Well, hello there! And welcome to this brand new column! Column? Is it still called a column if it’s not a newspaper and not particularly columnular? Doesn’t matter. Hi, I’m Valerie Anne. I’m a former writer for AfterEllen, and I’m so happy to be joining the Autostraddle team to write about teevee! How much do I love teevee? Well, I need a spreadsheet to keep track of the shows I watch and recap. (It’s color coded…I swear I’m a Hufflepuff.) How much do I love Autostraddle? I’ve been to back-to-back A-Camps (miss you, Charlotte Jo), and was an A+ member long before the straight white dudes who run Evolve Media torpedoed AfterEllen and made it unrecognizable. I love you and I love teevee and I’m excited we’re sharing this space and our abundance of feelings with each other.
This is a Superqueero Roundup Recap. What’s going to happen is: Every week, a post just like this will go up on Tuesday, and it will start with a recap of the goings-on over in National City on Supergirl, where we’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of Maggie Sawyer and the promised coming out of one established character (please be bisexual Alex Danvers, please be bisexual Alex Danvers). Then, as the week goes on, I’ll update that VERY SAME POST with recaps (or wee-caps, depending on the queerness of each show each week) of The Flash and Arrow, as is relevant (mostly probably these will be like “Iris is still the smartest most beautiful human in Central City,” “Nyssa is still nowhere to be found in Star City,” etc), and of course I’ll be recapping Sara Lance’s adventures as she zips her beautiful blonde bisexual self through time and space. Maybe she’s going to romance the Queen of France this year? That footage exists; I have laid eyes upon it.
These recaps are in reverse chronlogical order. Thursday’s Legends of Tomorrow up top, Monday’s Supergirl at the bottom!
Legends of Tomorrow 201: Seductress of Time
So, okay, let’s start at the beginning: this show has it’s issues, this we know. There are too many main characters, most of them men, and they spent most of last season wasting the potential of one of their badass women by forcing her into a love triangle. But now Hawkgirl is gone (sob), along with one of her triangle points, and we’re left with just Sara and the Guys. But it has its merits; every episode is a new period piece, and Sara doesn’t put up with anyone’s shit, and it’s really fun to watch. Plus, the costumes!! And even though they easily could have buried the lead with Sara’s bisexuality, or even ignored it entirely, they have made it clear that she was bi from the very beginning, and hit the ground running with it in this season two premiere. So let’s get into it.
We open with none of our Legends at all, but instead with someone named Nate Heywood going to see Oliver Queen. One thing they seem to be doing this season (which is great for me and this megamix of a recap) is starting to do crossovers and intertwine stories right off the bat. Nate tells Oliver he’s a time detective and that Oliver’s friends Sara Lance and Ray Palmer are in trouble. They say that an atomic bomb went off in New York before the atomic bomb was invented, which doesn’t really make sense to me, timeline wise? Unless the time ripple just never caught up to present day? I don’t know, timey wimey stuff makes my head hurt.
Oliver and Nate go to the bottom of the ocean to find the Waverider there, sunk and abandoned. Except for Mick Rory, who was in statis. They wake him up and he begins to tell the story of how things went so very wrong.
It all started in France in 1637, where Rip Hunter, Jax and the Professor are dressed as the Three Musketeers, Ray is keeping an eye on the King, and Sara is playing handmaiden to the Queen. The Queen sees that Sara is sad about the loss of her sister, and decides to…cheer her up.
Rip keeps trying to get in contact her to see if the Queen is safe, but he doesn’t have to worry about it, because Sara has her eyes…and hands and lips on her. Men with laser guns show up and the boys are all fighting inside while Sara is doing some tumbling of her own.
When she finally emerges, Jax teases her about what she could possibly have been doing with the queen, and she casually threatens to feed his own eyeballs to him, and the team heads back to the ship. Rip gives her a hard time for “seducing the Queen of France” but Sara lets him know that the Queen started it.
So Sara slept with the queen, Ray used future tech and Firestorm fused in front of the locals, Mick stole royal jewels. Basically they’re all still really bad at being a team of time traveling heroes.
