DC Recap Round-Up 3, Week 8: Prelude To CRISIS!

7 Dec

Welcome back! We talk about having a full deck of recaps, but we got that and then some this time around, covering double the episodes of The Flash and Black Lightning, and this week’s Supergirl and Batwoman. And next week, we still got an episode of Black Lightning to finish off the year, along with maybe something extra to fill out things. It’s a lot to do before we present the first installment of our Crisis recaps to close out 2019, so jump right into it…

“The Last Temptation of Barry Allen, Parts 1 and 2”

We got ourselves a two parter here, as we pick up from last time, as Ralph got attacked by the metahuman blood freak Ramsey, and just barely survives that attack, needing a blood transfusion from Barry, as his blood can super heal stuff like Bloodwork’s attack. The problem comes when we discover like Barry does that the transfusion has accidentally gotten some of Ramsey’s blood into him, and is trying to take him over, putting him into a massive fever induced hallucinatory state. Barry has some support in the Speed Force (in the form of Barry’s mother) in fighting Ramsey’s influence, but Ramsey has the one promise Barry might want to hear: with Ramsey’s blood, he could survive his demise in the upcoming Crisis. And with two days to go from that happening, that offer is very VERY tempting to Barry, who isn’t all that okay with dying.

The rest of Team Flash finds Barry unconscious, and do everything they can to stop Ramsey’s infection from taking hold. And it seems like it works, until Barry’s unusual behavior afterwards gives away the truth: Ramsey has taken him over! So now Ramsey has the Flash under his thrall, and we still got about a day or more before Crisis comes our way! And we’ll continue this story…about now-ish.

Happy ThanksgivinAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHH!

So part two wastes no time in laying out the problem: Flash has been corrupted by Ramsey and Ramsey is looking to spread his infection all over the city! As can be expected, there is confusion for the remainder of Team Flash how to deal with this, and the plans they have to stop Ramsey and Dark Flash end up failing badly. Well, what they figure out is Barry is not controlled by Ramsey all the way, and has been hinting in his interactions with the Team what they need to do to stop Ramsey’s plan to use the STAR Labs particle accelerator to spread his blood across the city. Short answer: it involves letting Ramsey actually into STAR Labs, and using Allegra’s ultraviolet powers to neutralize the meta blood.

With Barry freed from Ramsey’s control, he manages to capture Ramsey and ship him off to probably be a danger for another day. Of course, by this point, there is a few hours before Crisis is supposed to happen, and our family spends it reminiscing about the good times and the hope that Barry will still be around, just before the sky turns red. That may be connected to Nash Wells’ obsession with that Monitor door he found a while back, and now, it beckons him to open it, and then sucks him inside! The Crisis on Infinite Earths has begun!

Ah, nuts.

–So credit to Grant Gustin for the first part of this, because he really has to go through the ringer emotionally, and it’s hard not to feel bad for him when he considers taking Ramsey’s offer.

–Killer Frost has some insecurities boil up in this two parter, barely being able to save Ralph, not quite save Barry from Ramsey’s influence, but works through that to save Joe from that back injury. Of course, she lets Caitlin take the wheel for that big final couch chat with the whole Team at the end, but we’ll definitely see her in the crossover.

–A subplot which is clearly meant to set up the next big bad of the season comes in Iris’ investigation of that shadowy criminal cabal that drew in Allegra’s cousin. While their lead ends up being blown up in a car bomb, it seems that Iris, Cecile, and Allegra will be following this trail after Crisis is done.

–Allegra finally confronts Iris about her now knowing Barry is The Flash, and it’s…surprisingly not a big deal. She’s more concerned that Iris has a draft of the article we’ve seen of Flash vanishing during the Crisis, and that she knows what the future is!

–Cecile and Camilla get a brief thing during part two, trying to avoid becoming part of Ramsey’s big blood zombie family.

–Nash is down in that sewer with the door when all this blood zombie mess is happening, and maybe misinterprets all those zombies being stopped by Team Flash as being the worlds of his quarry. That may have been in error, if my theory for him in Crisis is correct.

–We finally get to see Ramsey in his full Bloodwork look, and…it’s pretty damn monstrous looking for the brief time we see it.

–Ralph seems to be out of commission for now, but as for the crossover? Who knows? I mean, everyone else and their doppelgängers seem to be in it.

