Thursday, November 14, 2019

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 5, Episode 5 - Dangerous Liaisons

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




Plot

It's the eve of Obsidian North's public launch of their new "Collective Reality" contact lenses and a new metahuman mercenary is gathering gear for an unknown purpose. As Supergirl and the DEO try to track down this new threat, Kara must help William Day with his investigation into Andrea Rojas, as she learns the truly personal reasons he has for bringing down her criminal empire. Meanwhile, Malefic and Lena begin working together to find a way to mechanize Malefic's power.


Influences

Titans #20  (character of Breathtaker), Young Justice #2 (character of Rip Roar) and the movies Spider-Man 2 and Robocop, which... inspired certain elements of Rip Roar's costume.


Goofs

The effects and editing used to make Brainiac-5 as possessed by the Aurafacian look scary are anything but scary.

Dreamer using her powers to hold back a wave the size of the whole Pacific coast seems far beyond her power level and what she should be capable of doing with her energy abilities.

Given their distinctive beards match, it is hard to believe William Day - presumably observant to be a successful reporter - didn't realize that Rip Roar was Russell Rogers. Some best friend!


Performances

Phil LaMarr is a well-known voice actor these days, but he proves to be no mean actor in the flesh, playing Malefic trapped in a human form.


Artistry

The opening Obsidian North commercial is a stunning parody of nature-themed advertising for a piece of technology.


Super Trivia

The wind-controlling metahuman from last week's episode is given a proper name in this episode: Breathtaker. Strangely enough, this name has been used by two different DC Comics supervillains. However, the Earth-38 version of Breathtaker seems to be based on the second Breathtaker, given her power set and basic gimmick.

First appearing in Titans #21 in November 2000, Breathtaker was part of a group of metahuman assassins known as The Hangmen. Her real name and origins were never revealed. She had the power to control the air around her but her trademark move was draining the air out of a person's lungs.

This episode introduces a cyborg assassin known as Rip Roar, who is armed with two extra robot hands. There is an earlier DC Comics character called Rip Roar, but he has nothing in common with his Earth-38 counterpart apart from a shared name and their both having four arms.

The original Rip Roar was a member of the New Gods, who first appeared in Young Justice #2, in October 1998. A native of the planet Apocalypse, Rip Roar was a soldier under Darkseid's direct command and a rival of Darkseid's son, Kalibak. Rip Roar became stranded on Earth thanks to Kalibak's treachery, shortly after he stole a Super-Cycle from the world of New Genesis. This Super-Cycle would become the team transport of Young Justice, after the team defeated Rip Roar. In addition to having four arms and the usual New God super-strength and enhanced durability, Rip Roar had the ability to project fire and ice from his hands.


Technobabble

Kara tells Kelly that the perfect gift for Alex would be a Schadel XG-1000 motorcycle helmet, in small, matte black.

Lex Luthor created a laser rifle he called the Marathon Laser because it could fire a concentrated beam of light 26.2 miles.

Brainiac-5 is able to augment the executive section of his brain to allow the Aurafacian to speak through him, after he bonds with it.The Aurafacian will be unable to lie, thanks to a polygraph filter in Brainiac-5's brain.

The occipital lobe is the part of the brain where Q-waves are generated.

Q-waves are projected like sonar from a dolphin.

Malefic's Q-waves broadcast on a special frequency that allows him to control the thoughts and emotions of others, while being unable to connect to the Martian hive-mind.

A Fusion Cannon is a high-energy weapon formed from the combination of a high-power, high-range laser (like Lex Luthor's Marathon Laser) and a particle amplifier. It is capable of generating an energy beam 100 times hotter than the center of Earth's sun. According to Brainiac-5, the Fusion Cannon isn't supposed to be invented until the 22nd century.

Fusion Cannons are impossible to track, due to the amplifier's radiation obfuscating the laser's energy signature. They are also powerful enough to hurt Supergirl.

The Maladorian Dendroasp is 100 times more aggressive than any animal on Earth.

Rip Roar is able to trigger a massive eruption in the Antarctic water table, which sends shockwaves east and west, resulting in an unprecedented number of sea swells. Based on the seafloor pattern and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, the biggest is set to make landfall on the North American Pacific coast one hour after the eruption.

