DC Television Universe, Episode 22, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Season 4 (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in November 2019, our DC Television Universe or DCTU Series panel – including moderator Kylie, Hilary, Kyle, Spencer, Kristen, and Nick – reconvenes Around the Water Cooler for the twenty-second episode of our DCTU ongoing series.  In this episode, the panel discusses Season 4 of the Arrowverse’s second spin-off, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. If you have not watched any of Legends, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think, and/or if there are other shows you’re interested in CPU! covering, below; email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com; or check out our Guestbook at the website, our Facebook page, our Twitter (@cpupodcast), or our Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite). Until next time, until next episode…buh bye!

Executive Producer/Chief Couch Potato: Kylie C. Piette
Associate Producers: Krista Pennington and Selene Rezmer

Editor: Kylie C. Piette
Logo: Rebecca Wallace
Marketing Graphic Artist: Krista Pennington

Theme Song:
Written by: Sarah Milbratz
Singers: Sarah Milbratz, Amy McDaniel, Kelsey Sprague
Keyboard: Kelsey Sprague
Bass: Ian McDonough
Guitar: Christian Somerville
Engineer/Production: Kyle Aspinall/Christian Somerville

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: DC Television Universe Series, Episode 22, “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” – Season 4, the DCTU Panel’s Review and Recap (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who:  “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” is a superhero/action-adventure drama centered on events and characters inspired by the DC Comic Universe, which airs on the CW.

What: “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” a series developed by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg, and Phil Klemmer, which is based on characters from DC Comics. This series is considered a spin-off from Arrow and is part of the so-called “Arrowverse.”

SYNOPSIS

As the series starts, when Vandal Savage murders Time Master Rip Hunter’s family, he goes rogue. Intending to stop Savage, Rip recruits a team consisting of Ray Palmer / The Atom (Brandon Routh); Sara Lance / White Canary (Caity Lotz); Martin Stein and Jefferson “Jax” Jackson, who together become the hero Firestorm; Kendra Saunders / Hawkgirl; Carter Hall / Hawkman; Leonard Snart / Captain Cold; and Mick Rory / Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell) to stop him. These so-called “legends” discover that the Time Masters are backing Savage in his domination of the world in 2166 in order to facilitate a successful repulsion of a Thanagarian invasion.  The adventures of the “Legends,” however, change each season, as do the members of the Legends themselves.

When: Season 4 aired on the CW from October 22, 2018, to May 20, 2019, with a total of 16 episodes.

Where: The action is set in various locations throughout the DC Television Universe/Arrowverse and throughout time, as the heroes in this show travel through time and space in an attempt to stop villains who aim to alter significant events in the past, present, and future.

Why: To find out why individual podcast panelists started watching this show, listen to the first Legends of Tomorrow podcast episode via the link below!  It should be noted that CPU! Chief Couch Potato Kylie previously picked up this show during the 2015 Fall Preview, noting:

True, it’s yet another comic book property in an entertainment complex completely inundated and saturated with them – super heroes are what’s cool nowadays.  True, the premise involves digging through the annals of the DC Comic Book Universe to put forth some of the company’s less omnipresent characters (The Atom, Firestorm, Hawkgirl, to name a few).  Yet: it also has Victor Garber, Wentworth Miller, and freaking Rory Pond – Arthur Darvill himself!…DC is behind in the comic book race against Marvel, and the company knows it…[it’s a] must watch.  It’s fate or something.

How – as in How’s It Going? – THOUGHTS

This is the twenty-second episode in CPU!’s DCTU series.  Here are only the prior DC’s Legends of Tomorrow episodes in the series (as we flush out seasons of all Arrowverse shows, though, older episodes will only be searchable via the website – click the upper right dialog box in the header). Listen to each episode here:

DCTU Series, Episode 4, “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” Season 1

DCTU Series, Episode 7, “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” Season 2

DCTU Series, Episode 13, “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” Season 3

DCTU Series, Episode 17, the DCTU Mid-Season Roundup, 2018-2019

In our last DCTU episode, our cheeky and feisty DCTU panel – namely Kyle, Hilary, Spencer, Kristen, and Nick – continued addressing the most recent full seasons of each of the four “Arrowverse” series in order of the airing of each season finale by discussing the fourth season of Supergirl. Tonight’s episode finds the panel returning to the Water Cooler for the fourth and final time this year to talk the fourth season of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, in the twenty-second episode of our DCTU series.  

Thus, tonight’s episode features another spicy, although more agreeable than usual, discussion of Legends’ latest season.  The discussion is less spicy than normal because this season maintained its good standing with a focused story thread, which our panelists either found slightly better or slightly worse than the third season, depending upon each panelist’s perspective, in addition to the continued complete and total embrace of the campy quality of storytelling in general, as the writers and producers seemed to realize that the show works better as “wacky adventures through time” coupled with an overarching story rather than merely one or the other. Furthermore, the show once again features new characters that were, in and of themselves, sometimes more compelling than some other characters that have appeared on the show and/or that have come and gone from the cast roster.  The panel, in fact, remains in agreement that Legends improved so much, the show now ranks as the favorite or second favorite of the four Arrowverse shows for each panelist.

This particular episode was recorded in November 2019, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of Season 4 of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite), Pinterest (@cpupodcast), or email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, our Apple/iTunes channel, our Stitcher Radio channel , find us on Google Play, or on Spotify (!) to keep track of brand new episodes.  In the meantime, let us know what you think!  Comment or review us in any of the above forums – we’d love your feedback!

Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly!  Next Wednesday is the day before Thanksgiving, so CPU! is going on holiday! We plan to re-run our latest Doctor Who episodes, as our Who panel prepares to reunite in advance of the “early 2020” release of Series 12, featuring the Doctor as female, with our hot take on Jodie Whittaker’s first series, the eleventh, as the titular doctor. Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions

1) REPEAT QUESTION: Does Amaya’s (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) interference in her own history cause any ripple effects?  Is it the same Amaya that returns to the Waverider? If so, what if she carries on with Nate and becomes pregnant?  Time (ahem) will tell here, we expect.

NEW ANSWER: Amaya, it seems, is back in Zambesi as she always planned. Instead, the Waverider encounters a shape-shifter by the name of Charlie, also played by Richardson-Sellers, who, through happenstance of proximity to the ship as well as other magical interferences, ends up getting stuck in Amaya’s form, though with a distinctive Charlie look. Listen to the podcast episode for reactions to this development.

2) With Constantine (Matt Ryan) joining the Legends and announcing to the other characters that allowing Mallus to break through the magical plane imprisoning him weakened the barrier holding back other magical creatures, what kinds of other creatures will we see?  Will there be some Hellblazer meets the Legends of Tomorrow?  Are there really going to be unicorns and other mythical creatures, as panelists Kyle and the media have teased?  What sorts of situations will the Legends face?

ANSWER: We meet all manner of magical creatures: unicorns, minotaurs, weird werewolf-like creatures, dwarfs, trolls, dragons, and so on. A taste of Hellblazer emerges in the back half of the season after Ray Palmer aka The Atom is possessed by Constantine’s nemesis, in the form of his former lover, Desmond. The demon’s name is Neron, and he uses Ray as a pawn to tempt Constantine to hell. Constantine obliges this bait to save Ray but encounters all manner of hell-spawn from his past, including the soul he lost over which he has the most regrets: Astra, whose spirit has grown to adulthood in Hell. The Legends essentially spend their season tracking down these magical creatures, which have breached the plane of magical existence, to contain them, as they cause all kinds of havoc, including a particularly zealous fairy godmother. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

3) What circumstances bring Amaya back to the Waverider?  Alternatively, is it really Amaya who returns…?

