Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 2, Episode 12 - Camelot/3000

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



Plot

After discovering a dead Doctor Mid-Nite in the year 3000, the team head back to the court of Camelot in search of another piece of The Spear of Destiny. Unfortunately, Rip Hunter and The Legion of Doom are one step ahead of them...


Influences

Camelot 3000 (the title and concept of melding Arthurian legend and science fiction), A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court (idea of modern man proving himself a wonder in medieval times), Star Wars (Ray creates an energized sword or light-saber and jokes about the copyright infringement) and the Doctor Who episode Robot of Sherwood (a time-traveler is confronted with the reality of a legend that they insist never existed.)


Goofs

Nate refers to 507 AD as being Medieval times. Most historians do not consider the Medieval period to have started any earlier than 600 AD. (Then again, Nate is not most historians and the details - such as King Arthur existing or full plate being used in 6th Century England - may be different in the DCTVU reality.)

Star Wars jokes aside, the "light saber" that Ray fashions out of Galahad's sword is a longsword - not a saber.

Given Nate's earlier romanticism of his superhero grandfather and the fact that he grew up reading about the wonders of ancient times due to his hemophilia, his skepticism regarding Ray's desire to be a knight seems really out of character.


Artistry

The sword fight between Darhk and Ray is pretty good.

The costume design is fantastic, though I'm sure Nate would nit-pick the historical accuracy of the armor and weapons depicted.


Trivia Of Tomorrow

The episode opens with Nate giving the standard introduction.

This episode takes its name from Camelot 3000 - a 12-issue limited series published by DC Comics from 1982-1985.

Camelot 3000 was one of DC Comics' first direct-market projects (i.e. sold directly to specialty comic shops rather than newsstands and supermarkets, as most comics were at the time.) and it was the first book they printed on high-quality Baxter paper rather than newsprint paper. Written by Mike W. Barr with art by Brian Bolland, the series focused upon King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table being resurrected in an overpopulated Earth in order to save humanity from an alien invasion facilitated by Morgan LeFay.

Ray identifies Sir. Galahad by the fact that he's sitting in the Siege Perilous.  In the Arthurian legend, The Siege Perilous was a chair reserved by Merlin for the knight who was either the purest of knights or the one who would eventually find The Holy Grail, depending on which legend you go by. In either case, the Siege Perilous was enchanted to kill any unworthy knight who dared sit in it.


Technobabble

When Rip Hunter returned for him, Dr. McInder was working on a bio-morphic implant capable of modifying the host's neural processes. It could be used to rid a person of violent impulses or impose them.

Rip Hunter makes use of some sort of telepathic control-crown and the implant devices to mind-control King Arthur and the abducted knights.

Stein later - upon analyzing one of the recovered receivers and comparing it to the implant he "borrowed" from Dr. Mid-Nite's lab - determines they are the same technology.  The commander wears a transmitter, sending orders via electro-telepathic signal to the receiver/soldier. Jax guesses they could hack the signal by boosting the power of the transmitter or giving it to someone with an extraordinarily well-developed brain.

Ray channels the ionic energy of his ATOM gauntlet through Galahad's sword to create a "light saber".

Jax eventually figures out that the telepathic transmitter responds to intensity of thought rather than complexity. This means that Mick Rory is a more suitable commander than Professor Stein.


Dialogue Triumphs

(The team arrive in the year 3000 only to lose the reading on the Spear of Destiny fragment.)
Ray: So we came here for nothing?
Rory: Maybe not. Gideon? Do they have booze in the year 3000?

Sara: Somebody find a light switch or something.
Jax: What the hell does a light switch look like in the year 3000?
(Jax feels along the wall and flips what looks like an ordinary 21st century light switch. The lights come on.)
Jax: Huh. Yeah, I guess there's not many places you can go with a light switch.

Rory: Rest in peace.
Amaya: That's sweet, Mick.
Rory: No, it's what he wrote on the floor. (points to the blood) R-I-P.
Jax: That's not "rest in peace".
Sara: It's the name of Dr. Mid-Nite's killer.

Nate: I just don't get it.
Stein: Please be more specific. That could be a very long list.

(Amaya asks why Sara didn't kill Rip or let Jax do it when they had the chance.)
Sara: Because we're not killers, Amaya.
Stein: Except for yourself and Mr. Rory and...
(Sara gives Stein a warning glare.)
Stein: I'll stop helping now.

(Nate is ranting about how much medieval life sucked.)
Nate: And I'm not even touching skin diseases...
Amaya: Speaking of which, why did you choose to dress like a leper?
Nate: I didn't! This (motions to his costume) is historically accurate. You all look like you're going to a Renaissance fair.

(The Legends are surrounded by knights with weapons drawn. Their leader is on horseback.)
Ray: (in a bad High English accent) Wait! I mean ho! I mean hark! Good knight!  We intend you no harm. We are but mere travelers in this land.
Nate: (muttered) Your dialect is way off.
Ray: I, Raymond of The Palms and my band of merry men - and women - humbly request safe passage to Camelot and an audience with King Arthur.
Amaya: (disbelievingly) King Arthur?
Ray: Yes, you see his crest on their shields.
(The lead knight removes their helmet, revealing themselves to be a pale, red-haired woman.)
Guinevere: I am Guinevere.We shall escort you to Camelot. (stares at Nate) But your leper must remain outside the castle walls.
Nate: I'm not a leper!

