Thursday, April 15, 2021

Black Lightning Episode Guide: Season 4, Episode 7 - Painkiller

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

Plot

Khalil Payne moved to Akashic Valley hoping to get away from his past and the Pierce family he was programmed to destroy. Unfortunately, the past has a way of coming back to haunt you and when Grace Choi is kidnapped while on her honeymoon with Anissa Pierce and the Painkiller program incapacitates Thunder, it will fall to Khalil and his new allies to make things right, even as they put themselves in the crosshairs of a powerful new enemy.


Influences

Blade Runner 2049 (aesthetic of Akashic Valley) and general cyberpunk themes.


Performances

Jordan Calloway delivers a subtle performance, altering the body language of Painkiller and Khalil to make them two different people.


Artistry

The high-tech look of Akashic Valley is striking and immediately sets it apart as someplace unique in the Arrowverse.

The action sequences are fantastic.


Trivia

This is the first episode of Black Lightning not to feature Jefferson Pierce, Lynn Stewart or Jennifer Pierce in some capacity. This makes Anissa the only character to appear in every episode of Black Lightning to date.


Technobabble

The logic bomb installed in Khalil's head gives him control of the Painkiller program and it is further enhanced by regular meditation. However, it is not powerful enough to override a direct kill order. This is why Painkiller was able to take control when it saw Anissa Pierce.

The kill order enacted by the ASA is like a GPS, enabling Painkiller to sense his targets when they are close by.

The photographer's camera doesn't take actual photos. Instead, it acts as a scanner that measures brain activity. His employer has an interest in smart people.

Philky is able to use facial recognition software to track down the photographer who took Grace's picture.

Khalil plants a tracker on the photographer, but Philky is able to hack his car's GPS to find out where he was right after helping to capture Grace.

The nanotech in the heads of the kidnapping victims resembles the same tech used to create Painkiller, with part of their brain being partitioned, effectively cordoning off a large section like a computer. Philky determines their bodies are being crypto-jacked to harness the computing power of their brains for criminal enterprises like unraveling Bitcoins. The other half of the brain is locked into a meditative state. Sadly, Philky is afraid most of the crypto-jack victims will have serious brain defects.

Wo Man is said to be able to tap into the Akashic records: a place where the past, present and future exist simultaneously. 


Dialogue Triumphs

Khalil: (voice-over) "There is one. The path has been corrected. Go forth and conquer." These words came to me in meditation and led me here, to Akashic Valley, a place where I came to find peace of mind and body. A place where I pieced together a family and built a new life, so that I can conquer my own duality. Me, Khalil, who wants peace and vengeance. And Painkiller... who just wants a bloody war.

Philky: I'm not your damn Asian tech savior, man!

(Donald tells Anissa how Khalil saved his life.)
Anissa: It's a wonderful story, but I'm not gonna be convinced unless he saves Grace's life.
Donald: I know what's it's like to be one person on the inside and have to pretend to be someone else on the outside. To lead a double life. Struggle with identity. Khalil's struggle is different, but that's what he's dealing with. You should understand that.
Anissa: I never really had to hide who I was. I've always been out.
Donald: Well, then, you're one of the lucky ones, Anissa. (pauses) Or do you prefer Thunder?

(Inside Khalil's head, Painkiller and Khalil sit across from each other on a mat.)
Painkiller: I know you don't trust me. Maybe for good reason. But like you said, I didn't make me like this. Odell did. If you die... I die. Come on, Khalil. Deep down inside, your survival instinct... in all of us. You need me on this. That's why you're here.
Khalil: This technology is too important. It could set us both free. I can't take the risk of you killing the wrong person.
Painkiller: What does that even mean, bruh? "Set us free"? But what you're really saying is to set you free from me. I'm not stupid!
Khalil: I think it means we can stop warring with each other and finally live in peace. No more kill orders causing you pain. No more fear or worry of Odell or anyone else controlling you. You'll always be a part of me. It's just a matter of how.
Painkiller: Then trust me!
Khalil: I don't want Grace dead as a result of collateral damage. We'll go in, save Grace and then get the technology, And if things get real bad, then you'll finish. Understood?
Painkiller: I'll be on my best behavior. 


