Sunday, November 11, 2018

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 4, Episode 5 - Parasite Lost

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




Plot

Colonel Haley - the US Army officer placed in charge of the DEO - begins to throw her weight around as Kara's efforts to profile a noted alien healer make him the target of anti-alien bigots. Meanwhile, Agent Jensen is transformed into a new Parasite, as part of Agent Liberty's efforts to create a soldier who can turn aliens' powers against them, while James struggles with Guardian's newfound popularity among anti-alien bigots.


Influences

The movie Ghostbusters (Alex is armed with a literal proton pack) and The Matrix (Brainy says something about entering The Matrix in reference to his force-field Matrix)


Goofs

It's somewhat aggravating and oddly sexist that Elizabeth Hawkins' mother is never given an actual name in the episode, despite largely being the villain. She's also never given any real motivation for turning on Amadei Derros beyond his apparently impregnating her and cutting off contact, but we only have her word for this and she is... not exactly reliable. At least until he confirms breaking her heart, but no reason is given for why he did this.

It isn't really explained just how Amadei Derros' amulet will let Parasite keep the powers he drains.

Why did Elizabeth Hawkins' mother save all the letters that Amadei Derros sent her if her entire goal was to make her daughter believe she'd been abandoned and to hate her father?

Why are The Children of Liberty suddenly being treated like a secretive dark-web group when Agent Liberty was holding a public rally, in costume, two episodes ago?

If Col. Haley is trying to avoid starting a riot, sending DEO soldiers in black uniforms carrying large guns into a crowd of nervous aliens is a curious way of trying to do it.

How did Guardian get inside the dome area?

As a civilian police agent, Alex is not required to salute a military officer even if they do have authority over her.

The lesson about Col. Haley not being as unreasonable as Alex thought is completely undercut by the end of the episode, where it is revealed that Col. Haley is the military-minded hardass Alex was afraid she would be and an unrepentant alien-hating bigot who seems to want all aliens put into concentration camps, based on her comments about the DEO needing to capture aliens instead of employing them.

Why did nobody think, in regards to Supergirl confronting The Parasite, to use the sealed armored suit she was wearing last week?


Performances

It's a small thing, but there's something so awesome about David Harewood slipping on his fedora as he ponders that he's become a true detective hero.


Super Trivia

The first Parasite in DC Comics history was a man named Raymond Maxwell Jensen, who first appeared in Action Comics #340 (August 1966) A low-life who lacked the intelligence to be a competent criminal, Jensen got a job as a plant worker in a scientific research facility with the intent of casing the firm so he could rob it. Mistakenly believing that the company's payroll was concealed in one of the metal containers used for storing hazardous materials, Jensen was exposed to strange energies that mutated him into the energy absorbing Parasite, allowing Jensen to gain the mental and physical characteristics of any being he touched.

Agent Jensen is transformed into a new version of The Parasite in this episode, possessing the same energy absorption powers as Dr. Rudy Jones in 206.

Ben Lockwood has a video blog on a right-wing fringe channel called The People's Veritas. This is quite likely a nod to Project Veri tas - a real-world right-wing group known for their efforts to frame liberal groups and politicians for crimes with faked hidden camera exposes, much like Ben Lockwood's efforts to fake an alien attack in the last episode.


Technobabble

Uranium is less stable atomically than plutonium and runs the risk of creating a larger explosion.

An electric force-field can contain the radiation of a uranium explosion.

An improvised spherical ionic containment field would create the optimal distribution of electrons.

Force-field discs can be linked to make a force-field matrix.

Brainy is capable of outfitting a gun that can blast protons.

Brainiac calculates that the output of the proton pack must be increased at least 550% to fight Parasite when he has the amulet.


Dialogue Triumphs

Brainy: Nia Nul!
(There is a long pause as Kara glances between the two of them.)
Kara: You two know each other?
Nia: Well, we met once at a pizza place.(To Brainy) You know, you never found me...
Brainy: But of course I did! Your address is 775 Gladiola Drive, second floor corner apartment. Your phone number is 555-8010. You stop at Bob's Diner every morning and order an extra super large coffee, milk. No sugar.
(Everyone is wincing as Brainy is describing this.)
Alex: Okay. Yes. That - he's not nearly as stalkery as that came out as.
Nia: (laughing nervously) Well, why didn't you call me?
Brainy: (confiused) You told me to find you. Not call you.

Kara: Most people only have one way to fight for justice, but luckily, I have two.

