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Supergirl Review Season 3, Episode 7 “Darkest Place”

Elizabeth and Gretchen are back for more Supergirl! Unfortunately, “The Darkest Place” had nothing to do with Thanksgiving dinner and Alex needing to drink lots of wine, though perhaps this is a blessing in disguise considering the grim episode title. We will have to push off the traditional awkward Danvers family Thanksgiving conversation until next week, which is also the start of the week-long crossover. It’s going to be a busy time for us.

Until then, we have another packed episode tonight with tons of great reveals and superb emotional beats. Tonight’s review also might be a bit rougher around the edges, as Gretchen is getting up early tomorrow morning to go to Disneyland (feel free to proclaim your jealousy, or boo her, whichever). Shall we begin?

Quick Recap

Introducing Real!Hank aka Cyborg Superman.

We open with Hank(?) beating up Kara. Cut to 24 hours earlier: James, Winn, Kara, and Alex are in the bar watching news about the Guardian. Winn and James defend The Guardian from Kara’s and Alex’s skepticism. Maggie shows up to ask Alex about her keeping her distance. Mon El tries to break out of Cadmus but runs into who he thinks is J’onn/Hank. M’gann visits J’onn at the DEO, makes him some Martian comfort drink, and J’onn sees a vision of his family.

At CatCo, James sees video footage that seems to show The Guardian killing a suspect and Snapper calls him on having a bias for superheroes. Winn confronts James, who is determined to catch the guy who gave him a bad name. Kara talks with J’onn about him seeing visions of his family and letting M’gann be a part of his life without losing them. James confronts the other vigilante but Maggie shows up to arrest him.

Momma Luthor contacts Supergirl to tell her they have Mon El; when she arrives, she meets Real!Hank who Cadmus has been keeping alive to work for them as Cyborg Superman (CALLED IT). Terrible liar that he is, Winn is unable to keep the truth of James being The Guardian from Alex. Alex stands up for herself to Maggie about her feelings for her, and Maggie shutting her down. Oh and she tells Maggie to leave Guardian alone. J’onn almost shoots someone from the DEO that he hallucinates is a White Martian. Lillian Luthor, the head of Cadmus, threatens to kill Mon El with his lead allergy if Kara doesn’t ‘solar flare’ and make herself human for a while.

He’s alive and he’s so important to Alex. We can’t overstate this.

Cadmus goons drag a weakened Kara and strap her to a chair for Lillian to draw her blood. Winn figures out that the vigilante is killing criminals who get off on technicalities. Alex figures out what’s up with J’onn’s visions: M’gann’s blood. J’onn confronts M’gann about her being a White Martian, and she reveals she was the guard (saw that one too) and that she tried to release the Green Martians. Kara and Mon El bond in the Cadmus prisons. Just as Mon El is about to reveal that he was really the Daxamite prince a secret, a hooded figure comes to free them: JEREMIAH DANVERS.

Jeremiah digs the bullet out of Mon El and lets Kara and Mon El escape (the feels, omg). J’onn attacks M’gann, intent on avenging his family by killing her. James defeats the vigilante and, true to Kara, tries to talk him down first. Maggie and Alex show up in time to capture the vigilante and let The Guardian get away. Kara tells Alex Jeremiah helped her escape and Alex goes to Cadmus only to find the warehouse empty. M’gann tells J’onn that her blood is turning him into a White Martian.

After all that, it’s pizza and potsticker time! Mon El all but admits he likes Kara to Winn and James. Maggie asks Alex to let her back in as a friend because she doesn’t care about many people, but she cares about Alex. Cyborg Superman goes to the Fortress of Solitude and asks Kalex about “Project Medusa” (which just so happens to be the name of next week’s episode).

Best Quote: “When I got to Earth I saw my parents everywhere. I was in my room one night and I remember looking up at the stars and feeling so alone. I started to cry. Eliza came in my room and I yelled at her to get out…Eliza refused to leave. She said my parents would want me to be loved. That nothing would replace them, that they were a part of who I am. That was the first time I let her really hug me, and that was the first time I didn’t feel alone anymore. Having M’gann in your life doesn’t mean losing your family, it means feeling whole again.”—Kara Danvers

Thoughts & Feelings

We’re happy to report that for now, last week’s pacing concerns were a one-off slip up. Unfortunately, the Guardian continues to be unimpressive. Can Winn and James get caught already? We’re over this plot. As much as we were looking forward to James as a superhero when the season started, we’re less than enthused with how that has come together. We’re tired of James’s self-righteous hypocrisy. Tonight, we got humble bragging and defensiveness to go along with it, and it’s exhausting. Just tell Kara already, bicker about being safe or whatever, then eventually Kara can call him on the toxic masculinity bullshit James has bought into.