Dialogue Disasters

Khalil and Philky's conversation regarding how they met and owe each other is some of the clunkiest "As you well know, Bob..." exposition ever. It's also a bit odd, given that the exposition for Donald later on works quite well.


Continuity

Akashic Valley is a high-tech paradise, like Las Vegas and Tokyo rolled up into one. It has motorized smart car taxis, AI concierges in the hotels and holographic performers in the bars are not uncommon.

Grace and Anissa come to Akashic Valley and stay at a hotel called The Black Velet.

Grace is jumped by several men after having her photo taken. Anissa tries to chase after her, but is attacked by Painkiller, who poisons her.

Khalil and Painkiller fight for control of Khalil's body again. Khalil just barely wins, after giving Painkiller three changes to back down and not call Anissa a bitch.

Philky is a former ASA agent whom Khalil discovered, drunk and near homeless, after the ASA was shut down at the end of Season 3. The two partnered up, with Khalil recovering some of the ASA's dark funds in exchange for Philky attempting to neutralize the Painkiller program.

Khalil financed the construction of a lab under a bar in Akashic Valley. Philky works there as the bartender when he's not researching a cure for Khalil's condition.

The Painkiller program hadn't manifested once in the year since Khalil left Freeland, Georgia. 

The photographer who took Grace's photo reports to a woman that his partner, Nick, was poisoned by Painkiller's punch to the chest. This gets her interest, even before the photographer mentions that one of the people they captured, Grace, was a shapeshifting metahuman.

The photographer was scanning the tourists n the Akashic Valley strip for smart people.

The photographer tells Khalill that the people he scans for are turned over to a mind cult of some kind.

Donald is a skilled herbalist and a former medic in the US Marine Corps.

Donald tells Anissa that he developed a bad case of PTSD when he left the military. He doesn't recall what happened the night Khalil found him, but he had over-medicated himself and had a few whiskeys. He can't recall if his overdose was an accident or an honest suicide attempt. In either case, Khalil saved his life.

Khalil told Donald all about the Pierce family, including their secret identities.

It is suggested that Donald might be gay or trans, as he makes reference to being one person on the inside and having to pretend to be someone else on the outside. 

Khalil discovers six people in VR gear plugged into six laptops at the address Philky found. He takes the laptops.

Khalil asks one of the guards who he works for. The man says Maya before passing out.

Khalil and Philky consult with Wo Man - a  wisewoman who is said to know everyone in the valley and everything that is happening, legal or illegal. She is also a gun runner, who sells Khalil "a lot of guns."

According to Wo Man, Maya is into high-tech, mind-bending hardware that usually only the government  can access. She also says that saying her name to the wrong people can get you killed.

Wo Man owes Phiky several debts, which he calls in. She agrees to send him the location of Maya's retreat and schematics of it.

Khalil reaches an understanding with Painkiller regarding working together so they can be at peace.

Grace is able to free herself from her captivity and runs into Painkiller on the way out of Maya's base.

Grace is somehow able to sense when Khalil or Painkiller is controlling Khalil's body.

Donald, Philky and Anissa go to back up Khalil and find Grace as she's leaving the building.

Maya's AI assistant is named Katie.

Philky figures out that there's a self-destruct on the building. 

Khalil persuades Painkiller to leave Maya's base rather than take a chance on chasing the tech.

Anissa tells Khalil that Jennifer has changed a bit, but they talk about him often.

Khalil asks Anissa not to tell Jennifer where he is, saying he needs some time before he is ready to see her.

Khalil, Donald and Philky agree to investigate Maya and figure out what she and her cult are up to.

Maya is revealed to be the daughter of Agent Odell and she knows who Khalil is.


