The Clock Tower: Recapping An Especially Strong Week For The Arrowverse

(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.)Take a deep breath. Do you smell that? That's the smell of one hell of a good week in the Arrowverse! Seriously, what a week for layered, complicated stories. I had some concerns that once the fallout from Crisis was close to wrapped up, that the respective series' wouldn't be sure which direction to go in. It would have been difficult to be judgmental over it if they had! It was a huge arc with incredible impact. But there definitely isn't a single writers room that's resting on its laurels. 

Who is She? 

Supergirl's got several characters struggling with who they are this season. Alex isn't quite sure how to function without a gun or a badge, while Lena wonders if she really is the villain that Supergirl's made her out to be. Alex's struggle has an obvious answer, but Lena's is a touch more complicated.At the end of the day, impact matters more than intent. There's no way her plan doesn't go sideways and result in some sort of lack of free will for humanity. She might not be able to see that yet, but she did have some serious soul-searching questions on this week's episode. Has she become her brother when he turned the sun red in his desire to stop Superman? Not quite. But Lex managed to manipulate that "not quite" into a "not at all" because his sister is smarter than him and his plan doesn't work without her. He really is a dastardly one, that Lex. It's kind of incredible.

“Batman Was Different”

I started off Batwoman with a serious Sophie problem. While I acknowledged that I was supposed to, it was still incredibly frustrating to be so annoyed with the character's choices. Now, this is a perfect example of why sometimes we as fans just need to shut our yaps for a second and see where the writers room is going, because her arc wouldn't be half as satisfying if they didn't make her infuriating in the beginning. Here we are mid-season, and the series has managed to do something completely fresh with the superhero/civilian trope. Sure, the exhausting conversation of "you could get hurt" went down, but that's not what ultimately resulted in Sophie and Batwoman going splitsville. Gotham's new Caped Crusader knew that Sophie was only enamored by her because it meant continuing to keep who she was a secret. Their breakup wasn't some dumb "I walk alone" nonsense! It was a completely rational and adult conversation that resulted in Sophie's best story moment to date. A surprise visit from her mother and her hard talk with Batwoman push Sophie to tell the truth. She admits to her mother that she's told so many lies that she doesn't know what they feel like anymore, and that she wants to be honest now. But it's not enough to quell the rage of what I'm hoping is just a protective mother worried about her baby. Mrs. Moore expresses frustration and disappointment that being black and being a woman weren't enough struggles for her. Though Sophie points out that she didn't choose being gay any more than she chose being a black woman, her mother isn't quite ready to have that conversation. Here's hoping we see a solid conclusion to this plotline! 

Oh No… He Died! 

But did he though? How many characters are ever really gone in the superhero genre? The Flash will never be free of Eobard Thawne any more than Black Lightning will ever be free of Gravedigger. Though The Flash's reveal of Eobard taking over Nash Wells' body was a little bit more satisfying, the series has had a lot more time to build up that oomph. Meanwhile, Black Lightning had more than just an arch nemesis to deal with in their season finale. Their Markovian plot may have wrapped up, but I'm actually much more interested in the addiction angle they're going with for Lynn Pierce. After hints that the plot would be cleanly wrapped up, we saw her pop more glimmer in their finale. That gives a whole lot of hope for a deep and nuanced storyline for next season. 

Baddies Gonna Bad

Holy crap you guys Batwoman introduced Duela Dent. Her mother said her name in the beginning of the episode and I literally shouted with glee. Duela Dent on a live action show! Who would have thought that would ever come to pass? For those who may not be familiar – Duela Dent is the Joker's daughter. Yes, that's exactly why you saw so many homages to the Crown Prince of Crime, up to and including the whole face off situation. What a time to be a comic book fan! Duela isn't the only surprise in this week's episode, either. Though we don't immediately know what Mouse is hooked up to in the beginning of the arc, it's eventually revealed that it's fear toxin. It's got a big ol' Scarecrow mask on it and everything. Lame? Maybe a little. Am I into it? Incredibly so. Can't wait to see what happens when we start tugging on that thread. 

Do You Take This Atom? 

Ray Palmer has had a rough go of it when it comes to fiancés. Terribly unfortunate, considering the fact that there's literally no one in the entirety of the Arrowverse that deserves happiness more than this giant, bullet coffee slurping teddy bear. His terrible go of things means that he's ready to pull out all the stops in his proposal to Nora. But do you know who hates bullet coffee slurping teddy bears? Damien Darhk. And guess who our newest Encore is this week! We don't really spend enough time praising Neal McDonough. Guy can effortlessly shift from Dum Dum Dugan to one of the most ruthless villains the Arrowverse has ever seen. Even worse, he does it all with such an unnerving amount of charisma. Dude slaughtered Earth Prime's Laurel Lance and countless others with a grin on his face, and you still find yourself rooting for him five minutes into the episode. Like so many other women of the Arrowverse this week, Nora eventually finds her voice and tells her father that not only is she a good guy now, but she's in love with one too! Like fewer women on the Arrowverse this week, Nora's getting hitched! But not until she, her father and all of her friends have a serious therapy session via a sly wish and a fun Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood spoof. Though a monster, Damien Darhk's truest love has always been his little girl. He shows that by willingly going against his own nature and supporting her decision, and even share's a sweet moment with Ray before the credits role. It turns out that sweet moment will lead the way for Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford's inevitable departure. Though I'm ardently against said departure, they are setting up one hell of an exit. Darhk looks Ray in the eyes and tells him to support his daughter. He reminds the hero that his new wife's job is important to her, and she can't do it from a tin can. It might be upsetting to see the two go, but damn what a narrative flip to have a male character give up everything so a woman can live their dream as opposed to the standard narrative. I'm in love.These Are a Few of My Favorite ThingsWe're already running long, and there's still so much more I want to touch base on. So here's a quick breakdown of the things we didn't have time to deep-dive on.

  • Damien and Sara's goodbye, and his eventual sacrifice for his daughter.
  • Lex and Jemma Cooper are gold together.
  • Mary Hamilton's speech to Kate indicating that she knows and she hopes Kate can trust her someday.
  • Supergirl telling the baddy of the week that she is heard, and that she understands her pain.
  • Nate Heywood having absolutely no chill over Ray's proposal. 
  • Uh... Mick has a kid. Mick fainted. Also Mick has a kid? 
  • Basically meeting a Veronica Vreeland surrogate on Batwoman ala Veronica May.
  • Yo Cisco went to Atlantis
  • Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel

    We are definitely keeping the momentum going next week! Alice is going to find herself hooked up to the very same fear toxin that Mouse was this week while Thawne remains captured for approximately a day before breaking out over on The Flash. Oh, and Shakespeare's getting a heroic makeover over on Legends of Tomorrow. Lots of weird to look forward to!