DC Recap Round-Up 2, Week 15: This Round-Up Is Doomed!

18 Mar

Welcome back! This time around, we got new episodes to cover for Supergirl, The Flash, and Black Lightning. But also, we’ll take some time to discuss the first few episodes of DC Universe’s new show, Doom Patrol, and tell you whether it’s worth your time to watch (slight spoiler: YES). We got a packed installment, so let’s jump into it…

“Stand And Deliver”

Things are reaching a fever pitch between alien and anti-alien protesters, fueled by both Ben Lockwood’s now government sponsored anti-alien sentiment and Manchester Black’s The Elite. One more thing gets added onto that fire as Lockwood is pushing for the President to repeal the Alien Amnesty Act, which would exile aliens out of the country. As if one assassination attempt on Lockwood’s life by The Elite wasn’t enough at the start of this episode, the news of that reasonably sparks concern of another by The Elite. The question of course is, will Kara stand with her alien brethren as they march in protest against Lockwood? Obviously, the answer is yes.

Sure enough, The Elite do try to attack Lockwood at a rally for the repeal, using a mind control doohickey stolen from the Fortress of Solitude (by the way, yeah, the Fortress got a home invasion done to it by The Elite). While Manchester escapes after taunting J’Onn some more, the rest of the Elite is captured, Lockwood relents on pushing any Alien Amnesty repeals, and it appears most of the alien and anti-alien sentiment is lowered thanks to those different crowds helping each other in the aftermath of that attack on the rally, it’s all good, right? Well, you’d think wrong because as James is finishing up a night of work at CatCo, he’s shot in the back and left for dead! I got a feeling I know who’s behind this, and a bigger feeling we’ll all find out who next episode.

When you care enough to wear your evening sleep robe to a rally…

–Alex gets the crappy job of being security for Lockwood for his rally, and boy, does she resist the urge to beat him senseless. She does have to literally twist his arm to make him leave, so that’s a start.

–So we learn Brainy had secretly set up that rally against Lockwood’s rally because he believed it was right. He even convinced Kara to step off her neutral stance and join them. Good on you, Brainy.

–We got “Stuck In The Middle With You” and that cover of “Mad World” for needle drops this episode, and while both are obvious as a giant message written in flames, I liked the former usage more than the latter.

–Lena’s still not quite ready to test that serum yet, and based on what happens to James by the end of this, maybe she’s about to be.

–“The mouth on that one. Honestly.”

–“I meant more ‘hands on hips’, not ‘screaming in face’!”

“Failure Is An Orphan”

Following up on last episode’s nutty idea to offer up the metahuman cure to Cicada for him to take willingly, now the question is how to convince our bad guy to do that. With Nora convinced this is what stops Cicada’s rampage based on future knowledge, the idea is to rely on Barry’s great speechwork to villains to do the job. And the first time goes…not so hot. Well, Eobard in 2048 did suggest something seems odd with the timeline, so maybe Nora’s wrong.

But once Joe and Cecile bring in the doctor helping Cicada and learn Grace is a metahuman thanks to her coma-making injury, Barry appeals to Orlin’s paternal instincts and seems to succeed. And that would be the end of Cicada, now that Orlin gets the cure put in him, but shockingly, someone else dressed as Cicada storms into STAR Labs, easily defeats our heroes, steals Orlin away, and kills the helpful doctor.And surprise surprise, we learn our new mystery Cicada is Grace…from the future! Boy, we got a load of questions to ask now after this reveal.

OG Team Science in the House!

–So we get a DC TV connection with Sarah Carter, the actress who played older Grace, also being the obsessive stalker of Clark Kent on the early seasons of Smallville.

–“Anthro the first boy and Kamandi the last” is a deep DC comics pull there if you know your comics lore.

–Love Cisco’s reaction to learning our brief random meta baddie he dubs Acid Master is named Philip Master. Sometimes you get lucky with naming baddies.

–We’ve been missing those chats between Joe and Barry, and thankfully we got one this episode. And it seems Barry is getting better at the advice giving.

–The XS-presso. That’s a thing at Jitters now.

–“You both did this. You made her.”