Location

Akashic Valley 


Untelevised Adventures

We don't get to see any of Khalil's activities over the past year, but we are told of how he saved Philky and Donald.


The Fridge Factor

Shockingly averted, given how often she's knocked out and taken hostage in earlier episodes, Grace is able to free herself and doesn't really need Painkiller to rescue her.


The Bottom Line

A solid back-door pilot that establishes a unique new setting for the Arrowverse and an interesting supporting cast to back Painkiller up. Sadly, given how many other spin-offs The CW has passed over, it seems unlikely this one will be picked up for a series, but it has more promise than Green Arrow and the Canaries did, if not as strong a legacy. 

Batwoman Episode Guide: Season 2, Episode 10 - Time Off for Good Behavior

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

Plot

Ryan uncovers a sinister plot after a new villain dubbed Kilovolt attacks the community center she helped to repair. Meanwhile, Jacob faces a new challenge in his war on the False Face Society and Alice seeks out the mysterious Enigma with a new goal: forget about her sister.


I
nfluences

The Batman comics of Alan Grant (character of Horton Spence).


Artistry

The dream-like imager of Jacob's hallucination scenes is quite effective.


Bat Trivia

Luke makes a joking remark about Black Mask blaming Aquaman for killing his daughter. This is the first confirmation that Aquaman exists within the post-Crisis Arrowverse. 

This episode marks the first appearance of Horton Spence - an idealistic reporter who alerts Batwoman to the connection between various social programs in Gotham City being attacked by criminals.

Horton Spence first appeared in the comics in Batman #475 in March 1992 and was presented as a partner to Vicki Vale, investigating a new street drug called Fever together. The two also dated for a time.

This episode confirms that Dr. Evelyn Rhyme is Enigma. Dr. Rhyme is an original character unique to the Arrowverse and has no connection to any other character named Enigma.


Technobabble

Community centers bring about a 10% drop in crime and a 15% increase in graduation rates from nearby schools.

According to Dr. Evelyn Sharpe, Snakebite attacks the hippocampus - the part of the brainwhich stores memories and emotions, targeting those memories most associated with regret or remorse. This triggers a hallucination where the user is able to alter the circumstance of the bad memory so they end happily.

Mary uses a mafenide acetate cream to treat Horton Spence's electrical burns.


Dialogue Triumphs

Alice: I see you got my message.
Julia: Oh, the sad desperation came through loud and clear. Gotham’s most deranged diva reduced to making prank phone calls. What’s next? Ding-dong-ditch? Heh.
Alice: (pulling a knife) How about "ghost in the graveyard?"
Julia: (batting the knife away) Oh, you’re not gonna kill me. You’d just be lonely again. I mean, that’s why I’m here, isn’t it? With Kate gone because no one really cares about your every move. I mean, the new Batwoman doesn’t give a damn about you anymore, and that must drive you absolutely crazy. Well, crazier. What will Alice become now that her sister is dead, hmm? I mean, it’s the age-old question, isn’t it? If a lunatic throws a tantrum in a forest, will anyone hear? Guess Gotham’s not much of a playground without a playmate.
Alice: I don’t need a playmate. I need a partner.
Julia: Well, your last overture at partners ended with a knife in my gut, so…
Alice: (wincing in exasperation) Oh, I really need to work on my negotiating skills!

(Black Mask shoots one of his followers - a man in a clown mask.)
Black Mask:
You’re forgiven. (turning to the rest of his followers) Does anyone else want to apologize for the fact that for the last two weeks not a single viable dose of Snakebite has been produced? Anyone? I got plenty of bullets to go around!