Ben: You know, I was just talking about you on my show recently-
James: So I heard. And just to be clear, you and I do not represent the same things.
Ben: Hmm. Far be it for James Olsen to listen to an opinion that is not his own.
James: I listen to opinions that are not my own. But what I heard in your show was full of discrimination and hate. And that's when I stopped listening.
Ben: (smugly) I see. So this is the part where you and others like you start making crass generalizations based on ignorance and stereotypes-
James: And you forgot the part where people like me walk away.
(James does so.)

Ben: Do not shut these people out, James. Can't you see?  The people who think this way, they're not crazy - they're scared. And they need those fears acknowledged. And when they are not? When they get shut down, like you're doing right now?  It just... drives them deeper into darkness.
James: (firmly) Let me be very clear about something, Professor. You will not lay this at my feet.

(Col. Haley has just complemented Alex for saving lives, but also criticized her for not following orders mindlessly.)
Col. Haley: Still, I have to say it is much better to have you in charge than that impostor, J'onn J'onzz.
Alex: ... excuse me?
Col Haley: When we at The White House learned about your former director's true identity, I recommended his removal. He was trying to erode the DEO's mission - employing aliens instead of catching them. All while pretending to be someone he's not. I am glad that order has been restored and we're heading to more civil, honest times.
Alex: (evenly) J'onn J'onzz is the one who recruited me. Trained me. Promoted me. And taught me everything that I know. He's my family. And he's the best director that this organization has ever seen!


Continuity

Kara repaired the roof-garden at her apartment complex in one day.

Brainiac 5 had no idea that mojitos were alcoholic and drank 12 of them.

Kara gets an interview with Amadei Derros - a famous alien healer who has not given an interview in 20 years.

J'onn is a friend of Amaedi Derros.

Brainiac 5 claims to have a superhuman capacity for recovering from excessive alcohol consumption. A two minute nap is all he needs to regain his sobriety.

Brainiac 5 was able to find out Nia's address, phone number and morning routine. He did not call her, however, because she asked him to find her - not to call her.

The alien worm that transforms Agent Jensen seems to be exactly the same as the one that changed Dr. Rudy Jones in 206.

Infernians are an alien species capable of generating fire and surviving intense heat. Scorcher, the alien assassin who tried to kill President Marsdin in 203, was an Infernian, as is the first alien whom Jensen drains as the new Parasite.

Amadei Derros is part of an unidentified alien species. He has the power to heal others with a touch. It is unclear if this is a natural ability of his species or a power unique to him. His abilities do not work on humans because he cannot access their "frequency" as of yet. His life force is tied to an amulet.

Jensen attacks a street performer - an alien shapeshifter who amuses crowds by changing into the people in the crowd. He kills the alien and uses his powers to escape after touching Supergirl.

J'onn continues running Fiona's support group.

J'onn reads Amadei Derros' mind and gets an image of a woman identified as Elizabeth Hawkins.

J'onn and Kara later determine that Elizabeth Hawkins is Amadei Derros' illegitimate daughter. She claims to have never met him in person and to have never communicated with him, despite sending him pictures and reaching out to him several times.

Elizabeth Hawkins' mother is revealed to have been lying to her daughter about her father. He apparently did try writing her several times, but the letters were all intercepted.

Elizabeth Hawkins' mother is revealed to be the one who stole Amadei's amulet and gave it to a Child of Liberty, who in turn gave it to Jensen. Somehow, it enables him to keep the powers he steals.

Kara, J'onn and the DEO learn about the existence of The Children of Liberty.

Col. Haley orders Alex to shoot Jensen despite the fact that it will kill hundreds of civilians.

Amadei Derros is healed and meets his daughter face-to-face for the first time.

Jensen is eventually talked into removing the amulet, which kills him, when it is pointed out he is endangering humans. Before he dies, he says it doesn't matter becuase "he's still out there." in reference to Agent Liberty.

Col. Haley is revealed to be an anti-alien bigot who slams J'onn's performance as DEO director. She becomes quite cold and starts demanding to be saluted according to military protocol after Alex stands up for J'onn.

Jensen's brain-scan flatlined after The Parasite was removed from him. He was still alive and transferred to the DEO's desert facility.

A woman named Mara Nalbeck looks for J'onn at the alien bar. Apparently her store was vandalized and she trusts J'onn to solve the case more than the NCPD.

James plans to use his reputation as Guardian to help him get to the people running the anti-alien hate-groups and hopefully talk the people who are scared rather than hateful into changing their hearts and minds.   He starts off by calling Ben Lockwood and asking him to talk.


The Fridge Factor

Samantha Hawkins' mother doesn't even merit a name of her own.


