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Superhero Sundays: Jan. 26–30

This week, we discuss Gotham 1x13: Welcome Back Jim Gordon, Agent Carter 1x4: The Blitzkrieg Button, The Flash 1x11: The Sound and the Fury and Arrow 3x11: Midnight City.

Superhero Sundays: Jan. 26–30

Speedy Synopses:
Gotham 1x13: Welcome Back Jim Gordon

Sadly, after the intense action of last week, the city of Gotham once again slipped into complacency (of it’s normal sort). Jim spent much of the episode tracking down a killer in Gotham PD’s midst, and found (with help from Penguin, which he regretted asking for later) that the narcotics division of Gotham PD was being led by a drug dealer and a murderer. Thankfully, Chief Essen FINALLY stood up for Jim, and the rest of the department began to see that he’s actually doing the right thing.

Speaking of Penguin, he (and his crazypants mom) celebrated “his new club” a little too soon—Butch saved Fish from a terrible torture, and she returned to try to take back what’s hers. Unfortunately for her, Victor Zsasz has been absolutely itching to kill someone, and shows up just in time to save Penguin from a beating. Fish realizes it’s better to live to fight another day, and so runs from town, with a little help from Harvey.

Oh, and apparently, Bruce and Alfred have been in Switzerland? Upon their return, Bruce seeks out Selina to give her a gift, but she throws his friendship back in his face, along with a lie about how she didn’t really see who killed his parents. (Has the show completely given up trying to be about Batman at all?)

Agent Carter 1x4: The Blitzkrieg Button

This week's Agent Carter was one that was taking its sweet time to rearrange the pieces on the board. And while lacking any real action, it gave me a couple of chuckles and had some emotional heft to it. The big development this week is Dominic Cooper returning as Howard Stark, coming back to the United States after being smuggled in by underworld type Mr. Mink. And good god, the scenes with him just crackle with an energy and lightness, and give Hayley Atwell a chance to show off her own comedy chops as she plays straight woman to Howard Stark slowly bedding every single woman in the women's hotel (as every safe house Stark has its cover blown by the SSR). I groaned at the return to the women's hotel, as it is largely just a ham fisted showcase for the dumb gender roles and sexual mores of the period.

My main problem with the series so far is that the SSR scenes, trying to bust open the mythology of the miniseries seem so removed from the heart of the show, which is ostensibly the titular Agent Carter, I just find it hard to care at this point in time about dead Russians brought back from the dead, or even super cool Fringe-styled gChat typewriters. It did give us a nice stretch of scenes where Enver Gjokaj was doing great work as Agent Sousa, picking up a local dock transient who was there during Carter and Jarvis' recovery of the Stark inventions. We get a glimpse into immediate post-war life for Sousa, whose bum leg only makes people feel guilted enough for clapping for him at diners (and not clapping for other able bodied GIs at said diners). Chad Michael Murray's Agent Thompson also gets some time in as the effective jerk who actually gets things done (baiting the transient with scotch and hamburgers for intel), not to mention his demotivational speech towards Carter towards the end of the episode.

The actual show objective didn't come into focus until midway through when Carter is tasked by Stark to recover an invention for him, the Blitzkrieg Button, which is a glorified EMP device, shutting off the lights in an area. Carter sensed something wasn't right (Jarvis' tug at the ear gave her the sense something was wrong). The device, when activated produced a vial of (Steve Rogers') blood, which Stark was hoping to reclaim in order to make a killing off of in the medical field, using Carter as a corporate spy.

Carter's rebuke of Jarvis' apology and backhanded compliment that him and Stark hold her in high regard, moreso than the SSR (but not enough to deal straight with him) was great. And the mention of Captain America only re-ups Carter's resolve.

Also, Stan Lee would like to borrow the sports section when you're done.

Lastly, remember Mr. Mink? The man Carter and Jarvis duped to get Stark back? He tries to sneak into the women's hotel to kill Carter (no men on the second floor!) and for his troubles gets his neck snapped by neighbor Dottie, who steals his gatling pistol. Now things are going somewhere. (Paolo S.)

The Flash 1x11: The Sound and the Fury

While I have been really enjoying The Flash's debut season, the last couple of episodes have got me thinking if the show has hit its ceiling already. And that's kind of a sobering thought, because I largely like everybody on the show (despite some of the more questionable dialogue/character choices) and hot damn everybody has great chemistry on the show, notably Grant Gustin and Jesse L. Martin whose surrogate father-son relationship is morphing into a full blown bromance, and I for one am all in on it. This week's villain of the week was Hartley Rathaway, former protégé of Harrison Wells, who in the line of the night by Cisco, "He was a jerk, but once and a while, he could be a dick." The young Mr. Smithers sycophant with a fondness for chess metaphors and a proclivity for speaking in other languages tried to stop Wells from activating the accelerator, as there was a risk it could backfire, and for his troubles he gets fired from S.T.A.R. Labs by Wells. He didn't just lose his job, as during the accelerator explosion he lost his hearing.