ANSWER: It is not. It is Charlie in Amaya’s form, but she joins the team anyway.

4) Is Rip Hunter really and truly dead?  In, like, the permanent sense?

ANSWER: So far, Rip Hunter appears to be really, truly, and in all senses permanently dead.

5) Is Damien Darhrk truly dead, since he was possessed by Mallus, who was defeated by the Legends in the season finale?

ANSWER: So far, Damien Darkh appears to be truly dead, though he is a wily sorcerer type. Maybe Constantine will encounter him in Hell in the next season?

6) Ray Palmer gives Nora Darhrk her father’s time stone with the intention of enabling her to escape from Time Bureau incarceration.  Courtney Ford, Routh’s real life wife and the actress behind Nora, has been promoted to series regular for Season 4.  How will Nora reappear next season?  Since the two characters seemed to have some chemistry, owing to their real life marriage, will there be romance for Ray in the future?

ANSWER: Nora runs for awhile but, ultimately, at Ray’s behest, turns herself into the Time Bureau to make amends for her misdeeds as well as her father’s, as he was none too nice. Also, it is clear that Ray and Nora have mutual crushing feelings on each other, so art imitates life and vice versa on the Legends of Tomorrow – today!

7) There additionally seemed to be some flirtatious sparks between Zari (Tala Ashe) and Jonah Hex.  Will we see more of Jonah in service to this budding flirtation?  Is there any chance, still or at all, of him becoming a regular character, next season or otherwise?

ANSWER: Jonah Hex does not return in Season 4. Instead, Zari gets it on with Nate Heywood aka Steel (Nick Zano), although they appear to legitimately care about each other. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

8) What other DC characters will visit this show next season?

ANSWER: Vandal Savage makes an odd cameo reappearance. Swamp Thing gets a few non-sly or subtle references in a spirited episode in which the Legends, Constantine included, have to pose as camp counselors. Other than that, the Legends stay trim and focused upon their decidedly non-DC magical obstacles.

9) An actress named Ramona Young will be portraying “Alaska Yu,” who does not seem to have a clear DC counterpart, in Season 4.  What clues will the show reveal about this new character?

ANSWER: The character’s name is actually Mona Wu. She’s very into fairy tales and, through happenstance via sandwich delivery, becomes a caretaker for the magical prisoners housed by the Time Bureau; that is, until she gets scratched by a werewolf-like creature called a kaupe and succumbs to the curse of wolfie transformations. Unfortunately, she also becomes the panel’s least-liked new addition to the Legends fold. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

10) If Neron is the Big Bad on “Legends,” will we be meeting any Green Lanterns or related? How did John Constantine (Matt Ryan) piss him off?

ANSWER: No Green Lanterns visit the Legends in Season 4. Constantine pissed Neron off by sending him to be imprisoned in hell in the first place with his awesome sorcery skills. Neron holds grudges and likes revenge. Same story, different day.

11) What is Biff, er, Henry Heywood’s (guest: Tom Wilson) master plan? Capture magical fugitives…and then what? What is the top secret plan to which he keeps referring?

ANSWER: It turns out that Biff, er, Hank just wants to build an amusement park in homage to his son, Nate’s, childhood fantasy of a theme park featuring magical creatures that bears no resemblance to any Mouse House or Jurassic type park. Unfortunately, he’s too cryptic for that information to come out until the end of the season and just seems like an ultra-focused, cold father type that leaves Nate feeling unloved. Same story, different day.

11) Why is Mona Wu a thing? What is her purpose? What is Gary’s purpose for that matter?

ANSWER: None of the panel can ascertain these answers, and we are bothered by the thought. The panel generally found Mona only (in some cases) good in small doses, and some of our panel also rumbles that Gary is worth about as much in the long run. Ultimately, her purpose was to care for magical creatures until she became one, and then the Legends adopt her like a stray cat, as they are wont to do with any super-powered being they encounter. The trouble is, her value-added is negligible at best. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

12) Will Nate Heywood aka Steel ever leave bureaucracy and rejoin the Waverider team?

ANSWER: He will, and he does. The magical creature problem becomes more personal when his crush, Zari, gets intimately involved and after the presumed (SPOILER) death of his dad. That’s a watch the season type answer, though, as Nate’s character progression develops over the course of the whole season.

13) Why is Desmond’s death a fixed point in time? Why is Neron, wearing Desmond’s face, interested in Hank Heywood?

ANSWER: Desmond/Neron’s evolution becomes a call to Constantine to join the Legends as well as to save souls that Neron threatens, leaving Constantine with no choice but to allow history to stay its course. Neron sees Hank as a personal pawn, someone to manipulate to gain access to the Time Bureau and the Legends. Unfortunately, it is Neron who destroys Hank in the end.

New Questions

1) Will Season 5 be all Hellblazer come alive, since the Season 4 finale features coins related to souls of real, historical serial killers and general scourges to humanity that Constantine’s treasured Astra may somehow unleash on this world/Constantine with help from forces in Hell aiming to seek vengeance against the sorcerer?

2) What happens to Zari now that the timeline has been changed? Will she find the Legends again? Will she find Nate? Do they have the sort of clandestine love that would allow them to transcend such obstacles?

3) It has been announced that Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford are leaving the show, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, after the fifth season. What swansong will the writers provide for The Atom and Nora Dahrk, especially since the writers have been under-utilizing the Atom quite a bit over the last couple of seasons?

4) The panel grows weary of Ava (Jes Macallan) and Sara. Why must the show force obstacles into this relationship when they have enough supernatural, extraterrestrial, and out-of-time obstacles to contend with in the end?

5) What happened to that dragon?

6) Will Mona be a returning character? The panel votes no. The panel also votes to give Gary a bit less, unless he wants to dress in the Flash costume some more and interact with a shocked Barry Allen from Central City, present day.

7) In fact, it would be a fun scene if Oliver Queen, Barry, and Kara Danvers got to see the Legends’ take on them, circa the Legends Season 4 finale. Make it happen, writers!

PARTING SHOTS

Our DCTU panel continues to recommend DC’s Legends of Tomorrow provisionally, generally regarding Season 4 to be almost as good as (or, in panelist Kyle’s opinion better than) Season 3, the panel’s vote for best or second best of all of the Legends seasons to date. In fact, some panelists no longer think that a potential viewer needs to be a comic book fan, DC or otherwise, to enjoy the show, nor would such a viewer need to appreciate Doctor Who, as the show has consciously moved away from the obvious parallels to the latter, particularly with the elimination of the Rip Hunter character in Season 3.  On the other hand, some panelists feel that to truly appreciate the Legends, one must already be invested in the other Arrowverse shows, at least marginally, to understand the references and in-jokes constantly cracked on this romp of an adventure.

