First of all, I just want to say I’m a huge fan. Had you told me three years ago that I’d be this deep in DC TV, I’d have laughed, but here I am. And though you’re not perfect, the worlds you’ve created, characters you’ve developed, and stories you’ve told have been amazing, and I am definitely looking forward to what’s to come.
This past week saw the season finales for Supergirl, The Flash, and Arrow, and I thought I’d take a sec to address these shows, along with Legends Of Tomorrow, because I want to see them succeed even further in their coming seasons, and what better way to do so than in a long (seriously, sorry for the length) and slightly spoilery open letter?
First of all, please bring Cat Grant back. If the last two episodes of this season proved anything it’s that Cat Grant makes everything better. Her confidence, her brilliance, and her speeches are so great, and her belief in Supergirl is inspiring. Bringing Cat back would also mean a refocus on CatCo. It’s not that James did a bad job as CEO, but it just didn’t matter overall. We saw James as Guardian more (and I still think that was very unnecessary) but I want to see Cat take back her throne and work alongside Kara again. That unrelenting girl power was such a great part of season one.
And speaking of James, let’s give him a bigger role too. As I said, I didn’t think his new hero side-job was a good idea, but if that is to continue, have him train more (like we saw Laurel do on Arrow) and have him work with the DEO. His subplots are not the strongest and they take away from the main plot, so it’d be better to work them together. I do like his bromance with Winn, though. Season one was kind of awkward with them, so I’m glad all is good now. As for Winn, please let him have a good relationship with a girl. Lyra was crazy and abusive and I can’t believe her outburst in the bar there was passed off as okay.
And since we’re talking about relationships, I guess I should mention Mon-El. I never liked him. And this is not because I loved Kara and James together (though that relationship’s ending was so poor and I am a little annoyed still), but because from the start, Karamel, as they were called, was a star-crossed cliché that just went from bad to worse. Mon-El was not great. He caused more problems than he solved, and on a show where there are so many strong and healthy relationships (the Danvers sisters, Kara and Lena, Kara and Clark, James and Winn, J’onn and Alex and Kara…) Mon-El and Kara’s just stuck out like a gross sore thumb. With that said, I did not hate Mon-El. He did grow a lot as a character and his departure was pretty sad. If he does come back, I think he could be a good asset to the DEO (provided they remember he has alien powers too) but not as Kara’s boyfriend. In season one, Supergirl was a representation of the feminist agenda, and while season two had some amazing moments, it did stray off the path a little, and I’d love to see the power and heart back.
Dear The Flash,
You were the start of DCTV for me. I adore how you manage to keep the show light and funny as well as get dark and sad when needed. But as far as heroes go, Barry Allen is perhaps the stupidest. Season three was completely about dealing with Barry’s selfish mistake. A conscious, deliberate mistake that had irreparable consequences for everyone. He was lucky that he managed to deal with most of the changes to a point where we didn’t care or it didn’t affect the plot (like Dante’s death) but don’t think anyone forgets or doesn’t care about baby Sara. The audience is supposed to root for the hero, and I do, but Barry has almost let his power go to his head and it’s hard to watch. It can be annoying to watch. I’m not happy he had to sacrifice himself in the season finale because it was sad and it’s not fair to everyone else in his life, but he did make this mistake and no one else can deal with that. And on top of that, we had Barry being all angsty. We get enough angst from Oliver Queen. In that one episode where his memory was erased, Iris remarked that it’d been a while since he was so free from burdens, and she was right. It was refreshing. In season four please let Wally take some of that hero burden and please stop having Barry make poor choices.
But enough about Barry. Let’s talk about girls. Iris is a reporter but did she even do any reporting this season? I know she’s more than just the love interest, so let’s see that a bit more often. Have her do communications for the STAR Labs museum or something. Anything. And then there’s Caitlin or Killer Frost…or whoever she is now. It’s not that I loved Caitlin because she never was my favourite, it’s that she was a part of the team and Cisco’s best friend, and I just want her to be happy. Y’all have her constantly falling in love with these fleeting dudes and she always just seems so sad and reserved. She deserves better. At the risk of becoming like Arrow, season four of needs to return to its roots. Barry is a local hero and a scientist, not a God and not a Time Master. Bring back the lightheartedness.