The geyser Rip Roar creates pumps out three cubic miles of water every second. At that sustained rate, every coastal city in the world will start flooding within 12 minutes.

The helmet Rip Roar wears is biologically adhered and it functions as some sort of mental armor. Even with a Truth-Seeker attached to him, he does not say anything about who hired him other than to describe them as "They."


Dialogue Triumphs

Lena:  It seems we have gotten off on the wrong foot. So I have a proposition. You have the ability to incept thoughts into people's minds. I want to study your brain, so I can develop a technology that can do the same thing.
Malefic: Forgive my skepticism, but last time someone showed interest in my brain, the High Council sent me to the Phantom Zone.
Lena: You'd be back in the Phantom Zone if it wasn't for me.
Malefic: And yet, now we are at an impasse. What's in it for me?
Lena: We both want the same thing. We were each betrayed by the people closest to us. Work with me. I believe you've the ability to do great things.
Malefic: I don't want to do great things. I want revenge! So I have a proposal for you. Martian biology prevents a brother from harming his brother. That's why I've been attacking the people closest to J'onn J'onzz. If you remove this barrier from my brain so I can kill my brother, I will give you access to my mind.
Lena: It is my mission to stop people from hurting each other. I will not kill.
Malefic: Perhaps. But you've gone to extreme measures to bring me here. And now, you are at the precipice. Studying my mind is the key. I know of desperation, human. I know the depths you feel.
Lena: I would have to develop the technology first.
(Malefic merely smirks and nods slightly.)
Lena: Your terms are acceptable. Let's begin.

Brainiac-5: Now, I'm no super-villain, but if I were, and I was right over an Antarctic lake with a weapon designed to fire a beam 100 times hotter than the center of the sun, well, it would be, as they say, "a hot time in the old town tonight."


Continuity

As the episode opens, it is just over 59 hours before the Collective Dream VR contacts officially go on sale.

Andrea has everyone at CatCo writing articles about Collective Dream, regardless of their usual departments and beats.

William Day volunteers for the assignment of continually writing articles about how big the sales are.

Kara has not told Nia about what William is working on and denied finding anything at the address Nia found which led to a house rented in William's name.

Kelly and Alex are celebrating the anniversary of their first date. Kelly asks Kara for advice on a gift.

Kara tells William about the air-controlling metahuman the DEO captured and says she can get him into the DEO on two conditions; one, he has to sign an NDA  agreeing not to talk about the building and two, he has to bring Kara in on the investigation.. She gives him all right to publish the articles in his name.

Alex uses the Truth Seeker, first seen in 410, on Breathtaker.

Breathtaker says she has no idea who hired her, as she is paid in Bitcoin through a secure server and she never knows what other contractors she might be working with at any time.

Breathtaker's previous contacts include "this lady with killer tattoos (i.e. the Aurafacian from 503), a guy who could detach most of his fingers, and this big dude with some extra appendages." She later clarifies this to be a man with two mechanical arms.

Breathtaker says the man with four arms uses the code name Rip Roar and she last saw him two years earlier in Darien.

William says that Rip Roar killed his best friend from college, Russell Rogers, two years earlier.

Russell had apparently dated Andrea Rojas but become suspicious she was involved in something shady. He disappeared a day after he told William this, with no body ever being found.

Rip Roar steals the Marathon Laser from the vault holding Lex Luthor's belongings at Fort Summit Army Base.

Malefic agrees to let Lena test his powers in exchange for her finding a way to overcome the Martian genetic coding that prohibits brother from hurting brother.

Brainiac briefly bonds with the Aurafacian so it can be questioned, but it delivers no useful information. Like Breathtaker, it was hired on-line through an anonymous drop.

Rip Roar is revealed to be working for Leviathan.

Lena has Malefic attempt to control three hostile alien creatures to narrow down the frequency he uses to control people. These are a Daxamite Scorpion, a Terran Oceanic Devil, and a Maladorian Dendroasp.

Kelly makes a reservation at a waterfront restaurant for her and Alex's anniversary.

