This week I was able to enjoy the return of several of my favorite shows, but there are four in particular from the CW that I wanted to talk about today—The Flash, iZombie, Arrow, and Supernatural. All four of these shows are based on DC comics and I’ve watched them all faithfully from their first seasons onward. Despite being unfamiliar with the comics’ storylines, I am excited to see the new directions and depth that goes into their small-screen stories.
The Flash opened with a dream sequence where all of the members of Team Flash from last season, living and deceased, were assembled after the titular hero took down Heatwave and Captain Cold with assistance from Firestorm. Unfortunately for Barry, this could not be the case because it is later revealed that, in order to close up the black hole that opened over Central City in the first season finale, Ronnie Raymond, half of Firestorm, sacrificed himself (though Dr. Martin Stein did survive and I am sure the hero will be revived in some way later on). That, and of course Dr. Wells/ Euobard Thawne and Eddie Thawne both perished in the last season finale.
To celebrate their savior, Central City has a Flash Day where the mayor presents the Scarlet Speedster with the key to the city. The event is quickly interrupted when a new villain, who comes to be known as Atom Smasher courtesy of Dr. Stein, makes his appearance and attempts to kill the Flash. While Barry attempts to keep his friends at arms-length to avoid losing anyone else he loves, he later learns that Dr. Wells left him a living will and also named Barry as the heir to Star Labs. Though he is uninterested in viewing the video initially, Barry finds comfort with Caitlyn Snow, who is in deeper grief over Ronnie’s passing. She encourages him to watch the recording anyway which turns out to be Wells’ confession to the murder of Barry’s mother giving him exactly what he needs to free his dad, who was incarcerated for all of the first season under suspicion of the murder.
Finally accepting his friends’ assistance, Barry confronts Atom Smasher again and manages to defeat him by overloading him with radiation. Before dying Atom Smasher reveals that the reason he was attempting to kill the Flash was because Zoom asked him to do so in exchange for returning him back to his home. The episode closes with a welcoming party for Barry’s father once he is released from prison and Team Flash’s first meeting with Jay Garrick.
iZombie picked up with Liv’s brother still being hospitalized after nearly being killed by Blaine’s exploding brain eatery. He continues to resent her for refusing to donate blood to him. (For fear of turning him into a zombie, of course, but she could never explain that to her family… or could she?) Also, while former zombie police chief Suzuki is hailed as a hero for supposedly dying in service in a firefight with several thugs in Blaine’s restaurant, it is revealed that he was actually covering up the existence of his zombie brethren. Detective Babineaux is still suspicious of Major and his possible involvement in the slaying of the men working in the restaurant. Liv continues to cover for Major, even though they have once again become estranged due to his discovery of her… condition. It is revealed that both Blaine and Major, having been cured of zombification, are both able to sense when zombies are nearby. We also find out that Blaine now runs a funeral home and still has a large supply of Utopium stashed away.
Liv and Babineaux are called on to investigate the homicide of a cantankerous old man who was loathed by his neighbors, and after Liv eats his brain and the usual red herrings are cleared, they learn that the man who tried to anonymously tip the police off about the murder was in fact the one who accidentally killed the victim to avenge his missing dog. After spending a day in the life of someone so loathed by their own neighbors and family, Liv resolves to make amends with her family however she can. Meanwhile, Major is hired, or rather blackmailed, by Max Rager, the company responsible for the zombie outbreak in the first place, into hunting down all known zombies and eliminating them. Lastly, we see that the company’s new administrative assistant is also Liv’s new roommate.
Arrow introduces a new threat called the Ghosts who are terrorizing Star City and targeting the city’s leadership. While Oliver and Felicity indulge in the simple life, Thea and Laurel decide it would be best to bring them back home to help defeat their newest enemy — despite Diggle’s disapproval of receiving help from the man who betrayed him and endangered his family last season. Once he is convinced to come home, Oliver tries to amend things with his team while coming to terms with changes in their lifestyle and learning how to counter their new foe, who he learns is actually Damien Darhk, Ra’s al Ghul’s rival who possesses some supernatural abilities.
Eventually, Diggle accepts Oliver again and, after stopping Darhk’s first major assault on the city, Oli makes a public announcement as Star City’s new protector, the Green Arrow. Later it is revealed that Darhk also has coerced Quentin Lance into working for him and his “associates.” Fast forward to six months in the future and the episode ends with Oliver and Barry Allen at a grave site, where Oliver vows to kill the darkness that has come. It is unknown who the grave belongs to.
Supernatural began its 11th season with the spread of the primordial force known as the Darkness after it was set free from the Mark of Cain. Sam and Dean awake in a field after their car was tossed by the sentient cloud of dark energy. The Darkness begins to communicate directly with Dean. As the brothers travel down the road they encounter a construction worker with some nasty black veins bulging from his neck, who is eventually put down by a young deputy who had been wounded in a fight with several others afflicted by the Darkness. They take the young woman to a hospital for help but find that the nearest hospital has already been attacked by others who were affected by the Darkness; the only survivors are a man and his baby girl, Amara.
Unfortunately, the brothers learn that the father has been infected with the same illness as the construction workers and the man decides to leave his daughter in the deputy’s protection before he goes off to die without causing harm. Soon more infected people storm the building. While Dean insists on killing them all to save themselves, Sam is convinced they should preserve all life and find a cure instead and volunteers himself to lead the infected assailants away while the others escape.
Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, Crowley has gone into temporary hiding after his mother turned Castiel into a mad angelic attack dog to kill him. After being restored to his original vessel and returning to his advisors, he learns that Michael or Lucifer has been trying to warn him of the Darkness and that the demons are afraid of what it may bring now that it is free. Castiel, weakened and realizing he failed to kill Crowley, finds himself also pursued by police after being discovered trespassing on a farm. In a desperate attempt to escape, Castiel pleads to the other angels to deliver him back to heaven, but the angels who respond deceive him and hold him as a prisoner, possibly for torture or bargaining.
Dean successfully delivers the deputy and the baby to a nearby town, but Sam, having survived the infected, also gets infected himself and does not tell Dean. At the end of the episode, in a flashback of Dean’s conversation with the Darkness, she/ it tells him that they will always help each other because they are bound and she/ it shows that the Mark of Cain is the bonding. We also see before the end credits that baby Amara also bears the Mark.
Clearly, I am very excited for all for all of these shows. Supernatural has the most work to do to keep fans happy, having the longest run and also having gone so far beyond their originally intended five seasons. Sam wants to change and save everyone, not just his brother, but what is Dean’s relationship with the Darkness going to mean? What can be done about Crowley’s mother now that she has the Book of the Damned? And will Lucifer make a return and possibly a temporary alliance with the Winchesters and Crowley to help defeat the Darkness?
For The Flash, everyone wants to know who Zoom is, and apparently there are plenty of possibilities, but there are also a lot of other fan favorites that may make appearances now that universes are crossing over. Arrow has already hinted at the arrival of the Hive and maybe even at a certain galactic policeman garbed in green and bearing a ring. Will Felicity Smoak be the one to perish though, causing Oliver to lose his chance at true happiness and to accept the darkness in his heart that Diggle has already acknowledged? And what will happen to Laurel’s father in all of this now that he knows Team Arrow’s identities and he is under Darhk’s thumb?
And finally, for iZombie, will Babineaux be made aware of the zombie outbreak this season? What new developments will occur for Liz and Major as Max Rager and Blaine play their hands? There are a lot of big questions now and by December I’m sure there will be some significant twists that will raise even more for all four shows. There is so much already teased in just these premieres and besides being able to see some more great stories again, I am just happy to have something else to look forward to on my weeknights.