But before Rip can finish his lecture, they feel a timequake and know something is wrong; a nuke hit in 1942 and they have to find Einstein and keep him from the bad guys to stop it before it ripples and catches up with them and ruins everything.
Sara zips off to the library, asking Gideon (the ship’s AI computer system) where Damien Darhk, sister killer extraordinaire, will be in 1942. When they land and split up, Sara says she’s going to visit a grandfather for help, and definitely not anything even remotely nefarious.
Ray doesn’t believe her so he decides to follow her. Sara is off to kill Damien Darhk but Ray stops her because they overhear something about uranium, blah blah, plot stuff, what’s important to note here is that Sara Lance had a thigh holster under her dress from which she pulls her gun.
Anyway, they save Einstein but when they have him in custody he confesses his ex-wife, Mileva Marić, is the smart one.
Ray rats Sara out to Rip, who says it’s impossible to do anything wrong when they’re rogue time travelers with no rules to follow.
She sasses Ray and tells him to get off his high horse and leave her alone with his rich white boy holier-than-thou attitude.
So the team stalks off, not in the best place, dynamic-wise, but ready to rumble. Especially Sara, who makes a beeline for Darhk again. Damien doesn’t know why she’s so dead-set against him (because he hasn’t murdered Laurel yet) but recognizes her as League of Assassin-trained and is highly amused by her determination.
Rip eventually calls her off and the Legends go back to the ship with a new plan to stop the bomb. Fly straight into it. But Rip doesn’t want to risk his team’s life, so he hits the “eject” button and sends everyone but Mick Rory to a different point in time.
That’s the end of present-day Mick Rory’s story, so Oliver goes back to brood in Star City and Nate Heyworth goes time traveling with Mick to save the team. Ray is frolicking with dinosaurs, Firestorm is a court jester duo for a petulant medieval child monarch, and Sara Lance is — wait for it — IN THE SALEM WITCH TRIALS.
When they find her, Sara is about to be hanged, but she’s highly unconcerned about this. A terrible man shouts at her and accuses her of corrupting the women of their town, but Sara insists it was all very consensual corruption.
After making a local lady swoon one last time, she knocks down her captors, and takes down Nate when he shows up, too. Ray steps forward and says Nate’s on their side, and Sara looks ready to get back to business.
And I have mixed feelings about this. Most of me is very excited: I’m obsessed with Salem and witches and the fact that probably all those accused of being witches were just badass feminists and/or queer af, and I do love that when people continue to accuse Sara of being predatory (but only when she hooks up with women) and she continues to let them know exactly what’s what. I also love that she’s like a one-woman bisexual revolution. She’s always been very confident in her sexuality, and the fact that she’s bringing that confidence to places and times where just about every queer woman is closeted is kind of amazing. Of course the women of the time would be drawn to her. (Also, look at her. C’mon.) On the other hand, this trend could quickly and easily veer over into stereotype territory if they’re not careful. Based on the very beautiful and lovely and AHHH ALI LIEBERT COME BACK TO ME storyline between Sara and Nurse Betty McRae, plus the heartwrenching and tragically beautiful and AHHH KATRINA LAW COME BACK TO ME final scene between Sara and Nyssa, I’m more apt to trust that the show will continue to handle Sara’s sexuality with a respectful playfulness. It’s never been A Thing and it doesn’t seem like it will ever be A Thing and I think that’s a Beautiful Thing.
Anyway, Rip is gone, saving the timeline is up to them alone now, but probably also this Nate dude, and they start by going back in time and having Einstein publicly declare Mileva Marić his partner.
Meanwhile, Darhk is on to a new shifty plan, and it is revealed that he’s in cahoots with Eobard Thawne aka The Reverse Flash aka The Same Dude Wreaking Havoc on The Flash.
On their way back to the ship, Ray tells Sara he’s ready to help her get #JusticeforLaurel, and as if invoked by the word, the Justice Society of America shows up, looking ready for a fight.