Aside from the hypocrisy of James lying to Kara about something he actively tried to out her for (being a superhero) in a way that could have endangered her, his fixation with his ego and ‘proving himself’ strong enough as a superhero bothers us the most. Because James is the head of CatCo, a media empire. He could be using that position to fight against Cadmus, to advocate for alien rights and amnesty, to ask tough questions about why Cadmus goons were using high powered alien tech to rob humans. Instead, he’s running around punching people. He’s even using CatCo resources to plug himself, and CatCo time to focus on being a superhero instead of being the most influential black man in National City.

We can sort of understand what the purpose of the Guardian storyline is; James is walled off from the rest of the Super Friends over at CatCo, and making him a superhero helps connect him back to the core group. Unfortunately, this thread is really thin, and not particularly well-woven. James is starting to remind us a lot of the current Batman, and coming from us this is absolutely not a compliment. Not satisfied with the very real power he has through his job, power that could be used for the public good in ways that don’t involve violence, he instead misuses company resources and exploits/borderline blackmails his closest friend into helping him with his part-time vigilante hobby. This might work had he just been honest with the entire group of Super Friends about what he’s doing and why he’s doing it, but instead he chooses to go all Batman (for lack of a better term) about it.

There had better be a hail mary pass of a character redemption coming up within the next few episodes, because we’re starting to actively root for James to get written off the show. If they aren’t going to use his character in a meaningful way, or stop trying to turn him into Batman, then maybe it’s time to just admit that his character needs to leave. We don’t want to lose him, as an actor or as a character, but the show isn’t giving us a lot to like this season other than his kickass costume.

Mon El had a decent arc this episode, despite the fact that he continues to not grieve the destruction of his entire planet and culture other than to express mild survivor’s guilt. Anyway. He’s totally the Prince of Daxam. That’s what he was going to reveal to Kara, right? What else could it be? Honestly, it explains a lot about him: his lack of physical fighting ability, his privilege, his frat boy mentality, his defensiveness when Kara called the Prince of Daxam the “biggest frat boy in the galaxy.”

The only thing that irked us was the icky patriarchal undertones to his conversation with Winn and James at the end of the episode. We think they were going for romantic and adorable, but the whole “latched” thing felt like he was trying to stake a possessive claim over Kara. We did enjoy her delightful obliviousness to the whole thing. Is the fact that he was talking with Winn and James, two other members of the no-longer-Kara’s-love-interest club, significant? They should start a support group.

Now, it’s not that Mon El can’t necessarily be pushed in a good direction, and we begrudgingly admit that he actually might have a stronger position in the plot than James at the moment. But we need a bit… more from him. Both from the actor and the character.

When Kara is first thrown in the prison cell next to his at Cadmus, his affect and vocal inflection was really… flat? He certainly didn’t feel convincingly concerned or even necessarily aware of the danger they’re in. We actually briefly suspected he had been pod-personed or was a cyborg copy, because nothing about his reactions seemed on point until Momma Luther showed up and shot him in the leg. We get that ‘flippantly dismissive’ and ‘too cool for school’ is his thing, but we are far overdue for him to start outgrowing this as a character.

Hopefully the events of this episode were a big push in the right direction, even if that direction involves being soundly rejected by Kara during what is sure to be an epically cringeworthy confession of his feelings for her. As we’ve said before, it’s not that it can’t work. But as it stands, it’s not enough. And we’re not just saying that as Supercorp trash. We will fully admit to a bias, but we are open minded.

How is this the face of a potential lab rat for anti-alien villains?

On a more positive note, let’s talk about the courage we got from the ladies tonight. Alex confronting Maggie took a lot of guts. She totally needed to get that off of her chest, we get it. With how the show has so excellently scripted Alex’s story thus far, we can see where Alex is coming from. She has, from her point of view, done everything that Maggie asked of her. It was all for her own personal benefit, of course, not just to ‘get the girl’, but you can understand Alex’s frustration. She only came to understand herself as a wlw because of Maggie. Not just because Maggie asked hard questions, but because Alex had feelings for Maggie that Maggie called her on and then helped her name.

