The Clock Tower: The CW's Superheroes Suffered Through a Pretty Rough Week (Just Like Us)
(Welcome to The Clock Tower, where we’ll break down the goings on of the The CW network’s Arrowverse. We’ll touch on things like themes, cultural impact, lead-ins to major events, ships, and more every week! Warning: this Clock Tower is filled with spoilers. Proceed at your own risk.)
So the world’s falling apart and you’ve turned to your superhero stories for comfort! Welcome! This week tackled a bunch of “fun” topics like murder, transphobia, and prematurely saying goodbye to longtime friends because contracts were about to expire and networks felt the need to write them off. Fun stuff! By and large, everyone did a solid job. The Flash is the only series that’s currently struggling a bit in the narrative department, but I think they ultimately have a point. Let’s dive in!
One of my first pieces here at /Film was an article lamenting what Legends of Tomorrow would lose by saying goodbye to Ray Palmer and Nora Darhk. One is a constant beacon of hope and optimism, even in the darkest of times, the other a symbol insisting that your trauma doesn’t get to define you. The idea of losing them has been heart-wrenching since it was announced.
While the writers did their best to give a good reason for the departure and a solid farewell episode, it did little to make the farewell any easier. Obviously, the most difficult part of this story was always going to be seeing Ray say goodbye to Nate.
The SteelAtom friendship is, to this day, one of the best on-screen depictions of male friendship I’ve ever seen. There’s not an ounce of toxicity to it. It’s just bros being bros doing bro stuff all the while loving each other as fiercely as all men should be allowed to.
We all watched the same show, I’m not going to recap their goodbye. We all saw it, most of us ugly cried. It sucked. I will miss Ray and Nora forever.
Dream on Dreamer
No I’m not sorry for getting Cascada stuck in your head. This week’s episode of Supergirl finally buckled down and gave us some Dreamer content. While it was worth the wait, let’s not go another half season without giving the gal something to do, yeah?
Nia decides to take things into her own hands after a transphobic creep starts targeting trans women to get to Dreamer. He doesn’t think that she’s the right kind of symbol for his “good” and “right” community. When you play stupid games, you win stupid prizes, and Mr. “Good” – no, his character name wasn’t even worth remembering – played a real, real stupid game.
We (fittingly) see Dreamer angrier than we’ve ever seen her in the past. There is a plague trying to wipe out her community, and she’s going to eradicate that plague no matter how hard Kara pleads with her to let a system that’s consistently failed her and her trans brothers and sisters time and time again do its work.
Though Supergirl’s involvement in the episode is mostly to show a straight white woman learn something about a community that is not her own, this episode would have been stronger without her. I could even compromise with less of her. But the moment where Dreamer decides not to kill the creep where he stood should have been Nia coming off the ledge on her own. Regardless of the show’s title, there was no need to have the Hope Speech here. And I say that as a fervent defender of the Hope Speech! It just rings super hollow from a person who literally woke up to the horrors trans people face hours before the altercation.
Kate Kane Did A Murder
This right here is a complicated topic, especially coming from me. If you’ve never read anything I’ve had to say about The Bat Family, know that I firmly believe in the No Kill and No Guns policy. Now, did her sister’s kidnapper deserve to die? Absolutely. Was it an accident? Clearly.
But neither of those things are why I’m ok with a show about a member of the Bat Family showing said member kill another person. I’m ok with Batwoman having Kate kill in this one specific instance for one reason and one reason only: she wasn’t in the cowl.
That might feel like semantics territory, and I might even be so inclined to agree with you. But Kate Kane has no importance to the greater city of Gotham. She’s a good person and a member of the LGBTQ community and she matters as an individual a great deal. She is the heart behind the symbol in a way the Bruce could no longer be, and that heart is both tarnished and terrified by what she’s done. From a character perspective, that’s incredible.
I will note that the only way I remain on board with this decision is that it becomes a springboard for a more cautious and conscientious hero. I don’t want to deal with this “whoops, killed a dude” storyline again later in the series. We’re in the first season, and she’s growing as a person and a cape, keep that stuff early where it belongs!
I currently care about approximately twenty percent of The Flash’s narrative. I’m very into the Cisco story, and everything going on with Nash Wells is extremely my jam. Barry losing his powers? The whole mirror universe situation? None of it does a thing for me, and I can’t put my finger on why.
That aside, this week’s mental standoff with Eobard Thawne was a fun watch! We learned more about Nash and Maya’s past, and we finally got to the bottom of the whole Crisis on Infinite Wells situation. I’d love to see the other angles get more engaging, but for now I just want Cisco, Wells, Cait, Sue and Ralph to do their own thing until the overall narrative sorts itself.
Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel
We’re off for another couple of weeks, fam. Don’t worry, The Clock Tower will still be open. We’ll dig into what COVID-19 means for the current scope of the Arrowverse, and just where these crazy kids in all their respective shows might be headed. In the meantime, please stay safe. Treat things as if you were working in an Ace Chemicals plant! Wash your hands! Moisturize! Practice self-care in whatever way is healthy for you, and take care of your loved ones (y’know, from a meaningful distance). See you next week!
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