–“You’re evil, I get it!”

–“I knew I picked the right guy.”

–“Our love story never ends, Barry. Not even after Crisis.”

“The Wrath of Rama Khan”

Kara is freed from the Fortress after what Lena did, and is looking to keep her friend from doing something rash with her mind control device. While Kara tries to talk Lena out of her plan, we got another problem in Rama Khan looking to annihilate National City by doing a Pompeii style volcanic ash burn to the whole place! The only reason our Super-buddies learn this is because Andrea warns them of Rama Khan’s plan, because she doesn’t want to be part of Leviathan anymore and involved in mass murder. Meantime, we find a way to stop Lena’s mind control satellite in an unexpected ally: Malefic, looking to atone for his crimes!

While Malefic helps the DEO stop those mind control waves from Lena form affecting anyone, Kara and J’onn manage to send Rama Khan packing and his plan stopped. Lena manages to get away with not being arrested when Hope is made the fall guy for the whole thing (keep in mind, she does look like the fugitive Eve Tessmacher), Rama Khan is removed as the big cheese in Leviathan, Andrea is left broken and lost in memories of her dead fiance, and Malefic finds a chance for redemption helping fight the White Martians on Mars. After bidding adieu to his brother, J’onn gets visited by the Monitor, who says this reconnection with Malefic was a test to prepare him for the upcoming Crisis. Also part of this group: a resurrected Lex Luthor! Well, we got an interesting team fighting to save the multiverse now.

“OK, Boomer God trying to wreck humanity!”

–So Lena isn’t for destroying Supergirl even after the DEO stopped her mind control plan, but she probably isn’t happy that she’s been thwarted, which makes me wonder what she might do next.

–I still don’t have much clue how Leviathan works as an organization, but it seems the blonde woman we met last week is going to be in charge of things after Rama Khan’s embarrassing failure.

–I don’t know if Alex is the meant to be the skeptic in this episode, but she makes good points about not trusting Lena or Malefic to do the right thing, even though the latter proves her wrong.

–So what does Lex want The Monitor to do about Lena, anyway?

–“But I’m not your friend. You created me to serve a purpose.” Well, Hope, thanks for giving that comedown from wanting to keep you alive.

–“I don’t know if you’ve been told this, but the feng shui in this place is really stale.”

–“Sometimes the good guys don’t win.”

“The Book of Rebellion, Chapter Two: Henderson’s Opus”

Jefferson finds himself at odds with Henderson and the Resistance this episode, especially after he disabled a bomb meant to be a distraction as the Resistance shuttles metahumans out of Freeland, fearing that it could hurt more than just ASA soldiers. This raises tension between the two friends, who both find themselves fighting the ASA in their own way, but conflicting on how. Thanks to Anissa still depowered after that poisoning earlier, she needs to get her dad’s help to shuttle more metahumans out, such as Grace, and puts him in direct conflict with the ASA. Jefferson gets Grace and the metas out of town, but now he has a bigger problem coming because of this, which we’ll get to in a second.

Meanwhile, Jennifer learns her new buddy Brandon is looking for payback against Dr. Jace, and basically gets it from Major Grey (because Odell is…not dead?). Gambi recruits Lynn to sneak into the ASA mainframe for the Resistance also, but both of them discover Khalil’s alive, and that he’s being mind controlled. They both also agree not to tell Jennifer about this, which I’m sure is a promise that won’t be kept for long. Speaking of Khalil, he gets given a new mission at the end of this episode: kill Black Lightning!

That awkward moment when you want to ask the reanimated boyfriend of your daughter if he did anything, ahem, “improper” with her.

–So, apparently I’m not the only one who made a wrong call in the last recap round-up, because Odell is still alive! He’s in the hospital, though, while that Grey woman is in charge.

–So Brandon is basically Geo-Force from the Teen Titans books, right? Nice.

–Grace goes tiger and basically devours a ASA agent during all that confusion of Black Lightning covering that escape for the metas. And she knows who Black Lightning is, because…she has eyes.

–“He might be skin folk, but he ain’t kin folk.”

–“Okay, stranger danger, bye.”

–“I hope people are swiping left on her Tinder profile.”