Mary: Look. I don’t care what you have to say I’m opening the place back up, so if you want to stop me, you’ll have to arrest me.
Jacob: I don’t want to stop you. I want to help you. Make this place a real clinic. Hire real doctors. I’ll even pay for it.
Mary: You know that there are some things that you can’t fix by writing a big check.
Jacob: What possible objection could you have to making this place legit?
Mary: Because it goes against the very reason I started the clinic, ok? I don’t ask for I.D., I don’t require insurance, I don’t report O.D.s or non-violent criminal behavior. I opened up this place to serve the people that you don’t see as legit.
Jacob: Come on. You haven’t even finished med school...
Mary: And yet yesterday, I saved a guy’s life, and, you know, for the first time since Kate died, I don’t feel hollow! I feel like what I did mattered! That I can make a difference in this crappy city, and you want to take that away from me, and for that, I will never forgive you.


Continuity


As the episode opens, Batwoman is attacking her third Snakebite distribution center that week.

Batwoman specifically calls out Black Mask in a live TV feed.

As Jacob Kane is watching the news report on Batwoman's raid, he is kidnapped and injected with Snakebite.

While high on Snakebite, Jacob hallucinates that he was able to save Beth while she was a teenager.

Batwoman is calling the leader of the False Face Society Black Mask as she has no idea who he is.

According to Luke, Kate never killed anyone's daughter as Batwoman.

Ryan visits Angelique in Edgewater; a private prison facility.

The price of phone calls inside the prison has almost doubled since Ryan served time. According to Angelique, a ten-minute phone call is $22 and some change. It as $11.50 when Ryan was in prison.

Ryan encourages Angelique to flip on the False Face Society. She still refuses.

Ryan and Mary attend the opening of the new Sheldon Park community center Jordan Moore was working with. They are singled out for their help in getting it set up again.

A reporter named Horton Spence asks about the community center's security.

Ryan meets with Imani, who is the head of the community center's tutoring program.

Ryan is asked about teaching martial arts classes at the community center.

The community center is attacked by a man with an electric gun. The media dubs him Kilovolt.

Luke determines that a weapon like the lightning gun costs more than a community center is worth.

Horton Spence was fired from the Gotham Gazette six months earlier for undisclosed reasons.

Julia Pennyworth goes through her expense accounts from when she was searching for Kate and discovers that she spent two nights in Monaco with a layover in Valencia and a car rental in Madrid, but she has no memory of being in any of those places.

Alice calls in an anynonmous tip to The Crows, addressed to "Penny Dreadful," about a break-in at the Cartwright farm. Julia takes this as a sign that Alice wants to meet with her.

Julia makes reference to Alice stabbing her in 202.

Alice tells Julia about Enigma and asks for her help in finding her. This prompts Julia to think that maybe she already ran into and that is why she can't remember anything.

Jacob has a meeting with Dr. Evelyn Sharpe - a noted therapist with a practice in Gotham City, who joined the Crows special Snakebite task force. She has a PH.D in criminal psychiatry.

Dr. Sharpe somehow knows that Jacob used Snakebite. She says it is addictive enough that even one dose can hook a person.

Batwoman confronts Horton Spence about the community center attack. He tells he that several other social programs have faced similar attacks, such as the Narrows Midnight Basketball court being burned by an arsonist and the Diamond District tutoring center being shot up.

Spence claims he was investigating a link between the attacks when he was suddenly fired from the Gotham Gazette. He had just gotten his former editor to agree to take another look at his case.

Kilovolt tries to kill Batwoman and Spence, but her suit largely insulates her from the attack. Kilovolt gets away, but Ryan is able to get his gun.

Spence gets third degree electrical burns from the attack, but Mary is able to treat him with what few supplies she has left at her clinic. Unfortunately, his laptop was destroyed by the attack.

Luke traces the lightning gun to some tech being sold by a shady Russian defense contractor.

Luke is able to pull a partial finger print from the gun and traces it to a convict named Michael Kastrinos, who has been locked up in Edgewater Prison's Cellblock J for two years.

Alice discovers a to-do list written on Julia's boarding pass, which notes that she had a meeting with Dr. Evelyn Rhyme before flying to Madrid. Julia has no memory of this meeting.

Julia agrees to confront Dr. Rhyme about the meeting, while Alice investigates her office on Sixth Street.