It’s an experience that many women who come out as queer later in life understand, because frequently at an older age, the exploration of sexuality is directly related to feelings for a particular individual rather than as a category.

“Ultimately, I was proud to come out because it wasn’t just some concept, it was about my feelings for this amazing woman.”—Alex Danvers

On the other hand, it’s a lot of pressure to be putting on Maggie. It is unreasonable for Alex to put pressure on Maggie to date her just because Alex has feelings for her and was the reason Alex was able to understand herself as a wlw. Maggie is the object of Alex’s affection, but she’s not obligated to reciprocate or bear the burden of Alex’s coming out.

And then, THEN, after all that Maggie is willing to ask Alex to let her back into her life because she cares that much about her?

“I don’t meet many people that I care about, and I care about you…a lot.”—Maggie Sawyer

Kill us.

Probably the best part about this slow burn relationship is, as we touched on previously, that all of the foundation work is being shown on screen as opposed to existing solely in fanfiction. We are thrilled once again with the realism of the writing, especially the fights between Maggie and Alex. We are relieved that the fight didn’t resolve itself by them getting together, because it is way too soon and not nearly enough angst has been poured onto the eager audience.

In all seriousness, this is just further evidence that the writers took the scripting of this relationship very seriously, and they’re giving it Main Ship treatment with a fully developed relationship arc. Maggie and Alex started as friends, but they need to come back to being friends before any further relationship milestones can be reached. This also will hopefully mean that we’ll get some more development for Maggie as a character separate from Alex. We don’t necessarily need an entire flashback episode, but some further delving into Maggie’s life outside of work or her past will just be another solid layer of foundation to build this relationship off of.

In short, we like what they’ve done so far, so of course we are dying for more.

This face. UGH.

This face. UGH.

And M’gann, our precious cinnamon roll White Martian M’gann. Her conflicted relationship with J’onn continues to be our favorite side story this season (to the point where we wish we had less Mon El and James/Winn, but alas). Even in just the snippets we’ve gotten, her journey from diffidence to openness has been heartbreaking. She’s trying to break the cycle of violence and hatred in a hostile environment. She’s gone from fighting for her life to refusing to fight. She’s yearning for real connection with J’onn, and she represents a chance for hope and happiness for both of them.

Her arc tonight took courage. Confessing who she really is, revealing her White Martian form though it might have meant her death? She’s probably never shown her White Martian form to anyone since she came to Earth, and to show it to the one person whose opinion and acceptance matters most to her shows tremendous vulnerability. She’s moved beyond the stiff aloofness we first saw in her to a yearning for acceptance and love. She’s willing to be vulnerable with J’onn, even if it means he could hurt her (quite literally).

She let J’onn take his anger and grief out on her believing she deserves it for being a White Martian and only asking that he kill her in her human form. And that says everything about her; she’d rather die as a human, her ‘true’ form to her now rather than as a White Martian. We have only love for M’gann.

“This is who I want to be.”—M’gann M’orzz, choosing to die in her human form

She does not deserve prison! Someone get her out of there!

And for J’onn, he overcame huge hurdles in not killing her, even if he’s still bitter and filled with hatred. We have no idea what will happen to him next, but our cinnamon roll space dad is breaking our hearts with his journey this season. Seriously, just think for a moment the amount of control it takes to not kill a member of the race that killed your entire family, one that you trusted and believed not just a friend, but a member of your own race. He might not be able to admit it yet, but he’s connected with M’gann despite her being a White Martian. His arc of overcoming his hatred fits nicely within this season’s theme of overcoming prejudice against aliens. It kicks you in the face, but in a good way.

On a completely different note, can we talk about how many people are lying to Kara this season? Her two best male friends have been lying about being superheroes. Her new friend/mentee Mon El has been lying about something. We don’t know yet if Lena has been lying about being involved with her mother in Cadmus (as we don’t know how far that connection goes). M’gann has been lying about being a White Martian. Even Alex isn’t being entirely honest with Kara right now, as she withholds the information about James being the Guardian. We appreciate her being the bigger person and the “I’m sure he will reveal himself soon” was a none too gentle shove in the right direction, but still. Kara was honest about Jeremiah even though she thought Alex would be furious with her for not getting him out. The least Alex can do is be honest about The Guardian.

