Friday, February 21, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 24

In which fate conspires to have us fight a ton of giant scorpions, as we avoid an ambush of the damned things only to discover a raider hideout with pitfalls leading to another giant scorpion nest. We also discover a giant stone head with a major attitude before getting killed off, fighting a bunch of bandits, and finally getting to the NCR. Eventually.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 6, Episode 11 - Love Is A Battlefield

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




Plot

It's Valentine's Day and love is in the air, but Barry and Iris' plans for a romantic evening are ruined by the return of Amunet Black and a gang war between the metahuman crime-boss and her old boyfriend, Goldface. As Team Flash's resident lovebirds try to figure out a way to stop the battle without risking Barry's secret identity being exposed, Frost tries to follow in Ralph's footsteps as a life coach and help Allegra get back together with a lost love.


Influences

The Flash comics of Geoff Johns (characters of Blacksmith and Goldface.) and John Broome (confirmation of the existence of Mirror World)


Goofs

Hopefully Amazon paid a pretty penny for the Alexa smart house commercial they set into the middle of Iris and Barry breakfast scene.

The script for this episode is also annoyingly meta, with Iris making reference to the villain of the week and Barry scheduling two Valentine's Day dinner dates because he knows one of them is bound to be interrupted by a super-villain.

On the one hand, Katee Sackhoff's performance as Amunet Black is so hammy it's been condemned by both the Rabbinical Council of America and the Muslim Council of Elders as unfit for consumption by anyone keeping Kosher or Halal. On the other hand, she seems to be one of the few actors making an effort to get this material to work on any level.

Barry can't go into an underworld bar because he's afraid be recognized as a cop, despite largely working behind the scenes. (Of course he did just get honored alongside Elongated Man in the press.) Yet there's no similar concerns about Iris, who has reportedly been a popular local blogger famous for writing about superheroes for five years, and is the daughter of a noted cop. In fact, Iris seems to be recognized up until she changes the subject by hitting a bouncer over the head with a bottle.

The bartender at the underworld bar is happy to give out information on where a notorious metahuman crime-boss is about to steal something. Ignoring how he has this information in the first place, why would he hand it over to some random woman he is suspicious of even before she disables his bouncer?

The security guard seems oddly reluctant to actually fire his gun on the two metahuman robbers. Nearly as reluctant as Goldface and Amunet are to do something about the man with the gun threatening them both.

It is said that the pollen of Rappaccini's Daughter can be synthesized into a narcotic drug that causes telepathy. Yet inhaling the regular pollen seems to work just fine on Goldface and Amunet.

It's unclear if Goldface and Amunet are arrested at the end of the episode or if Barry and Iris just let them work out their aggression.

The episode doesn't resolve the core problem of Amunet knowing the secret identities of every superhero in Central City and Barry not being able to move to stop her from committing any crimes with her threatening to expose him.

The episode's message of Barry learning to trust Iris and not be so protective of her and to let her build her own life outside of supporting him is severely undercut by the fact that this more confident, assertive Iris is an evil clone from Mirror World.


Flash Facts

The episode title comes from a Pat Benatar song, which plays during the fight between Goldface and Amunet.

In Geoff Johns' run on The Flash, Blacksmith (as Amunet Black is called there) was established as an ex-wife of the Green Lantern villain Goldface, who had stolen his formula and augmented it to give herself the power to merge organic and inorganic material, giving herself metal skin.

Despite being established as former lovers, this is the first time Goldface and Amunet have appeared in an episode together.

Amunet's second target is Ivo Labs. This is the same company that built the Amazo android during Invasion! and the same lab run by Anthony Ivo - the main villain of the flashbacks during Arrow Season 2.

The opening and closing scenes of the episode suggest that Iris has become trapped in The Mirror World; a fourth dimensional space that exists "behind the looking glass." It first appeared in The Flash #126 (February 1962) and was discovered by the original Mirror Master, Sam Scudder. It's history in the Arrowverse is so far unknown.

Frost enjoys some Naltorian Mead she says was left behind by one of the Wellses besides Nash. Naltor is an alien world in the DC Comics universe and the home planet of Nia Nal aka Dreamer.


Technobabble

Porca miseria is an Italian curse, literally translated as "pig misery."

Ryan Choi identifies the first item Amunet stole as a specialized UV projector. The second item is a biome simulated storage unit. Together, they can be used to transport delicate plant-life.

Nash claims he needed to give Allegra a nano-dimensional bucket auger.

Rappaccini's Daughter is a rare orchid that only blooms once every 25 years. Properly heated, its pollen can be synthesized into a telepathic narcotic. It apparently also has an aphrodisiac effect based on Amunet and Goldface's response to it.


Dialogue Triumphs

(Allegra has arrived at work to find Frost decorating the Citizen's office for Valentine's Day.)
Allegra: Did you just let yourself in?
Frost: Relax. I'm not some whack job meta-killer with crazy good aim and ulterior motives. (She thinks about this for a second.) Anymore.

Amunet: Darlings! Long time no see. Did I interrupt date night?
Barry: CCPD. Amunet Black, I'm placing you under arrest for robbery and aggravated assault.
Amunet: So very official, Mr. Allen. But aren't you just a CSI?
Barry: I'm still a cop. Who can arrest you.
Amunet: (agreeable) Oh, okay. Well, by all means, let me help you with the first bit. (clears throat) I have the right to remain silent, which will come in handy if you don't want me letting that little secret identity cat out of its flashy red bag. So why don't we just call this a warning? I'll be on my way. No harm. No cowl.
Barry: I'm supposed to just let you leave?
Amunet: Bloody right. Don't think of coming after me, 'cause if I see you, or your onesie, or any one of your frigid or bendy superhero friends, I will hold it against all of you and tell the world your real identities. Savvy? Hmm?
(Barry hesitates but clearly knows he's beaten.)
Amunet: That's right. Because behind every great man is a woman. Rolling her eyes.

Nash: Black and white, that's just for death and taxes. Everything else, everything else happens in the grays.

Joe: No. Neither one of you are ever gonna stop growing. I mean, marriage is like a tree. I mean, bear with me. Look, the branches, they grow from the center. They grow farther and farther away from the center, but what you have to remember is underneath, the roots? They're mirroring the branches. They're growing just as much. So you're growing your foundation. Now of course, you gotta tend to the soil, communicate with each other, take care of each other, look out for each other, but as the branches grow, so does your foundation. So you grow together.

