he show closes out, what really feels like the first arc of an origin story for Mari/Vixen with a bit of action, some humor and a nice button on the CW-verse hero cameos. Things have changed in (for the viewer IS, but for Mari probably just FEELS like) a very short period of time. She has gone from a fashion design student with questions about her past to becoming a globetrotting, animal-totem wielding superhero with a super villain sister…
The opening of the episode focusing on the “other worldly” animal spirits was pretty interesting, but one that I definitely don’t think this story required. It felt a little odd for this woman, who has been thrown in the middle of a really surreal experience to accept that she has a family, her sister is evil, and that there are spirits who imbue her with animal powers AND that there are spirits that can talk to her THROUGH animals, if they so choose? To me, that would be the point that I say “hold up! Did I eat a bad burrito? Is this all a messed up tex-mex fever dream???”
But the fight sequence that followed was really dynamic and a lot of fun to watch (so much so, that when I was pulling screen grabs, I went back and watched the whole sequence again…). It felt like a Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon meets Dragon Ball Z sort of hybrid sequence, with the wind-swept animation style PLUS the high-stakes fighting maneuvers. I liked the banter that Mari had with her sister, and could probably have watched an entire show just dedicated to them fighting and quipping back and forth…
Seeing Mari’s sister wield the totem powers was interesting, because I honestly believed that she would actually be unable to focus her powers at all, because the totem had bonded itself to Mari. But seeing her have those powers, and seeing Mari become such a resourceful scrapper (the spear was a pretty ingenious move, if I do say so myself) was a dynamic turn for the character.
Then, once the battle was done (which wrapped up in a way I was really not expecting, but one that felt very natural for the dynamic between Mari and her sister) Mari returns to Detroit to become a vigilante crime fighter and to clean up the mean streets. The shot they used to show Vixen subduing and “gift wrapping” bad guys (leaving them tied to a lamp post for the authorities to find) was a classic moment that I think has been used for basically EVERY superhero series since Batman: The Animated Series.
I liked seeing Mari go home, and talk to her dad- seeing her explain everything that has happened, and her new lease on life and her plan to be a design student by day, and a crime fighter by night was a fun conclusion for him to come to. I also liked seeing Flash and Arrow come back around for one last “you be a good girl, now…” speech before heading back to their respective homes. Seeing Flash become a bit more human, accidentally letting slip about Cisco (AND FELICITY- which was a moment I really wish we could have seen play all the way out…) was a nice parting shot for these two characters, who felt a bit out of place and quite a bit more wooden than anything else we had seen in this show so far. I hope that, as I have said before, Gustin and Amell are just not well-versed voice actors, which contributed to their novitiate outing in the recording booth. But outside of the few moments early on, that felt a bit forced and rather unfitting for this world that Vixen lives in, this series has built a decent world around our characters, and established Mari/Vixen as having her own corner of the world to protect, BUT gives her the opportunity to bring in backup should she ever feel the need.
I really liked seeing the costume that (i am assuming) Mari designed for herself, to fight crime in detroit as a nameless vigilante, but i think that, for a first-pass costume, it feels a bit polished AND a bit too revealing. if it was more of a full body brown leotard, or something more cobbled together (like we see in every version of the Spider-Man origin story) i think that i wouldn't have been quite so taken aback by the reveal. I think that it may also have fit her personality a bit more for her to be a costume designer who treats her own wardrobe as a work in progress... But maybe that is something to come next- or maybe her dad puts his foot down about his daughter going out and beating guys up wearing an animal print dominatrix outfit (CW- you are free to use that line if you so choose). Beyond that, i think the moment it is revealed is actually a well written one- seeing Flash and Arrow and Vixen all together one last time, before she heads off on her own to really become a true super hero was a nice moment to put a button on this first arc (and possibly first season? there are only 6 episodes listed on IMDB for this show, which is titled a miniseries...)
This series has been a lot of things so far, but “bad” has yet to be one of them… I think that if you are STILL not watching this show, you really should, because there is a lot that this show has to offer that you cant get really ANYWHERE else. And I am almost certain that this show is something that you can’t get anywhere else for free!!! So enjoy some official DC Comics material, paywall-free and legally, because it is totally worth the price of admission to jump onto the Vixen bandwagon.