it'd be hard not to have that show be involved, but would they want to bog down their first season with a huge event like this?

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Flash -

I didn't love this season.  I think having Thawne be the big bad was cool, but it was also frustrating that they let him go and still lost Nora.  I'm guessing Thawne got Nora's name wrong (when Barry and Nora went back in time) because she was never meant to exist?

I also wonder if they always meant to move the Crisis up, or if they overshot how long they thought these shows would go on.

Final also wonder - is Cisco leaving the show?  I know there was talk of a lot of people leaving, but I'm not sure if any of that was actually confirmed.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I'm guessing Thawne got Nora's name wrong (when Barry and Nora went back in time) because she was never meant to exist?

That’s where things start to get interesting.

In the comics, Barry and Iris have twins - Don and Dawn (also called the Tornado Twins).  Dawn’s daughter is Jenni Ognats - the true XS in the comics.  Barry and Iris could meet XS again; but she would be their grand daughter and have no memory of them.

Don also went on to have a son - Bart Allen known as Impulse and later the new Kid Flash.  But Bart’s mother?  Well, Don married Meloni Thawne (a descendant of the Reverse Flash).

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

*Edit - Legends is being held until midseason.  So there might be some aftermath from the crossover (and they might appear), but it seems like they're just skipping the whole thing.  I also forgot about Batwoman - it'd be hard not to have that show be involved, but would they want to bog down their first season with a huge event like this?

There's an image from the CW Upfronts that said that the Crossover would be 5 hours and "2 quarters"

Since it's a financial meeting, I have to assume they mean two financial quarters.  Since it's 5 hours, it would have to include all 5 connected shows (including Batwoman), and the picture on the image also would indicate this (as both Sara and Mick were in the picture with Batwoman, Kara, Barry, and Oliver).  Since LoT was held until midseason, that also makes sense.

The crossover might start in November, have a big cliffhanger at some point, and conclude in January or February.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

There's been no announcement about Carlos Valdes leaving the show. I assume he'll be back as Cisco. Season 5 of THE FLASH was very strange and oddly deficient. I wonder why. It's odd to chart THE FLASH's creative decline from Seasons 3 - 5, much like SLIDERS.

Season 3 crashed hard. Season 3 was attempting to continue the same successes of Seasons 1 - 2: a new turn on the Flash mythology with the Flashpoint timeline, another villain from the Flash's future -- but the episodes were not written well enough to capitalize on Savitar being a time remnant of Barry or how Flashpoint had warped the lives of Barry's friends. Despite spending all of Season 3 piling guilt on Barry, the main villain of Season 3 had nothing to do with any decision Barry had ever made onscreen; Savitar was a time remnant from some future event that we'd never seen.

There was the sense that the showrunners had gone from running ARROW to running ARROW and THE FLASH and LEGENDS OF TOMORROW and SUPERGIRL. Every year, there was one show that seemed to receive the least attention and suffer the most as a result: LEGENDS' first season was clumsy and formulaic; ARROW's fourth season drifted too far from street-level heroics; SUPERGIRL's first season featured two mutually exclusive takes on Kara as either a college student or a late 30s reporter. And THE FLASH's third season was painfully undercooked. Eventually, there was some internal rearranging and each show had its own dedicated showrunner.

Season 4 of THE FLASH stepped up: there was a shift to more comedy (that rubbed some the wrong way), a return to familiarity by making Harry Wells a regular, and in a clever turn of plotting, Season 4 had the Flash facing a villain whose intellect made Barry's speed useless and irrelevant. Season 4 progressively upped the situation as Barry seemed hopelessly outmatched by the Thinker, an antagonist who could match Team Flash's brainpower, who would later augment intelligence with Sylar-esque levels of power. And then came the finale where... the Thinker is abruptly unplugged and the story switched to punching a big rock falling out of the sky. It was an adequate end to Season 4, but something seemed to go off track.

Then we come to Season 5 where we are back to undercooked stories. The show seemed unable to capitalize on Barry and Nora's father-daughter relationship except in very overt, obvious, clumsy terms with the characters blatantly stating their emotions.

The big dilemmas of major episodes boiled down to Barry, Nora and Joe finding the right words to talk Cicada out of a killing spree or to rally the troops, a strangely small-scale insecurity. Season 5 scripted the 34-year-old Jessica Parker Kennedy to play Nora with the maturity of a teenaged girl and the visual disconnect was bizarre.

It wasn't all bad. Tom Cavanagh as Sherloque was a delight as Cavanagh and the scripts found an actual character to go with one of Cavanagh's comedy accents. Ralph Dibney was a joy as a more competent detective this year. Iris and Barry were a lot of fun as astonished parents. Caitlin had some great episodes this year. The Nora/Thawne dynamic was earnest and disturbing in how utterly sincere Thawne was in his love for Nora even as he manipulated her into erasing herself from existence.

However, in terms of plotting, Season 5 revolved around Team Flash inexplicably unable to take on Cicada, a thug with a magic knife whose superpower was to stretch out short sentences to unbearable length with extremely slow line deliveries, a gift he apparently passed on to the second Cicada.

I watched Season 5, Episode 21 yesterday and I honestly can't remember most of what happened. It made nearly no impression on me as poor Sarah Carter took half a minute to deliver 10 seconds' worth of dialogue. THE FLASH, a show about superspeed, seem to be going so slow that time felt like it was ticking backwards. Only when Thawne got free and Nora and Barry had to race against him did the episode finally come alive. Only then was there suddenly speed and motion and pacing and stakes and energy and danger -- at which point I realized that THE FLASH had spent 21 episodes -- TWENTY ONE EPISODES -- with speedsters circling awkwardly around a villain whose great threat was an unwieldy looking knife.

