Welcome back to The Hollywood Reporter‘s weekly DC TV Watch, a rundown of all things DC Comics on the small screen. Every Saturday, we round up the major twists, epic fights, new mysteries and anything else that goes down on The CW’s Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and Black Lightning, and Fox’s Gotham. Note: Legends of Tomorrow and Black Lightning did not air new episodes this week.
RIP | When Paul Blackthorne’s exit from Arrow leaked a few weeks ago, speculation started running wild about how Quentin Lance would be written out of the series this season. His departure was finally explained at the end of this week’s season six finale when he saved Earth-2 Laurel’s (Katie Cassidy) life by jumping in front of a bullet meant for her. Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) was trying to shoot Laurel to blackmail Lance into getting the FBI out of Star City, and the erstwhile surrogate dad saved her life. He was taken to the hospital but didn’t make it through surgery. He lived long enough to have a heart-to-heart with his other surrogate child, Oliver (Stephen Amell), and the conversation was emotionally heavy enough to signal that Lance wasn’t making it out of this alive. What made his death all the more heartbreaking, however, was the surprise Legends of Tomorrow crossover when his real daughter Sara (Caity Lotz) showed up to the hospital only to learn that her father had died. She never even got to say goodbye. Brutal. While Arrow has always made it clear that no character is safe from death, Lance has made it back from the brink so many times that it was the right call to kill off the character rather than having him leave town a la Thea (Willa Holland) and Roy (Colton Haynes). And even executive producer Marc Guggenheim tells THR that “we told all the story there is to tell with Lance. We ran out of story with him.” At least now the character can’t be put through any more misery, and maybe this will be the final straw that makes Earth-2 Laurel join the good side in season seven.
Live to fight another day | By the end of season finales, Arrow usually wraps up the serial storyline with the villain. This week’s episode, however, saw Diaz escape Oliver and the FBI, and by the end of the episode he was still around to plot his revenge. Does this mean that Arrow is continuing the Diaz storyline into season seven? His casual mention of The Longbow Hunters, an obscure DC Comics reference, reveals that there is still more to mine from his history, regardless of how fans feel about the character himself. For those who don’t read the comics, Oliver mentioned on the show that The Longbow Hunters are a skilled group of killers that scared even the League of Assassins, but the last ones ever heard of were back in the 1950s. Seeing as how Diaz has hooked up with them now, it’s safe to say they’re still around and as formidable as ever, just operating in the shadows. A good comic run to read for more intel on the history of The Longbow Hunters is “The Outsiders War, Book 6: Spoils of War,” where Diaz aka the Dragon creates and leads a group of villains including Count Vertigo, Clock King, Killer Moth, Brick and Red Dart to take down the Green Arrow. Expect Arrow to throw in a slight twist on the comic origins, so there’s no telling how closely the series will follow the source material.
Caped crusader | Season six may have only just ended this week, but the Arrow-verse is already looking ahead at next season’s big annual crossover event. At The CW’s Upfronts presentation, Amell himself announced that Batwoman would be fighting alongside the Arrow-verse heroes from Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow in the crossover event happening in December. Her appearance comes hand-in-hand with the introduction of the city of Gotham into the CW’s shared DC universe, although it will have no connection to Fox’s Gotham. Casting has not been anounced yet, but seeing as how Batwoman is a big player in the comics, expect a major name to become attached to the role. Her history is perhaps the most fascinating thing about her. Introduced first in 1956 as an answer to public outcry over a comic book run suggesting that Batman and Robin were lovers, Batwoman aka Kathy Kane was a one-dimensional, sexist depiction of what a “traditional” female comic book love interest could be. Revamped in 2006 as a LGBT character, Kate Kane is now Batman’s cousin instead of his marriage-obsessed love interest, and is in an on-again-off-again relationship with a woman. With such an important and meaningful background and rise to popularity, could this be The CW’s next attempt at spinning off a new DC series?
Too easy? | With the back half of this season of Supergirl paving the way for a Mon-El (Chris Wood) and Kara (Melissa Benoist) romantic reunion, was the explanation for how it’s going to happen almost too easy? When the Legion begins their journey back to the future, Brainiac (Jesse Rath) learns that Reign (Odette Annable) has absorbed the other two Worldkillers’ powers, making the odds that the DEO can defeat her on their own only 51 percent. But if only one Legionnaire stays behind to help, the odds increase exponentially. Hm, wonder which member of the Legion would volunteer to stay behind? Of course, it’s Mon-El. But perhaps the most shocking part of his decision was that it was inspired by his wife Imra (Amy Jackson). All too conveniently, she calmly tells him to stay behind and make up his mind about what (or who) he wants, and if he returns to her in the future she’ll know it’s because he chose her out of love, not obligation. Giving Mon-El this out was just too neat and tidy after a season of his indecision and struggle, but it’s clear the choice he’ll make. Knowing he essentially has his wife’s blessing, he’ll finally get to be with Kara for real since coming back to his own time. But is that what Kara wants after seeing him with his wife all season long? If Supergirl wants to inject some reality back into this storyline, the series won’t have Kara run right back into his arms in the finale.