Jacob has a private session with Dr. Rhyme where he admits that not saving Beth was his biggest regret and that not an hour goes by that he doesn't think about how he left her in the cell in Cartwright's farm.

Jacob admits he's tempted to try Snakebite again because of the good feeling he got from being able to save Beth, if only in a dream.

Jacob and Mary have not been speaking.

Dr. Sharpe suggests that Jacob try and mend fences with Mary.

Ryan visits Michael Kastrinos in prison. He refuses to confess to being Kilovolt, but Ryan identifies the injury she gave him before he escaped.

Luke checks the security footage of the time Kilovolt attacked Batwoman and it shows Michael Kastrinos in his cell, where he is meant to be.

Ryan visits Angelique and asks if she knows anything about a secret way out of the prison. She does not.

Ryan also pleads, once again, for Angelique to turn on the False Face Society. This time she seems to consider it when Ryan says she can protect her.

The False Face Society has not been able to produce any Snakebite in two weeks as only Ocean and Angelique knew the formula.

Ryan calls Sophie Moore about the two names she got from Angelique. They're both managers at the Gotham Gun Club. Sophie is skeptical, but agrees to check into it.

Luke matches the security footage of Michael Kastrinos to identical footage from 2 weeks earlier. This suggests that someone in the prison is deliberately altering the footage.

Michael Kastrinos wasn't going to be eligible for parole for another decade, yet somehow got a hearing for an early release the day after the community center attack. Discovering this led Luke to look at all the recent paroles from Edgewater prison and led to the discovery that a serial arsonist was paroled the day after the midnight basketball program was burned down and an armed robbery enthusiast was released the day after the Diamond District tutoring center was shot up.

Luke determines that Edgwater's CEO Ellis O'Brien personally signed off on each of the early releases. Ellis was also on the executive board of the Gotham Gazette and would have the power to fire Horten Spence.

Roman Sionis shows up at Jacob's office with a Snakebite dose he claims was found in one of his employee lockers. He asks if Jacob can dispose of it for him.

Julia confronts Dr. Rhyme, who reveals herself as Enigma before easing Julia's memory again.

Batwoman confronts Ellis O'Brien, who confesses that he was trying to destroy social programs that prevented at-risk children and repeat offenders from filling his prison.

Luke shows up in time to give Batwoman some back-up when he detects three guards with lightning guns coming for her.

Sophie finds the two men Angelique implicated, dead on their shooting rage, wearing masks.

Alice listens to Dr. Rhyme's recording of her session with Jacob.

Mary gives Horton Spence some antibiotics, since his insurance won't kick in for a few more weeks.

Horton spence was apparently rehired at the Gotham Gazette and given a promotion as well.

Jacob offers to pay for Mary to open a real clinic but she refuses his money.

Julia puts in for a transfer to the Crow's Security office in Berlin.

Sophie tells Ryan that a WITSEC team is moving Angelique into protective custody until Black Mask is captured, thanks to the DA accepting a plea deal.

Jacob takes the second dose of Snakebite Roman Sionis gave him.

Angelique is abducted by the False Face Society, after the Crows' Security caravan escorting her is attacked.


The Bottom Line

An enjoyable episode that plays out like a classic Green Arrow comic, with all of the ensemble being given a chance to shine.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Starman Plays Indiana Jones And the Fate of Atlantis - Part 8

Are you ready for some Nazi-punching? I hope so! Because in this chapter, we go back to replay the middle third of the game by taking the Fists path. Forget about all these complicated puzzles (well, most of them) and rejoice as Indy demonstrates the fine art of Nazi-punching for your education and entertainment.

 

Monday, April 12, 2021

Starman Plays Indiana Jones And the Fate of Atlantis - Part 7

In which we slowly hijack a submarine one unlocked control at a time and slowly plot a course to Atlantis while recovering all of our stolen Worldstones. Say hello to the end of the Teams path as we lose track of Sophia (again) just before opening the entrance to Atlantis!