Amunet: Keith and I were like fireworks when we were together. We shared the same ambitions, and it ignited us both. We inspired each other. Rappaccini's Daughter was meant to be our greatest score ever.
Iris: Even though it only blooms every 25 years?
Amunet: What can I say? We were optimists, making plans for the future. We knew that it was set to bloom this year, and once we had our hands on its mindreading powers, no one would be able to stop us. We would run this town together. I felt like I could be myself when I was with him. He's the only one who ever saw beyond all this. He saw me for me.
Iris: So what went wrong?
Amunet: Hmm, as business boomed, our relationship didn't. Our passion wilted and died.
(As Amunet says this she bends the stem of one flower and breaks it.)
Iris: I don't know, Amunet. The way you two were trying to kill each other...
Amunet: It's a fine line between love and hate, my dear.
(Amunet smiles and offers Iris the broken stem.)


Dialogue Disasters

Iris: Let me surprise my hubby before some crazy meta-of-the-week strikes.

Amunet: I'd rather date Norvock than you!
Goldface: That makes two of us! Your American accent sucks!
Amunet: So does yours!
Goldface: I'm from Connecticut! I went to Yale!

Most of Amunet and Goldface's fight dialogue and the make-up sex after. But especially...

Amunet: I should take off my gauntlet.
Goldface: Leave it on, girl. Daddy likes the metal.


Continuity

In the opening scene, Iris awakens on the floor in the AV3 office at McCulloch Technologies, where she was pulled into a mirror in 610.

Iris fixes Barry pancakes instead of his usual  breakfast banana. It was revealed that Barry usually has his favorite fruit in the morning in 605.

Iris' pancakes are good, to Barry's shock. It has been a running gag throughout the show's history that Iris is a lousy cook. Her pancakes are notoriously awful, as noted by Nora West-Allen in 504.

Iris bought an expensive juicer.

Barry made reservations for a restaurant called Giovani's on Valentine's Day at 7 pm. He decides to make an appointment for that night as well, to double their chances of having an uninterrupted Valentine's dinner.

Barry and Iris have an Alexa smart house system.

Allegra once dated an emo musician named Emerson Fairweather. Frost decides to help the two get back together.

Iris is suddenly capable of speaking Italian; an ability she's never shown in all the time Barry has known her. She claims it's because she picked up a few phrases while working on a story on Central City's Little Italy.

Amunet Black was last seen in 421.

Amunet steals a piece of technology from a man named Saul Frankel, who is eating at the same restaurant as Barry and Iris.

Amunet Black has apparently been off the grid in Central City since she was last seen before the final battle with The Thinker.

Iris goes undercover at an underworld bar.

Frost and Allegra spy on Emerson at Jitters, after finding out he'll be there on his social media. Allegra is ready to approach him until she sees him with another woman with whom he is clearly affectionate.

Lars, the bartender in the underworld bar, tells Iris that Amunet is heisting some tech from Ivo Labs.

Goldface was last seen in 513.

Goldface claims Amunet stole his Radiohead vinyl albums.

Amunet claims that she introduced Goldface to NWA.

Barry uses his powers to phase the security guard out from under the sphere he's trapped under during the fight between Amunet and Goldface.

Iris steals the second piece of equipment Amunet was taking from Ivo Labs during the fight.

Amunet and Goldface limit their attacks to criminal-run locations when their gang war breaks out.

Ryan Choi guesses that the equipment Amunet is stealing could be used to preserve a delicate plant.

Barry says that Iris is acting different - more assertive.

Iris argues with Barry about her new attitude and says he's scared because she won't be his damsel in distress or the voice cheering him on anymore.

Iris says learning how to make pancakes was her New Years' Resolution.

Iris also confesses to sneaking out in the middle of the night to check on a lead without telling Barry where she was going.

Nash is still checking up on Allegra in a clumsy fashion.

Frost is drinking Naltorian Mead when Nash finds her at the Central City Citizen's offices.

Nash advises Frost not to give up on trying to help Allegra.

Joe gives Barry some advice on coping with change in a marriage.

Joe makes reference to Iris taking down a Black Hole assassin (610), leading the charge to find Ryan Choi (609) and figuring out that Bloodwork hadn't completely taken over Barry's mind. (608)

Allegra tells Frost that she ghosted Emerson after a few dates because she was afraid he wouldn't be interested in a metahuman.

Frost convinces Allegra to go to Emerson and be honest about ghosting him.

Iris goes to Amunet with the stolen equipment and tells her what she figured out about her trying to steal Rappaccini's Daughter and why. She says she wants to help because she doesn't trust Barry anymore and wants to read his mind to make sure he isn't cheating on her.

Iris and Amunet are ambushed by Goldface as they go to steal Rappaccini's Daughter.

According to Goldface, Amunet's American accent is terrible, This suggests she honestly is British.

Goldface is originally from Connecticut and went to Yale.

Amunet lied about liking Goldface's dog and is a cat person.

Amunet and Goldface wind up having sex and forgiving each other after being exposed to the telepathic pollen.

Allegra and Emerson decide to just be friends.

The drummer in Emerson's band is bio-luminescent.

Frost seems to have deduced that Nash was Allegra's father in a pre-Crisis Earth.

Nash has a momentary vision of Harry Wells from the former Earth-2.

The episode ends with Iris, trapped in a mirror, helplessly watching as Barry kisses the fake Iris.


Untelevised Adventures

We are told that Goldface and Amunet's forces are tearing apart various gang hideouts in Central City as an all-out war breaks out, but don't see any fighting. Or any henchmen.

Iris calls Ryan Choi to identify the scientific equipment Amunet is stealing.


The Bottom Line

Easily the weakest episode of the season and perhaps the worst of the various "filler" theme episodes shot to preserve the special effects budget in the show's history. Between the illogical plot that can't be bothered to hide its tropes and everything that's left unresolved at the ending, this is easily one of the Top 5 worst The Flash episodes in history, with the only good things about it being the bad things that inspire laughter.

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 23

In which we start brokering a deal between the leaders of Gecko and Vault City, earn our citizenship and finally get into the Vault City Vault. We also have a terrible date. And lest you think this episode is all talk, we also fight some slavers.