Kara knows how to loop a security camera's footage to hide her breaking into Andrea's office.

William Day has contacts at MI-8.

Kara and William find nothing in Andrea's office more incriminating than a large stockpile of foreign currency in her safe.

Brainiac-5 is able to track the power source of the Marathon Laser to a satellite station in New Mexico.

Rip Roar steals a particle amplifier from the satellite station.

J'onn conducts a psychic scan of Russell Rogers' old apartment in London but sensed nothing other than evidence of a struggle years earlier.

Brainiac-5 determines that the components Rip Roar stole could be used to create a high-power fusion cannon.

Brainiac-5 determines that the common link between the targets of the three super-powered assassins - a scientist, an engineer and a security officer - is that they all were all employed by the Lake Vostok Antarctica Base. Between the three of them, it would have been possible to override every single security protocol in the base.

Brainy further theorizes that Rip-Roar's purpose is to trigger a global flood by melting the glacier over Lake Vostok.

William Day uses his VR Collective Dream contacts to imagine telling Andrea off about her crimes.

J'onn and Kara fly in-synch to create a whirlpool to suppress the water being pushed up by the geyser created by Rip Roar.

Dreamer uses her powers to stop the wave from destroying America's west coast.

Brainiac determines that Andrea Rojas and Obsidian North couldn't be behind the plot to flood the world. Ignoring that it would have ruined the launch of their new VR lenses (and many people were utterly helpless because they were in VR when the wave hit), the flooding would also have destroyed Obsidian North's manufacturing hub.

Nia and Kelly befriend one another after Nia walks in on Kelly having an anxiety attack triggered by watching Alex in action saving people.

Lena uses her research to place Malefic under her control, making him unable to hurt anyone or want to leave her lab.

Kelly's favorite color is purple.

Alex's gift to Kelly is the same motorcycle helmet she asked for, so that Kelly can ride on Alex's bike with her.

Rip Roar is identified as Russell Rogers.

The old woman from Leviathan appears to Andrea Rojas, telling her they need her to deal with Rip Roar.


Location

Fort Summit Army Base
Socorro Satellite Station - New Mexico.
Lake Vostok Antarctica Base - Antarctica


The Fridge Factor

Kara comes off incredibly indecisive in this episode. Early on, she laments to J'onn that her instincts about Andrea Rojas and William Day were completely inaccurate and that she can't trust herself. Yet the middle part of the episode has her telling Alex to trust her gut instincts, despite a complete lack of evidence.


The Bottom Line

Quite possibly the worst episode in the show's history. It's on par with the various Parasite episodes, at the very least. The chief problem is that it makes Kelly (still a virtual non-entity, character wise) and Alex celebrating the anniversary of their first date more important than Lena stumbling down the slippery slope toward villainy by betraying Malefic.

It's hard to say what is stupider in the end; the conceit that one ray gun can trigger a tidal wave that will move straight toward the Pacific Coast of the USA from Antarctica, Dreamer suddenly having the ability to stop a tidal wave that huge by thinking at it or William Day not being able to recognize his best friend is Rip Roar despite them both having the same beard.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Batwoman Episode Guide: Season 1, Episode 5 - Mine Is a Long and Sad Tale

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



Plot

Alice meets with Kate and takes her down the long and winding road of her life after the accident, revealing how Beth Kane became Alice. Meanwhile, after an argument with her mother in which she learns of Catherine Hamilton-Kane's actions, Mary goes off in search of Kate and a sympathetic ear. Unfortunately, all she can manage is Luke Fox.


Influences

Batwoman: Elegy
by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams.


Goofs

The green-screen effect when Kate and Alice are driving around is sub-par.


Performances

Again, Rachel Skarsten steals the show as Alice, narrating the horrific story of how Beth Kane became her wonderfully while still dancing on the knife's edge between sympathetic and scary as she confronts Kate.

Ava Sleeth's performance as the young Beth Kane is truly heartbreaking. You truly feel for her as everything goes wrong for her and she suffers torment after torment.