Sara: Your tracking in the woods was excellent. There's not many people that can get the jump on me like that.
Guinevere: I was a warrior long before I was a queen.
Sara: Why does it sound like you preferred that?
Guinevere: Politics is not one of my passions. But Arthur is a true friend and ally. I believe in his vision for a more just and peaceful kingdom.
Sara: From what I see, Camelot lives up to its reputation.

(A mind-controlled Arthur is holding Stargirl at knife-point.)
Stargirl: Arthur?
Darhk: (out of the corner of his mouth, in a bad Elvis Presley impression) The King has left the building.
(Darhk looks to Stargirl expecting a reaction.)
Darhk: You don't get the reference? (groans) Pity.

(Sara is trying to persuade a reluctant Guinevere to take command of what remains of the Knights of The Round Table.)
Sara: Look - sometimes the mantle just falls into your lap. Trust me. I know that it's hard. But you are clever! You are brave. And you are a natural born commander. I know you can do this.

(Ray is preparing to go into battle with the rest of the Knights of the Round Table. Nate stops him.)
Nate: What are you doing? These guys don't stand a chance out there! Is this really worth the risk for some dream?
Ray: Yes. Because a long time ago that dream meant the world to a little boy. And he still remembers.
(As Ray marches off, Nate appears to remember something and fumbles for a book in his satchel. He pulls out the volume which had a drawing of a woodcut of a  knight he thought resembled Ray. The woodcut now depicts that knight be laid out in state.)
Nate: This isn't going to end well.

(Ray shows Nate that he is wearing his ATOM Gauntlet and draws his sword. On contact with the gauntlet, blue energy runs through the blade.)
Armorer: (stunned) It's like a saber!  Made of light!
Ray: (giddy) Yeah! Just don't call it a lightsaber! Major trademark issues, right?

Ray: All of these men are willing to die on the battlefield - not for some Spear but...  an idea. And I get it now. Camelot isn't about history. It's not even about some dusty old books that got a lonely kid through childhood. It's about one noble idea - that we can all stand up for what's right, no matter what. I can't walk away from that.
Nate: I believe you Ray. I do. And Camelot's great. But if you don't leave right now, you're going to die here.
Ray: Would it kill you to be just a little bit more supportive?!
Nate: You don't get it, man! I checked the manuscript. I saw your funeral!
Ray: (pauses) Well... sounds to me like the stuff Legends are made of.

(Sara is preparing to leave Ray behind to escape with the head of the Spear of Destiny.)
Rory: As much as Haircut's a pain in my ass, I'm not going to let him fight alone.
(Rory stands and starts to move to the exit.)
Sara: Sit down! That's an order.
Rory: What's an order?
Sara: Don't test me, Mick.
Rory: Don't threaten me, Blondie.
(Sara stands up and stares down Mick.)
Stein: (standing up) I can't believe I'm actually agreeing with Mr. Rory.
(Jax stands up along with Stein.)
Sara: I said sit down!
Amaya: (standing up) Stop! I've already lost one team. I'll be damned if my decision rips The Legends apart too.
Sara: What are you saying?
Amaya: Listen to your gut, Captain. Don't abandon Ray. It may be sentimental but the team should come before tactics.
(Sara looks to everyone else. They all seem to be in agreement.) 
Sara: Alright. Let's do this.

(Jax is able to get the mind control technology to work... giving Rory control of Stein.)
Jax: It worked! I knew it! Okay! Now all we've got to do is amplify the signal.
Rory: What do you want me to do?
Stein: (sarcastically) Just rest your brain, Mr. Rory.
Jax: (flipping switches on the control panel) We'll let you know when it's time to take control of the evil army.
Rory: (smiling wickedly) Ah! Finally, I get to fulfill my destiny!
Stein: God help us.


Continuity

There are flying cars and a cure for blindness the year 3000.

Dr. Mid-Nite cured his blindness and found work as a researcher in the field of cybernetic implants.

Nate is uncomfortable with traveling to the future since it makes his skills as a historian less useful.

Jousting did not begin in England until 1300 AD.

Ray was a big fan of Arthurian lore as a kid.

Women were allowed to be knights in Camelot.

Camelot is a court of equals and Arthur does not want anyone bowing to him.

Stargirl traveled back in time and became Merlin - the wisest adviser of King Arthur.

It is revealed that the final mission of the JSA - referred to by an elderly Obsidian in 205 - was to recover The Spear of Destiny in Leipzig, Germany in 1956. Their mission was joined by Rip Hunter, who told them that the spear could alter reality. They broke the spear into four pieces and Rip took each of the three JSA members - Stargirl, Dr. Mid-Nite and Commander Steel - to a different point in time.

Stargirl used her knowledge of the future to build Camelot up from a middling kingdom and establish King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table as guardians of her piece of the Spear of Destiny.