Sunday, February 16, 2020

Black Lightning Episode Guide: Season 3, Episode 13 - The Book of Markovia: Chapter Four: Grab The Strap

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




Plot

Jefferson and his hand-picked team head into Markovia to rescue Lynn and recover Tobias. But can this powerful yet conflicted team overcome their own traumas to strike at the heart of a hostile nation and overcome everything they have protecting their own metahuman creation program? Not if the man known as Gravedigger has anything to say about it!


Influences

The Outsiders, Men of War (character of Gravedigger) and Checkmate comics (character of Gravedigger II)


Performances

Cress Williams nails the opening monologue where a drunken Jefferson looks back on his past and talks about it, seemingly to the audience, but eventually it is revealed he is speaking to Gambi.

After just one appearance, Wayne Brady makes Gravedigger into one of the best villains in the show's history. In fact, he may be one of the best villains in the history of the Arrowverse.


Artistry

The opening scene with Jefferson's monologue looking back on his past is a great one, in terms of the music balance and direction of Cress Williams' performance.

This episode has the single-best fight choreography and effects work of any Black Lightning episode to date.


Trivia

The codename Gravedigger has been given to two soldier heroes in DC Comics.

The first Gravedigger was Ulysses Hazard and first appeared in Men Of War #1 in 1977. A victim of polio as a child, Ulysses was able to overcome the disease with a specialized exercise regiment and enlisted in the Army at the first opportunity. However, even at the height of WWII, the Army was segregated and Ulysses was assigned to work detail alongside other black soldiers rather than combat duty. Frustrated, Ulysses stormed the Pentagon single-handed to prove that he was being wasted . Rather than being drummed out of the service and spending the rest of his life in a military prison, Ulysses was given a special designation as a one-man-unit. Since he was currently assigned to dig graves in a military cemetery, he was given the codename Gravedigger.

 Later, he would earn the rank of Captain and became the only man apart from Sgt. Frank Rock to lead the Easy Company. He received a cross-shaped scar across his face while fighting a Nazi soldier. One story revealed that Ulysses survived to see the end of WWII. He had a son, Achilles,Hazard, who followed in his father's footsteps, though he joined the Marines rather than the Army. Ulysses' grandson, Perseus Hazard, also joined the military and became head of Project K - a special government unit designed to bring down Superman should he ever go rogue.

The second Gravedigger was Tyson Sykes, who first appeared in Checkmate #24 in 2008. An agent of the spy organization Checkmate, with the rank of Rook Alpha, Tyson gained telepathic abilities after being injected with Apocritic - a drug made from the DNA of the alien Starro the Conqueror.

The Arrowverse version of Gravedigger seems to be a combination of both versions of Gravedigger from the comics. He is said to have been around since WWII, unaging thanks to the same serum that stopped Tobias Whale from growing older and has the same cross-shaped scar on his face. Like the second Gravedigger, he is a metahuman with a telepathic ability to "push" people into doing what he tells them to do. He also has enhanced strength and reflexes.

Gravedigger is played by Wayne Brady, best known for his work on the improv comedy show Who's Line Is It Anyway?


Technobabble

Gravedigger's mind-control power works through auditory stimulation and effects the front lobe of those he targets.

The hyperactivity that is a side-effect of Glimmer use can override Graverider's mind-control power.

In covert operations, it is generally a no-no to exit through the same means one uses for entry in a rescue or retrieval mission.

The door to Lab A is grounded against energy attacks and resists 100 million volts. It cannot, however, resist Erica Moran charging it after being repeatedly hit by Thunder.

Erica's power is organic in nature and follows the Fibonacci sequence, with her power growing exponentially every time she is hit and holds the kinetic energy.

Due to his brain functions being run almost entirely through the Painkiller chip, Khalil is immune to Gravedigger's mind control powers.


Dialogue Triumphs

Jefferson: Black Lightning. (chuckles) Black Lightning! Never particularly cared for that name. The news... News called me that, twenty-two years ago and it stuck. Twenty-two years. Feels like a thousand and then some. (sighs) All the blood, broken bones, (laughs softly) broken hearts and death. All the death. There was Lynn, witness to it all.  We, we...we tried to balance a normal life, you know, kids, career. (chuckles) But nothing... Nothing mixes well with Black Lightning. So, we fought. We made up. Got divorced. Got back together. Just couldn't stop loving each other. I grew up around drug dealers and drug addicts. You know all that.... Man, I've seen drugs devastate people. Families. I know the depth of addiction. I also know that Black Lightning's powers are useless in that fight. (determined)  But they are not useless in the fight in front of me right now. This war for Freeland....This war for Freeland took her from me. If I have to break bones, burn skin, draw blood ...If I have to kill, I will. I'm getting her back.

(Gravedigger asks Lynn politely to make the metahuman stabelization cure so that the people Makovia has in pods can be free.)
Lynn: You think I'm stupid? You're weaponizing them!
Gravedigger: Freedom ain't free.
Lynn: Spare me the rationalization. I'm not open to persuasion.
Gravedigger:  (chuckles) It's... It's interesting that you'd say that. (Gravedigger looks at Lynn seriously, his voice deepening as he speaks next.) Make the cure as fast as you can.
(To Lynn's horror, her body begins moving despite her face showing she doesn't want to be moving, going to a different work station and starting to pour one chemical into a dish. Dr. Jace looks at this with a mixture of fascination and horror.)

Jennifer: I know the timing's really bad, but our rescue team ain't looking so good. I need to ask you a favor.
Khalil: No. No. No, the last thing I need to do is go on another kill mission again.
Jennifer: Khalil, you know I'm not asking you to kill anybody. This is to get my mom back. Please. You have more training than all of us put together.
Khalil: J, I want you to get your mother back. Really, I do. But I am more of a liability than I am an asset.
Jennifer: What are you talking about?
Khalil: He's still in my head, Jen. I can't be trusted.
Jennifer: We've both killed for the ASA. But I lied to my family about it. They've lied to me, Odell lied to you. At least you've been honest. So, as far as I'm concerned, I trust you.
Khalil: I killed my own mother, Jen.
(There is a long pause as Jen sees... truly sees...how pained Khalil is. About what happened to him but also feeling like he is failing her.)
Jennifer: Then help me save mine. Please.
Khalil: No.

