Hello all DC fans! How excited are you that The CW’s DCTV shows are back? The premieres start this Sunday and I couldn’t be more thrilled. How have you been spending the hiatus? We’ve had some great summer programming, like Pennyworth, Swamp Thing, Preacher and Krypton, but as those shows have been winding down, I’ve started rewatching my favorite DCTV scenes from last season to help get me pumped (as if I needed any help) for the 2019-2020 season. Last season had so many awesome moments that it’s easy to get lost in them, but I’ve compiled my top ten list. Here are my personal DCTV standout moments from last season!
Arrowverse, the Next Generation
Remember when Arrow used to divide their episodes between flashbacks and present-day scenes? This year the format was turned on its head with a plotline set decades into the future as Oliver’s son William and daughter Mia worked with a group of freedom fighters to take down an oppressive corporation. Things all came to a head in “Star City 2040,” a standout episode set entirely in the future. Seeing the adult William help Mia break into Galaxy One’s headquarters was cool, but what did you think of them being saved by Connor Hawke, agent of Knightwatch? That was too awesome for words. The heroes were able to rescue Felicity (it turns out the rumors of her death were premature) and escape from Galaxy One without incident. There’s the possibility that Katherine McNamara’s Mia will lead an all-female spin-off once Arrow ends, and if it’s anything like this, I’m all for it.
Flash, Kid Flash and XS Vibrate an Airplane through a Building
Great Hera! The Flash sure knows how to kick off a season! During the season premiere episode “Nora,” a villain named Gridlock hijacked a plane, causing it to lose altitude. Thanks to some well-timed breaching from Cisco, Flash was able to teleport on the plane alongside Kid Flash and the time displaced Nora (aka XS). Taking out Gridlock wasn’t a problem, but the engines of the plane were inoperative, so the three speedsters focused their vibrations and were able to get the plane to successfully phase through the high rise buildings and a bridge before successfully landing in the water. Eat your heart out, Captain Sully!
Oliver’s Prison Brawl
Oliver Queen spent the first act of Arrow season 7 incarcerated at Slabside Penitentiary, and you know what that means—prison fights! We got a lot of good ones, but they were nothing compared to the beatdowns we saw in the flat-out spectacular episode “The Slabside Redemption.” Diaz took control of the prison and released all the inmates, causing a massive riot. Oliver was forced to fight for his life as he beat up a gauntlet of guards and prisoners as he made his way through the prison. It all led to a rage-fueled fight between Oliver and Ricardo Diaz, the man responsible for most of Oliver’s problems. Both men gave some and got some, but then Diaz made the mistake of ripping up a picture of Oliver’s wife and son. That gave Ollie the push he needed to take Diaz down and effectively end their brawl…for now. Oliver was released from prison by the end of the episode, but the season was just getting started.
All Hail Gary
If you’ve ever watched DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, then you’re probably familiar with Gary Green and how the Time Bureau pencil-pusher is often the butt of everyone’s jokes. Gary got his chance at revenge in the episode “Terms of Service” when he was given control of an evil fairy godmother. Turns out the magical being was manipulating Gary for her own purposes and was hoping he’d wish for the Legends to be sent to hell as part of John Constantine’s war with Neron, but Gary had other ideas. Years of being teased and dismissed by the Legends had hurt Gary, so he used his new phenomenal cosmic powers to turn Mick into a giant baby, Nate into a dorky teenager and force Sara and Ava into dancing for him. Gary’s conscience eventually won out, but it was hilarious to see Gary indulge in a little bit of selfish revenge and watch the Legends get humiliated.
Lex and Eve Reveal Themselves
Lex Luthor (played beautifully by Jon Cryer) arrived on Supergirl this year and boy did he make his presence known. During the episode “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” Lex has been furloughed from prison and seeks the help of his sister Lena to cure his irradiated body of a disease that’s slowly killing him. At first Lena reluctantly helps her brother, but when she realizes how evil he still is, she vows not to give him the cure. Lex then drops his sickly façade, changes his entire demeanor and replies that he was already given the cure five minutes ago. Eve Tessmacher then enters the room, and it’s clear that her mousey persona was an act to mask her true evil nature. As Eve stands besides Lex, a shocked Lena asks “How long?” to which Eve replies, “Forever.” As he makes his escape, the guards try to stop Lex, but in a perfectly Luthor-like move, he activates a series of hidden weapons to quickly finish them off. Never forget, Lex Luthor is always in control, always five steps ahead and always has hidden surprises.