And Sara feels some kinda way about it.
What did you think of this week’s CW DC superpalooza?? What are you looking forward to most from these shows?
Arrow 502: There’s no B(e an asshole) in Team
Not much to report on Arrow this week, BUT there have been some interesting developments re: Team Arrow. Once upon a time, the team consisted of the Green Arrow, Black Canary (x2), Speedy, Overwatch, and Spartan. But Sara Lance became the White Canary and switched shows, Laurel Lance took her sister’s place in the refrigerator, Thea couldn’t control her bloodlust so she quit to wear power suits, and John Diggle hung up his goofy helmet. All that was left was Oliver and Felicity. So Felicity suggests they make a new team. The people she suggests are Evelyn Sharp, Rene Ramirez, and our very own Curtis Holt. (Curtis, you remember, being happily married to a man. And adorable af.)
And what happens is essentially this:
Felicity: Oliver, you can’t do this alone, you need a team.
Oliver: No I don’t.
F: Yes you do.
O: Fine I’ll try.
O: *assembles team*
O: *yells at them and hits them a lot*
O: See this isn’t working.
F: You’re really bad at this. Maybe try leading them and teaching them instead of torturing them?
O: But one time this is how someone trained me and it was horrible and it traumatized me and look at me now…is that not a solid lesson plan?
F: Oh, honey.
O: *growls for 45 minutes straight*
F: *waits patiently*
O: *does what Felicity originally told him to do*
O: I’m so smart, look at this team I assembled all on my own.
At least Felicity seems relatively happy while she’s quietly being the most right and saving Oliver from himself over and over again.
(Side note: she’s dating someone named Billy Malone which is seems like the PERFECT supervillain alias if you ask me.)
Meanwhile, Thea quit to basically be Overwatch but for Oliver’s mayorship. I’m hoping she either puts her speedy suit back on soon or decides to take over as literal mayor, but until then, business casual suits her just fine.
One thing I will call out about what Felicity said to Oliver was that she called him abusive. Said the word, “abusive”. And so did Curtis later. It wasn’t just, “hey, be nicer,” it was telling him in no uncertain terms that his behavior was unacceptable. He wasn’t knocking them down to build them up, he wasn’t forging them in fire to make them stronger; he was trying to scare them out of this life. He was just being cruel. He was afraid that if he went too easy on them, they’d die like Laurel did, even though that logic makes no sense because even Sara Lance got murdered and she also spent time on Lian Yu, plus trained with the League of Assassins. But Felicity and Curtis wouldn’t give him a pass on it and it was amazing.
So eventually, thanks to these pep talks from Felicity, Thea and Curtis, plus a run-in with a radioactive mummy, the Green Arrow takes off his mask and lets down his guard and tells his new recruits that he’s Oliver Queen. Which…I don’t feel like was necessary just yet? I feel like probably there was some middle ground between “don’t be a monster” and “reveal all your secrets”? But whatever, after a moment of shock from Evelyn and Rene (now called Wild Dog because no one consulted Cisco on this one), the team is officially assembled.
That’s all she wrote, until tomorrow. Because toniiiight, toniiiight, Sara is baaack toniiiight!
Look, even Felicity is excited about it.
The Flash 302: Felicity Felicis
Okay so The Flash hasn’t had any queer women on it (yet?) but it’s part of this CW DC Universe and will eventually be involved in the Legends of Superflarrow crossovers so I thought it was worth it to check in on the badass ladies of the show briefly. Also that way if any of them come out we’re ready for them.
This week’s episode was the second of the season, and basically what’s happening is that Barry keeps mucking up the timeline because he tried to save his mother from being murdered when he was a child and was then SUPER SURPRISED when things didn’t go smoothly. He keeps trying to fix it but he keeps making it worse. So he does what every smart person in a pickle would do if they were able: He goes to Felicity Smoak for help.
Felicity eats her food and listens patiently to his problems before telling him to smarten up and go fix the mess he made.