The Bottom Line

Quite possibly the dumbest episode of Supergirl since the last story with The Parasite. The villain is completely wasted and gone after a single episode again. Amadei Derros' powers and his connection to his amulet are barely touched upon except in so far as the episode needs a MacGuffin. Samantha's mother has no real motivations and just happens to fall in with a group of anti-alien bigots because of a bad break-up 20 years ago. The whole plotline with J'onn and Kara is just weak and poorly written overall. Still, if it sets up more Martian Manhunter detective stories, I can live with it. Still, it says a lot that the scenes with James - usually the weakest parts of any Supergirl episode - are actually the strongest this time around. Still, this episode needed a lot more rewriting before being filmed.



Friday, November 9, 2018

Starman Plays Betrayal at Krondor - Part 48

In which we finish cleaning out the Nighthawk stronghold and start inquiring as to the identity of the leader of the Nighthawks... starting with Owyn's uncle!


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 4, Episode 3 - Dancing Queen

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



Plot

The search for the Fugitives leads The Legends to the punk scene in 1970s London. Soon the team is having to stop a plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II in addition to hunting down the fugitive, who has a shockingly familiar face. Meanwhile, at Time Bureau HQ, Gary is attempting to show Nate the ropes on what turns out to be anything but a typical day at the office.


Influences

Jamie Delano's Hellblazer (the information on John's parent and history as a punk rocker come straight from this comic) and The Crimson Permanent Assurance sequence of Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (turning an office into a swashbuckler's playground)


Goofs

While Queen Elizabeth being committed would likely be a major blow to the morale of the British Empire, it would probably not inspire outright anarchy as The Queen's position is purely ceremonial.

Granting that it is possible Ray might not know that cars in England are driven on the left side of the road, wouldn't this have come up while he was driving The Legends to The Hole?


Performances

Tala Ashe is quickly becoming this season's MVP. The scenes of her and John interacting or magic, in comedic and dramatic terms. And good on them for managing a touching John Constantine scene that isn't sickeningly sweet.

Anjli Mohindra does a fantastic job making Charlie into a sympathetic character. It's sort of a shame she is only here to set up Maisie Richardson-Sellers return.


Artistry

It's a simple editing trick, but the "Ball-Kick Paradox" scene is well blocked.


Trivia Of Tomorrow

In the original Hellblazer comics, John Constantine was the lead singer for a punk band called Mucous Membrane from 1977-1979. They released one single, Venus of the Hard Sell.

The Arrowverse version of John Constantine also was part of a punk band called Mucous Membrane.

John describes Mick's attitude toward him as Perfidious Albion. This is an Anglophobic term frequently applied to a reputation England has for not keeping their word when it comes to treaties and agreements and British people in general being dishonest. It was first coined by French playwright Augustin Louis de Ximénès in 1793, regarding England's early support of The French Revolution, before joining with the other monarchies in Europe against the new Revolutionary government.

In the original Hellblazer comics, John Constantine's mother (Mary Anne Quinn) died bring him and a still-born twin brother into the world. It was later revealed that John strangled his own twin (who was supposed to be the good one) in the womb with his own umbilical cord. John's father, Thomas Constantine, called him "Killer" as a result and was quite abusive toward John for having destroyed the best thing in his life, according to him. It was later revealed that the complications with John's mother giving birth were the result of a botched back-alley abortion that John's father forced her to have.

In the Arrowverse, John's mother died giving birth to him and his father called him "Killer". John doesn't specifically mention any abuse, but it is heavily implied by John's attitude that they did not have a loving relationship.

Though not named in the episode, the actress who plays John's mother is credited as Mary Anne and his father is credited as Thomas.

John makes reference to "clipping an angel's wings." being the way to deprive them of their power. In The Sandman, Morpehus took away something of Lucifer's power by cutting off his wings.


Technobabble/Arcana

The bracelet that Ray made to hold the Zambesi Ar Totem gem also handles messaging and data, has a pedometer that counts steps, keeps accurate time in any era.

Leprechans are Irish faeries who are obsessed with riches and prone to mischief.

John casts a spell to set Mick's pant-leg on fire.

According to John, Leprechauns must count every piece of grain that is spilled in front of them. This can be used to reveal a leprechaun that is hiding its true nature. This is an actual bit of lore regarding leprechauns, though arithmomania (a specific form of obsessive-compulsive disorder where the patient is compelled to count things) is more frequently associated with vampires.

Gary and Nate travel to somewhere during the Pleistocene Period, which ran from about 2.6 million years ago to 11,700 years ago. They specifically travel to 768,000 BC - the time when a giant meteor was believed to have hit the Earth in Indo-China, kicking off a major evolutionary event.

The Ball-Kick Paradox prevents you from kicking your own father in the junk, because then you'd never be born, which means you'd never be there to kick your own father in the balls. Attempting it anyway results in an inverse of momentum (i.e. you fall on your arse trying it.)