(Jefferson finds Khalil in the Sanctuary, packing a bag.)
Jefferson: Really? Does Jen know you're leaving?
Khalil: No. I'm not too good with goodbyes.
Jefferson: I think you owe her more than that.
Khalil: Yeah. I do, too.
Jefferson: Where are you gonna go?
Khalil: I don't know, but I gotta get out of Freeland, for good this time.
Jefferson: Why?
Khalil: Why would I stay?
(There's a pause as Jefferson considers his next few words.)
Jefferson: I wanna apologize to you.
Khalil: You wanna apologize to me?
Jefferson: Yeah. I feel like I didn't do enough for you.
Khalil: Look, it's like I said at the hospital the night I died. You did what you could. So, apology not accepted.
Jefferson: You won't be hunted. I had your name removed from the ASA register. You'll have a chance at somewhat of a normal life, free from them.
Khalil: Thanks. That means a lot. But I'll never actually be free and clear from Painkiller. I can't even trust myself. What good would I be to anybody?
Jefferson: Well, you You'd be a lot of good to us in Markovia.
Khalil: There is enough blood on my hands, Mr. P.
Jefferson: Look, Khalil. We can't We can't undo our past mistakes. All we can do is just move forward and try to do better. Look, I just want you to know that you would be a big help. But I respect your desire to.. To take off. If you ever find yourself this way again, you'll find our door open.

Gambi: I'm proud of you, you know that?
Jefferson: I haven't done anything for you to be proud of.
Gambi: But you have. Over, and over, and over again, ever since you were 12 years old. And now you're not only a hero, you have the stature to lead other heroes. I am proud of you, and Alvin would be, too.
Jefferson: What is a hero these days?
Gambi: You are.
Jefferson: Thanks, old man.

Gravedigger: Stand down, son.
Khalil: Yeah, I'm not your son.
(Gravedigger just stands there and looks at Khalil, assessing him slowly.) 
Gravedigger: By the way you're standing, your respiration... you're not all there. Bionics, lots of them. Not enough nervous system for me to push. Not enough sense to run. Clearly, you're what they call a "millennial."
Khalil: You talk too much.
(Khalil goes for his guns but Gravdigger charges forward and knocks them out of Khalil's hands.  The two begin fighting hand-to-hand. Khalil does okay at first but Gravedigger is able to get a good hit in and knocks Khalil into the wall.)
Gravedigger: Not bad. You don't wanna do this.
Khalil: (pulling himself up and raising his fists) Like I said - you talk too much.




Continuity

Jefferson first appeared as Black Lightning in 1998 - 22 years ago.

Jefferson didn't choose the name Black Lightning for himself. It was given to him by the media.

TC is running all the members of Jefferson's team through VR simulations to get them ready for the invasion.

Major Grey gives Jefferson the ASA's file on Painkiller. She also asks him to reconsider taking a team of ASA commandos with him, but Jefferson insists on sticking with his team of chosen agents.

Gravedigger is put in charge of the project to stabilize Markovia's metahumans due to the project not moving quickly enough under Mosin's command for the liking of their bosses.

Gravedigger was one of Dr. Jace's patients at one time.

Gravedigger is on the same formula as Tobias that stops him from aging.

There are 94 metahumans in cryogenic suspension in Markovia.

Jennifer asks Khalil to join the team, but he refuses, saying he's still coping with the idea that he killed his own mother. Jennifer says he can use what he was given to help her save her mother.

Jennifer is still holding a grudge against Anissa for not telling her that Khalil was alive.

Anissa, in turn, is holding a grudge against Khalil, believing he'll snap and become Painkiller again, sooner or later.

Sgt. Grayle attacks Brandon verbally, calling him the weak link of the team.

Jefferson asks Khalil to join the team, but discovers him packing up to go somewhere outside of Freeland.

Jefferson apologizes for not having done more to help Khalil and tells him he'll always have a place in Freeland if he ever decides to come back.

Lynn lies and tells Gravedigger they need a simple of his blood to speed up production on the stabilization formula. In truth, she's planning to give herself his mind-control power.

When planning their mission, Major Grey says they have to rescue Tobias as well as Lynn.

TC begins flirting with Erica Moran, eventually giving her a pair of boots to increase her speed.

Khalil joins the team at the last minute.

Gambi tells Anissa he has a way to shut Painkiller down in order to get her to stop complaining about Khalil being a danger to the mission.

Grayle tells Jefferson about the kill order he was given and Erica being programmed to kill Lynn should they prove unable to rescue her.

TC reveals that he already knew all this and that his flirting with Erica was a cover for him to get close enough to shut down the chip controlling her thoughts.

Brandon has a fear of flying. Gambi says this is a psychological side-effect of his power, which requires he be connected to the earth.

Khalil is able to knock Brandon out with a Kyushu Jitsu touch; part of his martial training rather than his superpowers.

Khalil reveals that he discovered that with the Painkiller program locked away in his mind, he can no longer use his poison-generation powers.

The final plan is that TC and Gambi will handle comms and monitor the computers at the Markovian base as two teams move in, once Grace takes over the security center by disguising herself as one of the Markovian leaders. Team 1, consisting of Jefferson, Anissa and Erica, go after Tobias. Team 2, consisting of Jennifer, Brandon, Sgt. Grayle and Khalil, go after Lynn.

Brandon runs off on his own, with Sgt. Grayle chasing after him, after he learns that Dr. Jace is in Lab B along with Tobias.

Tobias reveals that he knows Jefferson is Black Lightning.

Khalil stays behind to hold of Gravedigger, leaving Jennifer to go find her mother on her own. This happens to coincide with Lynn making her own escape attempt using her temporary mind-control power.

Sgt. Grayle stops Brandon from killing Dr. Jace.

Gravedigger fights Jefferson with an energy weapon that seems to negate his powers.

Grace retrieves Erica

Gravedigger is immune to his own power, as Lynn discovers when she tries to order him to leave her alone.

Lynn agrees to return with Gravedigger if he'll let her family go.

Jefferson shocks Gravedigger into submission and rescues Lynn.


Location

A military base in Markovia


Untelevised Adventures

How an American soldier came to be working for the Makorvian government is unexplained and hints at one hell of a story to be told eventually.


The Bottom Line

Possibly the single-best episode of the series to date. Easily the best episode of the season.

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 5, Episode 3 - Miss Me, Kiss Me, Love Me

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




Plot

With Astra firmly committed to releasing Encores upon the Earth, Constantine starts seeking an alternative means of fighting the undead. As he, Sara, Ray, Ava and Mick travel to the Golden Age of Hollywood to deal with the return of infamous gangster Benjmain "Bugsy" Siegel, Nate travels with Behrad for a visit home to his parents... and his annoying older sister, Zari.