The panelists additionally continue to opine that the writers and producers have finally reached a suave and entertaining balance between “campy adventure of the week” and solid, season-long story around which the characters can compellingly unify while consciously embracing those aspects of the story that, though silly, set Legends apart from the other shows in the Arrowverse.  To that end, Legends remains the favorite of the four shows for half of the panel; plus, the panel feels that the writers have proven that they know what they’ve got, and how to tell the story with what they’ve got consistently, given the entertaining and engaging Season 4, which features panel favorite Matt Ryan/John Constantine as a series regular as well as a fresh story thread. Thus, all panelists sustain both hopeful and excited anticipation for what Season 5 may bring, particularly with the promise that Constantine is sticking around, even as the panelists almost expected, if not wished for, cancellation following the second season – which is quite the turnaround indeed.

LOOKING AHEAD

The fourth season of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is slated to premiere on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at 9:00 PM on the CW.  CPU!’s next DCTU episode, our twenty-third in the series, will focus upon the mightily foreshadowed, much supersized, magnificently large, massively touted crossover event, Crisis on Infinite Earths, which our panel will discuss after the New Year and after the conclusion of the event..  Like, follow, and/or subscribe to the blog, iTunes, YouTube, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, or our social media accounts to stay abreast of new episodes in the DCTU podcast series as well as of new episodes for all of our podcast panels!  And, if you feel so inclined, please leave us a review. Thank you!

DC Television Universe, Episode 21: Supergirl, Season 4 (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in October 2019, our DC Television Universe or DCTU Series panel – including moderator Kylie, Hilary, Kyle, Spencer, Kristen, and Nick – reconvenes Around the Water Cooler for the twenty-first episode of our DCTU ongoing series.  In this episode, the panel discusses Season 4 of the Arrowverse’s fourth spin-off, Supergirl. If you have not watched any of Supergirl, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think, and/or if there are other shows you’re interested in CPU! covering, below; email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com; or check out our Guestbook at the website, our Facebook page, our Twitter (@cpupodcast), or our Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite). Until next time, until next episode…buh bye!

Executive Producer/Chief Couch Potato: Kylie C. Piette
Associate Producers: Krista Pennington and Selene Rezmer

Editor: Kylie C. Piette
Logo: Rebecca Wallace
Marketing Graphic Artist: Krista Pennington

Theme Song:
Written by: Sarah Milbratz
Singers: Sarah Milbratz, Amy McDaniel, Kelsey Sprague
Keyboard: Kelsey Sprague
Bass: Ian McDonough
Guitar: Christian Somerville
Engineer/Production: Kyle Aspinall/Christian Somerville

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: DC Television Universe Series, Episode 21, “Supergirl” – Season 4, the DCTU Panel’s Review and Recap (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who:  “Supergirl” is a superhero action-adventure drama based on the DC Comics character Supergirl (Kara Zor-El), created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino, which currently airs on the CW, fall to spring Sundays at 9:00 PM.

What: “Supergirl,” a series developed by Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti, and Andrew Kreisberg (the latter two having previously created Arrow and The Flash) and starring Melissa Benoist in the title role.  This series is considered a spin-off from Arrow and is part of the so-called “Arrowverse.” Supergirl is a costumed super-heroine who is the cousin to Superman and one of the last surviving Kryptonians.

SYNOPSIS

Kara Zor-El (Benoist) was sent to Earth from the doomed planet Krypton as a 13-year-old by her parents Zor-El and Alura.  Alura gave her instructions to protect her infant cousin Kal-El, and informed her that she, like her cousin, would have extraordinary powers under Earth’s yellow sun. Kara’s spacecraft was knocked off course by a shock wave from Krypton’s explosion and forced into the Phantom Zone, where it stayed for 24 years. During this period, time stopped for Kara, and when the spacecraft eventually escaped the Phantom Zone, she still appeared to be a 13-year-old girl. By the time the spacecraft crash landed on Earth, Kal-El had grown up and become Superman. After helping her out of the craft, Superman took Kara to be adopted by his friends, the Danvers family. The series begins eleven years later, when the now 24-year-old Kara is learning to embrace her powers after previously hiding them.

When: Season 4 aired from October 14, 2018, to May 19, 2019, on the CW, with a total of 22 episodes.

Where: The action is primarily set in the fictional National City, presumably a West Coast location in the DC Comics Universe.

Why: To find out why individual podcast panelists started watching this show, listen to the podcast episode covering Season 1 via the link below!  It should be noted that CPU! Chief Couch Potato Kylie previously picked up this show during the 2015 Fall Preview, noting:

Pro: Melissa Benoist doesn’t offend me.  As the erstwhile Marley on Glee, she’s actually the only [new] New Direction-er that didn’t annoy the pants off me.  Pro: Dr. Lexie Gray (Chyler Leigh) plays Kara Zor-El’s adopted sister, and her departure was one of a series of missteps that paved my shark-jumping abandonment of Grey’s Anatomy. I missed her.  I do believe the “adopted sister” motif deviates from the canon slightly, but then again, Supergirl does not enjoy the consistency of the threads underlying the Man of Steel’s long history.  Pro: James “Jimmy” Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) is black.  Hey, that doesn’t often happen.  Pro: this is not Smallville’s version of the same character.  I despised their take on Supergirl and the actress who played her.  Con: this seems very teen drama relatively speaking; despite Kara being 24, according to the synopsis, Marley grows into her cape in her own version of Smallville? Could get very old very quickly and be a bit too derivative of the Superman tellings.Con: Ally McBeal herself (Calista Flockhart), post-face-lift and scary contacts, plays the editor.  Con: who could they possibly stunt cast as cousin Kal-El, i.e. Supes the Man himself? Because they should stunt cast him, even though they’ve already said they won’t.  I think they must (is that who Dean Cain is playing…someone freaking page Tom Welling already!?  Or, Henry Cavill if one must).  The pros outweigh the cons as far as adding it to my already miles long list, plus it’s a DC property, so I’m along for the ride.  I just hope that the earnestness that Melissa Benoist brings to her roles renders her a convincing “Kara Zor-El.”

How – as in How’s It Going? – THOUGHTS

This is the twenty-first episode in CPU!’s DCTU series.  Here are only the prior Supergirl episodes in the series; as we flush out seasons of all Arrowverse shows, older episodes will be searchable via the website – click the upper right dialog box in the header, the picture of the couch full of TV watchers. Listen to each episode here:

DCTU Series, Episode 5, “Supergirl,” Season 1

DCTU Series, Episode 8, “Supergirl,” Season 2

DCTU Series, Episode 16, “Supergirl,” Season 3

DCTU Series, Episode 17, the DCTU Mid-Season Roundup, 2018-2019

In our last DCTU episode, our cheeky and feisty DCTU panel – namely Kyle, Hilary, Spencer, Kristen, and Nick – continued addressing the most recent full seasons of each of the four “Arrowverse” series in order of the airing of each season finale by discussing the fifth season of The Flash. Tonight’s episode finds the panel returning to the Water Cooler for the third time this go-round to talk the fourth season of Supergirl, in the twenty-first episode of our DCTU series.  The discussion herein heavily dissects the season-long focus on villain Agent Liberty (Sam Witwer), on the surprising appearance of Superman ultimate baddie Lex Luthor (guest: Jon Cryer), and on how the National City section of the Arrowverse is faring as a whole.  In fact, the panelists note that Supergirl, in terms of production, writing quality, and entertainment value, continued to deteriorate in overall production quality, particularly in writing and direction and so much so that the panel, again, spent a large amount of this discussion arguing over which property could be considered worse right now, in our would-be expert opinions: this spin-off version of the “Superman” universe or Arrow, which has not consistently been a draw for our DCTU panel for several seasons now.  The discussion, therefore, is certainly spicy, as always, and may even be borderline harsh; however, the panelists, especially those devoted to the “Superman” and “Supergirl” side of DC, continue to find this deterioration in quality and in story direction to more than a little disappointing.  Moderator and Chief CP Kylie, i.e. me, continues to consider this plummet in presentation as “soul crushing.”  Hey, I really love the Superman/Supergirl legacy and mythos and am on the struggle bus when it comes to the current direction of Supergirl.