Artistry


The fight scene in which Batwoman takes down Alice and her gang is well-blocked and well-shot, with the editing seamlessly cutting between the black-and-white view of Batwoman's night-vision and the dark room where Alice and her gang are helplessly trying to fight back.


Bat Trivia


A news report in the flashback mentions how the search for Beth Kane was expanded into Bludhaven County. In the DC Comics Universe, Bludhaven is a town located upstream from Gotham City and is one of the few cities on Earth even more corrupt and hellish than Gotham City. It is where Nightwing moved to establish himself outside of Batman's shadow.


Technobabble

There are no night-vision goggles anywhere in the Batcave, because according to Luke "Batman doesn't do goggles." The helm of the Bat-suit, however, apparently has some kind of built-in night-vision mode.

When Catherine tries to explain to Mary how she faked the evidence of Beth Kane's murder, Mary misses the point and focuses on how the investigators could possibly have confused deer bones for human bones, since the density and genomes are quite different.


Dialogue Triumphs

Luke: They're calling him the Skin Pirate because apparently he likes to take skin from the booty.
Kate: Never say that again.
Luke: I didn't write the article.

(Alice wakes up, her arms chained above her head. She looks up, chuckles and then looks at Kate, who is in her Batwoman costume, with the mask off.)
Alice:
Kinky. Even for you.

Alice: You're not asking the right questions, Kate. What is my evil plan? Who am I targeting next? How am I gonna do it? When you really need to be asking why? Why am I like this?
Kate: Okay. Why?
Alice: (cutely) Oh, you don't want to know that.
Kate: I have waited 15 years to hear it.
Alice: Well, it all began with an unfortunate event which I remember vividly, and if given the chance again, I would take it back in a heartbeat. It was a simple, effortless thing that I had done so many times before. I woke up.

Alice: The little boy just sat there with his hair in his eyes, playing with his trucks. For him, it was an ordinary day But for me, it was the first worst day of my life.

(Kate and Alice are sitting across from each other in a roadhouse diner. The waiter returns with Alice's burger and fries.)
Alice: Uh, two beers, please.
Kate: None for me.
Alice: You do not want to be sober for the remainder of this story. Trust me.
(Kate just smirks, as if to say "Try me.")
Alice: (clears her throat in a ladylike fashion before whispering to the waiter) Just the one beer.

(Alice finishes telling Kate about how she found a severed face in the sink of the basement. Kate just stares at her, aghast.)
Alice: And that was just the first day.
(The waiter returns with Alice's beer. She smiles, takes it, and looks at Kate, still in shock.)
Alice: Hmm. I think she'll take that drink now.

(Luke has just sent away the security guards who apprehended an incredibly drunk Mary)
Luke: Uh, can I help you? Possibly to an AA meeting?
Mary: That depends. Is your name Kate?
Luke:  Most definitely not.
Mary: Then can you tell her that I'm here?
Luke: I'm sorry. Who's here?
Mary: Mary? Kate's soon-to-be ex-stepsister? And you are?
Luke:  Luke, Kate's, uh, associate, Assistant. Real estate person. Look. Kate's not here.-
(Mary sighs in melodramatic annoyance.)
Luke: You know what? You could leave her a message.
Mary: (tearing up) Okay. Tell her that I'm so sorry I was ever born from the Wicked Witch of Gotham, and I get why she's avoiding me, but I'm totally on her side! I can't believe that my mom would ever do something so awful! (in sudden realization) Oh, my God! Do you think that she killed that deer, too?!
(Luke looks completely lost at all of this.)
Mary: Are you getting any of this?
Luke: All I heard is that your mom may or may not have killed a deer.

