The last time we came together to talk about queer TV, it was to flail around about Alex Danvers realizing she had Big Gay Feelings for Maggie Sawyer. Since then, the world turned upside down.
I know it may seem trivial to talk about TV right now, but let me tell you why I think it’s important that we do. This week we learned that racism, sexism, xenophobia, and homophobia weren’t dealbreakers for enough of America, so they elected a demagogue (a word I confused for demogorgon at first — which also isn’t wrong) into office, a man who has publicly said horrifying racist things, who talked nonchalantly about and was charged for sexual assault, and whose running mate has worked to divert AIDS research funding to gay “conversion therapy” and tried to jail gay couples in Indiana who applied for marriage licenses. Etc, etc. You know the facts. They’re all devastating. So now, we fight. People are organizing in all kinds of ways — donating, marching, etc. But one other way to fight against those who are doing it wrong is to highlight and reward those who are doing it right. (And it helps that these shows give us something to smile and laugh about; we need to stay strong, and lifting our burdened spirits in any way we can is a great workout.)
I don’t have a lot of money to give, but I have time, I have a voice, and I have a platform. So I’m going to continue to use those things to support those to support us. I’m still going to speak out against those who wrong us, who hurt us, who don’t understand us, but I’m also going to celebrate those who love us and who want to tell our stories and tell them well.
Supergirl, a fierce feminist show with two queer women, one a woman of color, will get its own recaps every week. The Superqueero Roundup will include brief recaps of Flash and Arrow (Flash has more people of color on the main Flash team than not most episodes; sometimes it’s even when Jesse Quick zips in town, and though Arrow sometimes slips up with their Strong Female Characters, they do have Felicity, Thea, Artemis, and men of color on the team, including a gay Black man), and a longer update on what badass bisexual Sara Lance and her newest partner in not-crime, Amaya (who is a woman of color and unstoppable force), are up to.
When Lexa died, the community joined together and said, “Enough is enough.” Now we face a bigger challenge than before, but our feminism is intersectional and we are not alone. It’s a new battle, a new war, but we have more soldiers, we have more voices, more ways to organize and resist.
I hope you will join me in raising up the voices of love to drown out the voices of hate.
“Never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.” – Hillary Clinton
And so it begins.
Arrow 506: Counting (Throwing) Stars
This episode was spent mostly chasing around Prometheus, whose signature move is throwing stars. This will be more important later but right now it’s only important because it leads to Felicity doing throwing star noises and it’s adorable.
More Prometheus victims fall, with seemingly no connection, until Felicity and her computer realize that the names of the victims are anagrams for other names — names that were on Oliver’s kill list from early in the series; the list of people his father gave him with the instructions to kill them dead after shouting, “You have failed this city!”
This would normally be exciting — they found a clue! — but there’s one big problem. The JV Squad didn’t know that A) Oliver was not only the Green Arrow, but Arrow and that random man in a hood that used to run around the city and B) that Oliver used to be, as Ragman puts it, a serial killer. They’re all pretty upset that this man who they have been trusting with their lives is a secret-keeping assassin, especially Baby Bird.
But she’s not willing to let innocent people die just because she’s mad, so when Felicity’s algorithm pulls a list of potential targets, she joins the team in splitting up to protect them.
Baby Bird’s target is the one Prometheus is after, so they tussle for a bit; she gets a good arm scratch in but ultimately needs the Green Arrow’s help to scare him off/escape the exploding train. They lose Prometheus, but save the guy he was after.
Susan Williams is still around, interviewing and flirting with Oliver, much to Thea’s chagrin.
She’s also running stories about the Throwing Star Killer, causing panic and riots in the streets. Classic reporter stuff.
Felicity comes out to her boyfriend as a member of Team Arrow (and confesses that she stole evidence off his desk), and at first he calls her a criminal, but then realizes she means well and asks questions
Using aforementioned stolen evidence, Felicity figures out that the throwing stars are made from arrows melted down from the past five years, which means it has to be someone who has access to SCPD evidence.
And that leaves us with Thea, who finds out that Quentin Lance never really quit drinking. She promises to be there for him, but he’s not interested in anyone’s help right now.
And at the end of the episode, Lance wakes up from a drunken stupor to find a cut on his arm where Baby Bird cut Prometheus, meaning maybe it’s him who won’t let Oliver let go of his past and move forward.
Legends of Tomorrow 205: Pantsuit Nation
There’s some tension on board the Timeship today because Jax thinks they could be making a real difference, but Sara tells him they have to do as they were taught and protect the timeline.
Meanwhile, Amaya and Nate are watching time seismographs so they can figure out where to go next, and Nate starts asking questions about his grandfather. Amaya snaps at him and tells him that the members of the JSA didn’t “fraternize” outside missions, and thinks that it’s something the Legends could potentially learn from.