Barry’s friends are all slightly different than the ones he once knew, and he tries to fix their relationships without telling them what happened, but eventually Iris tells him to smarten up and tell the truth to fix the mess he made.
Heck even Caitlin tries to help him, though she’s slightly gentler about it, smiling sadly at him, knowing he’s doomed.
Because let’s face it, Barry would have ripped apart the fabric of reality by now if it wasn’t for these ladies.
Oh also on top of all his friends being different and slightly more angsty than his original timeline, he has also managed to make an enemy of Draco Malfoy, who is now a crime scene investigator of paranormal goings-on.
After some advice from another speedster, Barry realizes he can’t keep messing with time, so he accepts this new reality as his own. Luckily, by treating his friends the way he remembers them, they’re all starting to become their old selves again, slowly but surely.
Well, except Caitlin. But Barry doesn’t know that yet.
That’s really all you need to know for now. Who knows what this will mean for Barry’s future, or how it will affect the timelines of the other shows in the universe, or how this will get him to National City again, or if Sara Lance and her crew of time travelers can fix what he broke, but I guess we’ll find out before too long.
I’ll leave you with one last screenshot of Iris because LOOK HOW BEAUTIFUL.
See you tomorrow for a wee Arrow update, then Friday for THE RETURN OF SARA ACTUALLY-I-WAS-LIBERATING-HER LANCE.
Supergirl Episode 201: “The Adventures of Supergirl”
Here are the things I was afraid of going into this season: That the network switch would also cause a tone shift, that Kara’s storyline would suddenly be all about Romance, and that too much focus would be put on the recurring role of Superman. Instead, we had the same borderline cheesy, optimistic, goofy, funny show with so much heart! Plus, with Kara deciding not to date James and Superman seeming content playing the role of super sidekick and staying out of the spotlight (despite all the promos), my relief is almost too much to handle.
I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s get into the episode, which isn’t explicitly queer, but promises have been made and I intend to hold The CW to them.
We pick up where we left off, with Kara and her crew toasting to the love that makes them family, even though they’re from at least three different planets between them. It was a nice way to be like, “In case you forgot, or are new here, this is what our show is about” right off the bat.
And, in true fashion, almost as soon as they clink glasses, something precarious streaks across the sky. Which looks like a job for Supergirl. Her and J’onn follow the streak and find a pod that looks like hers, and inside, they see a stranger.
J’onn takes Supergirl to the new DEO office, since CW let them out of the cave. She’s pretty when she finds out that they could have been in here the whole time, but is soon distracted by the news that the man in the pod is indeed not human. Kara recommends Winn for the job and heads off to get ready for her date with James, a real human boy. She tells Alex all about it and Alex can tell that she’s not particularly excited.
Cat Grant texts Kara, of course, and Kara rushes to her side, even though she’s not her assistant anymore. There were rumors that Cat was getting sidecarred this season, but here she is with a highball glass in her hand, telling Kara to woman-up and find her calling.
Later that night, after using her powers to speed up the getting-ready montage, James arrives at Kara’s door with pizza and potstickers.
But before they can even sit down to eat, they see the news that the Venture, a space shuttle launch scheduled for that night, has caught on fire and is plummeting to Earth. So it’s Supergirl to the rescue! But, since this is A Very Big Deal, a little ways away in Metropolis, a bumbling reporter named Clark Kent sees the news and rips off his clothes to join his cousin in the sky.
I think the moment I let out the breath I’d been holding ever since the Superman casting announcement was when The Man of Steel flew up and hovered near Supergirl until she gave him permission to help. She could have said, “I got this,” (because she single-handedly maneuvered a plane around a bridge to safety before she’d ever even tested her powers), but it was her decision to accept his help and work as a team. And I can so be down for some cousinly teamwork.
Plus, after they save the shuttle, they’re talking to some excited kids, and the first thing Kara does is tell them that she used to change his diapers.
Because it’s her show and she’ll do what she wants to.
