Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Starman Plays Full Throttle Remastered - Part Three

In which I luck out and manage to get through what can be the longest section of the game in about five minutes. All thanks to the power of manure!


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 3, Episode 19 - The Once And Future Flash

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.




Plot

Still seeking the identity of Savitar, Barry makes a desperate trip to the future. Arriving in 2024, he discovers his friends - and himself - changed into drastically different people in the wake of Iris' death and a Central City ruled by metahuman criminals! Can Barry become the hero the future needs?


Influences

The Flash: Terminal Velocity b
y Mark Waid (The Flash tries to save the life of the woman he loves following a trip to the future when he learns of her death) and the Fast Forward episode of the 1990 The Flash series (base plot of The Flash going forward in time and seeing everyone he knows and loves changed for the worst.).


Goofs


Isn't it a bit odd that Iris asks Barry to promise to watch after Joe if she dies but not Wally?

How the heck did Caitlin get out of the STAR Labs building faster than Barry could search it?

Granting that it's necessary - from a storytelling perspective - for Future Barry to be given a reason to come out of retirement and save his past self (apart from simple self-preservation) Barry slowing down to taunt Mirror Master and The Top and giving them time to use their powers is phenomenally stupid.

When Future Barry tells his past self about Tracy Brand and The Speed Force Trap, he says that she didn't figure out the technology until "four years ago."  Barry says this was four years after Iris died. Actually, it would be three years after Iris died.

Later, Barry says he went eight years into the future. It was seven. Technically a little less, assuming he left March/April 2017 and arrived in February 2024.

So... what happened to Jesse Quick in all of this?  Did she ever come back from Earth Three?


Performances

The idea of Caitlin suddenly developing an evil persona because of her powers has been one of the weakest ideas in the show's mythology but damned if Danielle Panabaker doesn't sell it for everything it's worth in this episode as the future Killer Frost.

The scene of Barry getting ready to run back to the future and then stopping is a great bit of non-verbal acting on Grant Gustin's part. Even with his face half-hidden by his mask, you can see everything Barry is thinking in his eyes.

For that matter, Grant Gustin almost seems like another actor as Future Barry. More impressively, he does that deep "dark hero" voice and doesn't sound completely ridiculous while doing it.


Artistry

The use of a darker tint and a grayer color palette in the scenes set in the future help to visually distinguish those scenes from the scenes set in the present. It's a striking choice, visually.

The production design is fantastic all around, with a STAR Labs of the future set that is virtually unrecognizable it is so ruined and disheveled.

Tom Cavanagh does a fantastic job on the direction in this episode, coaching his fellow actors into delivering some of their best performances to date.


Flash Facts


The episode title is taken from The Once And Future King by T.H. White.

This episode was directed by actor Tom Cavanagh, who plays all the various versions of Harrison Wells.

While there are several The Flash comics based around dark futures that The Flash travels to and then tries to avert, the plot of this episode is oddly close to that of Fast Forward - an episode of the 1990 The Flash TV series. In that episode, Barry Allen accidentally runs ten years into the future while trying to stop a missile and discovers that the villain who launched the missile has become mayor of Central City in his absence. Barry's allies have been changed by his apparent disappearance, growing cynical and hopeless in his absence.  Much the same thing happens here, though Barry didn't disappear from the timestream completely.

Curiously, this episode originally aired on April 25, 2017 - seven years to the day before Barry is meant to vanish, according to the future newspaper first seen in the pilot episode.

Iris' birthday, according to her tombstone, is June 24, 1989. Candice Patton, who plays Iris West, was born on June 24, 1988.

The costume worn by Future Barry is a brighter shade of red than the one worn by the 2017 Flash. Indeed, it closely resembles the traditional Flash costume from the comics, with a prominent gold-colored belt that is shaped like a lighting bolt and brighter gold lighting insignia on the arms and boot tops. Still no yellow boots, alas.


Technobabble

Barry calculates the force of the explosion that propelled him into the future.  Wally can generate three-times that amount of force at his top speed - more than enough to send Barry seven years into the future.

Future Cisco creates a device that disrupts the resonance field that Barry generates when he runs. This prevents him from opening a time portal back to 2017.

Future Cisco later alters this device to mimic the resonance fields of Mirror Master's portals. This will allow Barry to manipulate the mirror portals as well and restore the refraction effect caused by The Top's powers.