(Jacob Kane rounds a corner, running right into Alice.)
Alice: Hi, Daddy.
(There is a long pause as Jacob regards her. Finally he speaks.)
Jacob: Where's Kate?
Alice: "Where's Kate?"(angry) "Is Kate okay? Is Kate happy? Is she sleeping enough? "Has she done her homework, seen a doctor, had enough to eat?" Kate, Kate, Kate, Kate, Kate, Kate! I'm so sick of Kate!
(Alice pulls her knife and holds it to her wrist.) 
Jacob: What are you doing?
Alice: (tearing up) Where's Beth? When was the last time you uttered those words, Commander Crow? Was it here? Was it in this house?
Jacob: Come on. Don't do this.
Alice: Was it when I called you and you didn't even believe it was me?
Jacob: Let's go outside. We'll talk.
Alice: You told your men to kill me.
Jacob: Put down the knife.
Alice: Because you don't care. You've never cared!
Jacob: Put down the knife.
Alice: You gave up on me!
Jacob: (suddenly shouting) Beth, drop the damn knife!
(Alice suddenly smiles through her tears.)
Alice: "Beth." You... you said it.
(Alice looks at Jacob. He looks at her and steps in, raising a hand as if to touch her face. Suddenly, she lashes out with her knife hand and stabs him in the stomach, her face returning to its usual mask of indifference.)


Continuity

This is the first episode chronologically after the events of the Elseworlds crossover event.

 The Skin Pirate is a new criminal who steals the flesh off of corpses. As the episode opens, they just robbed three morgues in one night, within a single nine minute window.

Luke and Kate determine that Alice is the Skin Pirate.

Kate is able to track down Alice and the Wonderland Gang and capture's Alice.

Alice reveals that the "Mouse" Dodgson told Kate about in 104 was the one who found Beth Kane after the car accident.

14 months passed between the time Beth Kane disappeared and when Catherine Hamilton created the fake DNA reports that convinced Jacob Kane to call off the search.

Alice tells Kate about how Catherine Hamilton paid her detectives to fake the evidence that Beth Kane as dead.

Kate calls her father, to get him to start tracing her phone, as she goes off with Alice.

Beth Kane was washed downstream from the accident site and discovered by Jonathan "Johnny" Cartwright, who alerted his father, Dr. August Cartwright, to the girl in the water.  Alice claimed to be ignorant of the name of Johnny's father, however, and this information is only revealed in the episode credits.

Johnny would later take the name Mouse, according to Alice.

Mouse had an amazing gift for mimicry, and could copy any voice he heard.

Catherine tells Mary about how she faked the evidence of Beth Kane's death.

Mary does not take it well and gets drunk, going to Wayne Enterprises to find Kate and cry to her about it.

Alice has Kate stop at Dusty's Roadhouse Diner, because she dreamed of them going to a diner like that together after she was rescued.

Mouse grows his hair long to hide his face, which is hideously scarred after an unspecified accident.

Beth was locked in the basement of the Cartwright house after she saw the news report about her still being missing and realized Dr. Cartwright had lied to her about her father being on the way.

It was here in the basement that Beth found the flesh mask in the sink - the image from Alice's nightmare in 103.

Luke and Mary meet for the first time.

Jacob Kane confirmed that the bomb which nearly killed Alice in 102 was made by Hamilton Dynamics.

Alice explains that Mouse's father had kidnapped Beth so his son would have a friend and that he had pulled Mouse from school and devoted himself to finding a way to fix Mouse's face by making him a realistic skin mask.

Alice drugs Kate's drink, knocking her out.

Alice escapes back to the Cartwright house with an unconscious Kate while her gang holds off Jacob and Sophie at the roadhouse.

Alice reveals that she found the tracker Kate planed in Dodgson and that she knew she was coming.

Beth knew how to pick locks with a nail when she was 13.

Beth tried calling her father once she escaped from the basement, but was caught in the act by Dr. Cartwright.

Jacob traced the call on his own after the GCPD refused to act. He and Kate both went to the Cartwright house.

Kate wound up on the opposite side of the door where Beth was being held at one point, seemingly sensing her sister but ultimately not testing the door. Beth, for her part, was too terrified to cry out, with Dr. Cartwright having threatened to kill everyone she loved if she ever tried to escape again.

Dr. Cartwright convinced Jacob that the call was a prank call initiated by Mouse, who was able to copy Beth's voice after hearing a recording of her on the news.

Jacob figures out where Alice took Kate after realizing they're driving around the same remote part of Gotham City where the Cartwright house was.

Luke searches for criminals similar to the Skin Pirate's MO and finds Jacob Cartwright - an Arkham inmate with a history of stealing skin from cadavers.

