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Superheroes on TV: Self Sacrifice 

Superheroes on TV: Self Sacrifice
Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW

This week’s Superheroes on TV sees that DC’s Legends of Tomorrow has found some humanity, Supergirl learns the difference between obligation and love, and The Flash makes the ultimate sacrifice. It’s as if my complaints about collateral damage were addressed!

Photo Credit: Dean Buscher/The CW
Photo Credit: Dean Buscher/The CW

For those of us keeping count, it has taken 12 episodes for all of the Legends to open up and show a bit of growth and truly come together to be a cohesive team. Most surprising of all in “Last Refuge” was to finally see some depth to Mick. As they time hop to collect their younger selves, we see Mick grudgingly take an inward look and give his younger self some advice for the future. Heartfelt wouldn’t be the right way to describe it, but there was a visible pain and vulnerability in the way he behaved.

Mick was genuinely helpful and present when the team needed him. While he never lost his biting candor, there was no sense of selfish behavior in Mick as they tried to thwart the Pilgrim’s plans. It was refreshing to see him moving in this team oriented direction.

Photo Credit: Dean Buscher/The CW
Photo Credit: Dean Buscher/The CW

Where Mick’s backstory was hardened, we got to see a soft side to Jax. As a kid who never knew his father (because he was killed in action serving in Somalia), his struggle was raw and visible as he met his father for the first time. With a little help from Stein, Jax is given an opportunity he never dreamed he’d have.

As the team successfully hides their younger selves from the Pilgrim, she flips the table and instead kidnaps their family members asking for an exchange: their lives for the lives of their loved ones. Another of the major hero dilemmas surfaces: when is your death the best option?

However, the team solidifies here as they selflessly work together to stop both their families and themselves from becoming completed directives for the Pilgrim. Their cohesion gives me hope that DC’s Legends of Tomorrow can finish their first season strong.

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW
Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW

Where Legends struggles, The Flash excels in its interpersonal relationships. I cannot think of another father/son relationship that is as beautiful and flawed as the relationship that Barry Allen and Joe West share. There’s no doubt that Barry would go to the ends of the earth (and the next one) to do whatever he could to keep Joe safe. So when Zoom demands Barry’s speed in exchange for Wally’s life, Barry does not hesitate to make the sacrifice.

I’m not sure if that’s selfish or brave, but Barry would rather be normal than to see Joe suffer. Despite everyone’s plea that they must find another way, Barry does the unthinkable and give up his speed to save Joe’s son. (Unrelated to everything, what are the changes that Speedster Wally West is the man in the iron mask?)

For all the plot holes, lack of quality villains, and any other shortcomings The Flash may have, I keep coming back every week because of this cast. Their chemistry is undeniable! Barry and Cisco pull each other through tough times like you expect to see with best friends or brothers. Earth-2 Harrison Wells may not be as charismatic or devious as Eobard Thawne, but he’s honest, to a fault, and is a great grounding force for this team.

Every character has a place on the team and a part to play in the much larger multi-verse picture. So it comes as no surprise that Barry would give up whatever was necessary for those he loves. With Zoom more powerful than ever, it’s going to be interesting to watch Team Flash work hard to get Barry’s speed back. The best part about self sacrificing heroes is that they never have to go it alone.

Photo Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS
Photo Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS

A theme we’ve seen throughout the entire first season of Supergirl. Kara and Alex have been each other’s strength and weakness since the beginning. Non knew it, and played into it by pitting the two against each other in the hope that one would kill the other. His plan fails, however, because the one thing he hadn’t counted on was love (and hope) being more powerful than fear. Is it a cliche? Yes. But that doesn’t take away from watching it play out in unexpected ways.

With the Myriad signal covering National City, Supergirl gives a hope filled speech that is broadcast thanks to the help of Maxwell Lord and Cat Grant. She’s more inclined to believe this method will work because she watched Alex come back at the urging of their mother, who practically willed Alex to remember who she was.

After the broadcast, Non’s plan completely falls apart and he and Indigo plan to abandon Earth to conquer a new world. Like any good villain, there’s a plan B. If they can’t use Myriad to lull humanity into enslavement, then they’ll use it to destroy us. Upon realizing that the only way to save National City, and in turn her family and friends, Supergirl sees no other option but to fly the Myriad signal and Fort Rozz into space; an endeavor she will not survive.

Kara begins saying her goodbyes as she prepares for what everyone knows will be a suicide mission. While this is more in line with the behavior we expect of our superheroes, it’s nice to seem them actually step up to the plate. But the great thing about giving yourself to the people you’ve sworn to protect is that sometimes, usually when you need them the most, those people will also be there for you.

Photo Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS
Photo Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS

Even heroes have to take a leap of faith.

The Flash returns with “Back to Normal” on Tuesday, April 26th at 8/7c on The CW.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow continues their fight on an all new “Leviathan,” Thursday, April 28th at 8/7c on The CW.
Supergirl looks promising, but we will have to wait and see if we ever get to find out who was in the pod.

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