This particular episode was recorded in October 2019, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of Season 4 of Supergirl. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite), Pinterest (@cpupodcast), or email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, our iTunes channel, our Stitcher Radio channel , and/or find us on Google Play to keep track of brand new episodes.  In the meantime, let us know what you think!  Comment or review us in any of the above forums – we’d love your feedback!

Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly! Next week, a new panel gathers at the Water Cooler to begin a three-part Retrospective miniseries talking erstwhile CW comedy drama Jane the Virgin, a highly requested show for Couch Potato-led discussion here at the podcast.  Stay tuned for the first part of said miniseries, when we ruminate upon the first two seasons of the critically acclaimed satire of telenovelas! Bueno!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions

1) REPEAT QUESTION: Will Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) be driven to evil impulses, either by her genetic link to Lionel or by her grooming from scorning adoptive mother Lillian (since, spoiler, Lena’s biological mother was a mistress of her father Lionel’s), as her brother Lex was?

REPEAT(ISH) ANSWER: Though Lena still walks on the good side of the moral coin, she clearly displays the genetic ambition and need to control the powerful items and people around her, almost to the same ego-maniacal level of her brother.  She is quick to learn how to fashion Kryptonite and to (SPOILER) apparently cure cancer that her brother Lex inflicted upon himself.  She seems capable of quite a lot…but she is not evil.  Yet.

2) REPEAT QUESTION: Will Supergirl ever visit her cousin Superman (guest: Tyler Hoechlin) in Metropolis and help him out?  Will Superman appear next season?  The panel enthusiastically votes yes – and sooner rather than later – to this eventuality.

NEW ANSWER: Clark Kent aka Superman appears in Season 4 in the Arrowverse crossover event entitled “Elseworlds.”  Many events happen in worlds else than our own; look, not all jokes have to be grammatically correct! Listen to our “Elseworlds” review episode to find out what those are because they are mucho spoiler-ific (and you should know what they are by now if you are following the Arrowverse, gentle listener).

3) Are they truly gearing to launch a new “Superman” television show with the potential and foretold return of Superman, as played by Tyler Hoechlin, and the casting of Lois Lane with Grimm alumna Elizabeth Tulloch, as the panel and the press have speculated and/or reported?

ANSWER: No new pilots have yet been confirmed, but with seeds planted in “Elseworlds “and now with the appearance of Jon Cryer, who plays a stellar and universally praised (by our panel) Lex Luthor, our panel is even hungrier for the possibility of a “Superman” series or a series combining Superman and Supergirl, particularly since Supergirl has struggled to find a fundamental tone and plausible story direction for several seasons. Listen to the podcast episode for the panel’s various rants on the subject.

4) Is the Kara double that appears at the end of the season a “Bizarro” version of Supergirl?  Or, is the show appropriating the “Red Sun” Elseworlds story originally attributed to Superman?

ANSWER: The answer is b). The show appropriated the “Red Sun” Elseworlds comic story by dubbing Kara’s Russian (more aptly, fictional country Kasnian) double “Red Daughter.” The panel is not here for it. Listen to the podcast episode for the panel’s one or two rants on the subject.

5) What is J’onn J’onzz (David Harewood) going to do now that he has stepped down from and has presumably left the DEO?  Will the Martian Manhunter still feature on Supergirl at all?  Is Mr. Harewood requesting a recurring status like his cast-mate, Jeremy Jordan?

ANSWER: J’onn seems a bit aimless in Season 4. He proposes that he will start a detective outfit, like the J’onn J’onzz of the comics, but he doesn’t get very far in his detecting. He mostly spends time chasing after Superman anti-hero Manchester Black and various alien entities threatened by the anti-alien racism of season B-villain Agent Liberty (Witwer). He does feature but in a strictly supporting character way, there as always to aid Kara and Alex (Chyler Leigh) but to otherwise be sidelined for much of the season, at least until Manchester gets saucy with his team of antihero allies, the Elite. So far, Mr. Harewood remains a show regular, but if the panelists were him, we would renegotiate our respective contracts….

6) Since James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) reveals to National City that he is Guardian, and since Winn has left the DEO to go to the future with Mon-El, will James still be Guardian?  The panel rejects this potential future.

ANSWER: James aka “Jimmy” does not take up the Guardian mantle, except once or twice, in Season 4. And you know what? None of us missed it. It was an interesting idea, but it didn’t really work. Fortunately, others could become “Guardian,” if the Arrowverse producers and show-runners wanted to re-purpose that character, but having James Olsen, in all of his James-ness, do it never really sat well with any of the CPU! DCTU panelists.

7) Where is the relationship between James/Jimmy and Lena going?  Will Lena become evil like her brother, Lex?  Will we get to see Lex this coming season, in any form?

ANSWER: James/Jimmy and Lena make an honest romantic go of it for most of Season 4, but when Lena’s ambition drives her to use Harun-El on her brother Lex and to do some other shady business with that old black Kryptonite, Jimmy can’t go along for the ride. Lena still isn’t evil but continues to walk the line of moral ambiguity, leaving the CPU! DCTU panelists scratching heads in frustration and wondering whether the show is going to make a choice or leave her straddling that moral fence, forever in the shadow of either her brother/family or of her best friend’s secret identity, Supergirl. Of course, Lex does appear this season and drops the bombshell, which he somehow deduced of his own accord, to his sister: Kara is Supergirl (does this mean he knows that Clark is Superman?), and Lena is none too happy about the delayed honesty. Of course, that reveal is uncovered in the season finale, so we have Season 5 to see how that dynamic plays out. Thanks, Mr. Luthor. A pleasure, as always.

8) How is it that Lena learns to make Kryptonite and so fast?  Will she make other colors of Kryptonite, since she reproduces the Black Kryptonite from Argo City in addition to the garden variety irradiated Green Kryptonite? What is she planning to do with the Black Kryptonite she makes at the end of Season 3?

ANSWER: While Lena seems to display multiple levels of genius, her rapid uncovering of the Black Kryptonite and other Kryptonite formulas is startling at best. She does engage in some morally querulous testing methods, but even then, unlocking the secrets of the synthesis of an irradiated hunk of blown up planet seems miraculous, even in this comics-based universe. She sticks with Black Kryptonite (rather than diverting to other colors, besides green of course) because she sees it as a cure-all: make humans super, and they will never suffer disease, injury, or possibly death and can also defend themselves against the barrage of alien onslaughts by which Earth 32 (or whatever number this is) seems besieged. Of course, her rush to scientific progress causes all sorts of collateral damage, including to her one-time boyfriend Jimmy and to Ben Lockwood aka Agent Liberty, both of whom inject the substance, gain super-abilities, and suffer coma-inducing and other side effects as a result of their rash decision-making and Lena’s somewhat faulty scientific methods.

