Arrowverse After Arrow

(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.)

It’s a post-Crisis world, and we’re just living in it. The final chapter of Arrow has closed, and the Arrowverse now has the task of finding its footing without the show that started it all. Grief can often lead to big personal changes. In the instance of this new universe that was literally sparked from its fallen hero, it’s some shiny new credits! Only The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow were on this week thanks to that pesky sportsball, but both were sporting some pretty nifty new opening digs. 

Out of Crisis Mode

While the rest of the shows have had an episode or two to deal with the loss of their friend and, well, basically the entirety of the known universe, Team Flash has only just come back into the fold. Add that to the fact that they were all but convinced that they were about to lose Barry Allen and you’ve got some relatively emotionally compromised folks. 

This week’s The Flash focused heavily on removing yourself from crisis mode. When there’s a big task you have to hurdle, whether it be the end of the world or something mundane, it’s hard to shift back to normal after the crisis has passed. The entirety of Team Flash find themselves sprinting toward the things they know they need, but that sprint results in a lot of people getting hurt.

After Iris almost gets herself killed chasing a lead, it’s Joe who has to sit her down and remind her that they survived Crisis. There’s no longer a deadline on all of the things that they have to accomplish. Barry survived, and they can start working smart rather than fast. Honestly, it’s a pretty solid message to us all. 

That’s So Zari

Legends of Tomorrow has always been the weirdest of the Arrowverse. Leaning into those oddities is the smartest thing it’s ever done. With those oddities comes a revolving door of characters or, sometimes, old characters becoming new ones. This method’s been hit or miss with Tom Cavanagh on The Flash, and played like gangbusters for Maise Richardson-Sellers’ Charlie. But something about this new Zari just isn’t hitting its mark. 

Things have always been wibbly wobbly on The Waverider. It’s my hope that, while things were pretty permanent between Amaya Jiwe and Charlie, we might just see the Zari we grew to love in past seasons make her return. Her brother, Behrad, being just kind of boring isn’t really doing this switch any favors either. 

One Last Mission

We got a surprise John Diggle visit this week! It’s always a treat when he heads over to Central City to visit Team Flash. Whenever there’s a straight man around, the writers always lean a little harder into Barry’s goofiness. Meaning that, despite the subject of their little side-quest being on the heavier side, their arc is still just as fun as it should be. 

We learned a lot of lessons on The Flash this week. The purpose of John and Barry’s adventure to Lian Yu wasn’t to serve as yet another warning. Instead, it’s to remind Barry that sometimes a mask is just a mask, and it’s not always about the mission. Having Diggle be the one to help Barry find closure felt like a sweet closing note for both of them as well. Even if we had all hoped that the box he brought had contained a certain power ring he had questions on! 

Still A Pariah

I know two truths. The first is that it’s great to have Nash Wells back. He’s dashing, he’s snarky, and I’m into all of it. The second is man does it suck to have it confirmed that we lost Harry Wells and Jessie Quick. Things are rarely permanent on superhero shows. But still, woof. 

The sadness aside, it’s exciting to think that we now have a permanent iteration of Wells. Especially considering how well this one’s played off the team. It looks like Cisco will be going walkabout in an effort to catalogue all the new villains Earth Prime has found itself with. In the interim, Team Flash is going to need a resident smarty-pants. Nash Wells at your service! 

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

  • “Give me my crypto circuit or I’m gonna punch you in the throat.” 
  • All of Iris’ coats
  • The Simpsons reference on Legends of Tomorrow
  • Ray Palmer learning that not all police are good guys
  • The Flash leaning even harder into the importance of journalism after Supergirl seems to have abandoned it
  • There’s a mirror world! Intrigue! 

Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel

Supergirl and Batwoman remain on their mini-hiatus next week. That means that it’s all about The Flash, Black Lighting and Legends of Tomorrow. That’ll include some meetings with the Gravedigger, a mirror-versed and infinitely crankier Iris West-Allen, and a… prom? The writers of the respective series’ have wisely kept things light after the loss of Oliver Queen. It looks like we’ll remain on that trajectory for at least one more week, and I’m on board with it! 

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