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 6, Episode 2 - A Few Good Women

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

Plot


As Lex Luthor goes on trial for Crimes Against Humanity, Lena must make a difficult choice about how far she will go to see her brother face justice. Meanwhile, as the Super Friends seek out help to rescue Supergirl, Kara finds an unexpected ally and familiar face in the Phantom Zone.


I
nfluences

Supergirl: The Movie (plot of Kara and her father needing to escape the Phantom Zone), Harry Potter (the phantoms of the Phantom Zone resemble the Dementors), Star Trek (Dreamer mentions the Holodeck when she sees Brainy's training simulation), the Babylon 5 episode Whatever Happened To Mister Garibaldi? (Kara's meeting with her father resembles Sheridan's first encounter with Lorien) and Stargate (the appearance of the Phantom Zone portal, theme of legends being aliens)


Goofs

Granting that the legal system in the Arrowverse is probably more efficient than in our world, it's still shocking that Lex Luthor could go on trial, even with an open-and-shut case, and have the trial end as quickly as it did. Particularly given the problem with jury selection given how well known Lex is and the nature of his crimes.

It's a little unbelievable that the episode would waste time showing us William watching Lex's trial, in effect having us watching William watching Supergirl.

Why is Lena watching the trial by herself instead of trying to help rescue Kara? 

For that mater, why don't any of the superheroes who arrested Lex testify against him?

Why, after such a big deal was made about it last week, do we not get a quick scene of Alex telling Kelly that Kara is Supergirl? 

Silas should not have any conflicting memories of how the Phantom Zone looked before Crisis. (Perhaps J'onn restored his pre-Crisis memories off-camera, though there's no clear reason why he'd do so.)


Super Trivia

The episode title is a play on the film A Few Good Men and the scene in which Lena tricks Lex into confessing his evil intentions is based on a similar scene from that movie.

Silas is said to be a native of the planet Transilvane, whose inhabitants inspired the legends of vampires on Earth. In the DC Comics universe, Transilvane was an artificial world created by Cadmus scientist Dabney Donovan and populated with genetically engineered replicas of classic horror movie monsters.

It is revealed in this episode that the Phantom Zone is named after the ghostly figures who populate it, who feed on the fear and torment they cause by making people relive their worst nightmares. This is a new conceit from the modern DC Comucs universe. Originally the Phantom Zone transformed those who were sent to it into phantoms, who could observe the physical world but were powerless to affect it.

By contrast, the Phanton Zone of the Arrowverse does not allow those who are trapped there to see the material world, as Zor-El had no idea that Kara was still alive or that Argo City survived thanks to his efforts.


Technobabble

Natives of Transilvane have enhanced strength, speed and stamina compared to regular humans. They also have the ability to transform themselves into clouds of smoke and bats. They feed on he blood of other beings but are not required to take it by violence.

Silas is able to assemble his Phantom Zone Portal on a day's notice, but insists it requires six months of testing before he can be sure it will be safe.

Brainiac-5 creates a holographic simulation of the Phantom Zone. It is backed by dream energy sensors that will detect any fluctuations, distractions, emotional incongruences Dreamer might experience, as the simulation will also psychically attack her in the same way that phantoms do.

The Phantom Zone is revealed to have been altered by the Crisis on Infinite Earths. When all of the timelines of the old multiverse converged into the Earth-Prime reality, the Phantom Zone fractured. It is now one ever-sifting pocket dimension - what Brainiac-5 describes as a interdimensional archipelago.

Every dimension within the Phantom Zone has its own vibrational frequency. Dreamer would need to travel to each one individually and synch up with it before her powers would work. Between this and the randomized pattern of the Phantom Zone shifting, Dreamer cannot use her powers to track Kara directly in the Phantom Zone.


