With the winter break over, the superheroes of the CW, Fox, and ABC are returning with more drama, surprise guests and exceptional banter with their often colorful nemeses.
Considering there are enough superhero shows to keep a crossover event going indefinitely, we thought a few reminders of where we left off with each team or hero might be helpful. For instance, did you know DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is taking an extended break until February? If not read on as we get reacquainted with the television superheroes.
Returned: Friday, Jan. 5
Thanks to their late start in December, the S.H.I.E.L.D. team is already back in business with new episodes every Friday.
In the most recent, “Fun & Games,” Fitz (Iain De Caestaecker) staged a daring rescue. Well, he sort of staged it, anyway. Daisy (Chloe Bennet) had plans of her own, and no matter how much he planned for that, things still went sideways as Kasius’s (Dominic Rains) brother Faulnak (Samuel Roukin) turned up with the intention of outbidding Fitz for Daisy and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge). Simmons split open Kasius’s neck, Fitz shot the Kree administrator’s “stray” Sinara (Florence Faivra), and the trio exited the arena while leaving some of the most ruthless power brokers in the galaxy behind an energy barrier. And though it seemed like a victory, they still have to reconnect with Coulson (Clark Gregg), Mack (Henry Simmons), and Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley); find a way out of the Lighthouse; save May (Ming-Na Wen) from the surface; and find a way back to the present day. They’ll probably have to save the remaining humans in the Lighthouse as well. Reportedly, the team will not get back to our time until the 100th-episode extravaganza six weeks from now, so get ready for more intense space action. Luckily, it’s some of the best action S.H.I.E.L.D. has ever realized.
Returns: Monday, Jan. 15
Things were not looking too well for Kara (Melissa Benoist) when we last saw her. Savagely beaten by the World Killer known as Reign (Odette Annable), Supergirl fell into a coma while her opponent remained free to rip up National City and, presumably, the world.
But even before that, everybody in the DEO was feeling the strain of recent events. The return of Mon-El (Chris Wood) turned out not so joyous, as he spent seven years in the 31st century coping with the belief that he would never see Kara again; only to found the Legion of Superheroes in her honor. He also got married to the Legion’s prime telepath Imra Ardeen (Amy Jackson). Alex (Chyler Leigh) was still coping with her breakup from Maggie (Floriana Lima), but a brief fling with Legends of Tomorrow captain Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) alleviated some of the tension. Nonetheless, she also needed a trip home to Midvale to even start feeling half her old self. J’onn (David Harewood) and his father M’yrnn (Carl Lumbly) moved into an apartment in the city — a first for both Martians! And despite having a pair of best friends like Kara and Sam, Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) is headed for a rude awakening as one tries to kill the other. Also: James Olson (Mehcad Brooks) and Winn Schott (Jeremy Jordan) are still on the show!
Returns: Tuesday, Jan. 16
Despite finally getting married at the end of the “Crisis on Earth-X” crossover, Iris and Barry’s (Candice Patton and Grant Gustin) honeymoon was cut short by Clifford DeVoe (Neil Sandilands), who orchestrated his most fiendish scheme yet: framing Barry for his murder.
Meanwhile, the rest of the S.T.A.R. Labs team are in a good place for once. Caitlin Snow and Killer Frost (both Danielle Panabaker) seem to have an understanding about inhabiting the same body. Cisco (Carlos Valdes) has been reassured that his relationship with Gypsy (Jessica Camacho) is still stable, and Harry (Tom Cavanagh) likes living on Earth-1 after his daughter and the other heroes of Earth-2 made him feel useless. Even Joe (Jesse L. Martin) has happy tidings with a baby on the way. But it’s easy to imagine DeVoe has plans to disrupt the happiness they’ve all carved out for themselves. This is The Flash after all. Nobody gets to smile for very long. Well, maybe Ralph Dibny (Hartley Sawyer) will get to keep smiling. He’s shallow enough for that.
Returns: Thursday, Jan. 18
After building up a great team of vigilantes in its fifth season, the sixth year of Arrow set out to break them. Or, at least, destroy their hard-won camaraderie.
When we last saw Team Arrow, it appeared to be mission accomplished with Rene (Rick Gonzalez) admitting he sold out Oliver (Stephen Amell) to the FBI. In the fallout, the other junior members of the team – Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy) and Curtis Holt (Echo Kellum) – came to distrust Oliver, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and Diggle (David Ramsey). In fact, there are now two teams as Rene, Dinah, and Curtis decided to go it alone without Oliver’s myriad issues harshing their style. But this breakdown in team spirit was the plan of mastermind Cayden James (Michael Emerson) who — along with Mallus on Legends of Tomorrow and DeVoe on The Flash — is proving the importance of strategy and cold, calculated reasoning. Now that Team Arrow is fractured, James is ready to send each of them a specific nemesis, like Dinah’s ex Vincent (Johann Urb) and Diggle’s former supplier Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo), in the hopes of destroying them utterly. Well, there’s probably also a profit to be made as well. It’s a shame Ragman Rory (Joe Dinicol) can’t reappear and help them out.
Returns: Monday, Feb. 12
Thanks to the arrival of Black Lightning, Supergirl and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow will be splitting the Monday 8 p.m. timeslot through June. While Supergirl returns for four weeks on Monday, Legends will return to complete its third season on February 12.
When it does, the Waverider crew will face some of their toughest emotional challenges yet. Dr. Martin Stein (Victor Garber) passed away saving his friends from the Nazis of Earth-X, and Jax (Franz Drameh) decided to stay behind in 2017 to figure out who he is without Stein and Firestorm. If that loss wasn’t bad enough, Mallus (John Noble) has some sort of direct connection to Sara, which may yet relate to the way the other time anomalies keep making the team confront their pasts. He also claims he will be free from the strange prison dimension where he currently resides. Oh, and Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill), the person first wise to Mallus, is behind bars! But not everything is doom and gloom thanks to a visit from Earth-X’s Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller). He’s already done wonders for Mick Rory’s (Dominic Purcell) drinking problem. Maybe he can help the others find solace. Also, Ray (Brandon Routh) and Nate (Nick Zano) still get to nerd out wherever they go.
Returns: To be announced
Maybe not this Jim Gordon. His effort to recruit Sofia Falcone (Crystal Reed) into his war against Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) led to Sofia arranging the death of her own father and the messy arrival of Lazlo Valentin (Michael Cerveris) into the mix. It also led to the deaths of a number of GCPD officers and the leverage she needs to keep Captain Gordon in her pocket. Oops. Bruce, meanwhile, fought with Alfred (Sean Pertwee) and arranged for an emancipation from his butler/trainer/legal guardian. He also fired him so he can lean into that “millionaire playboy” thing with gusto. Never mind that Alfred accurately interpreted Bruce’s recent behavior as a form of misery. Meanwhile, Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) tried to beat the Butch (Drew Powell) back into the thick skull of Solomon Grundy (also Powell) — and though she left the scene in frustration, it appeared to work. And exposed for his hand in the apparent death of a child, Penguin found himself locked up at Arkham and facing the unsettling smile of Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan). Surely that team-up will lead to successful rehabilitation for both.