9) Will Kara communicate with and/or visit her apparently alive mother Alura (Erica Durance) further?  How?

ANSWER: No. Alura, as Erica Durance or otherwise, does not appear in Season 4. Methinks Kara needs a long-distance plan.

10) Since Brainy (aka Brainiac-5, Jesse Rath) decides to stay in the past and to help Supergirl and her friends, and since he alludes to “the evil one” of his AI “relatives,” will we see Brainiac Prime in Season 4?  Is the Kara double a Brainiac creation? Is the Kara double Brainiac him/itself?

ANSWER: The Kara double, aka “Red Daughter,” is not a creation of Brainiac in any generation but of Lex Luthor and is, therefore, not a Brainiac generation herself. Listen to the podcast episode for details. Brainy, meanwhile, does have a momentary glitch when we see Brainiac Prime’s primary programming shine through for one brief, magical episode, but it doesn’t last very long and is rather anticlimactic when the other side of that whole situation manifests. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

11) Presuming that Livewire does not truly die but transforms into the all-electricity version of herself in Season 3, will we see her in this true form in Season 4?

ANSWER: No. Livewire does not appear in Season 4, which is kind of too bad. She’s electrifying!

12) Why is Lena Luthor truly experimenting with Black Kryptonite/Harun-El on Supergirl? What is she really hoping to accomplish?

ANSWER: As above, Lena wants to make humans super as a cure-all for human flaws, and, really, to make them able to defend against all of the super-powered aliens roaming the Earth. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

14) Will we see more of Clark Kent aka Superman (guest: Tyler Hoechlin) or Lois Lane (guest: Elizabeth Tulloch) on this show?

ANSWER: This question was posed during the Roundup, after “Elseworlds.” The answer, after the mid-season crossover “Elseworlds,” is not so far.

15) Just how many versions of Parasite are there in this universe?

ANSWER: So far: too many!

16) How much more of a factor will Ben Lockwood aka Agent Liberty be this season?

ANSWER: Ben is around the whole season, played like the fiddle he is by Lex Luthor. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

17) Why does Kara Danvers aka Supergirl even need the DEO? Superman isn’t employed…

ANSWER: Well, she doesn’t get her job back in Season 4’s back half, but Colonel Lauren Haley (April Parker Jones) does ultimately support her in the end. We say: Girl! Get yourself a consultancy contract, and call it a day.

18) Why should we care about Nia Nal aka Dreamer (Nicole Maines)?

ANSWER: Dreamer takes on a significant role substituting for Supergirl when Red Daughter does bad, no good things and makes Supergirl Public Enemy Number One in a largely predictable subplot that dies a quick death, owing to the machinations of megalomaniac Lex Luthor. Kara hides out as reporter about town, no Supergirl allowed, while Dreamer does the work of superhero for her. Unfortunately, the panel found the Dreamer character rather milquetoast, lacking overall character development, and some panelists took issue with the fact that she is championed as a “cause” rather than developed as an interesting side character with an unusual power. Listen to the podcast episode for various rants on the subject (there was much ranting all around, in fact).

New Questions

1) Will much of Supergirl’s fifth season, first half, be devoted to development toward the foretold, much ballyhooed, mid-season mega-crossover event, “Crisis on Infinite Earths?” And just how much?

2) How is that J’onn J’onzz has a brother now? And why is he on Earth? Do the Supergirl writers even known the Martian Manhunter story?

3) Lex isn’t really dead – or dead for long – right? We predict that Lex will factor heavily in “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” since the Superman character seems to be the crossover focal point, what with all the stunt casting, like a certain erstwhile Smallville dreamboat Tom Welling.

4) How are they going to write Jimmy Olsen off the show, since Mehcad Brooks is rumored to be leaving it?

5) Why must Supergirl wear pants? Why is that the major promo focal point? This isn’t 1940, Supergirl writers and producers! Le sigh…

6) If Jimmy is bolting from National City, does that mean Kara will become CEO of CatCo? Or, alternatively, will Lena take a more hands-on approach with the media empire she came to buy in a previous season?

7) The panel tires of Alex’s personal life. Get her some success or some forward momentum. If she is going to date Jimmy’s sister Kelly, then let it stick for awhile.

8) Why was Brainy so quick to revert back to his normal, nice self? It would have been interesting to see Brainiac-5 or Brainiac Prime become more of a factor over the course of the end of the season or as a seed for Season 5.

9) Are they going to give Martian Manhunter anything interesting to do? Please?

10) Can the show improve? The panel is struggling almost more with this show than with Arrow, since Arrow, at least, maintains a tone and seems to try, even if the storytelling is repetitive. Supergirl is literally all over the place, from tone to writing to direction, and the show’s lack of a solid storytelling through-line – particularly given the fact that it had to bring Lex Luthor on as an apparent correction of its most basic and most glaring faux-pas of past seasons – is rendering our panel full of the sadnesses.

PARTING SHOTS

Friends: Supergirl Season 4 even further lost the DCTU panel this go-round.  While some panelists continue to believe that Arrow remains the worst of the Arrowverse four (not including Batwoman, as we are reflecting upon the season that was) on the CW, some of the other panelists, your main moderator and Chief CP included, regard Supergirl as having taken an even bigger, spectacular tumble in quality and in overall entertainment value, to the detriment of the entire series and more-so than the series from which it spun off.  Though all panelists remain appreciative of Benoist’s portrayal of the “Girl of Steel,” owing to her winning charisma and “adorkable” pastiche, the panel is struggling far more with the need for the James/Jimmy Olsen character (though, fortunately, his tenure is near or at its end) and with many of the arcs of the supporting characters, including Alex’s maudlin struggle to come to terms with her identity as a gay woman and with what she wants as a working female in today’s society; with the neutering of the Martian Manhunter character and the general confusion around how any Martian still survives apart from him; and with the supporting characters apart from the original few in general. Plus, the panel quickly reached consensus around the success of Agent Liberty as a villain, in that every panelist thought he was a failure, through no fault of Witwer’s, but as a blunt-force hammering-type allegory of current sociopolitical events, depicted without nuance or actual depth and with as pedantic a bent as possible. As winning as Witwer always is in a “Superman” related property, the use of Agent Liberty struck the panel as far too on the nose, to the point that his presence wore thin and was quickly over-matched and overshadowed by Cryer’s impeccable Lex once he arrived on the scene. Plus, the story around Agent Liberty was poorly written and poorly directed, rendering the entirety of Season 4 into something that felt like a confusing, disjointed hodgepodge of too much story not properly interlaced, no matter how much the viewer is led to believe that Lex orchestrated it all from a Siberian prison cell. 

Furthermore, the focus on romantic relationships on Supergirl, particularly, has only served to bog down and to stymie the show’s creative potential; unlike the other Arrowverse shows, romance remains a main, rather than a supporting, theme of this program, even if Kara is not involved, which becomes tedious and repetitive, at least in the opinions of all of our DCTU panelists. Thus, the panel overwhelmingly began, in this episode, to retract recommendations of Supergirl because Season 4 proved another veritable let-down, in all senses of that turn of phrase, leading the panel to question their trust in the storytelling and direction of the entire series, the first two uneven (now in hindsight) seasons included. Because of the panel’s struggle with Seasons 3 and 4, the panel is apprehensive about the future of Supergirl.  Will the already over-extended producers and writers of the Arrowverse and particularly of this show see the missteps and recover, or will Supergirl continue to steadily decline in quality and in story logic as Arrow has consistently done since its own third season?  Ultimately, so our panel opines, here’s hoping Season 5 improves dramatically, or Supergirl will find its “on the bubble” status more than burst when it comes time for the CW to continue this franchise at the end of the current TV season. Plus, the panel may just riot if your Chief CP induces them to continue watching seasons of similar quality, though many of them are predicting an end sooner rather than later for this Super chapter of the DC Television Universe.