Dialogue Triumphs

(Lex is sitting at his table in his cell, eying the food before him suspiciously. Suddenly, the cell door opens. Otis Graves and Lillian Luthor walk in.)
Lex: I thought visitors were forbidden in this wing.
Lillian: The Luthor name still commands respect... and the occasional favor.
(Lillian takes the seat opposite Lex.) 
Lex: Ah. Favors. Is that how you secured me that plea deal? Admit to conspiracy and manslaughter, and go away for...
(Otis is about to take a seat at the table, but Lex holds up a hand and shoos him away.)
Lex: Ah, ah!
(Otis stands back up and Lex continues.)
Lex:
Go away for 25 years?
Lillian: I'm sure your lawyer advised you to accept it.
Lex: He did. Which is why I fired him.

(Lillian has urged Lex to accept the plea deal.)
Lex:
Do you really have so little faith in me that you think I should agree to rot in prison? I will remind you, I have been in prison before. I have been shot and killed and risen from the dead before, and I will not be subjugated again. You should know, I always have a plan.
Otis: Yeah, boss. Kablooey!
Lex: A legal plan, you imbecile.

(Silas begins to power up the Phantom Zone portal.)
J'onn: You sure this thing won't blow up?
Silas: It won't blow up, but I can't guarantee it won't implode. 

(Lex has just been found not guilty of all charges. He is, for once, stunned speechless.)
Otis: (whispering as the judge is thanking the jury for their work) Uh... Wait, you actually won? (quickly apologetic) Not that I'm surprised, boss!
Lex: Well, I am! Clearly I underestimated the value of just... being myself.
Otis (sighs wistfully) No kablooey.
Lex: Of course not, you idiot.


Dialogue Disasters

Lex's sudden speech about jealous women trying to tear him down seems horribly out of character. Granting that Lex has an ego and a deep hatred of aliens, it's hard to see him ranting like a Men's Rights Activist.


Continuity

In the opening scene, the Super Friends attack a man who burgles a Luthor Foundation blood bank.

The vampire, Silas, is a native of the planet Transilvane, which is the source of the vampire legends on Earth. 

Silas is gay and was married to a man named Owen.

Owen was falsely accused of theft and sentenced to six months at Fort Rozz in the Phantom Zone. He apparently went mad due to the torments of the Phantom Zone.

Silas is the only person known to have ever attempted to break into the Phantom Zone. He is quick to note that he was not successful. 

Silas says that building the technology to enter the Phantom Zone is easy; the hard part is dealing with the phantoms from which the Phantom Zone takes its name, as they can drive a person made by feeding on their fears until they lose all touch with reality or die of fright.

Dreamer goes back to CatCo to continue to cover for Kara's absence, but is reminded that they need her powers to find Kara once they get into the Phantom Zone.

Andrea Rojas wants CatCo to focus as much coverage as possible on Lex Luthor's trial and turn the public against him. She assigns Nia and William Dey to cover the trail directly and try to interview the court officials involved.

Lex meets with his mother and informs her that he fired his lawyer and refuses to take a plea deal. He intends to represent himself at his trial.

Lillian freely admits that she cares more about saving the Luthor family name than freeing Lex.

In the Phantom Zone, Kara is rescued from the Phantoms by a man who she realizes is her father, Zor-El.

Kara tells her father that his efforts to save Argo City were successful. 

Kara remembers the Phantom Zone differently than how it was when she was trapped there. This was partly due to her rocket protecting her from the Phantoms, somehow.

The worst nightmare that Kara experienced at the hands of the phantoms was her battle with Reign in 323, where all of her friends and family died and there was nothing she could do to save them all this time.

Zor-El says the only way to stay sane in the Phantom Zone is to accept that you are trapped. This keeps the phantoms at bay. Attempting to move upon the anchor where Fort Ross as rooted in the Phantom Zone only provokes them.

Andrea and Lena meet for drinks. Andrea tries to fish for details on what happened between Lena and Lex, but Lena refuses to speak about it, on or off the record, and angrily kicks Andrea out of her office.