The Mirror Master and The Top learned a way to use their powers in tandem to create an illusion of space folding in on itself. This causes Barry to become paralyzed as he sees the buildings above him collapsing down onto him


Dialogue Triumphs

(Barry walks around the ruins of STAR Labs, his face crestfallen as he sees how bad things have gotten. Suddenly, a figure appears in the door behind him, silhouetted against the light.)
Future Barry:
Why are you here?
Barry: I need your help.
(Future Barry emerges into the light. His hair is longer and unkempt. His eyes more tired. His speech patterns slower, like those of an old man.)
Future Barry: You're from before she dies, aren't you?
(Barry says nothing, apparently dumbstruck at the sight of his future self.)
Future Barry: You can't save her.
(Future Barry turns around and heads for the door.)
Barry: Yes, I can! And I'm going to!
Future Barry: No, you can't. Go home.
Barry: Just tell me who is in the suit!
(Future Barry stops in mid-step.)
Barry: All right? That's all I need. You tell me that, we'll be able to track him down! We'll learn his weakness! We... we'll stop him before he even tries. Just tell me who Savitar is.
Future Barry: I can't.
Barry: What do you- ? Why?!
Future Barry: (sighs) Because I don't know the answer. (pauses) Sorry you ran all this way for nothing. You want some advice? Go home. Spend as much time with Iris as you can. Because pretty soon... we're never gonna see her again.
(Future Barry walks out of the room, leaving Barry watching in shock.)

(Barry looks into Killer Frost's cell. She crawls out of a corner as he speaks but does not look at him.)
Barry: Caitlin? It's me.
Killer Frost: Barry Allen...?
Barry: (sighs) I'm -
Killer Frost: From the past? I can tell. There's no hate in your eyes... yet. So to what do we owe the pleasure of your visit? Come to see how things turn out for Team Flash?
Barry: I wanted to see what happened to my friend.
(Killer Frost stands at that and moves to face Barry.)
Killer Frost: I am NOT your friend, Flash.
Barry: I'm so sorry I did this to you. I should have saved you.
Killer Frost: I'm GLAD that you did this to me.
Barry: Caitlin wasn't. (pauses) I failed her. But I won't when I go back! I'm going to find you and I'm going to help you!
Killer Frost: (scornfully) You're no match for The God of Speed!
(She watches Barry as if expecting a reaction. She looks past Barry toward Cisco.)
Killer Frost: Ohhhh... you didn't tell him, did you?
(Cisco says nothing.)
Killer Frost:
Well, secrets always were our thing, weren't they? (pauses) When I became Killer Frost, Savitar appeared to me and showed me the way. We made one hell of a team...
Barry: Why would you help him?!
Killer Frost: Because he gave me the thing that you couldn't! The cure to my illness? Embracing who I really am!
(Slowly, Barry, who has been looking at the ground for most of this, looks up in sudden realization.)
Barry: You know who he is.
(Killer Frost smirks.)
Barry: Who is he?
(Killer Frost continues to smirk, saying nothing.) 
Barry: (leaning in closer to the glass) Tell me who he is.
Killer Frost (whispering, waving a finger tauntingly) I'll never tell...

(Future Joe replaces the flowers in a vase on Iris West's grave.  Barry watches him from a distance.)
Barry: Hey, Joe.
(Future Joe tenses up but does not turn around.)
Future Joe: Why are you here, Barry?
Barry: (taken aback) I just wanted to see you... I just wanted to see how you were doing?
Future Joe: NOW you want to know? After all this time? Now?
Barry: Uh... Joe, um...
(Future Joe stands and dusts the top of the grave, again not turning around to face Barry.)
Future Joe: I'm doing my best.
(There is a long pause as Barry tries to figure out what to say... what can he say?)
Barry: What happened to us?
(There is another long pause before Joe speaks, clearly shaken as he does so.)
Future Joe: My daughter's life was taken. My son's. And then you left me Barry. The last piece of who I was... left. Turned his back and ran away.
Barry: (stunned) I wasn't there for you?!
(Another long pause, Joe clearly struggling to speak at this point.)
Future Joe: Why start now? (pause)  I'm gonna need you to leave Barry.... please.
(Barry says nothing but walks away, clearly disturbed, as he leaves Joe alone.)

