|So close to nailing this bit, yet so far.|
Luke Cage: "Step In The Arena" (10% Stupid)
Trapped in the rubble gets used as a framing device for flashbacks to Luke's prison life under his real name, taking us through his involvement in an underground prisoner fighting ring, meeting his late wife Riva, and the experiment/accident that gave him his powers.
But that's not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the Original Costume Sequence, and where it goes wrong.
See, Luke gets his powers first by being strapped into some kind of experimental healing apparatus. This involves metal wrist cuffs, and a pointed metal headband, both straight out of Cage's 70's comic book costume. This is fine.
Then there's an accident, he gets his powers, and busts out of prison, still wearing the headband and gauntlets. This is fine.
Then he grabs some clothes off a clothesline - a yellow open-front shirt and tight jeans. This is STILL FINE.
Then he looks in the mirror, says "this is ridiculous", and tears off the headband. THIS IS NOT FINE. It would have been fine without the line. But we all kn ow what's happening here. We're all going along with the joke and the bit. When you explicitly have the character say that his comic book costume is stupid, you fall into the old X-Men (first movie) trap of being ashamed of being a superhero story. And that's what makes the MCU so great - it almost never does that. Keep a lid on that shit, Luke Cage.
Agents Of SHIELD: "Lockup" (15% Stupid)
I'm being a little bit unfair to this episode of Agents of SHIELD, in which a new, untested, young hero is taken into the field, fucks up, and ruins the operation, feeling bad about it afterward. Thing is, that was Arrow last week. That was The Flash this week. I'm pretty sure that was Agents of SHIELD at least three times over its entire run, most recently with Lincoln. BORED NOW.
The rest of it was the usual solid stuff we get from AoS these days, which makes me happy.
The Flash: "The New Rogues" (20% Stupid)
Another reasonably solid, enjoyable episode of The Flash, which gives me a weird sense of hope. The introduction of Earth-19 Harrison Wells is gloriously stupid in all the right ways, as is the long overdue introduction of Mirror Master and The Top. Sure, we have Jessie Quick ignoring an order, fucking up, ruining things, and feeling bad about it. And sure, we have Iris inexplicably wondering why Barry and Joe are uncomfortable with the idea of Joe watching the two children he raised in the same house dry-hump each other on the couch, but by Flash standards, this is still an improvement.
Arrow: "Penance" (15% Stupid)
I'm enjoying the "what" of this season of Arrow just fine, but the "why" is eluding me. I don't have any sense of what any of this is supposed to be doing to or for any of the main characters beyond the New Team, and I've seen lots of young CW stars learn to be superheroes. And am continuing to.
Ninety percent of this episode could have been dropped into nearly any of the last three seasons of Arrow without blinking. I mean, I can't remember exactly when the Lila/Diggle/Argus stuff started, but anywhere after that, they could have had this episode. I mean, it's nice that Diggle's back, but really, him being gone in the first place was at best a medium sized subplot, and nothing bigger seems to be happening at all. Arrow's just killing time and shuffling pieces around the board in a competent, assured manner.
Legends Of Tomorrow: "Shogun" (60% Stupid)
And I'm out. If last week's episode raised hopes that they'd abandon that particular brand of infuriating stupidity that was the hallmark of Legends of Tomorrow, this episode dashed those hopes into the reefs and then fucked the surviving crew members as they lay unconscious on the beach.
The one good thing in this episode, Mick and his love of ninjas, could not stand against an onslaught of time travel bullshit and quite possibly the most incompetent the LoT crew has ever been, which I know is a bold statement, but seriously, fuck Bobo Colossus, fuck nearly everything that happened in this episode. And fuck this show.