One of my favorite things to do in the Fall – other than sit back and watch the leaves change colors on the surrounding mountains – is to catch up with my favorite television shows as they come back from summer hiatus. With all the greats taking a break, the summer isn’t filled with much other than rewatching, theorizing, and hanging on every word the writers and producers give to tide us over until the next season is released.
But, have the shows lived up to the hype caused by the actors, writers, and producers taking to social media to garner excitement? Maybe; then again, maybe not. Let’s take a look at some of TVs book and comic book shows and see how they’re doing so far this season.
Attention: this is your only SPOILER warning.
Back with its third season on ABC, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (AoS) almost sank during its first season before it could really swim. Having a decent following when it started – thanks mostly to the crossover from the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies that featured Agent Phil Coulson – ratings began slacking just a few episodes in as viewers and Marvel fans alike lost interest in the slower paced first episodes. Things started picking up for AoS as season one tie-in episodes began airing in conjunction with Thor: The Dark World (TDW) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (TWS).
Although season one began picking up with the fall of SHIELD, season two was able to hold its own despite the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron (AoU) and Ant Man and the lack of official connectivity. Okay, so there was connectivity between the show and the two movies released in 2015. the tie-in between AoS and AoU is the fact that Phil Coulson enacted the super-secretive “Theta Protocol” to assist the citizens of Sokovia after they evacuated the city.
Season two also introduced the existence of Inhumans to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU); a plotline that hadn’t previously been introduced to television, or movie, viewers. With the changes that Skye encountered in the Terrigen Mist chamber, thus turning her into one of these new Inhumans, many viewers tuned in each Tuesday to see what would happen to Skye now that her loyalties were divided between SHIELD and her newly found parents. (Thank goodness she realized her parents were crazy; even if it did cause a few deaths in the meantime.)
Now that season three has begun, SHIELD is split between three different missions: locating former-agent Grant Ward (who is now the newest head of HYDRA) and taking him out of the picture; locating, rehabilitating, and recruiting these new Inhumans that are emerging at an alarming rate all while fighting against a new governmental task force (the Advanced Threat Containment Unit (ATCU)) set-up to imprison and study these individuals; and the final mission is to find out what happened to Agent Jemma Simmons, and bring her back if she is still alive.
There’s intrigue, espionage, drama, and a smidgeon of romance all wrapped in this pretty comic book package. As a fan of the MCU, I am anticipating how season 3 is going to converge with the 2016 movies – Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange – that Marvel is releasing. With Captain America: Civil War coming out in May, AoS has a really good opportunity to set up television viewers to what will be happening in the movie. And it is with the entrance of the ACTU this season, viewers who know the base plot for Civil War can see the drawing lines being formed this season in Agents of SHIELD.
So far, I have to say that I am really intrigued by and enjoying this season so far, and I am excited to see where the writers are taking the show. I just hate having to wait week to week to find out.
Season one of The Flash introduced a whole new audience to a classic DC comic book character, Barry Allen. Barry, who was originally introduced in season 2 of Arrow as a forensic scientist in Central City, inadvertently became an honorary member of Team Arrow due to him saving Oliver’s life after he came to Starling City to investigate a break in at the Applied Science Division of Queen Consolidated. After Barry returned to Central City, he was involved in an unstable reaction from nearby Scientific and Technological Advanced Research Laboratories (S.T.A.R. Labs, for short), and after a 9 month coma, Barry woke with some extraordinary powers that he didn’t possess before.
Let’s recap for a moment: Just remember that Barry wasn’t the only person affected by the explosion from S.T.A.R. Labs; many other individuals were changed as well. These changed persons – now called metahumans – have a variety of different powers: Barry received super speed, Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein came together to create Firestorm, and –according to promos from this newest season – Cisco and Caitlin (employees of S.T.A.R. Labs) were also changed. Season 1 was the round-up of these metahumans, as well as finding out exactly what secrets Dr. Harrison Wells – founder of S.T.A.R. Labs – had beneath his belt. (Which turns out was a whole different identity from the future. Go figure.) The end of season one shows a large anomaly above Central City that had the potential to destroy the city; however, it was Barry who was able to save the city once and for all.
So far in season two, we are still seeing a lot of the metahuman round-up that is overflowing from last season. More people were affected by the particle accelerator explosion, and Team Flash are now trying to protect the city from the less-than-savory individuals who want to ruin it.
One big shock to this season, however, is the introduction to an alternate Earth – Earth 2 – where there is another individual with the same super speed that Barry has. Jay Garrick was accidentally brought from his alternate Earth during the anomaly at the end of season one, and together Jay and Team Flash work to close the worm-holes that are allowing metahumans from Earth 2 to cross into this timeline.
To be quite honest, I only started watching The Flash because of the crossover episodes with Arrow. Although I have come to like some of the characters, this series is a bit wibbly wobbly for me. There are a lot of time-travel references, and scientific reasons for things, and I just can’t find myself truly falling into this particular show. It is no fault of the writing or the acting, The Flash is truly a decent family show, I just haven’t gotten into it as I have Agents of SHIELD or my next entry.
Unlike that of The Flash, I can honestly say that I am in love with this show. (And it’s not only because I met Stephen Amell at Dragon Con this past September.) Officially, I am a relative newcomer to the fandom; I didn’t start watching Arrow until the show returned from its mid-season hiatus for season 3, and thanks to Netflix and a friend’s DVR, I was able to catch up pretty quickly with the Vigilante of Star City and his helpful team.
Unfortunately though, since I have not been a watcher of Arrow since it came out, I don’t know the specifics of whether Oliver’s broodiness, the crazy flashbacks, or the killing off of some important characters (a la George RR Martin style) lost too many viewers in the first few seasons. However, I do know that with the return of Arrow after the mid-season finale – when the writers did everything, but kill Oliver – ratings were great. Actually, you could argue with me that Oliver actually did die, but I don’t really know what Tatsu did to revive him from a sword to the chest and a fall off a mountain cliff. But he’s still alive, that’s all that matters in the plotline.