LOOKING AHEAD

The fifth season of Supergirl premiered on Sunday, October 6, 2019, at 9:00 PM on the CW!  The DCTU podcast panel will next reconvene – shortly, in fact – to discuss the fourth season of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, in Episode 22 of our series. Further, the panel will next chat Supergirl in Summer 2019! What about our Mid-Season Roundup, you might ask? Well, we might answer. Since Arrow is ending, Batwoman is beginning, and Legends is not premiering until January, we are not doing a Mid-Season Round-Up of just The Flash and Supergirl this year, as we do not think doing so for just two of the shows would be worth it; however, Episode 23 will focus specifically upon our recap of “Crisis on Infinite Earths” come January 2020 or so!  So, hold onto your capes until then, and stay tuned!

DCTU Series, Episode 20: The Flash, Season 5 (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in August 2019, our DC Television Universe or DCTU Series panel – including moderator Kylie, Hilary, Kyle, Spencer, Kristen, and Nick – reconvenes Around the Water Cooler for the twentieth episode of our DCTU ongoing series.  In this episode, the panel discusses Season 5 of the Arrowverse’s first spin-off, The Flash. If you have not watched any of Arrow, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think, and/or if there are other shows you’re interested in CPU! covering, below; email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com; or check out our Guestbook at the website, our Facebook page, our Twitter (@cpupodcast), or our Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite). Until next time, until next episode…buh bye!

Executive Producer/Chief Couch Potato: Kylie C. Piette
Associate Producers: Krista Pennington and Selene Rezmer

Editor: Kylie C. Piette
Logo: Rebecca Wallace
Marketing Graphic Artist: Krista Pennington

Theme Song:
Written by: Sarah Milbratz
Singers: Sarah Milbratz, Amy McDaniel, Kelsey Sprague
Keyboard: Kelsey Sprague
Bass: Ian McDonough
Guitar: Christian Somerville
Engineer/Production: Kyle Aspinall/Christian Somerville

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: DC Television Universe Series, Episode 20, “The Flash” – Season 5, the DCTU Panel’s Review and Recap (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who:  “The Flash” is a superhero/action/mystery drama centered on events and characters inspired by The Flash franchise of the DC Comic Universe, which airs on the CW, fall to spring Tuesdays at 8:00 PM.

What: “The Flash,” a series developed by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, and Geoff Johns, based on the DC Comics character Barry Allen / The Flash, a costumed superhero crime-fighter with the power to move at superhuman speeds. This series is considered a spin-off from Arrow. The series follows Allen (Grant Gustin), a crime scene investigator who gains super-human speed, which he uses to fight criminals, including others who have also gained superhuman abilities.

SYNOPSIS

After witnessing his mother’s supernatural murder and his father’s wrongful conviction for the crime, Barry Allen (Gustin) is taken in by Detective Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) and his family. Allen becomes a brilliant but socially awkward crime scene investigator for the Central City Police Department. His obsession with his tragic past causes him to become an outcast among his peers; he investigates cold cases, paranormal occurrences, and cutting-edge scientific advancements that may shed light on his mother’s murder. No one believes his description of the crime—that a ball of lightning with the face of a man invaded their home that night—and Allen is fiercely driven to vindicate himself and to clear his father’s name. Fourteen years after his mother’s death, an advanced particle accelerator malfunctions during its public unveiling, bathing the city center with a previously unknown form of radiation during a severe thunderstorm. Allen is struck by lightning from the storm and doused with chemicals in his lab. Awakening after a nine-month coma, he discovers he has the ability to move at superhuman speeds. Dr. Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanaugh), the disgraced designer of the failed particle accelerator, describes Barry’s special nature as “meta-human.” Allen soon discovers that he is not the only one who was changed by the radiation. Allen vows to use his gifts to protect Central City from the escalating violence of meta-human and other criminals. He is aided by a few close friends and associates who guard his secrets.

When: Season 5 aired on the CW from October 9, 2018, to May 14, 2019, with a total of 22 episodes.

Where: The action is set in fictional Central City, one of the primary settings of The Flash franchise.  The action does branch out in the occasional crossover with Arrow to Star City (formerly Starling City) and, occasionally, to other dimensions in a “multi-verse.”

Why: To find out why individual podcast panelists started watching this show, listen to the first Flash podcast episode via the embedded link below! It should be noted that CPU! Chief Couch Potato Kylie previously picked up this show during the 2014 Fall Preview, noting:

The DC comics universe is attempting some major expansions now that Marvel is push and shove proliferating on big and small screens everywhere.  The Flash is a classic hero; he was given an appearance on Smallville, and there is some crossover with Arrow, which I’ve decided to catch up on, since the CW is offering DC Comics a chance to implement those crossovers. Also, I like the choice for the title role. The Flash is a non-flashy guy, almost DC’s equivalent of Spider Man, given an extraordinary ability, as opposed to several.  It could be an engaging new take on an old superhero story.

How – as in How’s It Going? – THOUGHTS

This is the twentieth episode in CPU!’s DCTU series.  Here are only the prior The Flash episodes in the series; as we flush out seasons of all Arrowverse shows, older episodes will be searchable via the website – click the upper right dialog box in the header, the picture of the couch full of TV watchers. Listen to each episode here:

DCTU Series, Episode 3, “The Flash,” Seasons 1-2

DCTU Series, Episode 9, “The Flash,” Season 3

DCTU Series, Episode 15, “The Flash,” Season 4

DCTU Series, Episode 17, the DCTU Mid-Season Roundup, 2018-2019

In our last DCTU episode, our cheeky and feisty DCTU panel – namely Kyle, Hilary, Spencer, Kristen, and Nick – began addressing the most recent full seasons of each of the four “Arrowverse” series in order of the airing of each season finale by discussing the seventh season of Arrow.  Tonight’s episode finds the panel returning to the Water Cooler to talk the fifth season of The Flash in the twentieth episode of our DCTU series.  The discussion herein considers the success of Modern Age villain “Cicada” (Chris Klein); the introduction of Barry and Iris’ daughter, back in time from the future, Nora West-Allen aka “XS” (she is also a speedster, played by Jessica Parker Kennedy); the continued dual nature of Caitlin Snow/Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker); the return of Eobard Thawne aka Reverse Flash (played by Cavanaugh in this iteration); and how the Central City section of the Arrowverse is faring as a whole.  In fact, the panelists’ typically unanimous and stalwart support of The Flash as the best of the CW’s DC Universe offerings continued to wane a little this time, with some of the panelists expressing dissatisfaction with repetitive story-telling and questionable character decisions, while other panelists still see The Flash as the most consistent and, therefore, most enjoyable property of the four (current) Arrowverse shows.

This particular episode was recorded in August 2019, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of Season 5 of The Flash. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite), Pinterest (@cpupodcast), or email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, our iTunes channel, our Stitcher Radio channel , and/or find us on Google Play to keep track of brand new episodes.  In the meantime, let us know what you think!  Comment or review us in any of the above forums – we’d love your feedback!

Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly!  Next Wednesday, our Supernatural panel returns to the Water Cooler to discuss Season 14B, now the penultimate season (we can’t even believe it!), of the long-running fantasy/horror series.  Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions

1) Will Gorilla Grodd return?

ANSWER: Yes! Grodd returns in Episode 15, and he faces off against King Shark in one of the best episodes of the season! Listen to the podcast episode for details.

2) With the appearance of Nora, Barry and Iris’ daughter from the future, how much time will she spend on the show, and which comic story are they trying to channel?  Is it Flashpoint Redux or something else?

ANSWER: Nora lasts the whole season, and the writers seem to be drawing upon a few DC/Flash story lines to weave this particular tale, while also planting seeds for the upcoming and much ballyhooed Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event. It is not Flashpoint Redux, owing to the return of The Flash’s arch nemesis, the Reverse Flash. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

3) Will Ralph aka Elongated Man (Hartley Sawyer) become a permanent member of Team Flash?

ANSWER: Yes! Hartley Sawyer, portraying actor of Ralph Dibny aka Elongated Man, was promoted to series regular in Season 5 and becomes a permanent member of Team Flash.

4) Will the Trickster, as played by Mark Hamill, ever return?

ANSWER: Unknown. Luke Skywalker is still being Luke, and occasionally the Joker, and other stuff that makes him famous, so he is quite busy.

5) Will we see other Barry/Iris future generations, such as Nora’s son Bart Allen, who becomes another incarnation/version of Flash in the comics?

ANSWER: Not in Season 5.

6) Will the show return to more of a classic format: strong villain, an advisory version of Harrison Wells, and Barry being the primary speedster? The panel votes yes; some panelists hope profoundly that the Nora character will not be overused or become too omnipresent in Season 5, though those panelists might be facing profound disappointment as a result.

ANSWER: Yes! Barry is the primary speedster, though he is often accompanied by his daughter from the future, Nora. Harrison “Sherloque” Wells is the adviser of the season, sent to Team Flash by the Council of Wells. He is French and particularly particular about the way his name is pronounced. Meanwhile, the two primary villains of Season 5 were Cicada (and his niece, who takes up the Cicada mantle) and Reverse Flash, who, of course, masterminds everything we see. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

7) What is the writing that Barry uses when he emerges from the Speed Force, and that Nora is using near the end of the season?  Does it mean something?  Is it important? Is it Kryptonian? Is it something else?

ANSWER: It is Speed Force/Time language and does, in fact, signify something very important: the code to the Multi-Verse. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

8) Was Cecile’s (Danielle Nicolet) meta-ability of being able to read minds exclusive to just her pregnancy, as Caitlin initially theorizes, or is Cecile some lingering type of meta herself?  Alternatively, will her baby daughter one day be a meta?

ANSWER: Cecile’s meta ability persists throughout Season 5, despite having had her and Joe’s new baby daughter. As to baby’s potential meta-ness…that remains to be seen.

9) Who is the new female speedster that Jay Garrick said he was training as he transitions into retirement from being Earth 3’s Flash?

ANSWER: Unknown/still a question. The answer to this question was not clarified, unless Jay was suggesting that he was training Nora.

10) The show is seeding the idea that Caitlin might have always had Killer Frost in her, and that her disassociated personality might not have been caused by the particle accelerator explosion in Season 1.  What did cause that split in Caitlin’s past?  How is she able to manifest freezing powers because of it?

ANSWER: It seems that Caitlin’s father, Thomas Snow, a scientist like her mother, experimented with gene therapy and cryo-freezing processes when Caitlin was a child in an attempt to create a cure for devastating illnesses, like ALS, of which Thomas is diagnosed early in Caitlin’s history. He then, somewhat unethically this CP would espouse, tries these therapies on himself as well as on Caitlin as a child subject, which produces early side effects of being able to manipulate ice and cold moisture. Unfortunately, the side effects also produce a type of schizophrenia in both Caitlin and in, later, Thomas, as his experimentation on himself results in a dark personality that he ultimately names “Icicle.” Listen to the podcast episode for further details.

11) Will we learn more of what happened to Barry while he was in the Speed Force in Season 5?

ANSWER: No. We do not learn more about Barry’s time in the Speed Force in Season 5.

12) What is Nora’s “big, big mistake?”  Helping her future dad in the past? Or something else?

ANSWER: Unclear. Was Nora helping her father to foil the Thinker’s satellite-related mega-plans the mistake, as doing so paved the way for the creation of meta-tech and, therefore, the means by which Cicada comes to power? At first, Nora might be referring to this decision as her big mistake; more likely, however, she is referring to her choice to ally herself with Eobard Thawne aka Reverse Flash, as it is his advice that spurs her to make the decision to go back in time and to try to save her father, an event that presents far-reaching consequences on the future timeline. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

13) Will we get to see Eobard Thawne aka Reverse Flash next season (with a plausible explanation as to how and why)?

ANSWER: Yes! And yes! Just listen to the podcast episode already, as we spend some time discussing the clever machinations of Mr. Thawne.

14) Who will be the season-arching villain for Season 5?  Which of Flash’s rogues will appear and/or return in the fifth season?  Will they appear together, as panelist Kyle would like to see?

ANSWER: Cicada, with aiding and abetting by Reverse Flash, constitute the season-arching villains for the fifth season. Other than them, we also are entreated to appearances by Rag Doll, Gorilla Grodd, King Shark, Godspeed, and Bug-Eyed Bandit as rogues rooted in the actual Flash comics. We also meet a host of new villains, who come to power when the Thinker’s satellite of Season 4 is destroyed, creating dark matter-infused technology that Cisco (Carlos Valdes) deems “meta-tech.” To answer panelist Kyle’s wish, Grodd actually faces off against King Shark, who is on the brink of receiving a cure for his metahuman/animal hybrid condition, but who chooses to revert to his shark form to be able to muster the strength to defeat Grodd, in one of the best episodes of the season. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

15) What is Eobard Thawne/Reverse Flash’s (currently played by Tom Cavanaugh) plan on The Flash? Why is he using Nora West-Allen aka XS, Barry Allen and Iris West’s daughter from the future, for his evil? Or, is she working for him and why?

ANSWER: (SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER) Eobard Thawne is in custody in the future because, well, he’s kind of evil and villainous. How is he held there? By the power dampening strengths of Cicada’s dagger, which has somehow become available to future authorities for power dampening purposes and which is plastered to Eobard’s chest, preventing his escape. Nora seeks out Eobard in prison under the guise of seeking further information about her father, who she learns during her early adulthood is, to her surprise and excitement, the Flash. In turn, Eobard, from prison, manipulates Nora’s wistfulness over not having a life with her father, Barry Allen/the Flash, by convincing her to run back in time and to reconnect with her dad, which then leads her to interfere with history by helping her dad against the Thinker, which then leads her to remain behind to get to know him and her mother while devoting effort to correcting history, every so often returning to Eobard in prison in this not-so-distant future to accept his device and direction related to what she should do next. In Nora’s mind, she believes that Eobard is helping her of his own accord because he has no other choice and possibly because he has genuine affection for her (which Iris, played by Candice Patton, also believes to be the case when she follows Nora into the future later in the season). In addition, Eobard provides fatherly advice to the “Little Runner,” particularly with relation to learning how to use her speedster abilities, which had been suppressed through a device employed by the future incarnation of her mother, Iris, throughout her childhood in an effort to avoid repeating what ultimately happens to Barry in this potential future: namely, his disappearance, as forecast by the future newspaper headline in the Time Vault, which most everyone on Team Flash has come to believe is caused by a confrontation with Cicada. It’s twisty, it’s turny, it’s quintessentially a trademark Reverse Flash mastermind ™ – because it’s all done with his own self-preservation in mind. Listen to the podcast episode for further details.