Jason Todd Saves Dick Grayson
Dick received the shock of his life during the final moments of the Titans episode “Together.” Batman’s former partner had tracked down a mysterious individual named Dr. Adamson and demanded answers on why he was searching for Rachel Roth. Unfortunately, Dr. Adamson was being punished for his failures, and Dick was caught in the crossfire. A group of armed men burst into the room and easily took out Adamson when smoke filled the room and a mysterious figure fought off the room of assassins. As the smoke cleared, Dick was surprised to see a young teen in a Robin outfit standing before him. Dick looked up at his replacement with a look of bewilderment. Who was this new youth using his identity and where did he come from? Curran Walters made an unforgettable first impression as the first live-action Jason Todd, and things only got better from here.
Penguin Kills Tabitha
Gotham began their final season with a bang when Penguin murdered Tabitha Galavan, proving that the show wasn’t taking any prisoners and no character was safe. Back in season 2, Tabitha murdered Penguin’s mother in cold blood, and although Oswald later feigned a truce to maintain order in the underworld, the conclusion of season 4 took their rivalry to a new level when Penguin murdered Tabitha’s boyfriend Butch in front of her. It looked like season 5 was being set up to include an all-out Penguin vs. Tabitha war, so I was pretty shocked when Penguin stabbed her during their warehouse standoff. He even told her to “say hello to Butch” before he ended her life once and for all. Ouch! That great moment set the tone for the rest of Gotham’s epic final season.
Flex Mentallo’s Happy Ending
If you guys haven’t been watching Doom Patrol on DC Universe, then you’re really missing out on some of the straight-up strangest superhero moments that have ever been filmed. For example, during the episode “Penultimate Patrol,” the Doom Patrol requires the assistance of a cosmic-powered muscle man named Flex Mentallo to teleport them to the White Space, where their leader Niles Caulder has been captured. Flex focuses his power on the group, but something goes wrong and he winds up…well…giving them intense physical relief…a, um, real happy ending. Because Flex’s powers are vast, the shared experience is felt by every person in the immediate area. It might sound like I’m making this moment up, but go watch it for yourself! It’s one of the most oh-I-can’t-believe-they-went-THERE moments I’ve ever seen on a superhero show!
Tobias Whale Lends a Hand
During season 1 of Black Lightning, criminal kingpin Tobias Whale corrupted a crippled teenager named Khalil by giving him an artificial spine. In addition to giving Khalil the power to walk again, the cybernetic implant also gave him enhanced strength and abilities. “I’ll always have your back,” Tobias told him. Operating as Whale’s enforcer Painkiller, Khalil began to have second thoughts during season 2, and when he no longer wanted to carry out Whale’s orders, he went AWOL. After a few episodes on the run, Khalil faced the music in “Angelitos Negros” when he was captured and brought to Tobias. To punish his betrayal, Whale lifted Khalil up in the air and pulled his cybernetic spine out of his back. No anesthesia and no surgical tools. As Tobias Whale looked down at his disgraced enforcer, he smugly said “I told you I’d always have your back.” It was one of the most shocking moments I’ve seen in any TV show, let alone a DC one, and it proved that Tobias Whale is still dangerous, unpredictable and one of the most evil villains out there.
All of Elseworlds
Some of you might accuse me of cheating, because this three-part crossover is more than a moment…but so what. It’s my list so I’m doing it this way! And honestly, I kind of have to because if I didn’t combine all of “Elseworlds” into one entry, the many, MANY spectacular sequences found within last season’s crossover would probably fill up this whole list. Seriously, how great was “Elseworlds”? We heard the Smallville theme song as we visited the old Kent farm set, we met Batwoman, we saw the heroes switch powers and we finally found out where S.T.A.R. Labs prisoners go to the bathroom! That entire crossover was a love letter to the fans, and I can’t wait to see what they’ll come up with this year for “Crisis on Infinite Earths.”
What a season! After watching the latest trailers, it looks like the 2019-2020 season has the potential to be even more intense, if that’s even possible. I know I’ll have my eyes glued to the TV, and I hope you’ll all be joining me.
Be sure to tweet your thoughts at me. Did I leave out some obvious choices? Should some moments have been ranked higher than others? Discussion is part of the fun, so let me know what you think!
Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for DCComics.com and DCUniverse.com, is a regular contributor to the Couch Club and writes our monthly Batman column, "Gotham Gazette." Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.