ROGUES GALLERY #41: SIDEKICK, GOTHAM, and the Arrowverse Before the Invasion!
This week, we introduce a slightly different format, in which we combine brief recaps of the shows with our commentary. So you get everything wrapped up in one package!
But first, the homework we gave you two weeks ago: the short film Sidekick, which is topic number one in our discussion this week.
The short film was made by members of the cast and crew of the Arrowverse, so we include it here for those who like this sort of thing (we do). And that leads us to our discussion about everything else in the DC TV universe:
The panel: Ann Laabs, Kathryn Sanders, Dave Margosian, Jeff Hackworth, Timothy Harvey, Dustin Adair, Jason Hunt
Episode 309 “Mad City: Executioner”
Written by Ken Woodruff
Directed by John Behring
This week: Captain Barnes (Michael Chiklis) channels his inner Judge Dredd with his “I am the law!” declarations, as he goes to town with his rampage against the criminal element in Gotham City. The “Tetch Virus” has him fully ’round the bend, and he’s hearing voices in his head and seeing spooky faces on the heads of Gotham’s citizens. Gordon (Ben McKenzie) is the only one who knows the Evil Dr. Evil identified Barnes as his killer, and he has a tough time selling it to Bullock (Donal Logue). It’s only when Barnes takes Gordon off to the Foundry that Bullock manages — with help from Le (Morena Baccarin) — to convince the posse that Barnes is infected and not right in the head.
Meanwhile, Oswald (Robin Lord Taylor) has taken it upon himself to rid the world of
Kim Novak Isabella (Chelsea Spack), who’s convinced Ed (Cory Michael Smith) that breaking up is the Wrong Thing To Do™ just before she goes off to a librarians conference. But she doesn’t get there because — “Oh, dear.” — she gets hit by a train because someone cut her brake lines. Nygma is beside himself with grief while Oswald sits for a portrait. When Nygma gets it in his head that Butch is the killer, Oswald almost wets himself.
Ivy (Maggie Geha) has resurfaced, and suddenly has Mad Chemistry Skillz, wearing a perfume that makes people do what she says. She steals a hefty jeweled necklace from Anton the Antiquities Dealer (Jeremy Crutchley), who just happens to have been connected to an organization that can employ men with crossbows. Anton gets the worst end of that deal. Selina (Camren Bicondova) and Bruce (David Mazouz) convince Ivy to return the necklace, but when they find Anton’s body, it all goes out the window. When Selina tosses the necklace and breaks it open, inside is a key. A Mystery Key.
And Ivy figures out that Selina and Bruce are totally a thing.
Episode 206 “Changing”
Written by Andrew Kreisberg & Catilin Parrish, Story by Greg Berlanti
Directed by Larry Teng
It’s the Berlanti version of The Thing, with an alien parasite taking over the body of Dr. Rudy Jones (William Mapother), who’s researching climate change and slinging politics every other minute. Very clumsy political stuff. Especially the 2×4 “Republican/Conservative Bad” groupthink peppering the entire hour. Come on… Rand O’Reilly (Jason Gray-Stanford) is the anti-environmental corporate bigwig? Rand O’Reilly? Really?
By the way, how long does it take to fly to Norway and back?
The parasite gives him the ability to absorb life energy, and the combination of Kryptonian and Martian life force mutates him into the purple Parasite we all (well, some of us) know from the comics and animated shows, only bigger. And it’s the simultaneous attack on Kara (Melissa Benoist) and J’onn (David Harewood) that has James (Mehcad Brooks) convinced he can wait no longer to suit up, convincing Winn (Jeremy Jordan) to help him take on Parasite.
Mon-El (Chris Wood) also feels compelled to be a better man and step up, and even after training with Kara, he gets his clock cleaned a bit. It’s only the combined efforts, plus Kara’s use of a plutonium isotope to overpower Parasite’s absorption powers, that saves the day. Poof. Parasite powder.
On the other front, Alex (Chyler Leigh) comes out to Kara in a scene that feels very authentic, very much written from personal experience, it feels.
And FYI: Aldebaran Rum — one shot and Kara is drunker than a skunk.
Episode 306 “Shade”
Written by Emily Silver & David Kob
Directed by J.J. Makaro
The theme of this episode: “Why didn’t you tell me?”
- Why didn’t Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) tell Joe (Jesse L. Martin) about the Kid Flash memory dreams he’s been having?
- Why didn’t Barry (Grant Gustin) tell anyone about the Kid Flash incident over in the Flashpoint timeline?
- Why didn’t Cisco (Carlos Valdes) tell H.R. (Tom Cavanagh) about the fact that on this Earth he looks like a confessed murderer?
- Why didn’t H.R. tell anyone he was a fraud, and it was his business partner Randolf Morgan who’s the genius?
- Why didn’t Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) tell anyone about her newly manifested powers?
