We have a PACKED episode this month. After discussing some excellent and exciting MENA entertainment news, Mae and Swara review Netflix’s The Old Guard, which is directed by the incredible Gina Prince-Bythewood and stars one of our favorite MENA actors Marwan Kenzari! But before that, we have an open and frank discussion about “cancel culture,” why it scares powerful and privileged white people so much, and how if they just actually devoted themselves to be better people they wouldn’t have to worry about being “canceled.” Enjoy listening!
It goes without saying that we are very excited for this winter’s Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover on The CW. On the most recent edition of DC TV Classics, I even suggested that Warner Bros. should consider cutting together all five episodes of the crossover into a feature-length format and release a proper Crisis movie on home video.
Firstly, as an almost disclaimer of sorts, I’ve never been a fan of Arrow. Even in the show’s heyday of seasons one and two when it was praised and lauded as a great show and comic book adaptation. Though it bares moderate similarities to Green Arrow: Year One overall, it just wasn’t for me. However, I can look back on the show’s beginning seasons and see a clear pattern of character arcs that were leading to a greater picture. A picture that would create an adapted vision of the classic Green Arrow comics mythology.
Needless to say, that from season three onward, Arrow did not only continuously strive away from that proposed picture, but did so almost gleefully. It often felt at times that the show was more interested in using the brand names of “Green Arrow” and the original materials (or should I say Batman’s original materials) for the sake of hollowed out Easter eggs, than truly adapting them in interesting and creative ways. One of the best examples of this is the show’s depiction — and mishandling — of the Black Canary, aka Dinah Laurel Lance.
Apologies if you’ve been coming here the last few weeks for our Arrow recaps. I’ve been supposed to be Connie’s back-up, but I haven’t been able to muster the strength to recap a show that, honestly, I’ve been out on all season. Sure, I’ve been watching it (on DVR delay) every week, but this season has been more than disappointing. And if rumors about the death being revealed on tonight’s episode is true, I might be out for good. But more on that later.
It’s been a month since Arrow’s last episode, but I’m still thinking about Vixen. How she needs her own show. How I want to know more about her character outside of a 30-minute web series. How awesome Megalyn EK was in bringing the character from voice acting to live-acting. But a few thoughts about the episode before I gush some more.
We knew we were heading here. Besides the fact that the Flarrow crossover showed Felicity getting upset about the Baby Mama Drama, Oliver lying to his fiance about something this big, when he had a choice was definitely going to lead to Felicity wanting no parts of it. It was an episode with an inevitable conclusion and I basically played Name the Trope as we watched.
On this week’s Arrow, Oliver gets justification for his lies and it still starts to blow up in his face: there’s a debate, an engagement party, and lots of buildings blow up. The episode is full of Darhk’s demolition team, but I actually use it to refer to all the people in this episode co-signing Oliver’s lies, which will clearly hurt him with Felicity, but also with William and who knows how it will play out with Samantha and Darhk’s larger plans. They’re laying down the explosives. It’s all gonna blow soon.
Nearly everyone in this episode suffers from naive notions that they really should be over by now. Oliver naively believes that Malcolm would surrender his power. Felicity naively believes (though thankfully only for a moment) that her returned father has changed. Nyssa believes that Oliver would kill Malcolm for her, after all she knows Malcolm has done to Oliver personally. Malcolm believes that power is more important than Thea. Even Flashback Chick thinks that giving her jailer the stone will make him set her free. Silly rabbits, Trix are for kids.
But I’m gonna focus this quickie review on the two women driving the forces of the A and B story. Nyssa and Thea.
Another Oliver-light episode, “Unchained,” focuses on Felicity, Nyssa, and ROY’S RETURN! It was wonderful how much light Roy brought back to the group. He had Oliver smiling and everyone happily working together as a team.
From Felicity’s back and forth with pain meds to the Diggle’s being featured up front, Episode 4.11, “A.W.O.L.” gave its secondary leads lots of screen time. It was one of the season’s strongest episodes on that front, because fans always want more of Diggle and Felicity, and less of Oliver (and the darn island). We did, however, see how the DC Cinematic Universe could be ruining things for their TV properties. Let’s dive in real quick.
We’ve returned from Arrow hiatus to something very familiar. Remember how the cliffhanger had a lead of the show potentially dying in the 9th episode of the season and then they survived in episode 10? And episode 10 deals with the characters figuring out if they can cope without the not-dead character? Felicity’s absence is shorter lived than Oliver’s, but the stakes still feel as false as they did when Oliver “died.”
I love how the show didn’t even pretend Felicity was dead (unlike every promo until this week). Well, they had that grave shot, but marked it very clearly as 4 months from now. Why would this bullet have killed her four months from now with a fresh grave? Anyway, I hope that’s the last midseason finale with a fake death, because I’m over it. On to episode 4×10, “Blood Debts.”
Because this recap is a week late (sorry, got distracted writing on twitter about a different rich, blonde, white guy who learns the ways of the Orient and returns a superhero) and because I’m just filling in, my recap of the Arrow winter finale, titled “Dark Waters,” will follow a different format. Rather than just giving a play-by-play of what happened in the ep, I wanna spend extra time on two aspects of the show and its fandom that needs to be discussed. And of course we will talk about that ending.
As we know, Team Flarrow is trying to protect the Hawks from Vandal Savage, who wants to murder them because of destiny or habit or something. So everyone’s all teamed up, Kendra’s unlocked her hawking powers, and Oliver’s spotted his baby mama!