Future Barry: You want answers, Barry?! How's this? You will go back. You will do everything that you can think of to save her. You're even going to create time remnants of yourself, but he's going to kill them all, mostly! And then on the night of May 23rd, Iris West will die in your arms.
Barry: (quietly) No...
Future Barry: And in that moment that she takes her last breath? It will feel like an eternity. And it will break you! She's the love of your life, Barry! (quietly) She was the love of my life...
(Future Barry walks to the corner of the room and just collapses into it, leaving on the wall.)
Future Barry: There will be nothing left at all but stopping Savitar. So no - you won't be there for Joe. You won't be there when Caitlin becomes Killer Frost. When Savitar destroys Wally... You won't be there for any of them. But then one day you'll stop him. You'll lock him in The Speed Force forever. But at that point... he already won. Because everything that you've ever loved is gone. Including you. (pauses) Go home, Barry. There's nothing for you here.

(Cisco reveals that he was the reason Barry couldn't return to the past.)
Barry: Why would you keep me here?
Future Cisco: Because I miss my friend.
Barry: Cis-
Future Cisco: If you want to go, I'm not going to stop you. I don't know why I expected you to be the same Barry Allen I remembered. That guy still had some fight left in him.

(Future HR is sitting before a crowd of women in what was CC Jitters. It is now called HR Jitters. Posters around the room and in the windows advertise a book called The Streak Vs. Mr. Reflecto by HR Wells. There are balloons and other decorations around the room. It is apparently a book signing event.)
Future HR: Continuing with the HR Romance Series, "The Streak Vs. Mr. Reflecto"... "Just as the villain was about to go in for the fatal blow, Florence felt strong hands around her waist... lifting her, like she was a feather." (makes a wind rushing noise) "She was whisked away, the wind blowing through her hair, as her mystery hero finally set Florence down on a mountain top."
(HR chuckles at this line as his phone, which rests on a side table next to him, begins to vibrate.)
HR: I love that part. I was in the zone.
(As he says this, HR looks at his phone which has received a text from an unknown caller. The message reads "I want you." He texts back "I know." We cut to a woman in the audience, who is smiling at HR as she holds her phone.)
HR:  
Ah-ha. She - uh... Florence, was ah, um... and the mountain top! Back to the mountain top!
(HR's phone buzzes with another text message from an unknown caller. This one reads "I have to have you." As he looks up, a second woman is eyeing him suggestively. HR clears his throat as he tries to regain his composure.)
HR: Oh... kay. You know what?  We - uh - we should threesome. Do-some. One!  Something else, I think-
(The women all laugh at the apparent Freudian slip as a yellow streak of lightning carries HR out of the room.)

(Mirror Master and The Top walk out of a jewelry store as the alarms ring. He holds the door open for her.)
The Top: Thank you!
(The two walk along, each of them carrying a bag apparently full of stolen jewelry. The Top is wearing a rather ornate necklace and strutting her stuff, giggling a little bit.)
Mirror Master: Baby, you're a rock star!
The Top: Just like to shine for my man.
(The Flash runs in behind them. They hear the rush of air and turn around to regard him as he smiles.)
The Flash:
Yeah, I don't know. It looks a little... tacky from over here. But... I am old-fashioned.

The Top: We told you to stay away, Flash.
The Flash: Yeah, well I try not to listen to criminals. Or stupid people.

(Killer Frost emerges into a clearing. Savitar is standing there.)
Savitar: I've been waiting for you.
(Killer Frost assumes a defensive stance.)
Savitar: Fear not, my child. I've come only to offer you what you desire.
Killer Frost: And what's that?
Savitar: Salvation.
Killer Frost: You want to cure me? Turn be back into Caitlin Snow?
Savitar: No. I want to make sure that Caitlin never returns.
Killer Frost: Why should I trust you?
(Savitar kneels down and the back of his armor opens up. After a few seconds, we see a booted foot step out of the armor and settle in the snow. Killer Frost looks stunned.)
Killer Frost:
What do you need me to do?


Continuity

The song "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" is apparently the same on Earth 19 as it is on Earth One.

Barry travels to February 3rd, 2024. This is a little under three months before the future newspaper first seen in 101 which reported The Flash vanishing during a crisis on April 25, 2024.

Mirror Master and The Top are seen for the first time since 304.

Mirror Master and The Top both remark that they haven't seen The Flash in a while or seen him wearing "that particular costume". They also claim to own Central City now.

It is later revealed that at some point in The Future, Barry switches to a bright red costume with a more prominent gold belt that is shaped like a lightning bolt and more prominent gold lightning symbols on his sleeves and boot-tops.

Future Cisco seeks out Barry, having had "a feeling" he was around. He apparently has no memory of Barry traveling to the future from 2017.

In 2024, STAR Labs is shut down. Future Cisco says that Future Barry pushed everyone away.

Future HR Wells went on to "other things" besides running The STAR Labs Museum.

