We recap this week’s Arrowverse episodes: Legends of Tomorrow 3×12 “The Curse of the Earth Totem,” The Flash 4×14 “Subject 9,” Black Lightning 1×06 “Three Sevens: The Book of Thunder,” and Arrow 6×14 “Collision Course.”
This week in the Arrowverse, the Legends go pirate, Ralph finds love and loses it, Black Lightning meets Thunder, and Original Team Arrow and New Team Arrow are irrevocably split.
‘Legends of Tomorrow’ 3×12 ‘The Curse of the Earth Totem’
While Sara goes on a first date with Ava, the rest of the Legends go full on Cat in the Hat; they take the Waverider back to the 1700s, looking to retrieve the Earth totem from Blackbeard. And when Mick notices that Amaya is feeling down because of Kuasa, he aims to lift her spirits by dubbing her the Dread Pirate Jiwe and putting her in charge of the mission. But the appearance of the Darhks (yes, Damien knows he looks handsome in his admiral outfit) complicates matters.
One of my favorite things about this episode is the dynamic between Mick and Amaya. We saw those two form an unusual friendship back in season 2, and when Mick got caught up with the Legion of Doom, she was the only one to really believe in him. It was nice to see that relationship explored more in this episode.
This is also yet another sign of Mick’s character development. Once he would have ignored the Legends and gone off drinking with the other pirates. Now he’s not only sticking to the mission, but he’s doing what he can to boost the morale of one of his friends. He supports Amaya entirely through the mission, and it results in Amaya regaining her confidence even though she loses her totem in the process.
Meanwhile, Ray uses the anti-magic gun to shoot Nora Darhk. Ray is such a good person, though, that he is unable to deal with the guilt of killing someone. So, he returns to the crime scene and offers a trade: Amaya’s totem for a cure.
However, Ray stays behind to make sure it works — partly for his conscience, no doubt, and partly, I’m guessing, because he knows he might need to do this to Sara and wants to know it’s reversible — which results in him being captured by the Darhks.
Oh, and let’s never forget Wally and Rip going out drinking — and Wally pantsing Gary. Poor Gary.
‘The Flash’ 4×14 ‘Subject 9’
Let’s just get this out of the way: That Southern accent. There are no words.
Anyway,”Subject 9″ hints that DeVoe’s body swapping is having a negative effect on his cognitive abilities (and perhaps stability). With Becky’s body deteriorating even faster than his last body, he has to push his plans ahead without the time to as thoroughly plan as he might have before.
Marlize, who doesn’t know she was drugged by the Weeper’s tears, is clearly worried about the many changes Clifford is undergoing. I still think she is going to be key to defeating DeVoe, though we’re starting to see cracks in his seemingly unbeatable armor of brains and powers as well.
He needs a new body, and he zeroes in on country musician Izzy who can control sound waves. Her powers are neat and have a lot of potential that are unfortunately not met in the episode despite a training sequence. Instead, the focus is on Ralph’s crush on her and the way he takes her loss as personally as if they’d been in a long-term relationship.
Meanwhile, Barry may be free from prison but he’s not welcome back at CCPD; he’s suspended indefinitely because the other cops don’t trust the circumstances surrounding his acquittal (they live in a city full of metahumans, after all).
Team Flash also decides to follow the buddy system. Barry and Ralph are paired, and after Izzy is taken, Ralph suggests Barry become his PI partner while he can’t work at CCPD. This was a sweet gesture, and I’m growing to like Ralph more and more.
‘Black Lightning’ 1×06 ‘Three Sevens: The Book of Thunder’
Now that he knows Tobias is back in town, Jefferson is more determined than ever to avenge his father’s death (which we get a flashback of; Jefferson was hiding under a bed during his father’s murder and saw the whole thing). This leads to Gambi and a reluctant Lynn working together to talk Jefferson down from cold-blooded murder.
This is a fairly common trope in superhero stories, but it still works well here, especially considering the brutality of The 100. Can Black Lightning protect his community and be the hero Freeland needs without fighting fire with fire?
The most exciting part of the episode, though, happens in the final few minutes: after taking down a Confederate statue, Anissa decides to come clean to Lynn about her powers. But when she gets to Lynn’s lab, Lynn is being tied up by thugs.
Anissa fights them off, thus revealing herself to her mother. However, Black Lightning comes in and believes Anissa (as Thunder) is hurting Lynn. This leads to an impressive fight that results in Black Lightning giving Thunder a concussion. And when Jefferson recognizes Anissa up close, things only get more complicated.
I’m excited to see what this new dynamic will do storytelling-wise. For instance, I can imagine Jefferson and Anissa going out into the field together, working to improve their community in ways their daytime activities cannot. This should also tie Anissa’s dive into her grandfather’s research into Jefferson’s need to avenge his father’s death. Jefferson will also have to think about how much Anissa reflects him and what that means.
Oh, and apparently Gambi trained Lady Eve? I am increasingly fascinated with the Gambi character.
‘Arrow’ 6×14 ‘Collision Course’
The intolerable divide between Original Team Arrow and New Team Arrow comes to a head in this episode, and I can only hope we won’t be seeing NTA for a while.
Black Siren, it turns out, took the money Cayden James extorted from Star City. She is recovering from her gunshot wound in a cabin with Quentin looking after her. He slowly seems to be making progress breaking down her walls, but Oliver needs that money back. She promises to give it back in exchange for safe passage out of the country since Dinah is trying to kill her.
NTA feels betrayed by this because OTA seems to be letting Black Siren get away with Vigilante’s murder. Cue a showdown in the woods that results in Rene being seriously injured. Curtis also talks Dinah down from killing Black Siren, but this allows her to escape.
Rene survives but needs to be transferred to another hospital for care. Curtis and Dinah declare to Felicity and Diggle that they never want to talk to them again, and I hope Curtis and Dinah are going to leave with Rene.
This entire divide was utterly banal and unnecessary; while some initial discomfort with being spied on is understandable, the fact that it led to this breakdown makes no sense. No one has tried to have a mature conversation that explores the issues with any depth or nuance. It’s simply been the same thing over and over. And thus, I no longer like characters that I quite enjoyed in season 5.
The episode closes with Black Siren claiming to be Laurel Lance who was kidnapped two years ago. Is she really going to take over Earth-1 Laurel’s identity? I am equally horrified and fascinated.