Oh, The Metahumanity! (Oct. 6-7)

Everything's back this week! And more importantly, everything ranges from "reasonably solid" to "excellent". Luckily, chronological order is also quality order. Note that this one's going to be pretty spoilery because most of the stuff going on is stuff I can't or don't want to talk around.

The Flash: "The Man Who Saved Central City"

Here's something the creators of superhero shows need to realize. Tropes aren't just getting used up by your superhero show. They're getting used up by all the other superhero shows, too. So as barry Allen goes through the motions of guilt for a comrade dying (it's Firestorm, so he's not really dead) and pushing his friends away and trying to do everything himself so they don't get hurt, all I could think about is how sick I got of these themes just on Arrow alone.

The episode was also a little too obvious in removing Barry's dad from the table so they wouldn't have to deal with him. He's been out of jail for an hour and a half, but he's gonna get on a train (hopefully not the train from Arrow) and get out of town because, well, because the writers don't want to deal with him. Maybe he just doesn't want to hang around Joe while he works on his multimillion dollar wrongful imprisonment lawsuit against the Central City PD.

But apart from that, it was pretty solid introductory stuff. We have a pretty good Atom Smasher, even if they seem to straight up murder him with radiation to stop him. We have the first hints of the season-long arc involving, well, I'm gonna call it Earth 2 until the show says otherwise, with Professor Zoom and Jay Garrick and clearly stuff coming across on the regular. And we have an admittedly over-lampshaded running gag about last season's tendency to have people wander into Flash HQ. Most importantly, it wasn't as cramped and dumb as the finale was.

Agents of SHIELD: "Purpose in the Machine"

This show is MOVING. We now know where Ward is (defying physics by driving sportscars around a room that, while large, couldn't possibly be big enough for how fast he was going, unless they built that mansion on the runway from Fast Six. We now know where May is, and it turns out she's chilling with her dad, and her dad is David Motherfucking Lo Pan. By the end of the episode, she's helping Hunter in his solo infiltration mission against Ward's reforming Hydra.

Most of the episode is devoted to Fitz's obsession with getting Simmons back from wherever the monolith teleported her, which pays off way quicker than I thought it would, but does so in spectacular fashion, with steampunk basements and Peter MacNichol killing it as the rogue Asgardian.

Ward is reforming Hydra via the son of Baron Von Strucker, who combines the worst aspects of a Nazi and a trust fund douchebag, and thus immediately became the most evil character in the history of fiction. Looks like this story will be crossing over with Daisy's search for Secret Warriors, which is being blocked by her candidates being recent Inhumans, and thus traumatized crazy people that May's ex-husband shrink won't let Daisy have on her team. Anyway, Trust Fund Nazi just enrolled in Shrink Ex-Husband's college psych class for Evil Purposes, and that's where we stand heading into next week.

Arrow: "Green Arrow"

This episode could have gone so horribly, horribly wrong. We've got a villain who once again wants to destroy Star City so that something else can rise in its place. We've got Domestic Oliver and Felicity. We've got Diggle's trust issues, and more importantly, Diggle's helmet issues. We've got a lot of the usual dynamics in play - reckless aggressive sidekick, distrustful dad-cop, Star City being deeply fucked, and awful flashback hair.

But oh, baby, how they took what could have been awful and twisted it just enough to make it work. Well, except for Diggle's helmet, which is still fucking awful. Amanda Waller kidnaps Awful Hair Past Oliver from his initial vigilante-ing pre-Arrow and dumps him back on The Island. The villain, Damien Dhahrhkh, has straight up magic powers. Felicity hates the suburbs and has been secretly helping Team Arrow, and the reveal is so nerdriffic you won't even think about why, if that was going on, they need Oliver back at all.

Even the Diggle and Thea stuff, while handled much more conventionally, avoided being too annoying. And then we had the flash-forward. We cut from Happy Oliver to six months later, with Oliver and Barry next to a fresh grave and Oliver sad again and vowing vengeance. The implication is so deliberately pointing towards Felicity dying that it absolutely cannot be trusted. In fact, given the nature of this season, I'm wondering if it's a total misdirect about even a major character's death. We'll see.

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Proofreading

You misspelled "Damien Dhahrhkh". It's "Dhahmihehn".

Theory

Don't know who's dead but I'm pretty sure it was Captain Lance that did the killing. That's the "him" that Oliver threatened to kill. Could be wrong but I want internet credit so I can get laid at Comic-con if I'm right.

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