Ray describes Charlie's shape-shifting as "rapid molecular transformation."

Ray programmed a command into the ATOM suit, keyed to his voice, to cause it to instantly disassemble itself. Presumably it can assemble itself as well, as this would explain how rapidly Ray can change into his costume.

John performs a "magical lobotomy" that takes away Charlie's shape-shifting powers, leaving her trapped in Amaya's form. He can't give the powers back or change her shape and describes the idea of doing so as being like "unclipping an angel's wings."


Dialogue Triumphs

Zari: Doing bad things for good reasons is practically our mission statement.

(John says an Irish punk singer is clearly a Leprechan)
Zari: S-sorry - are you being serious or racist?
John: Both, love.

Sara: We need to get close to that band. Which shouldn't be a problem, because everybody left on this ship is a punk.
Mick: Except for Haircut. He's never broken a rule in his life.
(Ray glances to one side, looking very guilty all of a sudden.)
Zari: (dryly) Yep. Not a single rule.

Charlie: I didn't catch your name.
Ray: Ray... ge.
Charlie: Rage?
Ray: Yep. Rage. That's what they call me. On account of all my various rages. Against, the uh... machine.

Sara: You're going to have to do this the old-fashioned way.
Ray: Corgi-napping?
Mick: Gaining their trust and betraying them.

(Ray approaches the Royal Dog-Walker)
Ray: Ah, excuse me, sir. I don't know if this is royal etiquette, but, uh, if it may please the Crown, may I borrow one of those Corgis?
Dog Walker:(clearly nervous) Just take him!
Ray: Oh! There are those famous British manners I've heard of. Thank you.
(Ray takes one of the leases and walks off toward the camera. We then see that Sara was standing behind him, out of Ray's view, holding up the two unconscious bodyguards.)
Sara: (To the Dog Walker) Good choice.

(Zari has found John in a Liverpool pub, where a bartender is doting on him.)

Zari: That brooding, anti-hero crap must be a real panty dropper, huh? You tell her you have four roommates and sleep on the couch?
John: No, I didn't. She's my mum.
(The mother of all awkward pauses ensues.)
Zari: I'm really wishing I had not said "panty dropper."
John: Yep.

The whole sequence of John trying to kick his own father in the nuts to stop himself form being born.

Charlie: So what? The bloke fancies a bit of disco! Gilly used to be a nun. Ian was a mime! I've done a stint in the lock-up! Declan's not even Irish!

(Ray suggest that Charlie isn't that bad and they don't need to send her to Hell.)
John: She's manipulating you! Don't fall for it, mate.
Mick: Too late. He's got a tattoo.
Zari: (quietly) Oh, please let it be a tramp stamp.

Sara: Squad. Save The Queen.

Nate: (brandishing the broken arm of a paper-cutter) Today, we ride!

Ava: Can you please just tell me how you keep five Legends on a leash at once?
Sara: Very loosely. Because sometimes we pull you in the right direction.

Zari: Hey, you got a minute? I just wanted to say, about the pub -
John:Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Listen, if you're here to have some weepy, heart-to-heart, end-of-the-mission hug fest where you tell me that my problems are your problems and that happiness is just one friend away and all that bollocks, don't bother, yeah?
(There is a pause as Zari ponders her words.)
Zari: Hey, you don't know me. I wouldn't do that. That would be lame.
John: Yeah, it would. So why are you here?
Zari: I wanted to give you this surveillance photo I took of you and your mom.
(Zari hands John a picture of his mothers smiling at him as he's sitting at the bar.)
John: Thank you. You know, for not doing any of that stuff.
Zari: Yeah. Anytime.
(Zari leaves John, as he finishes his drink and looks at the picture.)

(Mick is watching Charlie from behind glass, drinking a beer. Ray walks up.)
Mick: I hate cops.
Ray: (scoffs) I am well aware of that, Mick.
Mick:  Well, today we nearly became cops.
Ray: Yeah, but we didn't.
Mick: No. Thanks to you, Rayge.
Ray: Aw. Thanks, Mick.
Charlie: All right, are you two plonkers just gonna stand there and stare at me, or is one of you gonna pour me a bloody pint?
Ray: She definitely isn't Amaya.
Mick: No. But I do like her.


Continuity

In the divergent timeline, The Queen of England attended a punk rock show while wearing the Crown Jewels and flashed her knickers (or lack thereof) to the crowd. This led to her being committed for insanity, the British monarchy collapsing and - wait for it - Anarchy in the UK.

Nate shrugs out of joining the Legends on this mission, saying that Ava wanted him to stay in Washington DC to help establish the procedures, protocols and command structure of the Time Bureau in the wake of their new magic-fighting initiative.