Future Caitlin never set foot in STAR Labs again after becoming Killer Frost.

Future Barry lives inside the ruins of STAR Labs, rarely leaving.

We see a bit more of the future fight between Killer Frost and Vibe from 306.

Future Cisco lost his hands and his powers after a battle with Killer Frost as Vibe. He has mechanical prosthetics but he cannot channel vibes through them.

Future Julian Albert is in the employ of Iron Heights prison.

Future Caitlin Snow has given herself over completely to her Killer Frost persona. She is incarcerated in a special cell, overseen by Julian Albert. She confirms that she came to work with Savitar after he gave her what Barry couldn't - peace with who she was rather than a cure for her powers. She also says that she knows who Savitar is but that she will never tell him.

Future Wally West is confined to a wheelchair and in a perpetual state of shock, cared for by a nurse named Beth. Reportedly, he went into a rage after Iris died and went after Savitar by himself. Joe reportedly found him the next day, completely unresponsive, with a broken spine.

Iris' birthday, according to her tombstone, is June 24, 1989.

Future Joe West is a broken man, who never leaves his home except to place fresh flowers on Iris West's grave. According to Joe, Future Barry abandoned him after Iris's death and Wally's paralysis and the last piece of who Joe was died when his son ran out on him.

Future Barry says he was able to trap Savitar in The Speed Force forever but by the time he did it it hardly mattered because Savitar had destroyed everything that he loved. He also never found out who Savitar had been.

Future HR has apparently bought CC Jitters and renamed it HR Jitters. He is a successful science-fiction romance novelist, who is engaged in a live reading of his book The Streak Vs. Mr.Reflecto when Barry retrieves him to rejoin Team Flash.

Until two Flashes appeared to recapture The Top and Mirror Master, The Flash hadn't been seen in Central City for years.

Future Barry reveals that he had help trapping Savitar. He utilized a Speed Force Trap designed by a physicist named Tracy Brand. He didn't tell Barry this because the technology wasn't perfected until four years earlier.

Future Barry gives Barry a media storage device that has all of Tracy Brand's information on it. Future Barry says he doesn't understand anything on it and that he doesn't know where she is, but maybe Barry can use it to find her.


Untelevised Adventures

Future Barry tells his past self about how he trapped Savitar with the help of a physicist named Tracy Brand.


The Fridge Factor

Again, Iris has nothing to do but be the trophy girlfriend/daughter/sister to be saved.

Again, it's troublesome that the one main female member of the cast to develop superpowers is driven evil because of them.


The Bottom Line

Easily the best episode of the season. One of the best episodes of the show, without question. The script is weak and rife with plotholes but the character-work and direction save it. Hopefully Tom Cavanagh will get to direct more episodes in the future because he gets some great performances out of his fellow actors. The show's treatment of Caitlin is still problematic but at least she's shown to be a figure of power... even when locked up in a prison cell.

Injustice 2 #3 - A Review

When Harley Quinn was captured by Amanda Waller to be part of the new Suicide Squad, she expected Batman to come to the rescue right away. She did not, however, expect him to show up guns-a-blazing and ready to kill. Who is this strange new Batman? And where is the real Batman?


I feel safe giving away the "stunning twist" of last week's issue for three reasons - a gun-totting Batman is on the cover of this issue, the synopsis on Comixology spoils the same point, and, c'mon, we all knew that wasn't really Bruce Wayne! I refuse to say anything more about the story, save that Tom Taylor has retained his capacity for dark humor and keeping readers guessing.

Taylor remains well-matched with a top-notch art team. Bruno Redondo is at the peak of his powers, creating interesting and eye-catching designs for some villains we haven't seen before. Juan Albarran provides just the right amount of shade to every scene and Rex Lokus varies the color palettes in a way that is literally stunning.

Final Analysis: 10/10.

Starman Plays Full Throttle Remastered - Part Two

In which we go through ludicrous lengths to get our bike repaired and even more ludicrous lengths to get past multiple police roadblocks.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 2, Episode 18 - Ace Reporter

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.



Plot

When Lena Luthor's ex-boyfriend - a scientist named Jack Spheer - comes to National City to unveil his development of disease-destroying nanotechnology, Lena asks Kara to attend his news conference with her for mortal support. When Snapper Carr's presence inspires Kara to questions Jack's claims, she attracts the attention of a whistle-blower who prompts a bigger investigation that places Kara and everyone around her in danger!

Menwhile, Winn talks James into taking on Lyra as a partner in crime-fighting but Lyra proves over-zealous in making up for her criminal past.