Rathaway re-emerges as the Pied Piper (whose costume design just makes him look like some nerd who decided to go as a last minute millennial Emperor Palpatine for a Halloween party) after threatening Harrison at his home (hey, sweet Flash powers, Harrison) by shattering all the glass in his enclosure with this sound manipulation gauntlets. He later attacks his family's rival laboratory, and joins the pantheon of villains who wanted to be caught. While in the custody of S.T.A.R. Labs, we learn that Hartley had it out for Cisco (this episode not only serves as a character piece for Wells, but also for Cisco, who we learn in top of being a genius also has humanity). Hartley breaks out of S.T.A.R. Labs in order to gain access to bio-scans of The Flash, as the two fight on a bridge, and chess metaphors are strewn about as Harrison hijacks a satellite radio remotely in order to save Barry from be molecularly decimated.

The surrogate dad cold war heats up with Joe using Eddie to secretly investigate Harrison.

Meanwhile, Iris gets a job at the Central City Picture News in The Flash's own interpretation of season five of The Wire. While Iris thinks she is getting the joining the newspaper outfit because of her gumption, she quickly learns that she was hired because of perceived connection to The Flash. Gotta move those papers, you know. (Paolo S.)

Arrow 3x11: Midnight City

Ollie’s still MIA, but Team Arrow (minus Felicity) is trying their darndest to keep up appearances. Crimelord Danny Brickwell (a.k.a. Brick) has upped his game tenfold and is terrorizing Starling City. He even goes so far as to take the mayor and some other major city politicians hostage.

Laurel’s trying really hard to take on the mantle of Black Canary (and mostly failing), and she’s been noticed. Detective Lance, of course, thinks that Sarah’s back in town. Team Arrow helps delude the poor man for a while more.

Thanks to Tatsu and Maseo—who aren’t together any longer, which I think means bad things regarding their son—Ollie’s healing. He’s also itching to return to Starling (and Felicity, natch). Malcolm Merlyn, on the other hand, is trying to get Thea out of the city, and away from the prying eyes of the League of Assassins, but she doesn’t want to go. And Roy thinks Merlyn should keep his nose out of her business.

The end of the episode reveals that all is never what it seems in Starling, when Chase (the D.J.) calls Maseo to report (to Ra’s Al Ghul) that Oliver hasn’t returned home.

Hero of the Week: Felicity Smoak, Arrow

Although I wasn’t on board with the mopey, emo Felicity who was around for most of this week’s episode, the fierce girl we all know and love returned at the end and totally took charge of Team Arrow. Good to have you back, lady.

(GIFs via jbuffyangel)

Villain of the Week: Danny Brickwell (a.k.a. “Brick”), Arrow

I must have dozed off during part of last week’s episode, because I really didn’t realize how much of a menace Brick would turn out to be. Danny Jones is always an excellent villain, and Brick is no exception.

Honorable mention: Harrison Wells, The Flash

We now know for sure that Harrison has Reverse Flash abilities, but his endgame is still unclear. What are you up to, Dr, Wells?

Troy Barnes Award for Evoking The Feelz:

(GIFs via jbuffyangel)

Clark Kent Moment of Duh:

Oh, Quentin. You just don’t want to see what’s so plainly in front of your face, do you? *pats head*


(GIF via blacknerdproblems.com)

Although we did get a glimpse of The Abs, they were bandaged. I know he’s got a sword puncture through them, but, really. WHO COVERS UP THE ABS?

Right in the Kisser:

Agent Carter: Peggy’s still pining for Steve, but Howard’s not letting being on the lam inhibit his gettin’ some. And staying in an apartment building full of young, virile ladies is super convenient.

The Flash: Although it’s not romantic love, the bromance between Barry and Joe is heating up and I LOVE IT. They are adorable.

Arrow: In a moment of fanservice, this week’s episode began with a loving moment between Ollie and Felicity that goes horribly wrong all too quickly. Felicity did share a true swoony moment later in the episode, but it was with the wrong guy (i.e., Ray).

Biff! Bam! Pow!

(GIF via sciencefiction.com)

Holy shizz, Dottie. All that for a fancy gun?

News and Notes:

- The first teaser for the new Fantastic Four reboot was released this past week:

- Fandoms collide! David Tennant has been cast as Kilgrave, the super morally questionable villain of the Netflix/Marvel series A.K.A. Jessica Jones.

- Joss Whedon has made his views on female superhero movies (or the lack thereof) pretty clear, but here’s more from him on that subject. (#TeamJoss-To-Direct-All-The-Things)

- We found out this week that there’s more to Agent Carter’s Dottie than meets the eye. Here’s what’s up with that.


So what did you guys think of this week’s shows? Did it feel like a bit of a filler week for anyone else? Let us know below.

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.