The Zambesi Air-Totem gem is now contained in a more secure bracelet that Ray made for Zari.

Zari is still keeping Ray's secret about helping Nora Darhk escape and having a crush on her.

Ray and Nate used to watch Patrick Swayze movies together.

John claims to have heard of every rubbish punk band in London and he's never heard of The Smell. This is because they never existed in the original timeline.

The Smell was apparently Queen Elizabeth's favorite punk band. The soared to stardom after the incident with The Queen at one of their shows. They were as famous for their music as they were for a series of improbable anti-establishment pranks, which all detect as being magical.

John believes the perpetrator of the odd business is a Leprechan, based on the look of The Smell's lead singer, who is Irish.

The Hole was the hottest punk club in London in 1977. John says he and his band, Mucous Membrane, used to play there.

The Smell wind up commandeering The Legends' van and having Ray drive them away after Mick's attacking John starts off a bar fight.

Ray endears himself to The Smell by driving on the wrong (i.e. right) side of the road for England.

Ray says that loud music makes his nose bleed.

Nate is put in charge of updating six-years worth of Time Bureau protocols.

According to Gary, The Time Bureau celebrates Taco Tuesday on Monday.

Gary flirts with a delivery person named Mona and accidentally reveals the name of The Time Bureau to her.

Ray attempts the grain test on the suspected leprechaun. It doesn't work and he's deeply hurt by the inference that he's a leprechaun because he's Irish and has red hair.

In order to prove his punk credentials to The Smell, Ray has to abduct one of Queen Elizabeth's pet Corgis. Mick and Sara help him out with this.

The Corgi, whose name is Sparky, is later found in a South London dog pound, with a pink punk haircut.

It is a tradition among The Smell to get a tattoo after your first prank as part of the group.

Ray's tattoo is of a Corgi with a Mohawk.

Zari installed a tracking device on John's communicator.

John Constantine's mother was a Liverpool barmaid in 1977.

Gary was dumped by John Constantine, who let him go easy with some talk about the balance of good and evil that even Gary realizes was total BS.

John's mother died delivering him. His father nicknamed him "Killer' because of this.

John tells Zari that his past is coming for him, but does not give any details beyond this.

As John recalls his psychic assault in 401, we see the face of a dark-skinned man with a beard.

The Smell see a news story detailing the events of 311 and the unseen adventure that required The Legends to go undercover as a disco band. Naturally, this includes a large picture of "Rage" in his disco duds.

According to Gary, the anachronism in The Pleistocene Era fixed itself.

Gary gets Nate an exotic plant for his desk.

Ray describes Amaya as the moral center of The Legends.

Charlie reveals herself to Ray as a shape-shifter. She based her current persona on a model she saw in a toothpaste ad because she liked her smile.

Charlie said that she was imprisoned by humans who were afraid of her and what she could do.

Charlie apparently stole the Crown Jewels and impersonates The Queen.

According to John, shapeshifters are some of the worst of all magical beings, having been responsible for killing sprees and world wars.

The Time Bureau pays for lunches - a fact that Gary uses to order extra large meals to save on his own food budget.

The fugitive from The Pleistocene is revealed to be the plant that Gary gave Nate.

Charlie steals The ATOM Suit and uses it to fight The Legends.

Ray and Zari are convinced to let Charlie live and not send her to Hell.

John knows a spell - a magical lobotomy - that can remove a shape-shifter's powers. He uses it on Charlie while she is in the form of Amaya in her disco costume.

Charlie is locked in a force-field on The Waverider.

Ray confesses to the rest of the team that he helped Nora Darhk escape.

Ray's favorite musical is Singin' In The Rain and is allergic to cats and Grodd.

Nate admits that the reason he wanted to get off The Waverider was because it had too many memories of Amaya and he needed some time away to get over their relationship ending.

Sara tells Nate to go ahead and stay with the Time Bureau, aborting her apparent plan to get Nate to help her with dealing with Charlie.

Zari gives John a picture she took of him while he was talking to his mother.


Location

London - 1977
Washington DC - 2018
Liverpool - 1977
Somewhere During The Pleistocene Period- 768,000 BC/


Untelevised Adventures

A reference is made to The Legends disco adventure in 311, but we still don't see it.

We do not get to see the fight between Nate and Gary and the magic plant.


The Bottom Line

Fantastic. As a Hellblazer fan, I was worried about the show taking on the punk era given John's connection to that time in the original comics. They wound up exploring John's past in a whole other way and Matt Ryan plays it brilliantly. Honestly, the whole ensemble manage this episode wonderfully and every character gets a moment to shine. I think the reduced cast is really working to the show's benefit to this season, so far, though it seems they'll be expanding the line-up shortly.  Still, this is the kind of fun episode that makes Legends my favorite Arrowverse show.