Silas is uncertain he can get the portal to work safely. J'onn becomes angry with him and almost becomes physically violent.

Alex tries to comfort Silas and reassure him that he will help save Supergirl.

Lex Luthor is formally charged with crimes against humanity, murder and conspiracy.

M'Gann has a talk with J'onn about his becoming overly emotional regarding Kara being in danger. 

When Lex cross-examines Eve Tessmacher, he gets her to admit that she loved him and that he rejected her advances in 517. He then tries to spin it that she was a jilted lover framing him for her own crimes as a complicated revenge scheme.

As a result of Lex casting Eve Tessmacher's testimony into doubt, the murder charges against Lex are dropped.

Lillian meets with Lena and offers to sell her Lillian's share of LuthorCorp so Lena will be able to keep Lex from using any of the company resources for his schemes.

Lena refuses the offer, seeing it as a bribe, and tells Lillian that she'd decided to testify against Lex to ensure he goes to prison for the rest of his life, even if it means admitting to her own crimes.

Brainiac-5 makes a holographic Phantom Zone simulation to test Dreamer's ability to use her powers in that environemtn.

Dreamer has a vision of Alex and Kara when they were in high school.

Dreamer is not sure she can use her powers to accurately track Kara through a dream, but Brainy says he has confidence in her.

Kara decides to try and fight through the Phantom Zone on her own. She is overwhelmed almost immediately and saved by Zor-El again. Kara's refusal to give up inspires Zor-El, who agrees that they will go down fighting together if they cannot win.

Lena tells the court about her Non Nocere project and how Lex corrupted her technology.

When Lex cross-examines Lena, Lena tricks Lex into bragging that Lena's designs would never have worked without his contribution and that he did everything Lena accused him of. Lex proceeds to blame women who were jealous of his success and power trying to tear him down for all of his problems.

Silas is able to get the portal to the Phantom Zone open, but the Super Friends are attacked by phantoms.

J'onn is able to use his telepathy to augment Dreamer's energy blasts, allowing them to force the Phantoms back through the portal.

All but one of the phantoms are forced back into the portal, though the Super Friends do not realize that one phantom is in hiding.

Otis disguises himself as a guard at Luthor's hearing and has a plan prepared to cover his escape.

The jury find Lex not guilty of all charges, much to his surprise.

Silas says he'll continue to help the Superfriends to save Kara.

Lex singles out CatCo and their coverage of his trial when talking about how the the media is out to destroy successful men like him.

William is feeling disillusioned by Lex Luthor's acquittal. 

Brainiac-5 starts mapping the Phantom Zone.

J'onn thinks on M'Gann's advice and decides he needs to start approaching Kara's rescue as a soldier rather than as a father.

Alex has a breakdown in private with Kelly over how they couldn't save Kara.

Andrea goes to meet Lena and complements her courage in testifying against Lex.

Lena apologizes to Andrea for jumping down her throat. Andrea apologizes for trying to push Lena into giving her a story.

Amdrea says she still intends to use CatCo to bring down Lex.

Lex says that he now intends to tell the truth as he sees it and trust that things will work out, as people seem to like his "telling it like it is."

Silas is attacked by the phantom and calls J'onn.

In the Phantom Zone, Kara and Zor-El see a group of three phantoms open a portal. This inspires them to try and capture a phantom.


Location

The Phantom Zone


Untelevised Adventures

Zor-El is revealed to have sent himself to the Phantom Zone after rescuing Argo City from the destruction of Krypton.


The Bottom Line

Another lackluster episode which is oddly focused upon the least interesting aspects of the current storyline, with the title character being about #3 or #4 on the writers' list of priorities. Does anyone really care about William Day? Was anyone really wanting to see Lena and Andrea make-up? Or any more of Andrea at all, really? Silas isn't a bad character, but he's just one more member of an increasingly bloated ensemble who really doesn't add anything to the show. Unfortunately, it seems like we'll be working through this Phantom Zone storyline for a while to come.