Actually, on second thought, can we have a pointed conversation where Alex confronts James about how she was willing to keep his secret because it wasn’t hers to tell when he point blank asked Kara to out her to Lucy, even though it might put Kara’s life in danger? Please. Someone needs to confront James on his hypocrisy this season and Alex is primed and ready for it.

Finally, we have to point out that the emotional beats this episode were sharp and visceral. Kara’s immediate concern for Lena when she discovers her mother is the head of Cadmus, because if anyone understands having zealots for family members, it’s our girl Kara. Her concern for Alex upon seeing Jeremiah and what his not coming with them would do to her. The moment where Alex’s face dissolved when Kara told her she’d seen Jeremiah and knew where he was. Then her frustration when they were gone. The bereft look on Maggie’s face after Alex word vomited all over her.

This one.

This one.

Maggie’s guts in going back to talk to Alex. Alex’s grudging willingness to try. Ugh. This slow burn angst hurts so good. We love it. Give us more.

Random Thoughts

  • Too much spinny camera work in the bar. Stop please. We’re going to vomit. And then the shaky cam. For those of us with visual input sensitivities, it’s really hard to watch.
  • Kara made fun of Batman. We’re living. (“My cousin worked with a vigilante once. Lots of gadgets, tons of demons.”)
  • “What’s the word for a male floozy?” “A Daxamite” HA!
  • We like how Cadmus is drawing on the Greek mythos, very apropos for a Supervillain team.
  • David Harewood is such a good actor. He plays Real!Hank, J’onn as Hank, and J’onn as J’onn as three distinct characters. Impressive.
  • “Who are you to my daughter?” = All the Supercorp feels.
  • Nice that Mon El remembered to call Kara “Supergirl” while in Cadmus instead of Kara.
  • The lead allergy is a nice touch from the comics. We wonder if the rest of Mon El’s arc this season will play out similarly to the comics as well. If so, he could end up in the Phantom Zone dying from lead poisoning, perhaps to save Kara somehow?
  • Alex threatening Winn with her index finger was…kind of hot (maybe more than kind of).
  • We really love the diversity in locations that filming in Vancouver has opened up this season. We didn’t realize how claustrophobic the end of S1 felt until we got so many more locations.
  • How does Maggie know where Kara lives?
  • Someone get a blanket fort for Maggie and Kara to snuggle in. They’ve been through a lot.
  • Everyone needs a hug.

In Conclusion

The reveals tonight were excellent. Real!Hank back and living as Cyborg Superman? We may have called it but it was still excellently done. Then they topped it with Jeremiah Danvers and gave us all the feels. It’s too much to hope for a Danvers family reunion for Thanksgiving, but girls can dream, right?

If the article seems a bit thin this week, it’s not just because of Gretchen’s Disneyland trip. It’s that the show is consistently good, and this episode is consistently up to the level of quality we expect from Supergirl. It makes us feel like the most useless critics in the world to just say, “okay yes, just give us more”, but that’s sort of what it’s coming down to.

We try to avoid repeating ourselves too much, and a lot of the content in this episode has us doubling down on our opinions from the past few weeks, especially for Alex and Maggie, and for the Guardian plot. We’re certain we’ll have a lot more to say about the Danvers Thanksgiving Disaster Dinner next week. Don’t take the shortened article length for a sign of indifference: we still love this show. But this episode felt a bit like the first climb up a hill of a roller coaster, and the crossover event will be the huge drop after the peak. We’re so ready for it.

And we have so many questions. Is Jeremiah human? Why is he cooperating with Cadmus? Is he working for them? Is he spying? Can J’onn be cured? Will the last Green Martian become a White Martian? What is J’onn going to do when he finds out Real!Hank is alive and hurting Kara? What is Medusa? Why was Real!Hank so willing to squander Kara’s blood by pouring it all over the floor when Cadmus could use it to develop a super serum or something? Will Mon El awkwardly try to propose to Kara in the middle of next week’s annual awkward Danvers family Thanksgiving?

Inquiring minds need to know.

Anyways, to all our American readers, Happy Thanksgiving! To all our international readers, Happy fourth week of November! See you next week!


Images courtesy of CW

Bi, she/her. Gretchen is a Managing Editor for the Fandomentals. An unabashed nerdy fangirl and aspiring sci/fi and fantasy author, she has opinions about things like media, representation, and ethics in storytelling.