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 7, Episode 4 - Level 2

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




Plot

As Oliver is transferred to Level 2 (the worst part of The Slab) and Felicity considers how to handle her prisoner - the Longbow Hunter she's dubbed The Silencer - both will find themselves tested as never before.

Meanwhile, an arsonist targets Rene's community center, injuring Zoe. The new Green Arrow saves her, but the new mayor is more concerned about him than the arsonist, ordering Dinah to focus on bringing the vigilante to justice.


Influences

The Green Arrow comics of Judd Winick (One Year Later and The Glades being sealed off from the rest of Star City), the Green Arrow comics of Benjamin Percy (the idea of a rich elite creating their own city within a city is taken from his Rise of Star City arc), The Silencer comics of Dan Abnett (character of The Silencer), Supermax (David Goyer's unproduced "Green Arrow in prison" movie) and the film and novel The Princess Bride (hero is strapped down and tortured by a device called The Machine).


Goofs

Felicity says that the assassin she captured calls herself The Silencer. In the last episode, it was said that was the name Felicity gave her.

 Black Siren's talk about going bad because she lost her father and her Ollie doesn't quite work. She should have still had a mother when her Quentin died and we have no idea if there was a Sara on Earth 2 or not. Point being - Black Siren should have had at least one other loved one to stop her from going over the edge, as far as we know.


Performances

This episode may be Rick Gonzalez's finest turn yet as Rene Ramirez. Who would have thought that Wild Dog would somehow wind up simultaneously being the voice of reason regarding not using torture because it makes you as evil as the villains you are trying to fight while still arguing in favor of vigilantism and breaking the law for the right reasons and having both nuanced arguments work? Not me, and Gonzalez nails Rene in his low key intensity as he tries to balance multiple hats in this episode.

Juliana Harkavy likewise pulls off a similar balancing act. Her frustration over the new Mayor's clear indifference to the string of arson crimes outside of it being a means to boosting her profile by going after the city's sole remaining vigilante is clear, but she's still throwing everything into trying to restore people's faith in the law and, in a way, trying to restore her own faith after so many years as a vigilante working outside the system. This adds a whole other level to her fight with Rene, which is also born of her own desires to avoid seeing her friends and herself thrown in jail. It's subtle yet complex and well played.


Trivia

Oliver reveals that the man his father killed on the life-raft to save Oliver's life was Robert Queen's bodyguard, Hackett. In Green Arrow: Year One, Hackett was the name of Oliver Queen's treacherous survival skills teacher and guide, who shared several adventures with Oliver before trying to leave him for dead in the South Seas. He was later revealed to be an employee of the drug lord China White, who had been using Oliver's bank accounts to launder drug money on the sly. Ironically, it was Hackett's teachings that enabled Oliver Queen to survive on the jungle island China White used as a base/poppy farm, giving him his first taste of heroism as he began to become The Green Arrow.

The Rubik's cube inside of Felicity's vault is also a holographic projector. In the original comics, technology based around Rubik's cubes were a favorite toy of The Calculator, whose Arrowverse equivalent is Felicity Smoak's father.

The movie showing at the Starling Palladium when Rene and Dinah show up looking for Jon Cortez and his crew is The Invincible Armor - a 1977 kung fu film famous for a line that seems an appropriate sentiment for Oliver Queen and most of Arrow's heroes - "I've made a vow not to kill, but it seems I must."

The canary emblem on the pin that Dinah gives Zoe is the Black Canary symbol used during the Gail Simone run of Birds of Prey.

The revelation that The Glades were sealed off from the rest of Star City and are now some kind of gated community for rich elites seems to borrow from two different storylines from the  Green Arrow comics. The first was One Year Later, in which a corrupt mayor of Star City had a wall built to separate The Glades from the rest of Star City following a super-villain attack that devastated the city, hoping to find private investors to gentrify the neighborhood. The second was The Rise of Star City, which was based around a fiendish banking group called The Ninth Circle turning Seattle into the first of their Star Cities - a municipality totally run by Randian capitalism, with no social services or public works save what privately-owned business were willing to invest in. The end result was a gated community in the middle of the city, with the working class forced out of the city and into the ghettos that sprung up on the outskirts of town.


Technobabble

Dinah determines Diaz isn't involved in the arson in The Glades because the attack on the community center used an accelerate that was used in a number of other suspected arson cases including one that occurred on the same day Diaz broke into the CDC.

The acceptance rate to MIT is 6.7%.

The children of the incarcerated are three times more likely to wind up in the justice system as the children of non-offenders.