Influences

Film Noir gangster movies, with a specific shout-out to Chinatown and the music of Bell Bev Devoe


Goofs

If mortal souls in the service of demons are capable of turning anyone they kill or corrupt into a new recruit for their demonic master, why aren't more demons sending armies of serial killers back to Earth? (It isn't a widely known fact or most demons would rather horde the souls they have than risk losing them.)

Mickey Cohen is depicted as a rival of Bugsy Siegel. In the real world, Mickey Cohen was one of Siegel's subordinates and had worked with him on establishing the Flamingo Hotel. (It could be they were rivals in Earth-Prime. There's also a theory that Cohen might have undertaken the hit on behalf of the other mafia families due to Bugsy's skimming off of the properties meant to be managed to the benefit of them all.)

Ava apparently lost her apartment in Washington DC and all her belongings are now in a single duffel-bag. Given how controlling Ava was, it's a little hard to believe she wasn't similarly meticulous regsarding her finances and didn't have money put aside for emergencies and is now, in her words, a vagrant, who has to live on the Waverider.

It's a minor point but where was the real Moore of "Webb & Moore" while all this was going on?


Performances

Tala Ashe slays as the new Zari. She's not a completely different person, showing plenty of the steel and intelligence we associate with the character, but she's different enough in her seemingly vapid persona to her followers and her general demeanor for it to be startling. The low-cut top and mini-skirt she seems to favor would have been all but impossible to imagine on the more Tomboyish Zari from pre-Crisis.

It must be said that Caity Lotz plays the femme fatale quite well and she'd do quite well in an actual Film Noir thriller.

The VIP performance of the episode has to go to Jess Macallan, who gets a chance to show off her singing skills and steals the scene with her dream sequence and the comedic aftermath. Yet she also gets some great pathos conveying Ava's clear discomfort with the loss of control she's feeling as a member of the Legends in the wake of losing her job with the Time Bureau.


Artistry

The sequence in which Ava sings a torch-song version of "Poison" is a perfect blending of light, blocking, setting and costume. You almost forget how impossible it is for a 1940's band and back-up singers to know the song up until the gag

The costuming overall is quite good.


Trivia Of Tomorrow

This was the first episode to feature a new animated title-card sequence showing the core members of the Legends

This also marked the first episode where a new font was used for the credits.

The title of the episode is based on a lyric from the song "Poison" by Bell Bev Devoe, which Ava sings in the episode.

The detective office which Sara, Ray and John investigate belongs to Webb & Moore.  The name Webb could be a nod to actor Jack Webb, who made a career of playing detectives and lawmen in Los Angeles, most famously as Sgt. Joe Friday on Dragnet.  The name Moore could be a nod to John Constantine creator Alan Moore.

Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel was one of the gangsters who founded Murder Inc. and held considerable influence in the Jewish Mafia, the National Crime Syndicate and the Ameican Mafia. One of the most famous of the so-called celebrity mobsters, he's been depicted in a number of popular films and television series; most famously in the 1991 film Bugsy, where he was played by Warren Beatty.

Though most of the media portrayals of Bugsy Siegel focus upon his time as a crime-boss, most of his criminal career was spent working as a hitman or hired muscle for other bosses. Known for being handsome and charismatic, he worked as a bootlegger in New York during the Prohibition era. When alcohol was legal in the USA once again, he headed west and began running his own rackets in Hollywood while taking a hand in establishing Las Vegas.

The character of Jeanie Hill seems to be partly based on Virginia Hill; a female gangster and one-time girlfriend of Bugsy Siegel, who never went by the name Jeanie in our world. Once described by Time Magazine as the "queen of the gangster molls," Virginia Hill was an equally legendary figure in the history of the American Mafia, having been romantically connected to many men in the Chicago Mob, for whom she also acted as a courier and a spy.

Virginia Hill eventually settled on Charles Fischetti, a cousin and bodyguard of Al Capone, but was dispatched to New York where she became involved with Joe Adonis in order to spy on the Luciano family. It was here that she met Bugsy Siegel, with the two openly becoming a couple after they both wound up in Hollywood years later.

In our world, Bugsy Siegel was killed on June 20, 1947, at the Beverly Hills home of Virginia Hill. It is believed that Hill was warned about the hit, as she took a sudden trip to Paris four days before Siegel's death.

In the Arrowverse, things play out differently, with Hill being present for Bugsy's murder and it apparently taking place somewhere besides her house, as she makes reference to Bugsy coming by her place later being perfectly fine.

The Arrowverse version of Bugsy Siegel secured his place in Hollywood using blackmail material, often entrapping his victims, make and female, using Jeanie Hill as a honey pot. While there is no record of Siegel operating in this capacity with Virginia Hill, it can't be completely discounted given their pasts, as Siegel did depend heavily on extorting various movie studio bosses and would not have been above using his moll to arrange for incriminating photos to be taken.

One notable difference between Jeanie Hill and Virginia Hill is that Jeanie Hill makes reference to being from Shaker Heights, Ohio and heading to Hollywood with dreams of becoming a mvoie star. Virginia Hill was from Lipscomb, Alabama and played at being a Southern Belle from an old money family when seducing her marks in Chicago and New York before she made her way west.

Virginia Hill also did not die because of  a car bomb in California in 1947. In 1950, she married Austrian professional skier Hans Hauser and spent the rest of her life after 1954 in Europe in order to avoid charges of tax evasion in the United States. She died of an apparent drug overdose in 1966, but some believe she was murdered and it was made to look like an accident for fear of what she knew.

As Sara is trying to lure Bugsy Siegel out to where she and Ray can subdue him, she and Bugsy are attacked by men Bugsy says work for Mickey Cohen; boss of the Cohen crime family and a major player in the Italian American mafia through the 1960s. Curiously, Cohen had worked under Siegel during most of the 1940s and one Mafia legend says he attempted to kill the men he believed were responsible for killing Siegel before being scared off by the arrival of police. It is believed he was honestly avenging Siegel's murder rather than trying to cover the tracks of the hit himself.

Clayton Chitty, who plays Officer Sullivan in this episode, previously played Vigilante on Arrow.