Too real | It might be an issue when the most relatable character on Gotham is Stabby Babs (Erin Richards). When Ra’s al Ghul (Alexander Siddig) returned to come for Barbara in this week’s finale, she snapped, “All the problems can be traced back to one problem: men. I think we should start a men-free zone.” Preach, sister. At least she won’t have to worry about Ra’s anymore, since she took matters into her own hands (literally) and forced Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) to stabb the immortal with the ceremonial knife, the only thing that can kill him. He crumbled into pieces, Infinity War style, meaning Babs is now the one true Demon’s Head. Is next season (aka the final season of Gotham) finally going to see Babs become the big bad she was always destined to be?
The Dark Knight rises | If fans doubted that Bruce was going to become Batman during his time on Gotham, this week’s finale should put that kind of thinking to rest. In the final moments when Gotham was plunged into chaos thanks to Jeremiah aka the Joker (Cameron Monaghan) blowing up all the bridges surrounding the city, Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) shined a spotlight into the sky to show all the criminals, looters and gangs that he wasn’t abandoning the city. Like a moth to flame (or bat to skylight?), Bruce saw the bright light and joined Gordon on the rooftop, signaling the future fate of these two men. Sure, the spotlight didn’t have a bat symbol in the middle, but it did the trick and worked all the same. The next and finale season of Gotham truly will be the final steps in Bruce’s journey to becoming Batman. The only question left is will the series flip the script and have Gordon recognize his friend under the cowl thanks to all their shared history?
Back to basics | If Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) seemed to be getting a little too soft and heroic, that’s because he wanted everyone to think that, especially Tabitha (Jessica Lucas). Turns out the Batman baddie has been biding his time for years since Tabitha killed his mother and has been plotting his revenge ever since. He saved her life in the fight against Ra’s and even helped her turn Solomon Grundy back into Butch (Drew Powell) … only to then shoot and kill him a minute after he reunited with Tabitha. Despite Butch being a loyal and true friend to Penguin, that didn’t stop him from brutally and ruthlessly killing him immediately after saving him. This is the Penguin comic book fans know and love to hate, and it’s a relief to know that the writers haven’t strayed from his origins. There’s no telling how dangerous he’ll be going into the final season now that he doesn’t have to pretend to be anyone’s ally anymore.
Can we keep him? | Proving once again that DeVoe aka The Thinker (Neil Sandilands) is one of the best Flash villains ever, The Flash debuted its own version of a hallway one-shot fight invented by Marvel TV’s Daredevil. DeVoe infiltrated an ARGUS safehouse and used all of his powers without breaking a sweat, taking down a whole fleet of ARGUS agents like it was of no bother to him. The action was tight, clean and cinematically breath-taking. But with only one episode left of this season, it’s likely that fans will have to say goodbye to these kinds of thrilling action scenes sooner rather than later, which is a bummer because this is some of the best fight sequences on the series to date. If Flash has to lose DeVoe, it still would benefit the series to remember how much fun can be had with all-powerful villains in scenes like this one.
Crossover alert | In yet another surprise crossover this week in the Arrow-verse, The Flash hosted Arrow‘s Diggle (David Ramsey) to continue the long and storied saga of him yacking every time Barry (Grant Gustin) brings him along for a superspeed run. Dig’s nausea is the best long-running sight gag of the Arrow-verse, hands down, and the fact that viewers got to see Team Flash prepare for it while Barry was off running to Star City to grab him made it all the more hilarious.
Studio synergy? | But did The Flash also host another, less obvious crossover in this week’s episode? In perhaps a bit of studio synergy, when Wells (Tom Cavanagh) started to lose his intelligence he knocked on the wrong door while trying to get Iris’ (Candice Patton) attention. She heard him knocking on the wrong door from down the hall because he channeling The Big Bang Theory‘s Sheldon (Jim Parsons), knocking over and over again while shouting Iris’ name. Was that a true Warner Bros. TV crossover, or just a coincidence?
Gotham will return for season five on Fox. Supergirl airs Mondays, The Flash airs Tuesdays, Arrow will return for season seven, Legends of Tomorrow will return for season four and Black Lightning will return for season two, all on The CW.
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