The vault in Felicity's office in 2038 is based on a system Felicity was working on when he was a kid. All it takes to fix it is a simple recursive algorithm followed by "a Felicity special."

The Machine is a new form of electrical therapy that targets the areas of the brain that store memories tied to a person's greatest fears.


Dialogue Triumphs

Rene: Felicity, you don't know what you're saying. Torturing someone is a line you do not want to cross.When The Navy discharged me for what I did to a prisoner, I learned a lesson about the cost of my humanity. Because I still have nightmares of what I did. Even though it saved lives. So when Tobias Church tortured me for over 20 hours, itwas the universe paying me back. That's evil for evil!

Rene: I'm became a vigilante for her. Because I wanted her to be able to walk the streets and not get attacked, not have her purse stolen and not be offered drugs, because her mother died on these streets already. I just want a better life for her.
Dinah: I care about Zoe too. And I promise I will find out who set that fire. But you saw what happened at that town hall, Rene. These people have completely lost faith in law enforcement, because Diaz corrupted it! My job is to catch whoever did this and restore that faith. All I'm asking is that you have faith in me.

(Felicity walks into the DA's office.)
Felicity: Wow. So you are actually practicing law?
Black Siren: Why does everybody find that so hard to believe?
Felicity: Well, probably because you're not the real Laurel. Or a real lawyer. (beat) Trying saying that three times fast. What a tongue twister.
Black Siren: (testily) Okay. Listen. I am doing this for Quentin. So if you don't mind, I'd like to get back to work now.
Felicity: Yeah, I get it. I mean, prosecuting criminals must be a lot harder than being one.

(Zoe is trying to get Rene to leave her in her hospital room to save people at an apartment fire.)
Zoe: You taught me only punks forget about their community.
Rene: (smiling) Why you always got to listen to everything I say?

Oliver: Everything that I've done, I've- I've done for my son.
Dr. Parker: I don't doubt that. But it is my duty to point out uncomfortable truths, so that you can reform yourself so that you can become the man you want to be for your son. You created your vigilante persona so that you could avenge your father's wrongs. Isn't any part of you concerned that William will take your lead and become a murderer just like you?
(Oliver nods)
Dr. Parker: Then listen to me.That promise to your father was made when you were vulnerable and desperate. It tainted your mission from the start, affecting you and your son. It wasn't fair of your father to ask what he did of you. You must let go of the past! Only then can you spare your family from paying for your sins.
Oliver: (breathing heavily, speaking quietly and grinning) Go to Hell.
Dr. Parker: He's not responding. Prepare the machine.

Diggle: Dinah, you're under pressure. A lot of pressure. I get.that. Are you sure it's not something more?
(Dinah just looks at him evenly)
Diggle: You know what helps me? Spending time with JJ. Family, Dinah. That helps us through.
Dinah: John - Living in the shadows is when all the worst things happen. Oliver going to prison. Vince - first undercover, and then... (pauses) That's the real reason. Because as much as I believed in Team Arrow, I had to move on. I had to be a different kind of hero for this city.
Diggle: Yeah. You know, sometimes I wonder if there's any form of justice that's 100% on the level, even at ARGUS. I think sometimes you need vigilantes and law enforcement working together to get results. Quentin Lance - he did things by the book. But Dinah? Lance was willing to work with anyone who could hep him.
Dinah: This Green Arrow isn't Oliver. I can't risk everything for a stranger.
Diggle: A stranger with good intel.

Dinah: Look, right now the SCPD is on its own. We just - we can't get justice for The Glades. So I am willing to give working together a shot - if - you do it my way.
Rene: If? I've been trying to make this happen for weeks!

(Black Siren tries to talk Felicity out of torturing The Silencer with a rusty screwdriver.)
Black Siren: This isn't you.
Felicity: (cooly) This is the new me. This is the me who doesn't wait around to get murdered. And this is the me - this is the me who fights back!


Continuity

Oliver is kept in a cell, chained sitting-up, without food and water, in a cell with erratic lights and a continual high-pitched droning.

Dr. Jarrett Parker is the chief psychiatrist on Level 2 of The Slab.

The Silencer is kept in a hot boiler room with no food or water.

Rene advises against torturing The Silencer, citing his own experiences in the Navy, which got him dishonorably discharged.

Rene and Dinah attend a town hall meeting at Rene's community center.

The public in The Glades seem to be of the opinion the city was better off with the vigilantes, as the police are overwhelmed.

Police response time in The Glades is two hours.

Zoe is saved from the fire by the new Green Arrow.

The new mayor of Star City is a woman named Pollard. She immediately blames Green Arrow for the fire and orders the police to focus their inquiries in that direction.

Curtis buys Zoe a Beebo doll as a get-well present.

