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Luke Cage: "Suckas Need Bodyguards / Manifest" (5% Stupid)
These episodes really need to be taken as a pair, because if you watch Suckas Need Bodyguards on its own, it ends with the weirdly muted, anticlamiactic downfall of Cottonmouth and Mariah. It's anticlimactic, of course, because "Manifest" reveals that it wasn't a climax. Cottonmouth is out immediately due to lack of evidence, Mariah is fighting for her political life, and then, after some horrifying revelations about both their backstories and a truly epic misstep on Cottonmouth's part, his cousin bludgeons him to death in a blind rage. Holy shit.
The whole series is about power, which is fitting for a show about the erstwhile Power Man. The exercise of it, the limitations of it, learning how to exercise and apply it. In that light, both of these were very successful episodes, but the first one doesn't work without the second one as contrast.
Arrow: "So It Begins" (5% Stupid Or 25% Stupid)
This episode sets up two things abotu Promootheus, one of them very, very good and one of them potentially very, very bad. Hence the provisional stupidity rating. The good thing about Promootheus is that his plan is the most outré plan of any CW supervillain to date. He's murdering people whose names are anagrams of people on Oliver's List from Season 1, using throwing stars made from the melted edown arrowheads of Oliver's victims. Which is awesomely nutso.
The problem is, there's a strong pointer in the direction of Promootheus being Felicity's new boyfriend. His weird acceptance that Felicity's working for Oliver and the revelation that Promootheus is inside the SCPD, plus the WB's general love of tired tropes, seems like that's where they're headed. I mean, first they have to blame Forever Drunk Quentin Lance, even though Lance's heart condition should immediately clear him if anyone remembers he had it two seasons ago.
And with Ragman and The List having both strong father-son redemption parallels, a third parallel with Felicity's boyfriend being one of the lawyers or bankers Ollie targeted with The List seems really obvious. I hope I'm wrong.
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