Luke says that the recent incident at Arkham Asylum (i.e. Elseworlds) was covered up, as were the inmate escapees that resulted from it.

Alice confronts Jacob Kane and stabs him in the stomach.

Alice and Kate wind up in a standoff with Kate holding Mouse hostage and Alice holding Jacob. They agree to part ways and fight another day.

It is revealed that Johnny gave Beth a gift the day after Kate and Jacob came and went away - a copy of Alice in Wonderland.

Alice and Mouse both took their names from Chapter Two - The Pool of Tears of "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland."  They regard each other as Brother and Sister now.


The Bottom Line

Phenomenal on every level and far scarier than many episodes of some horror series. Between Rachel Skarsten's performance and the writer's conception of the horrors Beth Kane suffered in becoming Alice, you almost want her to succeed in making Jacob Kane suffer

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Starman Plays Quest For Glory 1, The Thief Path - Part 5

In which we showcase the dangers of drinking (in a pub that is a front for the thieves' guild at least) and scrounge up the silver to make a few quick gold showing off our dagger-throwing skill against the Chief Thief. We also undertake our first major theft, robbing a poor old lady's house. Yeah. No real way to spin this. We're a terrible person.


Friday, November 8, 2019

Starman Plays Quest For Glory 1, The Thief Path - Part 4

In which we learn more about the bandits plaguing Spielburg before staying up all night picking locks. We also finally get an audience with the wizard Erasmus and meet Bruno; a disreputable fellow who is totally not in league with the bandits!


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 8, Episode 3 - Leap of Faith

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




Plot

Reunited with his sister, Thea, Oliver finds himself in a race against Talia Al Ghul and the Thanatos Guild in the catacombs of the League of Assassins' headquarters. Meanwhile, Diggle and Lyla embark on a special ops mission together, to save Bronze Tiger's family. And in the far future of Star City 2040, the new Team Arrow take the fight to the Deathstrokes.


Influences

Indiana Jones
movies (name-dropped, general theme of exploring a booby-trapped tomb, the Phoenix tile puzzle is lifted directly from the "name of God" challenge in The Last Crusade) and the present-day storyline of Arrow Season 3 (focus on League of Assassins drama, Diggle and Lyla spywork)


Goofs

Many of the fights are shot too close. This would make it hard to see the action, if the poor lighting throughout the episode didn't make it impossible to see anything in general.

The Star City future storyline seems to suggest that the membership of the Star City Reunification movement is a big secret. Weren't they all present and trying to recruit new members at an incredibly open gala in the season 8 premiere?

The Thantos Guild die stupidly trying to get past Oliver (fully armed with a bow) and the booby trapped tomb of Al-Faith, by charging him one-at-a-time, while climbing down a rope.

Mia's throat-wound seems to heal up awfully quick when it's time for her to cradle Zoe and look anguished.


Performances

As always, Lexa Doig is a delight as Talia.


Trivia

This episode marks Katie Cassidy's directorial debut.

This episode introduces the Arrowverse version of Sandra Hawke - the girlfriend of Ben Turner and mother of Connor Hawke.

In the original Green Arrow comics, Sandra "Moonday" Hawke was one of Oliver Queen's many short-term girlfriends during his free-loving college days. She became pregnant as a result of one of their dates, but refused to seek support, being determined to prove she could make it on her own as a single mother. Her son, Connor, would go on to meet his father nearly two decades later and eventually take up his mantle, becoming the second Green Arrow.

This episode sees Lyla and John return to Kasnia - a fictional nation first introduced into the DC Comics lexicon by Superman: The Animated Series. It has been repeatedly used on Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow whenever they needed a setting in Eastern Europe. On Earth-38, Kasnia was the nation which discovered the Supergirl clone that become known as The Red Daughter.


Technobabble

Felicity hard-wired the power grid of The Bunker through the floor. This can be used to electrocute anyone standing in the main room through a control hidden in a safe room.

Zoe makes use of a device that creates a stunning sonic attack similar to the Canary Cry. Sara Lance originally used this same device as The Canary in Season 2.