Oliver is able to keep track of the passage of time despite any frame of reference in his cell.

Oliver is injected with something to make him more agreeable to talking.

Oliver tells Dr. Parker about how his father killed his bodyguard, Hackett, and himself to save Oliver's life and how he asked Oliver to fix his mistakes, inspiring Oliver to become The Star City Vigilante.

Felicity approaches Black Siren about torturing The Silencer.

Zoe likes strawberries and cantaloupes.

The next fire is started at The Lofts - an low-income housing complex in The Glades.

The new Green Arrow tells Rene that the arsonist is a man named Jon Cortez.

The new Green Arrow does a flip as he escapes.

Rene blocks Dinah from being able to shoot the new Green Arrow.

Dinah arrests Rene for interfering in a police investigation.

Oliver is meditating while locked in his cell to avoid suffering as much from the efforts to break him.

Oliver tells Dr. Parker that a woman named Tatsu Yamashiro taught him how to meditate.

Rene uses his one phone call to contact Digg and ask him to look up Jon Cortez.

Diggle looks up Jon Cortez and finds that he's a merc arsonist with his own crew. He leaves Dinah a copy of ARGUS' file on him.

Cortez has been getting payments from Patbane Holdings - a shell company that has been buying up the burnt-up properties in The Glades.

Dinah agrees to work with Rene to catch Cortez.

Like, Rene, Black Siren also warns Felicity against trying to torture The Silencer.

Oliver hallucinates being on the life raft with William while locked in The Machine. He asks William to forget about him before killing himself.

Oliver says that William is the most important thing in the world to him.

The man behind Patbane Holdings is a real-estate investor named Marcus Fish.

Rene and Dinah figure out that Cortez's next target is The Starling Palladium - an old movie house on 8th Street.

Rene is recognized by Cortez's men, suggesting that his identity as Wild Dog is public knowledge even outside of his students and the people of The Glades.

The new Green Arrow helps Rene and Dinah catch Cortez and his men. Neither show any sign of recognizing who he is under the hood.

Dinah gives Zoe a pin shaped like the Black Canary emblem.

After going through The Machine, Oliver says that his name is Inmate 4587 instead of Oliver Queen.

Felicity plants an RFID chip in The Silencer's belt, enabling them to track her when she makes her escape.

Black Siren says that the Felicity Smoak of Earth 2 runs a criminal empire and is known for being ruthless.

Both Roy and William swore they'd never return to Star City.

Graffiti of an X-ed out Deathstroke mask is visible in the background at one point as Roy and William are walking through Star City. The graffiti also reads "The Glades Forgot Us."

The coordinates on the Queen Family hozen change, leading William and Roy to the ruins of Smoak Technologies and Felicity's office.

William asks outright why Felicity would be playing games with him instead of just contacting him outright.

William says Felicity was the one who influenced him to go into the tech field.

Roy says William is more forgiving than he is.

William finds a vault that can only be opened by completing a code that Felicity showed him once.

William and Roy meet with Dinah - who is a vigilante once again.

Dinah tells Roy he never should have come back to Star City, implying that he does return to Star City at some point between 2018 and 2038.

Dinah explains that Star City fell when The Glades rose. They built a wall around The Glades and sealed it off from the rest of Star City, not allowing anyone else to enter.

The SCPD are essentially a private army protecting The Glades from everything outside its borders.

The bag inside the vault contains a Rubik's Cube.

Dinah says Roy used to be much more patient in the past. This suggests that Roy got to know Dinah pretty well, as the two never interacted that we know of.

William says that making a pattern on a Rubik's cube is like running an algorithm. His favorite was "cube within a cube."

When William makes the pattern, the cube projects a holographic map of The Glades, showing secret passages in and out.

Zoe has become Dinah's protege and apparently the new Black Canary. She says she's part of a Vigilante Resistance - one of the few left fighting to save Star City.

Zoe says her dad wouldn't be caught dead in Star City, when asked about what happened to Wild Dog.

Dinah says that Felicity is dead.


Location

Slabside Maximum Security Prison.
Star City - 2038


The Bottom Line

A solid episode, despite Stephen Amell being largely wasted giving a "drunk" performance that doesn't hold the interest of his conflicted storyline from earlier episodes and Emily Bett Rickards barely being involved in things. The Dinah/Rene stuff is golden however and the future storyline is kicked into overdrive with some major reveals. Good stuff, all around.

Starman Plays Betrayal at Krondor - Part 47

In which, having exploited a glitch to give ourselves insane amounts of hit-points and having finally beaten Ivan at chess, we get back to the main plot of Chapter Three - hunting down the Nighthawks and attacking their secret fortress!