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Television

Black Lightning Episode 1-5 In Review

Shahar

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Black Lightning, Anissa, and Jennifer with the phrase Get Lit

This week, Black Lightning is on a hiatus so here are some thoughts on the show so far. New episodes return next week.

As a whole, Black Lightning is one of my favorite shows on TV right now, and of the 381 (I have a list) shows I’ve watched in my 24 years. It does so many things well, and what I don’t like is situated in a very specific context. For example, I love how the show hammers home that there are consequences to everything.

Consequences and Bad Guys

Last week’s episode ended with Jefferson as Black Lightning knocked out in the water when his suit gave him problems in a fight with Joey Toledo, Tobias’ right hand man. It was a bleak moment, but highlights how everything feels grounded! From the fights between Jefferson and various baddies, the deaths we’ve seen, and to Tobias doing anything, nothing is cartoonish. There are consequences to actions.

Sure dropping a lackey into a tank of piranhas is a bit much…but Tobias is terrible and terrifying and his traumatic childhood is not used as an excuse for his current actions. Rather they situate Tobias and Tori as adults (whose ages we don’t actually know) trying to control their world. I wonder if Tori has her own crime syndicate in Miami? Oh hey, that would be a cool webseries…

The dedication to showing consequences of people’s actions does have me worried with the portrayal of Khalil’s future arc. I understand the impetus behind his arc. Unless the writers flip the script, it’ll highlight how easy it is for people like Tobias and his lackeys to prey on young men without other options.

And I do not mean to simplify the many reasons why a young man may choose to deal drugs or why there is violence across so many American cities. But Khalil’s existence now for Tobias is as a scapegoat to turn BL into the bad guy. Again, disability in DCTV is merely a plot point for villains or temporary.

On the flip side, Anissa as an out and proud activist lesbian is awesome!

Ladies Loving Ladies

Once the season ends, I’ll write a full length piece on Anissa, Chenoa, and Grace. Even with only three episodes to really pull from, the writers established a lot about Anissa and Freeland. We saw in week 2 how she had a key for Chenoa’s place, and her parents knew her name, but that’s as far as that one year relationship had gone. Their sex was mindblowing, sure (which how incredible to finally see two Black woman make love as an affirmative thing), but Anissa wasn’t committed to Chenoa. Understandably she was pissed at the Ruby Red Lipstick Bar (I love that Freeland has a lesbian bar) and said some hurtful things to Anissa.

I wish we had (or maybe we will) seen Chenoa one last time, but the moment Anissa laid eyes on Grace, it was pretty clear we were getting the slow-burn there. And this is what’s so great about the show, by five episodes both Anissa and Grace have been affirmatively labeled by the show as a lesbian and bisexual woman. No need to assume and no need for obnoxious fandom labeling conversations.

However, with Grace as a super recurring character, who knows when we’ll see Chantal Thuy next and how she’ll factor into the next portion of Anissa’s development into Thunder. And if she receives a series regular promotion, whether or not she joins the Pierce family+Gambi shenanigans.

Pierce Family Passion

I LOVE ONE FAMILY. Look, representation is not revolutionary and won’t meet any of our material needs on a global scale. Instead, representation is required and our media should look like us. But I’d be remiss to say that centering a show on a Black man who loves his family isn’t a huge freaking deal!!!

Specifically because of the racist sentiment that Black fathers aren’t around for their kids. This doesn’t consider that a) 1.5 million Black men are “missing” or b) the Black men that are fathers, they are the most involved with their children of any other group of dads!

So watching Cress Williams as Jefferson Pierce, completely in love with his ex-wife and two daughters is stunning and I am so glad the show is about the Pierce family now instead of Jefferson years ago. Their passion for their home and each other is one of the bigger successes of the show.

(Though I’d love a flashback of him first realizing his powers since it would have been in response to a very emotional moment).

Grandpa Gambi

Who is he? We know he and Alvin Pierce were super close, he’s Jefferson’s surrogate father, and from an interview that the girls think of him as a grandpa. Yet we’ve only seen him interact with JefferLynn and Tobias! And he knows Tori? I want to know everything about him and really hope the next eight episodes reveal more. As the only white guy the writers invite us to care about, Gambi is important. He’s got this amazing boutique and clearly knows his technology. (Is he making Anissa’s outfit?)

But he’s hiding more than Tobias from Jefferson, like what I assume is his understanding that Anissa was on camera in episode 3. Likely more secrets related to Alvin Pierce too. Plus just how does he afford all his tech? The show is so good with details that it seems suspect we’ve yet to see more of that aspect…

Otherwise, Gambi is a really interesting lens into the show’s statements about so many issues.