I’ve been so cautious this season, guys. Good things were happening. Oliver was LEARNING LESSONS. TEAM FLARROW WAS AWESOME. Despite some plot/exposition bumps, the team up in this half of the crossover was fun. There were things I wished for: Less Carter. ANY Snowlicity aside from their one nerd moment. Less white ancient Egypt (I’ll get on some of that later). But the Barry/Oliver moments were great — they’re wonderful foils for each other. As was anything with Cisco. Can he be my friend? Also he should be in every show. But just like we were burned last season with the Ra’s al Ghul arc, this Kid arc (I’ll come up with a better name for it another time) is only going to lead to terrible things. Unhappy fans. Annoyed fans.
Other title options: Ready to Hawk and Roll, Hawked and Loaded, Hawk of Ages, We Will Hawk You, Too Hawk Hawk Damn, and Drop It like It’s Hawk1.
Before we begin… does Hawkgirl “claim” to be white? Uh oh, this is hawkward… but it wouldn’t be too surprising. (See Sandra Hawke, Sin, and Ra’s Al Ghul). I personally went through Kendra Saunders’ twitter history to read her tweets and reactions and responses to identifying as white. I urge others to do the same and form an opinion after seeing both sides.
We’re not going to do this recap like past ones. Mainly because the last episode of Arrow, “Brotherhood,” aired two weeks ago. Also, because I’m not Connie, whose recap game is much stronger than mine, there probably won’t be any Hamilton references either. Instead, we’re just going to touch on the main points as we prep for the second half of the Flarrow crossover tonight.
Felicity hasn’t showered in a week, Sara woke up from her soul coma, and Ray returns in this week’s Arrow, “Lost Souls.” As we’ve discussed before, most of this season of Arrow (and somewhat The Flash) has been set up for Legends of Tomorrow. I don’t have a problem with this because it’s been moving our characters forward all season (as we see especially this week with Olicity), but I wondered today what would happen to the season when they don’t have Legends to work towards. But that’s a question for another day. Let’s base jump into this thing like Curtis and Felicity!
Full disclaimer: I didn’t watch Constantine on NBC. Sorry! But even without knowledge of the character or the show, I enjoyed this crossover (is it still a crossover when one of the crossed shows is cancelled?). John Constantine and Oliver had great bro-chemistry and the little bits of interaction he had with the rest of Team Arrow were great as well. 10/10, would enjoy again.
Going into the 2015-16 television season, there were questions about how Legends of Tomorrow was going to fit in to the timelines established by Flash and Arrow. Little did we know that the first few episodes of both shows were essentially being used as set up for the midseason series.
In the previous night’s Flash, we saw the lead in to two of Legends’ protagonists: Leaonard Snart’s redemption and Martin Stein’s Firestorm dependency. Similarly, most of last night’s Arrow was used to set up another Legends lead: the emergence of the White (not Asian) Canary and the return of Caity Lotz.
I’m back guys!! So far, I’ve been cautiously pleased with this season. But that’s probably partly because I’ve avoided all trailers and pre-information about each episode. Of course, certain characters force angry or confused glares (both of the Lances), but so far, so good. I think both episodes one and two of this season so far have been set up episodes. “Green Arrow” got us back to Star City and where everyone is at, but “The Candidate” tells us where everyone is going. I think a lot of what ruined Arrow last season was that it was jumping into plots too fast, leaving themselves with nowhere to go. They wrote themselves in a corner. This season seems to be pacing itself better. Also it’s giving bigger plots to its side characters (but we need more Diggle please), so there is more story to spread around.
This is definitely my favorite time of year. Autumn is in the air, and superheroes are back on my television. PS, you might be disappointed that the byline for this recap doesn’t say “Connie.” I’m going to fill in for her on the Season 4 premiere recap while she holds it down at New York Comic-Con.
As we do every year, we take some time to preview the upcoming debuts of our favorite superhero shows. And since Netflix recently announcedThe Flash will be joining Arrow to stream, everyone can catch up before both shows return next week. To discuss those shows and others, criminology professor ‘Shawn Smith makes his triumphant return to the NOC, joining our resident Flash recapper and TV superfan Christelle Gonzales (@christellexoxo).
Before getting into it, I just wanted to thank all of you readers for joining me in my recaps this season. I’ve been having so much fun writing these (even when I take a week to do it) and the community that I’ve developed here at The Nerds of Color is one that I truly cherish. Can’t wait for more superhero TV adventures this fall (SUPERGIRLLLLL!!).
If last week’s “Rogue Air” is anything to go by, tonight’s episode will be a beautifully worked and satisfying finale leaving us with lots to look forward to in the second season. Before I recap the penultimate episode below, I want to bring attention to the title “Rogue Air.” This show (and Cisco) has made it clear that names are important, so why the partnering between the words “rogue” and “air?” Team-ups and partnerships were a major theme of the episode, and “rogue” obviously refers to Captain Cold’s teaming with The Flash, then his betrayal to form his own team of Rogues. But “air?” Could it be alluding to Ferris Air and a possible test-pilot Hal Jordan aka Green Lantern coming into Barry’s life? The presence of The Flash’s superfriends and Arrow’s changing-of-the-suit-colorto make room for another guy who likes green leads me to believe YES YES HELL YES.