Season four, however, has had a pretty good start thus far. We see Oliver and Felicity living in domestic bliss away from Starling… I mean Star… City, and Oliver was getting ready to propose to Felicity when his sister and ex-girlfriend find them and beg for the return of The Arrow because Star City is in a crisis. Now, the Olicity shipper in me – which I have to admit, was the real reason I got started watching Arrow in the first place – screamed in outrage at the turn of events, but the return of Oliver and Felicity to Team Arrow is definitely needed because this season’s super bad villain, Damien Darhk, really needs to be stopped before any of my favorite characters kick the bucket.
Which, by the way, the first episode of season four has something that no other Arrow episode has had, a flash-forward to Barry Allen and Oliver standing by a grave; both looking very upset, making conspiracists and fans alike debate and theorize over which character will find their end this season. Personally, I believe it’s Detective Lance (played by the lovely Paul Blackthorne) because he has cowered down to Damien Darhk’s demands as to how the city is being run, and typically getting into bed with the enemy– figuratively, of course – calls for a character to be killed off.
However, the writers and cast has said multiple times in multiple interviews, tumblr responses, and Facebook video posts that no one knows who is being killed this season. Could it be a new character we’ve not met? That’s a possibility, but the likelihood that it’s an already established character is quite high.
All I know is that I have no idea what’s going to happen – because this particular DCCU show isn’t following the traditional Green Arrow comic book plots – and it’s making me anxious and keeping me up at night.
They wouldn’t kill off one of the OTA, though, right? No, that’s probably what is going to happen. Dang. (OTA = Original Team Arrow: Oliver, Felicity, and Diggle.)
At the time of this writing, Arrow and The Flash executive producer Greg Berlanti has two more DCCU related comic book shows in the works: Supergirl (on CBS) and, the Arrowverse related, Legends of Tomorrow (that will air in 2016 on The CW). Both of these shows look as if they’re going be as strong as Berlanti’s current running series’.
Supergirl, which began airing this past Monday night, tells the story of Kara Danvers (nee Zor-El) and how she has come to Earth in order to save it like that of her cousin Kal-El (aka Clark Kent, aka Superman). Armed with her own “Super Team” consisting of her adoptive sister, Alex, and co-workers Jimmy Olsen and Winn Scott, Kara has set her sights upon saving National City just like that of her younger(?) cousin Clark.
Starring Melissa Benoist as Kara, I expected the character to resemble that of Marley from Glee; however, that certainly wasn’t the case. I was easily able to see that Benoist was not carrying anything over from her previous television role. I look forward to seeing what the rest of the season has to offer as I really enjoyed the first episode, and it will – like all the other shows Berlanti has his hand in – quite possibly be CBS’s newest hit.
[Editor’s Note: Hey guys! This is Aaron. It looks like the Superman that is being portrayed in this series is older than Kara at this point, though it seems that isn’t set in stone. DC has kept their cinematic and television shows separate from each other, but there seems to be a question to whether Supergirl may still tie-in to the cinematic universe at some point which would explain the lack of clarity on Clark’s age. In short, they may be keeping the door open for Kara to be included on the big screen at some point. In the comics, as far as I know, Supergirl has always been younger, but with all of DC’s recent universe realignment who knows at this point. Regardless, the show really doesn’t specify just yet on which child of Krypton is older.]
Another Arrowverse show that I am super excited to begin is Legends of Tomorrow! In Legends, it is taking several characters from Arrow and The Flash and combining them into this one BA team that is going to save the world from villain, Vandal Savage. It boasts Victor Garber reprising his role at Martin Stein/Firestorm from The Flash; Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer/The Atom from Arrow; Caity Lotz as Sara Lance/White Canary from Arrow; Wentworth Miller as Leonard Snart/Captain Cold and Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory/Heat Wave (both from The Flash); and it has Arthur Darvill as Rip Hunter!!! (As well as new to this verse Hawkgirl (Ciara Renee), Hawkman (Falk Hentschel), and The Flash’s new Firestorm (Franz Dameh.)
Now, the concerned fangirl in me can’t help but wonder how this show is going to deviate from the established shows of Arrow and The Flash. Right off the bat I know that time travel is going to be a major component to the plotline. For example, the Legend’s Wikipedia page has the following as the premise of the show: “Rip Hunter travels back in time to the present day where he brings together a team of heroes and villains in an attempt to prevent Vandal Savage from destroying the world and time itself.” I just wonder how the time-travel is going to affect these characters, and if they’ll try – or at least be tempted – to go back into their own timelines and change events from happening to them. You know, like how Sara died for the fourth time, or Ray stopping himself from being blown up (actually, shrunk) while working on the Atom suit.
The writers and producers are being pretty hush-hush about this so far. Other than listing the cast, there’s not any info for upcoming episodes like they announce a week, and sometimes two, before Arrow and The Flash.
Basically, I have no idea what’s going to happen, and that makes me nervous. I also worry that Arthur Darvill will begin to be typecast as he is portraying another time-traveler. We’ll return back to these two shows closer to the end of each season and determine if I change my mind or not.
Be sure to catch the newest episodes of Supergirl on Mondays at 8:30pm on CBS, The Flash on Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW, Agents of SHIELD on Tuesdays at 9/8c on ABC, Arrow on Wednesdays at 8/7c, and unfortunately, Legends of Tomorrow has yet to receive an air date, but it will most likely be during the Winter hiatus early in 2016.
Don’t forget to leave a comment to tell me what you think of these shows, and what you would like to see in upcoming episodes.