Political Statements

The show has effectively made multiple statements not just about police brutality, drugs, or violence. Even the brief mention of the Tuskeegee experiments is significant with Greenlight and its entry into Freeland. I think its usage of Gambi as BL’s greatest champion as a hero pulled out of “retirement” as compared to Anissa and soon Jennifer’s journeys is really compelling.

I honestly don’t have the expertise to write a lengthy piece on the show’s usage of Malcolm X, MLK Jr, or others like Harriet Tubman but I think Anissa’s Malcolm vs. Jefferson’s MLK Jr. vs Black Lightning’s Malcolm is clear just from the show’s dialogue.

The scene between Anissa, her parents, and the Henderson’s is a great example. Is Black Lightning a vigilante who is hurting the police attempt’s to fight the 100 gang or everything else? (How is Henderson actually feeling about his inability to stop the 100 gang long-term?) Or is he stepping in where no one else will and making a difference? Does nonviolence actually work, or nah? How do we meet the material needs of oppressed groups, here black people?

The latter questions are debated at length and I don’t think Black Lightning is trying to conclusively answer them. Though the former two are definitely at the core of the show.

The same goes for the writers’ strong use of religious imagery in implicit and explicit ways.

Book of Black Lightning

Abrahamic religion and their prophets are explicitly referenced from the episode titles to the show dialogue. Abrahamic religion is a huge part of the show. The titles all tell a story, even the non “Book of” titles like “Resurrection” and “Black Jesus” have their own. We even saw a Methodist church for Lawanda’s funeral! It makes sense because the Akils are actually Muslim. I hope we get some Black Muslims too in the show.

Jefferson is Black Jesus (resurrection), then Black Lightning is Moses (the latter was reluctant at first to lead). Obviously Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have differences in their telling of Moses’ story but it’s pretty apparent what’s happening here. Lady Eve is Pharaoh and I’m not quite sure on who Tobias is yet, but I’ll figure it out by season’s end when I’ll write a long article about everything else we get this season.

Last Thoughts

  • When will Syonide get to talk extensively? One Syonide in the comics has a girlfriend and I would love to see the show’s take on that.
  • Someone find the scripts for me because each episode feels like it’s cramming a usual script and a half’s worth of stuff into one 45 minute episode.
  • I hope this show doesn’t get 22 episodes this fall. I find it works better as a short season show.

What do y’all want answers to or have thoughts on? Next week, the show returns to Jefferson looking for Alvin’s murderer and so much more.


Image courtesy of The CW

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Rise and Fall: The Chi’s “Penetrate a Fraud” Is Joy, Heartbreak, and Fear

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Welcome back to Lena Waithe’s The Chi, where this week we see some characters start to rise from pain while others fall all the way into it.

Ronnie, never able to escape this corner.

Let’s start with Brandon, who hit a low point last week when Jerrika showed up to the block party with another guy. Then Brandon confronted Ronnie, telling him he hopes Coogie’s murder haunts him for the rest of his life before walking alone into the darkness. This week, things are looking a little better for our tender-hearted guy. A big reason for that is Sarah, his boss’s wife/all-around manager of things at the restaurant. There is a serious mutual crush happening, and in this episode she gives him an opportunity to prove himself: he’s going to be in charge of the food for a very large and fancy wedding anniversary catering gig. He pulls it off without a hitch and Sarah thanks him, saying the restaurant isn’t doing as well as everyone thinks and they really needed a good night like this one.

Side note, my parents ran a restaurant for more than 10 years, and it is so true that even popular upscale places are in a constant struggle to keep their heads above water. It is a very unforgiving industry, and this little corner of the storyline hit home for me. Plus, my mom was the Sarah, basically doing every little thing and never stopping, so I appreciate her as a character.

Anyway, the other immediate event in Brandon’s world is the revelation that his mother and Greavy got married at the courthouse without telling him. They’re planning a backyard barbecue celebration that night and were hoping he could do some of the food. Brandon is angry, still resentful of Greavy, and storms off. But Greavy goes after him and is a little softer toward him, saying that it would mean a lot to his mother if he were there, and also that he’ll do right by her.