“The Book of Rebellion, Chapter Three: The Battle of Franklin Terrace”

Black Lightning finally joins the Resistance against Freeland officially, and all it took was protecting one of his old grade school teachers. Some context: the ASA start evicting people from their homes in Franklin Terrace to put soldiers up in, and Jefferson’s third grade teacher is among them. Henderson calls Jeff for help getting her out of her place before the ASA forces her out whether she wants to leave or not. When it becomes clear she won’t, Jefferson decides to make a public stand against the ASA. Eventually, Anissa gets to join dad as Thunder in his big move.

Anissa is also key to a plan Gambi has to pull off, broadcasting a video of what’s really going on in Freeland outside the ASA lockdown, and it looks like that is a success. The problem is thanks to Jefferson really breaking the ASA deal, Lynn is left to escape the ASA Pit with her research on the cure. She gets out, but loses the supply of Green Light she’s been taking, so expect some withdrawal stuff there. Oh, and now Anissa has figured out Khalil is alive and the guy who poisoned her earlier, so it won’t be too long before Jennifer learns what happened to her not dead boyfriend.

“Yay!”

–Tobias tries to get Lynn to let him loose so they can free the pod kids from the ASA. He thinks that once Lynn creates the cure, the ASA will create more metahumans with more Green Light. The thing is, based on all that Green Light surplus Lynn finds in a supply closet, Tobias may not be wrong.

–Jennifer learns that Brandon is interested in revenge on Dr. Jace for the expermients that killed his mother, and that his power can absorb hers (basically grounding her). Also, we learn his power of Earth has been really helpful in keeping a roof over his head. Just saying, he knows how to make diamonds.

–Cute note in the teacher making marijuana on the side. Tough economy, even for teachers.

–Commander Williams’ metapower of taking other meta’s powers might have seemed like a threat for Black Lightning, until it’s clear why Jefferson needs that suit in the first place: to keep it from draining you physically.

–We meet another meta with cool meta powers of being able to talk to technology, which is really useful when Gambi needs extra help getting that video outside the containment zone.

–“This meta just kicked your ass…bruh.”

“A Mad Tea Party”

Well, um, where to start with this one? Let’s see: Kate finds Alice again, who willingly gives her that Batman armor piercing gun like it’s a gift, leaving some hope that Alice isn’t all that evil. Clearly that’s a mistake Kate and her whole family comes to regret when Kate learns Mouse has been impersonating Jacob while the real Jacob is imprisoned, and then Alice decides to have a little get together of her own. Unfortunately the guest of honor is Catherine, and while Alice seems to have no malice to Kate, not so much for the woman who lied to Jacob and Kate about her being dead.

Alice gets Catherine poisoned, as well as Mary, and leaves enough of an antidote for only one of them. So Catherine chooses her daughter to live and she dies (!), which leads to one more twist of the knife: Jacob awakening to find himself accused of Catherine’s murder! Let’s review: Mary is wrecked because her mom is dead and her crazy step-sister is responsible for it, and Kate and Jacob decide they are going to take no prisoners in bringing Alice down. Oh yeah, and there’s that whole Crisis thing coming up next, so don’t expect much closure on any of Alice’s evil acts right now.

Kate should get into touch with Barry Allen about how to handle this. He knows a thing or two about dads being falsely accused of murder…and knows about dead parents too.

–In less interesting but equally emotionally explosive plots, Sophie has a big talk with her hubby Tyler, and Tyler thinks it might be best for Sophie to take some time away from him until she figures out what she feels for Kate. He also does this in a rather awkward way, after learning about all the Alice shenanigans. Pick a better time, man!

–It really shouldn’t be that hard to get Jacob out of prison, considering Alice pretty much revealed the plot to Mary, but considering how shattered she is by Jacob and Kate’s actions of late, I wonder if she’ll want to help clear his name at all.

–So Catherine reveals she knew about Mary’s clinic work before she died. It’s a nice note for a character who got snuffed out maybe a bit too early.

–Luke is helpful in letting Kate know her staff doesn’t break. Not so much saving her stepmom, but hey, what can you do?

–“You’re the one thing I did right.”

NEXT TIME: TWO posts! The first one: We got a recap of the midseason end of Black Lightning as the Pierce family tries to save Jennifer, and a season review of the second season of Titans! The second one: we cover the first half (Supergirl, Batwoman, and The Flash) of Crisis on Infinite Earths!

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