Function Character of the Week: Shade (Mike McLeod), otherwise known as the Smoke Monster from Lost. He’s just there to make circumstances such that Caitlin gets outed. Frankly, they could have done this better, since Shade was using superfast (read that “charged with heat energy”) molecules, it would have made sense for Caitlin to be forced to use her powers to help stop Smoke Monster when he attacked the movie-in-the-park crowd. Only it didn’t happen that way. Wasted opportunity.
As we’ve been speculating for the past few weeks, Wally makes his way to Alchemy after having repeated memory kid flashes of his time in Flashpoint. Locking him up in the pipeline doesn’t help, and so the young speedster wannabe figures he can be bait, with the Flash and CCPD trailing him to finally capture Alchemy. Only it doesn’t quite work out that way. Alchemy escapes, Wally grabs the Sorcerer’s Stone and gets cocooned, and Savitar finally makes his appearance.
Couple of bits:
- Facial Transmogrification — someone is a fan of Calvin & Hobbes
- Helbing — currency on Earth-19, named after Aaron and Todd, writers for the show
Episode 507 “Vigilante”
Written by Ben Sokolowski & Emilio Ortega Aldrich
Directed by Gordon Verheul
There’s a new vigilante in town. Let’s call him … “Vigilante”. And those of us paying attention know that with Adrian Chase (Josh Segarra) on the show, it’s only a matter of time before the one is unmasked as the other.
Vigilante is going after bank robbers run by two-bit thug Eric Dunn (Toby Levins), who have a tendency to end up dead because Vigilante is dishing out Hard Core Justice™ which he thinks is outside Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Team Arrow 2.0’s comfort zone, even though Diggle (David Ramsey) is skating the edge, going stir crazy because of the whole “being on the run from federal marshals” thing, and he’s taking it out on the bad guys. Painfully. So much so that Wild Dog (Rick Gonzalez) fears for Diggle’s sanity.
Oliver is having one of his existential crises where he questions all of his actions — again. And this time it’s not Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) who talks him off the ledge, but Susan (Carly Pope), who suddenly is his new friend who totally isn’t into him or wanting to get a scoop or anything…
Meantime, Quentin (Paul Blackthorne) is having a crisis of his own, realizing that Prometheus is setting him up to take the fall for the Throwing Star Murders, what with the drunken blackouts and all. He and Thea (Willa Holland) know that there’s no way a drunken stupor would give Quentin any Mad Ninja Death Dealer Skillz, but Quentin also realizes that he’s no good to anyone in his current condition. Thea agrees, which is why she takes him to a rehab clinic instead of accepting his resignation.
From Russia With Love: Oliver faces Konstantin Kovar (Dolph Lundgren), who has in his employ the mother of Taiana, the woman Oliver befriended on Danger Island. Kovar tells Oliver that
“many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our point of view”… uhm “Truth is a matter of perspective.”
And the last-scene reveal lifted from Young Justice: Artemis (Madison McLaughlin) is actually a spy. She’s working for Prometheus.
Episodes 206 “Outlaw Country”
Written by Matthew Maala & Chris Fedak
Directed by Cherie Nowlan
Liberty, Colorado 1874 — a time pirate with a tracker comes across a cattle rustler named Quentin Turnbull (Jeff Fahey), who learns about the value of white dwarf ore and manages to take over the entire Western United States past the Rocky Mountains. Major time aberration there.
So the Time Bandits head out in their
TARDIS DeLorean Waverider to correct the anomaly, once again crossing paths with Jonah Hex (Johnathon Schaech), who’s chasing a bounty on Turnbull — and it turns out, the outlaw was responsible for the damage to Hex’s face, along with killing a church full of town folk. Plus, Hex has had issues in the aftermath of the first time he worked with Sara (Caity Lotz) and the gang in “The Magnificent Eight”.
Turnbull has figured out the power properties of the white dwarf alloy, and has a train load of it headed to the one bridge that connects the two parts of the U.S. across the Rockies. Guess if you blow up one bridge in one place along a mountain range, there’s absolutely no other way to get from East to West…Remember what we said about goofballery.
Nate (Nick Zano) steps up this week, taking his “man of steel” persona one step further and stopping train with his bare hands. This after getting advice on courage from a still-powerless Ray (Brandon Routh). And Ray’s now got enough dwarf star alloy to make a few A.T.O.M. suits, except for the one he’s supposed to be wearing. You know, the one that doesn’t look like Iron Man. And he makes a suit for Nate.
Meanwhile, Professor Stein (Victor Garber) is starting to have flashes of memory that haven’t been his before, obviously a result of time tampering. Is it his interactions with his younger self that have set off a chain reaction? Or is this fallout from Flashpoint?
- Ray calling the chrono-seismograph the “Trouble Alert” — Super Friends gold
- Nate is the man of steel, more powerful than a locomotive, and now best friends with the former Man of Steel
- When Nate’s shot, he only has a 51% chance of recovery, not 52. Missed it by that much.