“The Book of The Apocalypse, Chapter One: The Alpha”

In a nutshell: Jefferson lays out superhero rules for his daughters, and that doesn’t quite work out, but more on that later. First thing is Tobias has been busy, putting together a demo video for aspiring owners of metahuman weapons with the “help” of the recently resuscitated Masters of Disaster. Tobias then puts together another vivid demonstration by having the fire powered MoD set fire to a crooked councilman (that’s what you get for trusting Tobias, buddy!), and start setting fires in Freeland. Jefferson and Anissa send the MoD pyromaniac fleeing, which is the least of Tobias’ problems this episode.

Lala is looking for some peace (because at this rate, stopping all those resurrections from death looks like a non-starter for now) in killing Tobias, and comes looking for it by visiting his metahuman lair. Cutter’s poison blades don’t do much to stop Lala, forcing Tobias to flee…only to run into a costumed Jennifer! She doesn’t take dad’s rules of “not killing” and worse, “fighting without backup”, and while Tobias escapes, her powers flare up, looking like she’s about to meltdown with explosive consequences. Next time is the season finale!

He’s a firestarter…twisted firestarter…

–C’mon, when you saw our evil flame metahuman guy, don’t tell me you weren’t expecting Ohio Players’ “Fire” to appear eventually?

–Poor Cape Guy. He was just some poor high ex-soldier who had a bit too much Green Light, got magnetic superpowers, and gets shot dead by the cops for “resisting arrest”. Tough break.

–Lynn stands up to the scary Agent Odell, who still hasn’t revealed his surveillance of the Pierce house. He relents on drafting the recently awaken pod girl, but probably because he doesn’t need to press the good doctor…yet.

–Anissa puts it together that Grace is a metahuman shapeshifter, and as for that search, it’s a to be continued.

–“Those of us who have the greatest power should not decide who lives or dies.” Said by the guy who became a superhero to kill Tobias, by the way.

If you recall my first write-up in here of DC Universe’s Titans, I mentioned quite loving the Doom Patrol episode and hoping the spin-off would be better than the show it came from. After watching the first five episodes, the early verdict on that is: YES, it is better. From the opening meta narration by Mr. Nobody (Alan Tudyk), our big bad guy, it’s clear this show has a voice, and that voice is that of a complete madman. But somehow that narration is one of the least crazy things about this show.

Leaning more towards the recent run and classic Grant Morrison written run of the characters, Doom Patrol definitely leans into the more absurdity of something like Legends of Tomorrow, with a lot more dark humor and profanity. Besides the previously set up characters of the Chief (Timothy Dalton in this iteration), Cliff the Robotman (the voice and occasionally face of Brendan Fraser), Larry the Negative Man (ditto for Matt Bomer), Rita the Elasti-woman (April Bowlby), we get a couple of new characters into the mix: the multiple personality and multiple powered Crazy Jane (Diane Guerrero), plus Cyborg (Jovian Wade). The main thrust of this story is when Mr. Nobody comes looking for the Chief, and how his subsequent abduction reluctantly spurs on our group of heroes to find their mentor. It doesn’t help they aren’t that good at being heroes, and not very good at controlling their own abilities, no thanks to their own insecurities and isolation from the world.

He’s not quite 100% Alan Tudyk, but it’s an acceptable percentage nonetheless.

Those neuroses somehow help glue down the show’s more insane turns (and the least of them is a talking cockroach and a donkey that is a portal to another dimension), as our team deals with their inner demons in a dysfunctional way. Cliff’s issues regarding his daughter, Larry’s closeted sexuality, Rita’s anxiety, Jane’s…well, being Jane, and Cyborg’s guilt over his mother’s death, all become strengths and weaknesses they have to overcome, if only briefly. It’s not all gloom and only doom though, thanks to the wicked humor on display. From Nobody’s fourth wall shattering narration to the odd place known as Fuchtopia (don’t ask me to say it outloud!), this is also an extremely hilarious watch.

While Titans seemed to struggle figuring out what it was in the beginning, Doom Patrol doesn’t seem to have that problem out of the gate. Of course, there’s still a whole season to go on this, but it’s maybe the show that will make you put down some cash for a DC Universe subscription. Any show that has whacked out monsters made of bad love letters and Mark Sheppard as a hobo John Constantine-esque magician has to be worth that, right?

I’m sure they’ll save the world…eventually.

NEXT TIME: Lex Luthor shows up to help Lena on Supergirl, the team helps a young metahuman come out of hiding in The Flash, and the Pierce family reaches a showdown with Tobias in the season finale of Black Lightning!

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