Ray attempts to search Bugsy on his way out of the LAPD precinct office, citing the authority of Police Chief Wiggum. This is a nod to the bumbling police chief from The Simpsons.


Technobabble/Arcana

By the laws of Hell, any human killed or corrupted by a damned soul released upon Earth goes to the demon that owns the chit of the damned soul.

John has a magic spell that allows him to track Encores by detecting magical energy and infernal residue.

Ignis Inerni is the Latin term for hellfire.

John can identified the victim of a hellfire attack by tasting their ashes.

Hellfire cannot be generated by mortal mages - only by an infernal being or an object made by demons.

Bugsy Siegel is revealed to have a pistol infused with hellfire. Siegel also seems to have some degree of telepathic control over the bullets the gun fires, as he is able to wound four gangsters with a single shot as the bullet weaves around to strike them all. The body of a mortal struck by the hellfire bullets disintegrates into a pile of ash and their soul is sent to Hell. A damned soul or demon struck by a hellfire bullet is permanently killed.

As powerful as the hellfire gun is, it does require compatible ammunition from Hell to work. This becomes a factor later when John storms Astra's club later with a limited number of shots.

According to John, only a weapon born of Hell can eliminate the Encores.


Dialogue Triumphs

(John appears in the circle of ash on the Waverider, seemingly only moments after he disappeared. Ava and Sara are still there. John coughs as the two women crowd him.)
Sara: John!
Ava: What happened down there?
(Gasping for breath, John straightens up and steels himself. He then pushes his way between Sara and Ava.)
John: I need a drink.
(As John says the words, Sara mouths them as well and shrugs triumphantly at Ava as if to say, "See? I told you I knew how this would go.")

(Sara. Ray and John go chasing after the female silhouette they saw in the hallway. They find a woman holding a pistol.)
Jeanie Hill: Don't come any closer!
Sara: All right, easy. You can put the gun down. We're here to help.
Jeanie Hill: Where's Webb?!
Ray: Uh, we are the "and Moore" of Webb & Moore. We work with Moore. (correcting himself) Webb.
Jeanie Hill: (looking at John) You must be Moore.
John: (speaking in an American accent) Suuure, that's me. Johnny Moore. Sara is my secretary.
(John points to Sara, who briefly makes a face suggesting there will be hell to pay for this later.)
John: (looking to Ray) And this fella here-
Jeanie Hill: Has got a cop face.
Ray: (not realizing that's an insult) Oh, thank you! (chuckles) Sergeant Palmer at your service. (winks) I'm undercover.
Jeanie Hill: Tell Webb to call me when he's back.
(She turns around as it to leave but stops when John starts speaking.)
John: He's, uh, on holiday vacation, which leaves me handling your case, Miss...?
Jeanie Hill: Hill, Jeanie Hill. I hired your partner to protect me from my boyfriend.
Ray: Oh, well, you're in good hands, ma'am.
Jeanie Hill: Oh, give me a break, Johnny Law! Half the PD is in Bugsy's pocket!
Sara: (recognizing the name) Bugsy as in...
Jeanie Hill: Benjamin Siegel. Doesn't like it when you call him Bugsy. But here's the kicker, He died last week.
John:And now he's back from the dead.
Jeanie Hill: And he's more dangerous than ever.

(Bugsy Siegel approaches Sara after she goes walking past his table.)
Bugsy: I couldn't help but notice you, and I gotta tell you, I like the way you walk.
Sara: I learned to do it all by myself, Mr. Siegel.
Bugsy: Oh, please, Benjamin.
Sara: Hmm, Sara Lance, at your service.
Bugsy: Lance, huh?
Sara: What's the matter, you don't like it?
Bugsy: Well, I don't know yet, just trying it on for size. You know, even if it fits, I'm a little curious about the price tag.
Sara: Well, if you have to ask, it's probably too expensive.
 Bugsy: (chuckles) I take what I want.
Sara: Does that make you a thief, Mr. Siegel?
Bugsy: I am a lot of things, Ms. Lance. And I am especially a thief.
Sara: Well, then let's stop all the tiddlywinks and get straight to the big reveal, shall we? Now, I'm a reporter for a new gossip rag, and I've got some dirt on half the city councilmen and the new archbishop. It's in my car. What do you say we go out back and you can take a peek what's in my trunk?
 Bugsy: I say, you keep talking like that, I just might follow you anywhere.

(Ava sighs as she gets off the comms with Sara, having been told to sit tight and watch the bar.)
Mick: What?
Ava: Hmm? (laughs) You wouldn't understand.
Mick: That you were the boss of a massive government organization, and now you do diddly-squat?
Ava: Wow, take it back, Rory. You just summed up my life perfectly.
(Ava looks depressed at this realization and downs her drink in one shot.)
Ava: (to the bartender)
Can I get a double?

(John is sitting in the office of Moore & Webb. Jeanie Hill comes inside. John smiles as he puts on his American accent, clearly relishing playing a private eye, trenchcoat and all.)
John: So you got my message.
Jeanie Hill: Look, if this is about the money your friend gave me, I already spent it.
John: I knew you were on the grift from the moment I laid eyes on ya.
Jeanie Hill: And I never once fell for that Yankee accent of yours.
John: (laughs and goes back to his normal voice)  Well, all right then. Well, now that we've dropped the charades, tell me, what is your angle?
Jeanie Hill: I wanna take Bugsy down. Free this town from his sway. The only way to do that is to destroy his blackmail stash. Webb said he'd found it, but I'm guessing Bugsy killed him for snooping too close.
John: Well, that's bad news for Webb and good news for me, because I know where the stash is.
Jeanie Hill: (smiles wide and steps in closer to John) Well, aren't I the luckiest girl in the world. What do you want in exchange?
John: (inhales deeply) I want Bugsy's gun.
Jeanie Hill: You lookin' to ice Bugsy?
John: No, that bloke's not worth it. I'm aiming at the person who brought him back.
Jeanie Hill:  Then we have a deal. You get your guy, I get my freedom.
John: Now, how exactly are you planning on stealing Bugsy's prized weapon, eh?
Jeanie Hill: When we kiss I'll press my hand against his chest.
(She steps closer and runs her hand along John's chest.)
Jeanie Hill: And then I'll run my hand all the way down his body, and then I'll grab it like this.
(John grunts as Jeanie grabs something that is definitely not a gun. She presses her lips to his and he grabs the back of her head as he spins her around. They sink to the floor as jazz music swells as we hear the sound of furniture crashing.)

