We recap this week’s Arrowverse episodes: Legends of Tomorrow 3×13 “No Country for Old Dads,” The Flash 4×15 “Enter Flashtime,” Black Lightning 1×07 “Equinox: The Book of Fate,” and Arrow 6×15 “Doppelganger.”
This week in the Arrowverse, Ray Palmer is held captive by the Darhks while Wally joins the Legends, Barry tries to stop a nuclear explosion alongside Jesse Quick and Jay Garrick, Jefferson and Anissa deal with collateral damage, and Roy Harper returns to Star City.
‘Legends of Tomorrow’ 3×13 ‘No Country for Old Dads’
Legends of Tomorrow constantly surprises and delights, and a buddy comedy starring Ray Palmer and Nora Darhk is one of those surprising delights I didn’t know I needed until I had it. Damien Darhk providing commentary and dad jokes (“Hi annoyed, I’m Dad”) is an added perk.
And, of course, there is the added amusement of watching a married couple play enemies pretending to be married. Then there is Damien Darhk’s amazingly awful wig, which is a reference to No Country for Old Men, that his 1960s assassin self wears.
So, the episode features Ray being forced to travel back in time with Nora to rescue the inventor of cold fusion from being assassinated by a younger Damien Darhk in order to repair the fire totem.
Nora also tries to tap into the power of Amaya’s totem. It’s clear her time with Ray — both as a child and as an adult — has influenced her, as she realizes that her father sending her to Mallus was not father-of-the-year material. But Damien also realizes this; however, it’s too late, as Mallus appears to take control of Nora.
Meanwhile, Wally finally boards the Waverider. He’s useful to the team and while he makes a bad first impression with Mick, Amaya, and Zari, Sara still asks him to join the team. It’s nice to see him join a team that is going to treat him well.
However, when Rip realizes Sara and Ava have become an item, he orders Gideon to delete a file, saying Sara can never learn the truth about Ava. What’s going on there?
‘The Flash’ 4×15 ‘Enter Flashtime’
“Enter Flashtime” is one of the best episodes of season 4 with incredible performances, high tension, and emotional stakes. Obviously the team was going to find a way to stop the nuclear bomb from destroying Central City, but Barry’s desperation as each plan falls through is a testament to Grant Gustin’s power as an actor.
Seeing Barry, Jesse and Jay together was great; I always enjoy seeing the speedsters together. Jay serves as the knowledgeable mentor while Jesse is the up-and-coming hero. It’s too bad they made Wally feel so useless he had to join another show, because he would have been useful. Still, Jay decides after the bomb is defused that he is going to retire and let his (female!) protege take over.
We also see the complicated dynamic between Jesse and Harry. Jesse comes to Earth-1 to confront her father, who has yet to face his wife’s death. And it’s this bottled up grief that is affecting his relationships with others, including getting kicked off Jesse’s team.
It takes the threat of nuclear explosion for Harry to recognize the need to express his pain to his daughter. He modifies the device he made for Cecile so Jesse can hear his thoughts, which are filled with his late wife’s voice. It’s a heart-wrenching and lovely moment between father and daughter.
Another interesting tidbit we glean from this episode is a blurring connection between Caitlin and Killer Frost. Caitlin never remembers what her frosty alter ego does, but she remembers Killer Frost’s time in Flashtime, and she remembers Killer Frost’s concern for her. I’m curious as to what this might mean.
‘Black Lightning’ 1×07 ‘Equinox: The Book of Fate’
The Pierce family dynamics become even more complicated now that Lynn and Jefferson know that Anissa has powers and isn’t going to back down from using them — she’s her father’s daughter, after all. Jefferson’s initial refusal to train Anissa causes strain between them (and leads to a hilarious scene where Jennifer knows something is up at breakfast but Anissa and Jefferson lie about it). But it also forces them both to face some hard truths.
Jefferson comes to realize that he’s being a hypocrite by continuing to use his own abilities and be Black Lightning while trying to shelter Anissa from it. If he is willing to bear the personal cost of being a vigilante, who is he to tell Anissa she can’t?
Both father and daughter, meanwhile, also feel the pain of collateral damage, which highlights exactly the pain Lynn doesn’t want her loved ones going through. Anissa discovers her grandfather’s editor, who gave her his research, died in an “accident” while Jefferson, in a confrontation with Tobias Whale, deflects a bullet into Tobias’ sister, Tori, and she dies in front of him.
It’s a powerful reminder that, despite Jefferson and Anissa’s determination that they can handle the pain and sacrifice that comes with being a hero, the sacrifice won’t always be theirs to bear.
Also, I am loving Gambi’s sketchiness and grey moral code. Jefferson, however, is not. Meanwhile, I am sad that Lady Eve had her face fried off (gross), but considering the final moments of the episode resurrected Lala, I’m guessing there’s more going on than we can know for now.
‘Arrow’ 6×15 ‘Doppelganger’
The district attorney has a new star witness to testify that Oliver is the Green Arrow: Roy Harper. Considering Roy faked his death and has been on the run for the last three years, it takes Ricardo Diaz to track him down. Of course, Roy would never flip on Oliver, who he sacrificed his life for; therefore, Diaz has his men torture Roy. Team Arrow realizes what’s going on and mount a rescue for their former teammate.
This episode, thankfully, gives Thea something to do at long last. She’s taken a back seat to other, less interesting plotlines like the Team Arrow civil war. But bringing Roy back reignites the fire that we once saw within Speedy, and it’s good to see her in action again.
(And it goes without saying that it was good to see Roy again.)
Thea, after the failed rescue, confesses to Oliver that she feels like her life took a nosedive after Roy left, and Oliver suggests that Thea go with Roy if it would make her happy. It shows a lot of growth on Oliver’s part to make that suggestion, putting his sister’s happiness over his own.
The other story revolves around Black Siren assuming Earth-1 Laurel’s identity, pretending to have been kidnapped by Damien Darhk. It’s sneaky, evil, and kind of perfect. It’s clear that Katie Cassidy is having a blast playing this darker version of Laurel. She absolutely delights in cornering Oliver into playing along with her charade.
Quentin, though, feels like he is making progress with her. And there does seem to be a connection there — deep down. But her survival instincts are strong, and Dinah going after her keeps them heightened. That and Diaz offering a new evil plot keeps old habits at the surface. If anyone can break through to her, though, it’s Quentin.