DC Recap Round-Up 2, Week 1: Flash and Black Lightning Returns!

12 Oct

Welcome back! Hope you all enjoyed the summer break, because we got some recaps for you! Of course, things will be weird, schedule wise, thanks to how the season premieres are rolling out. We won’t get any Supergirl recaps until next time, and no Legends of Tomorrow recaps until the end of the month. I’m sure this will all make sense eventually, but in the meantime, we do have the return of two shows to cover in this return of the Recap Round-Up: The Flash and Black Lightning! So let’s jump into this, shall we?

“Nora”

So last season ended on a big note: that being Barry and Iris’ daughter from the future, Nora, a speedster on her own, has arrived in town! She reveals that she just wanted to see her parents before she was born (more on that in a minute), but thinks that thanks to her helping Barry stop that falling satellite in last season’s finale, something is keeping her from returning back to her own time. What we discover is Nora is kind of lying: she has been impeding herself from going back into the time stream, but it’s only because she misses her dad…and that brings us to a little plot device we haven’t seen in a while: that newspaper blurb from the future, saying Barry vanished during a “Crisis”. For Nora, he’s been gone for twenty-five years since then, and because she was barely out of diapers when he vanished, she just wanted to see him in his prime. Of course, her coming back in time has opened up a few problems.

One is her accidental interfering in Barry taking down a metahuman baddie called Gridlock, who absorbs power and can re-direct it at people. Since he’s not stopped like Nora remembers from all her Flash research, Gridlock is around to steal something by causing an commercial airliner to crash! With the help of Wally (don’t get too comfortable with him, because he’s off by episode’s end) and Nora, they get onto the falling plane and managed to phase the whole thing through the city skyline to safety. The other possible problem comes at the episode’s end, when the police convoy transporting Gridlock to prison gets attacked by a weird hooded guy (with a glowing lightning bolt blade), who wants to kill Gridlock for being near the Flashes. Why, exactly? We got a season to find out!

They see us running…we go up buildings…

–Lots of fun callouts this episode from Nora, like a reference to Lightning Lad from the Legion of Super-Heroes, a new supersuit for Barry (made by Ryan Choi, one of the people who would be The Atom in the DCU), and a reference to fighting Gorilla Grodd again (which SPOILERS: is confirmed will happen later). Also, the slightly annoying phrase “schway” comes up, which is a reference to the future of Batman Beyond.

–So Caitlin’s dad is not as dead as she believed. Okay.

–While Ralph discovered that secret about Caitlin’s dad, he did think he cracked the whole multiverse thing this episode. In fairness, he was in a season where time travel and parallel dimensions didn’t really come up in his adventures.

–So for five years, Team Flash didn’t know that there was a lounge in STAR Labs, but Joe did all this time? I mean, that’s convenient.

–Speaking of convenience, I don’t think leaving a CSI position open in a major metropolitan police force just because Barry was being cleared of those charges last season is a great thing for what has to be at best WEEKS of open investigations. Captain Singh, I think you failed your city.

–Yeah, why didn’t Eddie Thawne just get a vasectomy and that would have solved the whole Eobard Thawne thing? Glad someone said it on this show!

–“I am fortune’s fool!”

“The Book Of Consequences, Chapter One: Rise of the Green Light Babies”

If you thought last season ended too pat, well it’s not long in this season premiere until you see the Pierce family isn’t doing as well as they should be. There’s still Green Light on the streets causing trouble, Jefferson is facing issues from the school board over all the crap that happened in the school last season, Lynn is being forced out of helping those Green Light kids in cryo, Anissa wants to help reunite those frozen kids with their families since they are basically imprisoned by the government, and Jennifer is not dealing with her new powers all that well. And let’s not forget Tobias Church still has that briefcase of secret stuff he found from those government Green Light experiments. Things are are looking bad after last season, and they just getting tougher.

Skip the fact that Kara (the government snoop who was in Garfield High last season) spends her time trying to get back the briefcase from Tobias (and that ends with her escaping a fight with a harpoon in her chest) to get help from Gamby to flee the country, where do we stand by the end of this episode? Well, Jefferson is pushed out of being principal of Garfield High, and he gets called out by now Deputy Chief Henderson as being Black Lightning, so that friendship hits a massive skid. Lynn gets Gamby’s help in returning to treat those pod kids, Anissa has robbed drug dealers to help pay for a legal lawsuit to get those pod kids back to their families, and Jennifer’s powers are so out of control that she’s scared she could hurt someone (and for good reason, because she accidentally injured Lynn with those abilities). Oh, and Tobias’ right hand Cyonide got killed before the opening credits. So yeah, the drama is starting up hard this season.

Talk about KILLER PUMPS. Okay, that was wrong, I’m sorry.

–Let’s take a second to mention those sweet graphics for the opening, setting it up like a comic book story arc. That was nice.

–And the soundtrack was really on point, with some great tunes all around, like Parliament’s “Flash Light”, and the book end songs, Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” and Marvin Gaye’s “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)”.

–Khalil has been trying to get in touch with Jennifer since last season, but she hasn’t told her family about it because, hey she’s trying to figure out how she’s levitating off the ground right now!

–Some great guest stars this episode, like Bill Duke (you may recognize him from many movies, like Predator and the director of one of my favorite underrated 90’s crime dramas Deep Cover) as Lynn’s interrogator and Robert Townsend (yeah, The Meteor Man) as Jefferson’s buddy on the school council.

–The n-word is something you don’t expect on a CW show, so when it was applied here as Jefferson calls out his friend for being close to that on the school council, it’s a punch of note in an episode that keeps bringing the feels.

–I like the bookend story of a kid addicted to Green Light being choked to death by the police (it’s even shot in a way that might ring a few bells if you’ve followed any stories of police brutality of late), only to come back to life at a funeral parlor, finding only horror from his family and fleeing to who knows where. It’s a brief story that shows the real terror behind the season: kids who have metahuman abilities trying to adjust to a place that has never dealt with something like this.

–That reverend and his church parishioners are just carrying weapons into a house of God like something will go off at any time.

–There is one light moment in all this drama when Lynn teases Jefferson that maybe he’s got superhero erectile dysfunction. Considering how at odds they are for most of the episode, it’s nice to see it’s not too bad (yet).

–“Bitch, you got my hair wet!”

NEXT TIME: Supergirl returns as Kara tries to stop a string of killings by Cadmus, with The Flash Barry teaches Nora the ropes of being a hero and Black Lightning deals with more family turmoil!

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