Couldn't get to Legends of Tomorrow last week before things got crazy busy, so this'll be a bonus-sized, two-episode edition of OTM this week as we approach all four season finales.
Agents of SHIELD: "Failed Experiments" (0% Stupid), "Emancipation" (15% Stupid)
I have no beef with "Failed Experiments". The dumb stuff characters did during the episode was treated as dumb by the writers. Everyone got good stuff to do. Also, KREE. Only for a little while, but still, KREE. Mac really needs to go a season without having his ass handed to him by an alien or part-alien, though. Poor guy.
The two main problems I had with "Emancipation" is that no matter how hard they tried, all the signs were there that Lincoln's whole deal was a Secret Shield Plan. So a lot of that time was spent waiting for the penny to drop. But more importantly, the whole "What Was Lash Meant To Do" thing was stupid. They've somehow gone from INhuman powers emerging to somehow fit specific unmet needs in the global Inhuman community (bad enough) to Lash went around murdering Inhumans so he could be captured and eventually free one person from Hive's control. that's a level of wank AoS usually avoids.
The Flash: "Rupture" (15% Stupid) and "The Runaway Dinosaur (40% Stupid)
The saga of Barry Allen getting his powers back started with a slow, but mostly compelling burn, if you don't think about it too heavily. Since I've criticized the show before for doing stupid, dangerous things impulsively for no reasons at all, it seems unfair to shit on the inconsistency in "Rupture" of taking the entire episode to realize they had to do the getting the powers back thing they showed in the preview. Most of the stupid this week goes to Iris declaring her love for Barry for the dumbest of all possible reasons - compelled by Future Iris and Earth 2 Iris. Also, it's a little incesty. Also, it's a bad idea for a nerd to hook up with the woman he's crushed on for all of his formative years. But if it's gonna happen, fine.
Points to the show for pulling the trigger on Wally West and Jessie Quick, then points taken away again for making us wait longer. Like, maybe even next season longer at this rate.
Fuck "The Runaway Dinosaur" for being the world's most on-the-nose fake children's book in the history of storytelling and not, say, an actual runaway dinosaur. Also, the Speed Force just wants Barry to be less angsty and then they'll give him his powers and he can go home except that to get home he still apparently needs his friends to open a dangerous portal and decide who he loves best so he'll come back to them?
As always, the usual points awarded to Cisco and Harry, the always entertaining parts of this show. But man, did I want the Speed Force to just pop Barry back to Star Labs while they were deciding whether his dad or his lovesister would be the ones to tag along on Cisco's Vibe portal.
Arrow: "Genesis" (15% Stupid) and "Monument Point" (5% Stupid)
"Genesis" was a solid episode with a couple of weird flaws. First, why make such a point of Felicity being so strong with the light side when, keeping with the theme of the season, youre just going to have Oliver learn light magic to counter Dhahrhkh's dhahrhkh magic at the end anyway? And second, the plan is really to nuke Star City and ride it out in a dome ark? That seems, well, stupid.
But the Diggle stuff, the Lyla stuff, and the Thea stuff was all super-strong. I do wish Diggle hadn't lied to Lyla about why he killed Andy, though. Not that it doesn't make sense from a character standpoint, it's just that Arrow is a non-stop string of lies and half-truths coming back to bite characters in the ass down the road and it's getting old.
Monument Point was weird. I wasn't sure how I felt about it until the last five minutes, when, despite the team's best efforts, a nuke still ends up destroying a small town and fueling Damien Dhahrhkh with their deaths. Up until that point, it was the usual save-the-world "high stakes that obviously they'll prevent because the world can't end" shenanigans, but then they changed it up and I have no idea where things go from here, which is a good thing.
The biggest problem with the twist ending is that it needed like two or three mor minutes to establish what was happening and really let it hit home. It wasn't clear to me at first that what was happening was simply a reduction in damage, not a "the nuke went off harmlessly in the ocean" type scenario. I'm sure that and Felicity's guilt will play out as we work toward the finale, but in the moment it was rushed.
Legends of Tomorrow: "River of Time" (90% Stupid) and "Destiny" (50% Stupid)
I can't even begin to express how front to back stupid "River Of Time" was. It was the ultimate expression of the show as Ship Of Fuckwits. I will give you two examples. Kendra gets too close to Brainwashed Carter Hall and gets her neck damn near snapped as a result. The next time we see her, she's EVEN CLOSER TO HIM.
Also, we learn that Vandal Savage started working on time travel when he saw Rip Hunter in 1975 and realized he must be a time traveler. But he had Rip's 1944 hula pen since he became immortal. So why did it take him until 1975 to figure out time travel?
Most of the rest of the episode is some basic cable sub-par ripped off from Loki in The Avengers bullship. Fuck this entire episode.
"Destiny was better, because how the hell could it have been worse? But it's still sloppy as fuck. For example, in River of Time, it's revealed that Mick hates all the snacks on the Waverider because they're sugar-free. In "River of Time", he's enjoying a cupcake with Ray. SLOPPY. Also, the revelation that your team has been made to be stupid and sucky all season by the Time Masters is simultaneously clever and a confession by the writers.
Never mind that at this point we've forgotten entirely about the thing from a couple episodes ago where they're all gonna get wiped from history if they don't stop Savage RIGHT NOW. Also, if I weren't completely convinced that there was no way in hell they'd leave Captain Cold dead, I'd be pissed about that too. Because that would be never-watch-the-show-again bad if they kept that decision in play.
One episdode left, and really no way around this show being a creative failure of epic proportions.