In the end, Brandon, high off of a successful night that will likely mean a lot to his career, takes Sarah and the leftover catering food to his mom’s house. The joy Laverne feels that her son shows up is such a perfect illustration of how much mothers love their children. Brandon ends up making a really nice speech about the new couple, and it’s nice to see everyone in that string-lights-and-Heineken-filled backyard so full of smiles. Oh and then Brandon and Sarah kiss, so, that will be interesting next week.

!!!! This won’t end well but in the meantime, I’m happy for them.

Meanwhile, some other mothers are having an unexpectedly great day of their own. Ethel takes Jada to get their nails done as a thank you for patching up Ronnie’s gunshot wound/saving his life. They end up bonding and we learn that Jada has not been prioritizing dating or her sexual needs, since she has approximately 100 million other things on her plate. But after her conversation with Ethel, Jada comes home to an empty house, lights candles along the edge of the bathtub, and masturbates with the shower head. I am so here for Jada taking care of herself. Also I will always associate showerhead masturbation with that scene in The Runaways where Joan Jett—aka a still-not-publicly-out Kristin Stewart—tells her bandmate to think of Farrah Fawcett in order to get off. Iconic.

HERE FOR IT.

The reason Jada came home to an empty house is that Emmett has been extremely busy with his and Amir’s burgeoning shoe business. Amir “borrows” $5,000 from his uncle Habib, and he and Emmett follow a tip Emmett got about some rich white person who wanted to unload a shoe collection. Turns out it’s a day-drinking divorcee who wants to sell her husband’s garage full of sneakers. The two jump on it, thinking they’ve scored the shoes for half, if not less, of what they’re worth.

Emmett gets to work putting the word out to his network of sneakerheads and sets up the van full of shoes in an underpass, where he sells almost all of them. Until one guy rolls up, looks at the shoes, and tells Emmett they’re knockoffs (something to do with SKU numbers). Then he accuses Emmett of “penetrating a crime” on him and pulls a gun on him and Emmett Jr., who is in his arms. Emmett Jr. basically never stops crying; is that what real babies are like? Anyway, luckily the guy doesn’t actually shoot but Emmett is sufficiently freaked out. It remains to be seen how this will unfold with the “business partnership.”

As we continue down our path of characters’ best days to worst days, Ronnie is still halfway dead, stumbling around town bleeding through his clothes. He goes back to Common’s mosque, where he is told he’ll be welcome to come in and talk, but despite looking tempted, he doesn’t do it—yet. Ronnie is also trying to find someone who will unlock Jason’s phone. He finds Jason’s girlfriend. Ronnie didn’t know he had a girlfriend, or that she is pregnant, or that Jason knew she was pregnant and so did Tracey. Or that Tracey didn’t want Jason to see her, or that Jason wanted to quit basketball. There was a lot Ronnie didn’t know, but Jason’s girlfriend unlocked the phone for him, so now he can look through pictures.

But guess who else wants to look at the phone: Detective Cruz. He brings Ronnie in for questioning, and backhandedly proposes they help each other: Cruz won’t push too hard to pin Coogie’s murder to Ronnie, and Ronnie will give Cruz Jason’s phone. I guess so he can figure out what happened and get back in the department’s good graces before anyone exposes the fact that he’s the reason Ronnie knew about Coogie having robbed Jason’s body. Cruz doesn’t seem to find much on the phone—mostly a lot of selfies—but he sees that the last call made was to 911. So that’s interesting.

Lastly, we have the boiling-point tensions between Trice, Reg, and their crew and Q and his. Q stole Trice’s dog (the same one Coogie used to feed) and has been taunting him with her for weeks. Now, he uses her as a distraction, taunting Trice into conversation while Q’s two guys sneak into the house to see what Reg, Trice, and co. have in there. Trice tells Q to go back to Cuba, so we now know where he was before coming back to Chicago. Q points out to Trice that he never got back to him about who might have killed Jason and why. He’s clearly hung up on something with Tracey; maybe he’s Jason’s real father? I don’t know.

Regardless, Q’s guys report back on the specific kinds of military guns Reg and co. stole a lot of last week. And at the end of the episode, the three of them straight-up kill everyone in the house and steal the guns. I don’t know if Trice or Reg were there, but I’m concerned for Jake?!?!

I-miss-my-dog face.

That’s it for this week, let’s hope next week we get to see the kids and the lesbians again, because I miss them and this episode ended on an extremely dark note.