(Bugsy Siegel comes into the Blue Iguana to see a drunken Ava singing.)
Bugsy: What is all this? You bring me all the way down here just so I can watch some no-name dame humiliate herself on stage?
Sara: First of all, she is not a no-name. That is my girlfriend. And second, she is not humiliating herself.
Mick: (deadpan) Yes she is.

(Nate is in a sitting room by himself. He is looking at a framed copy of Mini Traders Magazine. The cover story is ZARI TARAZI IS DRAGON GIRL!" and shows a picture of a young Zari taming the dragon at Heyworld. Zari walks in.)
Zari: So embarrassing.
Nate: Dragon girl. Is this when you became famous?
Zari: Yep, first agent when I was 11. He was a real piece of work. Eventually, I took control of everything.
Nate: Can I ask you something?
Zari: Hmm?
Nate: When you first saw me, did you feel like we met before?
Zari: Maybe. I meet a lot of fans.
Nate: No, I mean, we met in another life.
Zari: Oh. Yeah, I totally got that vibe.
(Zari rushes to Nate and kneels on the couch opposite him.) 
Nate: Oh, so it's not all in my head! I feel like I've been living out this Taylor Swift song, but it feels crazy good.
(Zari takes Nate's hand) 
Zari: We're definitely connected somehow, but something feels off. I think the you I remember wasn't a professor.
(Nate hesitates, clearly not wanting to blow his friend's cover.)
Zari: (rolling her eyes) Come on, I know Behrad's been lying to my parents about business school for years. I only wanna make sure that he's been taking really good care of our family's totem. Which he has been, right?
(Nate mutters something indistinct as Zari leans in close. Naturally, it is at this moment that Behard walks in.)
Behard: Yo, dude, we're cutting the cake, and they're asking for the special guest.
Zari: Come on. Chill, B, your friend and I were just talking.
Behard: (guiding Nate out of the room) Sure you were. Let's go.

(Jeanie is holding John at gunpoint, stopping him from burning Bugsy's blackmail stash.)
John: You told me you wanted to destroy that stash so that you and everyone else in the town could be free.
Jeanie Hill: Yeah, but I figured why destroy it when I could just use it for myself? I'm sick and tired of people taking advantage of me. With this briefcase, I'll finally have some real power around here.
John: Look, I understand your anger, but as soon as you touch Bugsy's dirt then you'll have a target on your back just like him. But if you leave now, you can start over, have a new life. Look, you don't have to do this, Jeannie. Just walk away.
Jeanie Hill: Walk away? Do you really expect me to give up this power after being so powerless my whole life?
(John looks at her. He knows what it is to be powerless and he can't say that she's wrong. Though it's clear he's also thinking about another powerless woman lashing out now that she has real power that he was trying to stop for his own selfish reasons.)
John: You know what? You're right. (picks up the briefcase and hands it to her.) Who am I to tell you what to do anyway?
Jeanie Hill:  See? It's working already.

(John looks at the burning car, knowing there is no way Jeanie Hill survived. Ray walks up.)
Ray: They killed her!
John: Forget it, Ray. It's Burbank.

(Sara and Mick have Bugsy in the Waverider brig. John and Ray enter. John is livid. )
John: I should blast you straight to oblivion, you damn bastard. You made Jeanie's life miserable and now she's dead because of you.
Bugsy Siegel: (smirks) I may have corrupted a wannabe starlet. But you? You created a real monster. Astra Logue.
(There's a long moment as John regards Bugsy. He then grins wickedly as he pulls a bottle from his pocket and begins forming a circle on the floor.)
John: You know what? It's funny that you mention her. I was just about to go and see her.
Sara: John, if you're about to do what I think you're gonna do, then you'd better be sure.
(John nods as he steps into the circle. He looks to Mick, who is still holding Bugsy.) 
John: Hand him over, big man.
Mick: (pushes Bugsy into the circle) Go on.
John: Yeah, that's it, big boy. See, you're my ticket to Hell.
(John pistol-whips Bugsy across the forehead with the hellfire pistol. It draws blood. John sticks his fingers in the wound and applies it in two vertical marks under his eyes before sucking his fingers clean and taking a deep breath. Ray looks disgusted.)
John: (chanting) Flesh become my flesh, soul become my soul. Hades, firstborn of Cronus and Rhea, I call upon you. (John looks up to Mick)  Light her up, big man.
(Mick, for once looking disturbed, pulls out his heat gun and ignites the circle. The flames immediately go  blue as John and Bugsy disappear.)

(John enters into Astra club, hellfire gun drawn, pushing the bound Bugsy before him.)
Astra: You just can't stay away, can you?
Bugsy Seigel: Careful, he's still got one bullet left.
Astra: Oh, I appreciate your concern, Benjamin, but I'm not worried about him. We're old friends, aren't we, Johnny? So why don't you tell me what you came all the way down here for?
John: I came all the way down here to tell you....
(John holds the gun on Astra and looks at her.  He lowers the gun.)
John: That I'm not giving up on you. And even if it takes me till the end of my days, I promise you that I will find a way.
Astra: Another meaningless promise made by the great John Constantine. You've gone soft.
(Astra laughs wickedly and Bugsy joins in. John smiles sheepishly for a moment before his bastard grin emerges.)
John: Not that soft. This one's for Jeannie!
(John draws the gun and fires it directly into Siegel's heart. He has just enough time to look stunned before screaming and disappating into a cloud of green fiery smoke. Astra honestly looks surprised.)
John: I'll be seeing you around, love.
(John throws the gun to the ground and walks out.)

Ray: Hey, whatever really happened back there with Astra, I'm sure it wasn't easy.
John: What are you talking about, big man?
Ray Just so you know, if I had taken care of Nora back when we all thought she was evil, we wouldn't be happy and together right now.
John: Oh, I had the chance to pull the trigger, to end all this. (sighs) But I couldn't do it.
(Ray just nods and smiles widely.)
John: What's all your grinning about?
Ray: Just happy there's still good guys out there. Even if one of them is a master of the dark arts.
John: You know, you're wrong about me, Ray. But I will save Astra, and you should know it's just as much for me as it is for her, all right?


Continuity

Astra refuses to bring her souls back to Hell when John asks her to do so nicely. She says the only way she'll ever stop is if John kills her, but points out that's pointless as she'll just wind up in Hell again.