Looking back, I think there was maybe 10 episodes of story here. Nora and Thawne working together should have been exposed to the audience by the second episode, the discovery should have come in the fifth episode, Cicada should have been dispatched by the sixth and Thawne breaking free and Nora being erased should have been the mid-season finale. There simply wasn't enough content here for an entire season of THE FLASH.

What on Earth made the writers stretch out half a season of material to a whole year? My painful suspicion is that known sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg brought a certain magic to THE FLASH and took it away with him when he was fired off THE FLASH during the middle of Season 4. Infamous sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg had a specific approach during Seasons 1 - 3 that terrified his workers. Not only did he grope and grab and hump his writers, reputed sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg insisted on putting multiple ideas into individual episodes that, on any other show, would have sustained entire seasons.

Most shows would have held back revealing Harrison Wells as a villain, the Flash's future in the Crisis and the exposure of the Reverse Flash and distributed one reveal for each season finale. Accused sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg put all of that in the first half of Season 1. Most writers would have revealed how Thawne stole Harrison Wells' life across a season finale and a subsequent season. The despised sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg revealed all in one episodes. Most showrunners would have spread out alternate universes, Jay Garrick and creating Flashpoint across three seasons. The now unhirable sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg put it all in Season 2.

Somewhat overstretched sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg seemed to take his eye off THE FLASH for Season 3, but blackballed sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg gave THE FLASH his full attention for Season 4. Halfway into Season 4, industry punchline and sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg was fired off every single one of his shows.

It's interesting to look at Season 5's plotting and compare it to Season 1. There are some very good and strong concepts for a season of TV, but the big tentpole moments are extremely few when stretched across 21 episodes and padded out with empty supervillain procedurals. In contrast to Seasons 1 - 2 having Barry constantly learn new speed flourishes, Season 5 had next to no discoveries and made little to no use of Nora picking up Barry's tricks. There simply isn't enough material and rather than add more and make sure every episode is full of twists and turns and revelations and story, what's present is simply overextended.

Universally loathed sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg has no business working in television (he literally has no more business), but it's painful to consider that he had a strong vision for THE FLASH and his successors don't seem to have any vision for it at all.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

It's weird.  The Monitor showed up on Arrow first, and he had the biggest "cameo" on that.  Then he showed up on Supergirl and Legends, while also sorta being a part of the Flash finale (as the crisis moved up to 2019).

But what are we to make of his appearances on Supergirl and Legends?  On Supergirl, he release's J'onn's (evil?) brother from some sort of imprisonment.  Then he rescued (?) the dead (?) Lex Luthor to end the season.  On Legends, he showed up, did nothing, and was used mostly for comic relief as he was seen eating popcorn.

I don't know what they're setting up with him.  He seemed like a good guy fighting an impossible fight on the Arrow finale (after being a sometimes good / sometimes bad character in the crossover).  On Supergirl, he seemed like a bad guy (working with / helping two supervillains).  On Legends, he did nothing.

It's cool that they're going to have a storyline potentially bleed through all five shows next season, and it's going to potentially be a cool sendoff to Arrow and a big step in the Arrowverse.  But I found the Monitor cameos to be much more confusing than the "WOW" tease that I think we were supposed to be left with.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Hey, I haven’t responded because I haven’t seen the SUPERGIRL and LEGENDS finales yet. I’ve been working out a lot, watching ONCE UPON A TIME in the gym, but I’ve enjoyed the CW shows so much this year that I want to watch these two finales on the big screen. (Uh. On the 55 inch tv in my living room. Which by modern standards is pretty average.)

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

That was the Monitor’s behavior in the year leading up to Crisis back in 1985.  He made brief shadowy cameos in just about every DC title - often as a weapons dealer to super villains.  He wasn’t evil per se’ - more of a neutral party just testing heroes and villains in search of the best people to fight the threat of the Anti-Monitor.

The interesting thing is Luthor.  Alexander Luthor (son of the heroic Earth 3 Lex Luthor) was a pretty integral part Crisis on Infinite Earths.  So they’re likely to play with that character in some form; and the ending of Supergirl could have been related to however they are going to spin their version of that.

Re: Arrow / The Flash / Supergirl by Informant

Well, I did see the ARROW finale and I liked it. They did a good job of bringing the season to a close and continuing the restoration of the street-level superheroics of Seasons 1 - 2 -- which is why, as Slider_Quinn21 noted, it was just bizarre for a cosmic character like the Anti Monitor to come in at the end. It didn't feel like an episode of ARROW. It felt like a completely different series.

Emiko was adequate, but I'd agree with Slider_Quinn21 that she didn't really come alive as Oliver's sister. It actually reminded me of Season 2 of REVENGE where characters were almost at random declared to be someone's daughter's son's long-lost cousin's roommate's older sister to stir up some quick drama. If they'd had more screentime for her, it might have worked, but she was a bit crowded out by the flash forwards.

I really loved Katherine MacNamara is Mia Smoak, however, and thought that as superhero children go, she was much more exciting than Nora Allen with a streak of wild defiance and a terrifying glee in the fight scenes. I've walked past MacNamara twice on the streets of Toronto and recognized her and she always looked back at me with the pleasant, well-practiced smile of a celebrity who realizes she's been recognized and will gamely provide an autograph and a selfie if asked but is actually a bit tired and would be ever so grateful if you would just keep on walking and leave her to her thoughts.

In contrast, if I saw Mia Smoak on the street, I would turn the other way and run.

I was a bit surprised that Alena Whitlock wasn't formally inducted into the Arrowcave as the new Overwatch. I'm really enjoying Juliana Harkavy and I'm glad she'll be back for Season 8. Wild Dog continues to be great fun. I'm not sure how Season 8 will play out, but the showrunners say they hope Felicity will be in the series finale, so that's something.