Images from The Chi Courtesy of Showtime

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Legends of Tomorrow Gets Stuck in a Time Loop

Matthew

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Starting off intensely, we see Zari racing against time to get Gideon to execute some simulation program that she wants to keep a secret from the team. Things don’t go as planned because the Legends come back from a mission that involved Napoleon Bonaparte and disco clothing. While Nate and Amaya leave the bridge to discuss the fact that they just had sex during a mission, Sara gets pissed at Zari when Gideon stops working and she finds out about Z’s secret simulation.

Taking the captain position hard, Sara argues with Zari about it, despite Ray’s concern about her mood given Constantine’s warning. Zari reveals that she wanted to find loopholes in history so she could exploit them to avoid the dark future she knows as 2042. As Zari goes to fix the ship, she is hit with some neon fluid from a tube. As she tries to see if Gideon is back online, the Waverider explodes…

…and we’re back to Zari arguing with Sara.

Zari tries to figure out what’s going on, first talking to Mick, then snooping on Nate and Amaya’s post intercourse conversation, and finally Ray to no avail. In the end, the ship explodes again and we’re back to Sara, who ends up twisting Zari’s arm by accident. She ends up being taken to the med bay where she gets sedated and thus back again with the day starting over. Her next move is to try to explain the whole thing to the crew, but it still doesn’t work for multiple attempts.

Until Nate believes her and tells Zari to talk to him again and quotes “Groundhog Day,” which leaves me wondering why pop culture can’t update its timeloop references. Say “Edge of Tomorrow” or even “Happy Death Day” if we want current. Nevertheless, as soon as she wakes up again, she goes to Nate. The two theorize that the explosion comes from within the ship instead of some outside force. Some other stuff happens, but in the end, the ship explodes.


Zari’s newest attempt starts with her teaming up with Nate to go after Rory. It takes a few other attempts, but they eventually figure out that, despite his initial suspicious behavior—doing his laundry—Mick’s was only hiding his novel. They go check on Ray, who ends up revealing, rather easily, that Constantine had told him to kill Sara when Mallus takes over. The duo decide to go after Sara now, fearing that she may be possessed and exploding the ship. Ray shrinks Zari and himself in order to spy on Sara.

What they find is rather the opposite: just a flirtatious facetime conversation with Ava — to quote the poet, “This is a gays only event, go home!”. The two talk about their own experiences being bossy and how Sara has faith in Zari, but she ends up dodging one of Ava’s attempts to go over to the ship and hang out. Sadly, Sara ends up crushing Ray and Zari, as she thought they were a fly.

Once again, Zari goes to Nate, but she’s feeling quite tired. Nate suggests they have fun with it given the lack of consequences, so cue the fun montage. Eventually, the fun runs out and Zari tries to kill herself, but fails. This time though, Sara manages to believe Zari’s story and enlists the whole team to look for bombs. The Legends try the trash compactor and find Gary, the Bureau agent. Mick takes a device from his hand and destroys it, thinking it was the bomb, but instead, it was what originated the time loop: Gary had boarded the Waverider because of an alert that the ship would explode so he had created the one-hour loop which would give enough time for the time to defuse the bomb. So now, the device is broken and the team has five minutes to find the bomb before they truly die.

Using the Chekhovian move, Sara finds the bomb inside a disc play. If I understant it correctly, Napoleon had gotten his hand on a CD player with ABBA’s “Waterloo” in it, which he had used to win the war? Something campy like that, for sure. Seeing as the bomb will explode, Zari locks herself with the bomb in a force field so she can say her last words to the team which, as expected, is mostly advice she picked up from her time during the time loop.

As the timer stops, Zari finds herself in the company of humanoid!Gideon, the same one that kissed Rip Hunter that one time (I’m glad they end up finding ways to bring Amy Pemberton on board!). Gideon tells her that, in real life, Zari is healing at the med bay, but her mind is with Gideon at her matrix. Turns out Zari’s simulator had not only worked but done all the job regarding the timeloops to show that Zari needs the Legends’ help in order to find the loophole to save 2042.

As she wakes up, Zari gets Ray to confess his secret to Sara so she can prove that she indeed was inside the matrix. As Sara and Zari have a chat, it circles between their will to save people and a nice little loophole that may just give Z a chance to spare her brother’s life.

Capping off the episode, we finally meet Firestorm’s replacement after the CW confirmed it a few weeks back: Rip Hunter tracks down Wally West in China to ask him for help to save the universe.


Images Courtesy of The CW.

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