Dialogue Triumphs

(Oliver explains his bargain with The Monitor)
Oliver: He asked me to help him, but he's not very good at sharing information with the people he's working with.
Thea: (dryly) Sounds like somebody else I know.
Oliver: I need to be 100% sure that I can trust him. I know it's a long shot, but I was hoping that Nyssa could tell me what, if anything, the League knows about him.
Thea: Okay. What are you not telling me?
Oliver: He's seen the future. He's seen me die. It's soon, Speedy.
(There is a pause as Thea looks at Oliver expectantly.) 
Thea: And?
Oliver: (deadpan) Take as much time as you need to be upset.
Thea: Ollie, come on. You've cheated death more than any of us have by this point.
Oliver: This is fundamentally different than anything that we've ever dealt with before.
Thea: Okay. Well, let's try to figure out what we're dealing with, but like I said, Nyssa's not here.
Oliver: Sara hasn't been able to help either.
Thea: We've kind of killed off every League member, haven't we?

Oliver: So now you're back to your old exploits?
Talia: With the League gone, the region has become quite unstable.
Thea: And you think training a bunch of assassins in a place like this is gonna stabilize it?
Talia: I think it a wiser course of action than declaring a one-woman war on the Thanatos Guild.

Thea: What is going on with you, Ollie? You were never this overprotective when I left Star City.
Oliver: Things have changed. I left my family behind, Speedy. And I miss them. And every day, I wrestle with whether or not I made the right decision because maybe I didn't. And I saw an entire world wiped out of existence. A world that you weren't in, by the way, because I wasn't around to protect you. I'm sorry, Thea, but the only way that I can bear this is if I become 100% certain that my sacrifice, that my death... will protect the people I love. I need my family to be safe.
Thea: You know, I've been thinking a lot about Mom and Dad lately, wondering what they would think about the lives we've chosen. All the mistakes they made, all the lies they told...In their own very, very messed up way, they thought they were protecting us.
Oliver: Well, they weren't. They didn't.
Thea: No, but it did help us become the people we are today. They turned us into heroes. We can't change the future, Ollie. The past teaches us you might as well not bother trying to.
Oliver: (chuckles) When you'd stop being my baby sister?
Thea: I never did. I just grew up a little bit. (sighs) Now can we please get off this mountain?
Oliver: Yeah.

Talia: It is your destiny.
Thea: Yeah, but, see, about that. I don't really believe in the whole fate, destiny thing. We can all make our own choices.
Talia: Meaning?
Thea: Meaning I don't think the world needs another League of Assassins. It could use League of Heroes. It wouldn't be a one-woman job.
Talia: You'd extend me that honor despite my betrayals?
Thea: You made a mistake. We've all made mistakes.
Talia: Not one but two women to wield my father's sword? He would be aghast. (Talia smiles and chuckles wickedly) I accept.

Oliver: I can't believe I'm saying good-bye to you again.
Thea: Well, you're not. Think of it as a "See you later, and please don't die."


Dialogue Disasters


The reactions to Zoe's death are pure hammy Narm.


Continuity

Oliver runs into Thea in the area around Nanda Parbat.

Oliver catches Thea up on recent events, including her new niece.

Thea makes reference to 303 and her time in Corto Maltese, where she used Mia as an alias.

Thea now has a scar on her right cheek - the result of a battle with Athena of the Thanatos Guild.

Nyssa Al Ghul is off dealing with some League business. Thea thinks she is in Thailand.

Thea saw Roy Harper, sometime after the events of 720, and he told her about the fight with The Ninth Circle. He is currently off "dealing with his demons/"

Oliver contacted Sara Lance regarding the League's history and any connection the Monitor might have to it. She didn't know anything.

Lyla has been keeping an eye on Sandra and Connor Hawke since Ben Turner was recruited to ARGUS. He's currently on a deep-cover mission and Sandra missed a check-in for the first time.

Lyla has pictures of Sandra and Connor at an airfield in Kasnia - far from where Ben is now and any mission he's ever run for any organization.

The plane in the photo of Sandra and Connor belongs to Abdul Nardoc - a Kasnia philanthropist who is believed to have terrorism ties.