16) What is the little journal, containing presumably Speed Force writing, that Nora is carrying around with her?

ANSWER: The journal contains Time Language recorded in Eobard Thawne’s handwriting. The Time Language contains (SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER) a cipher for what represents the DC Multiverse.

17) How much longer will Orlin Dwyer aka Cicada (Chris Klein) be a factor? The panel has some decidedly mixed reactions to him.

ANSWER: Though an angry, future, and decidedly adult version of Orlin’s niece takes up the mantle of Cicada and ends up murdering her uncle during a quixotic set of violent decisions, she also hallucinates visions of her devoted uncle as she wrestles with the effects of time travel, an apparent connection to Nora fostered by a trip into Grace’s consciousness, and the long-term exposure to dark matter shrapnel lodged in her prefrontal cortex. In essence, Cicada is around for the whole season, whether as Orlin Dwyer or as Grace Dwyer, until young Grace accepts taking a meta-human cure developed by Cisco and Caitlin, which removes the power-creating effects of the shrapnel in Grace’s brain.

New Questions

1) How much of Season 6 will be devoted to setting up the mid-season crossover mega-event Crisis on Infinite Earths? Some of the panel wants a balance of setup and routine Flash shenanigans; some of the panel wants this show particularly to exclusively work toward that setup, since the Flash is central to that story.

2) Where in time is the version of Eobard Thawne that we watch in Season 5? Is he pre-Season 1? Post Crisis on Earth X? A time remnant? Or something else?

3) How much will the show explore the Negative Speed Force in Season 6? Will we see Eobard Thawne again, in his Season 5 incarnation, next season?

4) Panelist Kyle proved giddy in light of the appearance of Godspeed in Season 5. Will we see him again? Will he become a season “big bad?”

5) How will Cisco function and/or be in Season 6 without being Vibe? Will he make the adjustment well? Will he still be with Kamilla at the start of Season 6? Will he be truly at peace with his situation or jealous of all of his super-friends? Or something in the middle?

6) Will Barry and Iris try to have kids now, knowing that Nora once existed?

7) Will we see Caitlin’s mother’s full transformation to meta-human in Season 6? Will Caitlin/Killer Frost have to help her adjust? Will Caitlin’s mother also take on a “dark personality,” like her erstwhile husband and daughter?

8) With Captain Singh’s promotion to police chief and his admitted knowledge that Barry is the Flash, will we see him again? How will Joe adjust to life as precinct captain?

9) What will trigger the now moved-up headline (new date: 2019) in the Time Vault foreshadowing Barry’s disappearance and/or Crisis on Infinite Earths? Will Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) have to sacrifice himself to save Barry from his prognosticated fate, as the Arrow scene tag from Elseworlds, shown in Arrow’s season finale, seems to indicate?

10) Which version of Harrison Wells will we meet in Season 6? Tom Cavanaugh: our panel salutes you, sir!

11) Will we at least get to see if Sherloque (Cavanaugh) and Renee Adler live happily ever after?

12) If Crisis on Infinite Earths foretells the collapse of the multiverse, as proffered by the comics, which version of Harrison Wells will be Harrison Prime?!

13) The show toyed with the idea of Caitlin and Ralph getting together, though they, as in the characters themselves, poo-pooed the very notion in Season 5. Still: the chemistry is undeniable. Will Caitlin and Ralph reconsider? They seem to have a special rapport.

14) Alternatively, will Ralph find a romantic relationship that sustains beyond twelve steps (or however many steps there are in Ralph’s various self-authored self-help guides)?

15) Will we see any first-half-of-season crossovers on The Flash, in spite of the mega mid-season crossover on the horizon?

PARTING SHOTS

The CPU! DCTU panel continues to universally recommend The Flash to fans of comic books, particularly from the DC universe, and of the Flash franchise, though some of the panel’s members remain more restless with The Flash generally in these later seasons compared to the show’s strong two first seasons.  Still, most if not all of the panel continues to believe, generally, that even casual comic book/superhero fans will find something to love in what the panel primarily regards to be the Arrowverse’s most consistent if not best series.  The panel also continues to universally praise the ensemble cast as the series’ most solid feature as well as the general direction of the show, though there are some panelists who quibble with writing decisions, particularly around the third season’s main villain, Savitar, and the fourth season’s villain, the Thinker.  As several panelists note in tonight’s episode, however, even though this season might not be as mesmerizing as Seasons 1 and 2 (though the panel unanimously agrees that Season 5 surpasses Season 3 in quality and might equate to Season 4 on the same terms, in lieu of the stumbling around the “Flashpoint” story line in the third season), the weakest seasons of The Flash still surpass the strongest seasons of many other series, including at least one of the other Arrowverse series.  The panel, though, continues to appreciate, overall, the faithful and loving adaptation of a hero who may not have received the same star treatment as his Justice League compatriots and co-founders, Batman and Superman, at least in modern memory.  Further, the panel will always laud Grant Gustin’s portrayal of Barry Allen, readily and enthusiastically.  As always, take a listen and see if you agree with the panel’s general thoughts on these matters.

LOOKING AHEAD

The sixth season of The Flash is slated to premiere on Tuesday, October 8, 2019, at 8:00 PM on the CW.  CPU!’s next DCTU episode, which will focus on the fourth season of Supergirl, will publish in October!  Like, follow, and/or subscribe to the blog, iTunes, YouTube, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, or our social media accounts to stay abreast of new episodes in the DCTU podcast series as well as of new episodes for all of our podcast panels! And, if you feel so inclined, please leave us a review.  Thank you! ⚡

DCTU Series, Episode Nineteen: Arrow, Season 7 (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in August 2019, our DC Television Universe or DCTU Series panel – including moderator Kylie, Hilary, Kyle, Spencer, Kristen, and Nick – reconvenes Around the Water Cooler for the nineteenth episode of our DCTU ongoing series.  In this episode, the panel discusses Season 7, now the penultimate season, of the Arrowverse’s namesake, Arrow. If you have not watched any of Arrow, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think, and/or if there are other shows you’re interested in CPU! covering, below; email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com; or check out our Guestbook at the website, our Facebook page, our Twitter (@cpupodcast), or our Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite). Until next time, until next episode…buh bye!

Executive Producer/Chief Couch Potato: Kylie C. Piette
Associate Producers: Krista Pennington and Selene Rezmer

Editor: Kylie C. Piette
Logo: Rebecca Wallace
Marketing Graphic Artist: Krista Pennington

Theme Song:
Written by: Sarah Milbratz
Singers: Sarah Milbratz, Amy McDaniel, Kelsey Sprague
Keyboard: Kelsey Sprague
Bass: Ian McDonough
Guitar: Christian Somerville
Engineer/Production: Kyle Aspinall/Christian Somerville