The seismograph points them to the White House on December 7, 1987, the day before Reagan signed a treaty that would ultimately lead to the end of the Cold War. They decide to split the team up to figure out what the bad guys are up to: Nate and Vixen are going to check out the ’80s version of the JSA while Sara and the boys go on a tour of the White House.
Once they’re all dressed in ’80s garb, Amaya says she’s offended by shoulder pads. She doesn’t understand the point of them. Nate tries to explain that it was an attempt for women to appear more formidable but our little Vixen sees through him: They wanted to seem more manly. She’s confused—surely by the 80s, the glass ceiling is shattered and women are considered equals?
Nate doesn’t have the heart to tell the poor dear that the year 2016 prove that we’re further from that than we even thought.
When they find the JSA training facility, it’s abandoned and dusty. Amaya feels hella guilty for leaving them in the 40s.
At the White House, Ray and Mick see Darhk and they give a cute little “Sara, no!” even though there’s no stopping that little Canary when she has her eyes set on an enemy. Especially when it comes to #JusticeforLaurel.
Everyone fights and then yells at Sara for letting her personal vendetta get in the way. But her sister brought her back from the dead, doesn’t she owe it to Laurel to try to do the same in return? The team is not as easily swayed by Sara’s pleading eyes as I would be.
At the JSA facility, Amaya and Nate find Obsidian aka Todd, who is old af now. He tells them that the JSA went on a mission but never came back. He hadn’t gone because he was…not invited. Amaya understands and Nate doesn’t push. Amaya apologizes for leaving. They decide to hang out for one more mission together.
On the TImeship, the Legends make a plan. They have Gideon hack Dahrk’s schedule and find out he has a shady meeting in the park. Sara sends Mick and Ray to scope it out, since she knows she can’t trust herself to do it. Which is a very responsible, self-aware, captain-y thing to do. Ray even calls her “Cap” afterwards. It’s beautiful.
Darhk meets with a KGB agent, but Young Stein ends up interrupting, getting himself hella stabbed, and causing the present-day Stein to also collapse to the ground. (But why? Timey wimey.)
They get the Steins to the med bay, where they fight with each other, but heal up just fine. Once Old Stein is up and moving again, he tells Sara that the reason he gave her such a hard time is that she’s not an assassin anymore, she’s a captain, and he believes she can move forward and not revert to her old ways.
Then the Legends strut on into the White House to go to a fancy dinner, Sara looking like a proud member of Pantsuit Nation, the song Danger Zone playing in the background.
Sara chats with Amaya about what she would do if she found Rex’s killer, and is a little surprised to learn that Vixen’s first instinct is arrest, not kill. She takes that to heart as she pots Darhk and calls her team into action.
Fighting ensues and the team splits up: Ray and Mick go to find a bomb (which Ray dismantles), Firestorm is off to save Stein’s wife Clarissa (which they do), and Sara is going to stop Darhk.
Sara comes face to face with her nemesis, and tells him that she lost her soul once but she won’t lose it again.
She then does what might have been her biggest mistake to date; she tells Darhk how his future goes wrong. I assume she does this because she has every intention of arresting him, but before she can, Thawn zips in and (reverse) flashes him away.
The one bit of good news (besides the whole lack of bomb and wife being safe thing) is that Sara had already stolen the item the KGB gave Darhk.
Back on the timeship, Amaya thanks Todd for helping (and taking a bullet for her) and asks if he’d consider joining them on more missions. He says his Obsidian days are over, and besides, he has someone who loves him, and he’s waiting for him at home.
That’s not a typo! He said “he'”! That’s why he wasn’t invited on that mission that one time, he’s hella gay, and Amaya loves him anyway, even though she’s from the ’40s.
Amaya finally gives in to Nate and admits that her and Rex were going to run away together, and that Nate’s grandfather loved to sing. That he had a contagious optimism and that he was a real great guy. Nate is very happy to learn this.
Meanwhile in Bad Guy Land, things go from bad to worse when Thawne puts Darhk in a bubble and takes him into the timestream with him, armed with the knowledge of how he is eventually defeated. Surely that will go well.
– I love that instead of doing the storyline thing of having the crew doubt Sara, the writers double down on her being the captain.
– It’s sad to think that the JSA might have died because Obsidian wasn’t there, and that he wasn’t there because he’s gay.
– Darhk being removed from the time stream might have implications for Laurel’s death from the pictures I’ve seen.
I was worried that watching this past week’s Supergirl would be too hard in the face of a Wonder Woman-less presidential reality, but the episode (and your recap) made me feel hopeful. I think you’re right–we do need this right now.
And we always have each other!
Metal Dude and Sara are getting too close for my liking. Dear writers, this is not the time to go there. … at all … ever.
About time you guys updated Legends.
I was wondering if you forgot about our most lovable woman from history.