Lyla needs John to work with her on this mission, because she's still ferreting out all the corruption within ARGUS and can't trust anyone else with this mission.

Oliver refers to the events of 705 and how Talia owes him a debt for helping her escape from prison. He agrees to consider the debt paid if she helps him find the answers he seeks regarding The Monitor among the League's records.

The Karan Shah is the formal name of the League of Assassin's fortress and central base of operations. It has been destroyed, but the catacombs underneath it remain intact.

Talia's father had the League's historical records moved into the catacombs to keep them safe.

One of Abdul Nardoc's associates is Farzad Qadir - the son of Gholem Qadir - the man Ben Turner killed to save Lyla Michaels' life while serving in the Suicide Squad in 216.

The Chronicles of Al-Fatih are the journal of the founder of the League of Assassins and the first man to hold the title Ra's Al Ghul. Legend has it that he was given advanced knowledge by one of the sky gods. Talia thinks this could be The Monitor. When the book is located, it contains a drawing of the Monitor and a note that the end times would come if the League ever abandoned their mission charge from "the sky god" to maintain the balance between good and evil.

Thea can read Arabic.

The Sword of Al-Fatih is a relic of equal power to the Ring of Ra's Al Ghul. Before the Ring of Ra's Al Ghul, whoever wielded the Sword of Al-Fatih was considered leader of the League of Assassins. It is believed to be interred in Al-Faith's secret tomb.

Burning the false Chronicles of Al-Fatih reveals a stone sphere, marked with constellations, which somehow reveal the true location of Al-Fatih's tomb. It turns out to be on top of the mountain where Oliver dueled Talia's father in 309.

Talia poisons Oliver to keep him from getting to the tomb ahead of her. He is found by Thea, who he previously ordered to go back to their camp.

Talia is captured by Athena, who then captures Oliver and Thea and intends to use them to test for traps in the tomb of Al-Fatih.

Talia and Thea enter the tomb while Oliver holds off the Thanatos Guild.

Diggle and Lyla save Sandra and Connor Hawke.

All of the Thanatos Guild die.

Thea beats Talia in a duel for the Sword of Al-Fatih.

Talia passes command of her students over to Thea, but Thea refuses to restart the League of Assassins. She suggests, instead, that she and Talia start a League of Heroes.

Ollie makes reference to the Queen Family Hozen and how Felicity gave it to William.

William was able to protect himself from the Deathstrokes swarming The Bunker, having remembered that Felicity hard-wired the electricity for the complex through the floor. This enabled him to use it to shock them as they entered the main room.

William determines that John Diggle Jr. and the Deathstrokes are killing everyone involved in the Star City Unification movement. 10 have been killed so far.

Mia pushes the team to make a direct assault on the Deathstroke's hideout.

Zoe is killed by John Diggle Jr. while saving Mia.

Mia, William and Connor are sent back in time to 2019 and the original Team Arrow bunker.

Oliver is seemingly teleported to the Team Arrow bunker by the same flash of white light.


Location

Nanda Parbat
Kasnia


Untelevised Adventures

Roy, Nyssa and Thea apparently destroyed the last of the Lazarus Pits some time between this episode and 616. They have been working since then to stop the Thanatos Guild from reforming the League of Assassins.

Ben Turner officially became an ARGUS agent sometime following the events of 722.


The Fridge Factor

Zoe Ramirez is unceremoniously killed off to give everyone else on Team Arrow 2.0 some angst. (Also, apparently, to not further confuse viewers with the presence of another Black Canary in the upcoming Green Arrow and the Canaries spin-off.)


The Bottom Line

A mixed bag, overall. The bits with Thea and Talia are good, but that owes more to Willa Holland and Lexa Doig nailing these characters out of the park with every appearance after so many years. The stuff with Diggle and Lyla is competently acted, but seems very repetitive. And the future storyline is as lackluster as everything else done with the flash-fowards since Season 7. Ultimately, it succeeds only because of some strong speeches and strong performances, which seem wholly separated from the overall direction and staging of the episode, which are outright horrible at times.