I’ve never been a fan of darkness, so you’ve never been my favourite. But I guess the darkness and grit makes the moments of light stand out all the more. Unfortunately, this past season lacked those stand out moments. While Adriane Chase was an amazing villain, Oliver was so angsty, Diggle never stood out, and Billy’s death along with that completely unnecessary and out of character nonsense with Helix made Actual Ray Of Sunshine Felicity a little duller. I know the show will never be as light as The Flash or Supergirl, but at least let these characters have some moments of happiness that last longer than four seconds before going back to immediate crisis.
And while Team Arrow isn’t as smiley as Team Flash, fans still root for them. But this season, half of Team Arrow were new characters. Right away this season we went from just Oliver and Felicity to Oliver and Felicity and Curtis and Renee and Evelyn and Rory, the latter three new and underdeveloped. Bringing in new people isn’t a bad thing. Fan favourites like Roy and Sara and even Laurel and Thea were later additions to the team, but they all came in one at a time, so fans got a chance to see their story/character develop, whereas this season, the newbies came in so fast, I couldn’t have cared less if they lived or died. Evelyn betrayed them and Rory left and I didn’t and still do not care. Because Team Arrow is such an underground and dangerous team, having a strong bond between the team is vital, and that just was not felt this season. And then we had Dinah come in as a replacement for Laurel (another quick entrance), and let me say, no one prefers her to Laurel. Having Black Siren as a series regular next season will not and can not make up for killing Laurel. But death is death, and I guess I can accept that. And if you’re looking for someone else to kill, I nominate Curtis because he is getting on my nerves. He never knows when to shut up.
As the flashbacks have come to an end and the season ended with a literal bang, we’ve seen just how crazy the last decade of Oliver’s life has been. He deserves some happiness (with Felicity please) and he deserves not to carry the world on his shoulders. Unlike Barry Allen, he didn’t make any huge mistakes for selfish reasons. Like, sure, he shouldn’t have killed at first, but most of those guys he killed deserved to die, and how was he supposed to know one of them had a psychopath for a son? And it’s not like he’s the only person who’s ever killed. Let’s stop treating him like he is.
Dear Legends Of Tomorrow,
Honestly, you’re my favourite right now, which is interesting considering that I almost didn’t watch you from the start and I definitely did not care for any of these characters from the start. Though I wish I understood the many complicated rules of Time Travel better, you manage to deliver action and laughs from a likeable cast of characters in a constantly interesting places. I’m a sucker for teams and the Legends are a legendary team, to say the least. Their interactions as a team as well as in pairs or smaller groups are always so fun. Because they’re all so outspoken and underqualified for Time Travel, it makes their hero work that much more relatable and enjoyable. But you’re not free from flaws.
First of all, I need more girls. Sara Lance is everything, but she needs more than just Kendra and then just Amaya. The Arrowverse has so many amazing ladies to throw on the Waverider. If it were up to me, I’d pick up Nyssa or Lisa Snart or go back in time and get Laurel (because no one wants Black Siren and everyone wants the real Laurel). I know all three of them would not only work very well with Sara, but would bring something special to the team too.
Speaking of Snart, I miss him. I mean, I liked seeing him on The Flash again as well as working with the Legion Of Doom this past year, but his role on the team in season one was so great. We watched as he became a hero and that was interesting because Ray and Jax and all them were heroes from the start. Bring back Snart the hero.
I really only have one more issue with you, and it’s that the team needs to be nicer to Mick Rory. If the team just trusted him and respected him and recognized the fact that for all of season two he was fairly cooperative despite the fact that he was dealing with the loss of his partner, they would have avoided a few mishaps. I know they’re doing their best to save the world and manage time, but the functionality of this rag-tag team is a huge draw for me and many others.
I know it seems like I’m too critical and negative. I’m not. I could write so many more letters expressing all the things I love about these shows, because I honestly do love them. I am in awe of how magically you’ve managed to tie together these four shows and like I said, I am very much looking forward to the coming seasons. But this letter is to remind and encourage anyone and everyone behind these shows that they could be better. Listen to fans and think about what these characters deserve. You want to tell stories and we want to watch them.
Congrats on all the success so far and I can’t wait until the fall when you return to my screen.
Sincerely, a fan