Astra has taken control of Masher and is punishing him for squealing on her to John Constantine.

Nate is now seeing flashes of Zari when he looks at Behrad.

Ray suggests that Astra could be redeemed but John says that her lust for power has overtaken whatever humanity she had left.

With no better plan for containing the Encores, Sara says they'll keep them on the ship until they can figure out a way to send them to Hell permanently or stop Astra from sending them back to Earth.

Behrad asks for shore leave to visit his father on his birthday. Nate agrees to come along and pretend to be one of his business school professors.

Gideon detects a time quake in Los Angeles in 1947 just as Nate and Behrad are leaving.

Sara, John and Ray head into LA to investigate the disturbance. Ava and Mick QB from the ship.

According to Mick, QB means stay on the ship and do nothing.

Behrad and his parents speak Farsi.

In the new timeline, Zari is a social media influencer who became world famous after the incident where she tamed the dragon at Heyworld in 2019. She built that fame into a social media empire

Zari has an entourage that includes one media person and two people to help her with hair and make-ip touch-ups.

Zari has 51 million followers on-line.

Nate recognizes Zari as the woman from the video in 502. She has no idea who he is, however, and he thinks he's a creep based on how he stares at her.

Nate tells Behrad about the video he found in Gideon's memory. Behrad is skeptical, however.

John tracks the Encore to a detective agency belonging to one Webb and Moore. He goes on to impersonate Moore, using the name Johnny Moore, after finding a pile of ashes on the floor he figures was Webb.

John finds a matchbook for the Blue Iguana club on Moore's desk. It has a sequence of numbers written in it, along with the word Elysium.

John is capable of faking a reasonable American accent.

Ray impersonates a plainclothes police detective, saying he is Sgt. Palmer.

Sara, to her annoyance, has to play the role of John's secretary.

Webb was hired by Jeanie Hill to act as a bodyguard and protect her from her boyfriend, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel. "Johnny Moore" agrees to take over the job.

Apparently, Bugsy Siegel died a week earlier but came back from the dead. This sets the episode sometime in late June in 1947.

Bugsy Siegel just took over a club called the Blue Iguana on Sunset Boulevard. John finds a matchbox for the Blue Iguana on Webb's desk in his office.

Ray gives Jeanie the money to get out of town. John thinks she's playing him for a sap and is proven right when he finds Jeanie on Bugsy's arm later, though she justifies this saying that she wasn't able to get out of the city since Bugsy has eyes everywhere.

Ava and Mick go into the Blue Iguana undercover as customers, separately Sara and John.

Ray continues to pose as a policeman, but this time in a standard uniform, outside the Blue Iguana.

Jeanie Hill claims she wants to get all the blackmail photos she posed for before she gets out of town to save her reputation and ruin Bugsy.

Sara tries to seduce Bugsy, playing at being a gossip reporter who can help him with getting information on blackmail targets.

Bugsy kills four of Mickey Cohen's men who were sent after him.

Ray arrests Bugsy almost immediately, but a different group of cops take over the scene immediately.

Zari manages a multi-platform, multimillion dollar brand and is about to put out a line of dressy sneakers.

It is immediately clear that Zari and Behard do not get along. Behard sees Zari as annoying in flaunting her success. Zari is jealous of the attention Behard gets as the baby of the family and how her parents don't seem to care about her accomplishments compared to his going to college.

Behard's parents want him to settle down with a nice Persian girl and worry about him being too enveloped in his studies.

Behard's parents have a painting of the Zambesi Air Totem in its original form as a necklace.

Behard's parents think the Air Totem was stolen, being completely ignorant of Behrad taking it to become a superhero in the new reality.

Ray determines that Bugsy really does have the LAPD in his pocket, with the cops bringing him a gourmet lobster dinner and wine and questioning him about the shooting in a nice office rather than the cell block.

Ray befriends a seemingly honest cop named Sullivan.

John contacts Jeanie Hill and convinces her to help him steal Bugsy's gun. The two wind up having sex in the Webb & Moore office.

Ava has turned in the keys to her apartment in Washington DC and sold most of her belongings. Everything she owns now is in a single duffel bag.

Ava is able to clear out the Blue Iguana with her drunken singing.

Zari knows that Behard has been lying about going to business school and suspected that he took the Air Totem.

Based on the information in the matchbook, John determines that Webb hid the blackmail information he stole from Bugsy Seigel in a graveyard. Due to his spending a lot of time in graveyards, he knows that Elysium is a common name for graveyards (after the Elysium Fields of Greek Myth) and from there it was a simple guess to figure out the numbers referred to a grave marker.

Webb hid the blackmail information in a graveyard in Burbank.

Jeanie double-crosses John and plans to run off with the blackmail material. She does, however, keep her word and gives him Busgy's gun, telling him there are five bullets left in it.

Officer Sullivan turns out to be crooked and turns on Ray, after he refuses to go along with the plan he and some other mobbed-up cops have to kill Jeanie Hill and destroy the blackmail material with a car bomb. They also plan to frame Ray for the killing.

Jeanie Hill dies when the car explodes.

John takes Bugsy back to Hell and destroys his soul with the hellfire gun in front of Astra. He then leaves the gun in Hell, telling her that he is not giving up and will find a way to save her.

John lies and tells Sara he lost the gun after being overpowered by Astra's minions.

John later confesses the truth after Ray calls him on it and admits he couldn't kill Astra. He does, however, deny that he's the good man Ray thinks he is and says he's just as concerned with easing his conscience as he is saving Astra's soul.

Mick recorded Ava's singing. Sara bribes him to lose the recording.

Zari recognizes Nate as the superhero in the star-spangled outfit at Heyworld when she was a girl and tamed the dragon. She also recognizes Behrad from a video of the incident.

The episode ends with Behrad sending Zari through a time portal into the Waverider to stop her from telling their parents about what he's been up to (even though she's not sure what he's up to.) and Zari having a breakdown on the deck of the Waverider.


Location

Hell
Los Angeles - 1947
Washington D.C. - 2044.
Burbank - 1947


The Bottom Line

An instant classic, there's not a redundant storyluie or subplot for the first time in a goodly while. Putting John Constantine in the role of a private eye is a brilliant idea, as John was one of the first detective heroes in the now overdone urban fantasy genre and the production team perfectly captured the feeling of 1940s Los Angeles and the film Noir genre.