Influences

The Power Company
(character of Jack Spheer and Biomax) and the movie Big Hero 6 (the villain being an executive controlling an army of nano-bots.)


Goofs

The CGI for the nano-swarm changing back into Jack Spheer is a bit dodgy.

Lyra's sudden violent reaction to being told she can't help Guardian out doesn't jibe with her previous characterization.


Performances


Rahul Kohli is an engaging presence as Jack Spheer and does have good chemistry with Katie McGrath.

Between the scenes with Kohli and her bonding moments with Melissa Benoist as Kara, Katie McGrath does more in this episode to develop Lena's character into a sympathetic person than in any previous episode.


Super Trivia

Despite Kara having been fired from CatCo in 215, the opening narration still describes her as a reporter working for CatCo.

The character of Jack Spheer (a.k.a. Biomax) first appeared in the comics in Power Company #6 (September 2002). Jack Spheer was CEO of the Biospheer Technologies - a company which developed Biomax - a plasma that could control organic tissue. The original intent was to use Biomax to alter food production, creating cows that grew to maturity in days and vegetables that did not require refrigeration. Unfortunately, several people became sick after eating the altered foods but Spheer refused to stop production despite this. A confrontation with Green Arrow and Black Canary - who had started investigating the company after two of their friends got sick - resulted in Spheer falling into a vat of Biomax and becoming a non-physical being who could take control of other people.

The DCTVU version of Jack Spheer is quite a different character. The original one had no connection to Lena Luthor and was old enough to have an adult son. The DCTVU version of Jack Spheer runs a company called Spheerical Industries rather than Biospheer Technologies. The DCTVU version of Biomax is also promoted as a medical breakthrough rather than a genetic-engineering mechanism.

The biggest changes, however, are that Jack Spheer is now a living swarm of nanobots rather than a psychic projection and that rather than being a villain in his own right he is being controlled by his corrupt CFO.

An establishing shot shows that The L-Corp building is located on Cordova Street in National City. Cordova, Alaska was the name of the town where Clark Kent spent some time working on a crab boat in the movie Man of Steel.


Technobabble

Winn says he's going to spend the downtime working on a Lebeckian code breaker.

The Biomax Medical Nanobot Program is capable of healing a cut hand in seconds. Spheer claims that his nanobots can eliminate the need for vaccinations, anesthetics and antibiotics.

Kara asks about an FDA regulation regarding distributing drugs across state line and whether or not Spheer is following that law by having started developing Biomax in Metropolis but launching it in National City.

Lena asks Spheer about how he finally cracked the nano swarm.

Spheer says that he took inspiration from watching a flock of migrating starlings and how they all moved in perfect synchronicity. After musing on how he should have followed Lena to National City, he decided that they'd been modeling the nanobots on the wrong animal. Until that point, he'd been trying to create a "queen" as a base for the bee-like drones to revolve around by programming a protective algorithm.

The Buomax nanobots are based on murmuratiom - the technical term for a flock of starlings.

The nano-swarm's artificial nitelligence is a linked sentience, controlled through the Spheerical lab mainframe computer.

Valerians' sense of smell is so powerful that they can distinguish the scents of individual humans.

Three years earlier, Lena and Jack knew that the nanoforms had a side-effect. The brains of the rats they treated were forever altered so that "we could make them do whatever we wanted.".

Beth Breen - the CFO of Jack's company - plans to use the Biomax technology to take control of the world, one person at a time.

Sea salt incorporates better with the dough when making danishes.


Dialogue Triumphs

(Kara flies into the DEO office and walks into the War Room.)
Kara: Woo! It is another beautiful day in National City and the Girl of Steel is ready to take on the world!  I am here to kick some ass, take some names, and do it all with an endearing smile on my face! So - bring it on! What have you got for me?
J'onn: There is literally nothing for you to do.
Kara: Nothing?!
Winn: I challenge you to find an eight-year-old stealing candy!
Alex: It's like somebody slipped law-abiding serum into the reservoir.
Kara: Did somebody do that? Is that illegal? I could stop them.