Kara brings Clark to the DEO to try to help ID the stranger, but Clark doesn’t recognize him. Winn comes in and tells them that the pod passed through the Well of Stars, which surely will be important later. Winn also found out that the Venture didn’t just randomly start burning up in the sky, but was tampered with. So Clark and Kara go off to investigate, starting with the passenger who mysteriously didn’t show up for the launch: Lena Luthor.
(For those of you who aren’t familiar, Katie played Lucy Westenra on the short-lived show Dracula, where she pined for Mina Murray and made out with Lady Jayne. She also played the fiendishly sexy Morgana on BBC’s Merlin, where she had, um, real chemistry with the actress who played her sister. She’s got on-screen queer experience, is what I am saying, both purposefully and accidentally.) Anyway, Lena was adopted by the Luthors when she was four, which I feel like is probably only relevant if she’s not human? Lex was very welcoming to her, so she is sad that he’s now a supervillain behind bars. She wants to make a name for herself that has nothing to do with her family, which Kara can relate to. Lena is very cooperative and gives the Kent/Danvers Duo the information they came for.
Not too long after they leave, Winn realizes that the explosion happened suspiciously close to Lena Luthor’s empty seat, so not only was she not behind the explosion, but she was the target of it. The Kryptonian Cousins fly off to save the day, Superman killing drones left and right while Supergirl saves the damsel in distress.
Back at CatCo, Kara tries to reschedule her date with James, but he can tell something’s not right. Taking the advice Cat and Clark gave her to follow her heart, she confesses that even though she thought this was what she wanted, she looked into the grey-green eyes of Lena Luthor and just isn’t sure about anything anymore. Right?
Knowing she’s distressed, Cat offers Kara more advice. She says she knows it can be scary, taking a road that will lead you so far from where you’ve been, but that even though change is scary, it’s important.
Kara goes with Lena to the renaming ceremony, where Lena is planning on changing her company from Luthor Corp to L Corp, so that it’s not associated with violence and evil, but living loving laughing dreaming, etc.
An explosion hits and chaos ensues, Supergirl flying around and saving James and others, Superman eventually joining her to tag-team RESTRUCTURING AN ENTIRE BUILDING to save the day.
Meanwhile, Alex Danvers saves Lena Luthor and then Lena saves Alex back.
Back at L Corp, Lena thanks Clark for writing an article that portrays her as the badass she is, and then asks why Kara isn’t on the byline. Kara insists she’s not a reporter, but Lena says “You could have fooled me,” with a smirk that makes Kara practically gulp.
Oh and also she hopes to see Kara again.
Kara zips back to CatCo to tell Cat that her eyes are open now and she’s ready to take the next step. Kara wants to be a reporter. She wants to seek the truth, she wants to tell people’s stories. Cat isn’t surprised at all, and is almost relieved she came to the conclusion on her own.
Then Cat feeds the SuperCat fan fiction by saying things like, “I can see me in you,” and “You inspire me,” and using her real name instead of calling her Kira. She says, “I can see the hero in you,” and I’m still pretty sure she’s known about Kara’s secret(s) all this time.
And just to further ease any worries, back at the DEO, Kara asks Clark if it bothers him that the National City news is giving Supergirl most of the credit for the recent saves, but Clark doesn’t mind in the slightest. He’s just happy to be hanging out with his little big cousin, and looks forward to learning about Krypton from her.
The tag scene shows the bad guy Lex sent to kill his sister getting injected with some superstuff and an elegantly creepy woman welcoming him to Cadmus and calling him Metello, so I think we’ve officially met this season’s Big Bad.
What did you think of the first episode of the new season of Supergirl? Who do you think they’ll pair Maggie Sawyer up with, if anyone?
See you back here tomorrow for a quick update on… The Flash! (See what I did there?)
UPDATE: Looks like Maggie Sawyer will arrive in episode 203, “Welcome to Earth.” Looks like (please be bisexual) Alex Danvers will have a feeling about it.
And finally, in the 4-show crossover, #Arrow's Diggle will be astounded by Kara (of course), and Sara Lance may have a little crush on Kara.
— KryptonSite (@KryptonSite) October 11, 2016