(The Guardian walks to Winn's van which is rocking rhythmically. He opens up the back of the van to discover Winn and Lyra making out.)
The Guardian: Oh my God... are you serious?
Winn: Woah... ohhhhh.
The Guardian: What are you doing?! You're supposed to be watching out for me!
Winn: (laughing) Guardian! Hey, man! Uh.. you had those guys! I mean, you didn't need me!
Lyra: Yeah!
Winn: Great job!
Lyra: Relax, James. You had him.
(The Guardian pulls off his helmet to reveal himself as a furious James Olsen.)
James:
What - I...you told her?!
Winn: I did NOT tell her!
James; (pointing at Lyra) Well, then how do you know?!
Lyra: Humans all smell different.
Winn: Oh, hey, uh... what do I smell like?
(Lyra spins around getting right in Winn's face, slowly inhaling.)
Lyra: You smell like honey.
Winn: Oh-ho!
(The two start cuddling again, momentarily oblivious to the incredulous James.)

(As Kara is dragging him out to crash Lena and Spheer's dinner date.)
Mon-El:
This just feels like stalking.
Kara: No! It's journalism!
Mon-El: Okay. (quietly, to himself) It's very creepy journalism.

Kara; I heard Supergirl saved you.
Snapper: Yeah. She was there.
Kara; Did you say thank you?
Snapper: Once. To a divorce lawyer. It was uncomfortable for everyone involved.

Beth Breen: You know, it's true what they say? Behind every great man is a strong woman.
Lena: Oh, I wouldn't know. I've never stood behind a man.

Kara: How are you holding up?
Lena: When Lex was arrested, my mother was there. My mother saw her son, dragged bleeding and raving from her house. And when I got there, Lillian was tidynig his room. Like he'd been away on a business trip. (pauses) That's how I feel. Cold and clam. Until I think about Beth dying in jail, and then I feel warm for a minute.
Kara: You're in shock, Lena...
Lena: Loss does strange things to my family and I have lost a lot of people...
Kara: Well, you're not going to lose me.
Lena: I think when I feel things again I... I'm gonna be very, very afraid. Of the person I might be.
(Kara puts an arm around Lena and hugs her close.)
Kara: You don't have to be afraid. I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere.
Lena: Promise?
Kara: I will always be your friend. And I will always protect you. I promise.


Continuity

When not otherwise occupied on Thursday mornings, Alex practices knife-fighting.

Lena Luthor and Jack Spheer dated for two years. They spend five years working together on a start-up out of a garage, trying to find a cure for cancer. They broke up when she left Metropolis to run L-Corp from National City and he refused to go with her.

It is confirmed that Metropolis and National City are in different states.

Lyra Strayd was apparently freed from DEO custody and is still dating Winn, following the events of 216.

Valerians are able to identify humans based on their unique scent. Because of this, Lyra knows that James is The Guardian.

According to Lyra, Winn smells like honey.

Winn brings Lyra in to help James with fighting crime.

The L-Corp building is located on Cordova Street.

Lena's executive assistant is named Hector.

Mon-El is still using Mike as an alias.

Mon-El is a good enough pick-pocket that he steal's Spheer's security badge while hugging him.

Lena Luthor is capable enough a fighter to go up against a black-belt.

Jack Spheer dies when Lena deactivates the robots.

Beth Breen is arrested although on what charges isn't precisely clear. Presumably the two murders she caused using Jack.as a weapon.

James tells Winn that he considers him a brother.

James invites Lyra to rejoin the team with the understanding that she follow his orders exactly.

Snapper Carr enjoys baking.

Kara gets her job as a reporter at CatCo back.

At the end of the episode, Lena is approached by Queen Rhea, who is dressed as an ordinary Earth woman. She says she has a business proposition for her.


The Fridge Factor

Lyra is suddenly portrayed as having a violent temper in order to set up a crazy girlfriend joke.


The Bottom Line

A sadly flat episode that proves how essential the DEO setting has become to the series in Season 2. The biggest problem is that most of the episode is devoted to Lena's romance with Jack Spheer, which its hard to become emotionally invested in since Lena hasn't been developed much as a character so far. It's a credit to Rahul Kohli and Katie McGrath that the subplot works as well as it does.

The rest of the episode isn't any better, focusing on Kara's efforts to prove herself as a reporter and James' continuing misadventures as The Guardian. I think the Kara subplot might have been stronger had she depended more on her reporting skills and less on her powers, ala The Late Mr. Kent episode of Superman: The Animated Series. And while I seem to be one of the few critics who don't mind the Guardian scenes, even I think this week's subplot was total filler.

Worse yet, The Guardian scenes undermined one of the better subplots introduced this season - Winn's relationship with Lyra - by having her become a violent berserker when she hasn't shown any tendencies towards violence before. Where were those fighting skills when she was being abducted by Lillian Luthor's thugs or her brother was being threatened a few episodes ago?