Damien Darhk is revealed to be The Black Knight who is kidnapping the nobles of Camelot.

The mind-controlled King Arthur kills Sir Galahad.

Nate checks the reference book in which he found a woodcut of a knight that resembles Ray in 201. The woodcut now depicts the knight being carried as part of a funeral procession.

Stargirl was entrusted with the spearhead of The Spear of Destiny. She hid it on the tip of The Sword In The Stone, buried within a rock that only a strong man could pull free. Amaya is able to retrieve it by drawing upon the strength of a gorilla.

Stargirl elects to stay behind in Camelot.

Guinevere is apparently a lesbian whose marriage to Arthur was entirely political.

It appears that Sara Lance is the inspiration for Lancealot in the Arthurian legend - the knight who won Guinevere's heart after she married Arthur.

Ray declares that he would rather make his own fate rather than know what the history books say will happen. We see that Nate's manuscript now has a woodcut of Ray being fitted with a crown by a red-haired woman.

Rip Hunter is now prisoner in The Waverider's brig. The final scene reveals, however, that Gideon is still programmed to respond to his commands.


Location

Detroit, USA -3000 AD
Camelot, Britannia - 507 AD
Leipzig, Germany - 1956 AD


The Fridge Factor

Averted right up until the point that we find out Stargirl fell in love with King Arthur and that for all her talk of duty and her oath to protect the Spear of Destiny, her whole motivation was trying to make a perfect kingdom for the man she loved. Granted, she DID an impressive job of building it up, but making it all about a man kinda kills the strong feminist vibe the episode had until that point, with Sara and Amaya taking charge of respective situations, Merlin being a woman, the existence of female knights in Camelot and Guinevere taking command.

On that note, would it kill them for Sara to meet another strong woman and not have a one-night stand with her? It's fast becoming a running gag and encouraging the promiscuous bisexual stereotype.


The Bottom Line

A solid episode despite some out-of-character moments and the feminist subtext being a little dodgy considering other story elements. The historical purists like Nate may groan but this is episode is simply fun.

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 3, Episode 13 - Attack On Gorilla City

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




Plot

When Jesse Quick returns to Earth One seeking help after her father is abducted, Barry, Cisco, Caitlin and Julian travel to Earth Two. They are quickly captured by Grodd, who claims he needs their help to stop Solovar - the leader of a secretive city of super-intelligent gorillas - from launching his own attack to take over Earth One!  Meanwhile,Wally is anxious to get to spend some time with Jesse but there seems to be some kind of wall between them now...


Influences

The Planet of the Apes films (Julian name drops the franchise, the concept of an intelligent ape uprising, the general aesthetic of the Gorilla City sets) and the Indiana Jones films (Julian's explorer outfit.)


Goofs

Tom Cavanagh's voice for when Harry Wells is possessed by Grodd isn't intimidating.

The green-screen work during Barry's "I will not kill him" speech looks a bit off.


Performances

Watching Violett Beane and Keiynan Lonsdale play off of each other is the best part of the episode.


Artistry


The art design on Gorilla City is fantastic.

The CGI for the gorillas is top-notch.


Flash Facts


First appearing in The Flash #106 (April/May 1959), Gorilla City was a technological Utopian society society founded by super-intelligent, telepathic gorillas, who were enhanced by a meteorite. In the original comics, Grodd was originally a rogue member of this society.

Solovar also first appeared in The Flash #106. The progressive leader of the Gorilla City gorillas in the comics, Solovar was respected for his wisdom and his impressive psychic powers. He weathered several attempts by Grodd to overthrow him and usurp control of his people.

Julian lies to Captain Singh, telling him that he and Barry are going to a morphology conference in Bludhaven. In the DC Comics Universe, Bludhaven is a city near Gotham City which was patrolled by the vigilante Nightwing.


Technobabble

Jesse says that she and her father took a week to translate a mathematical cryptogram that was sent to their STAR Labs on Earth Two.


Dialogue Triumphs


Barry: Harry's my friend. I'm not just going to abandon him. I'm going back to Earth Two.
Cisco: And I suppose you'll want somebody to come with you who is going to open those breaches for you?
Barry: We had... so much fun last time!
Cisco: (deadpan) Fun-ish.

(Barry is trying to explain where he is going to Julian, who he needs to cover for him at work. He finally lets the name Grodd slip.)
Julian: Grodd? The telepathic gorilla?
Barry: Yeah.
Julian: Where are you going? Are you going to the Planet of the Apes?!
Barry: No, it's just a city of them.

Jesse: When I first got my power, you were so lost not having yours. And I thought maybe part of the reason you liked me was...you were attracted to speed and not me.
(Wally chuckles.)
Jesse: I know! I know, okay? But... I saw you out there today! Being Kid Flash? You were complete Wally. You were scary complete.
Wally: I could have all the speed in the world. I'm not complete without you.

Barry: Solovar never wanted to attack Central City. You do.
Grodd: You took my home away from me and now I will take it back! The gorillas saw what you did, Flash. They saw you defeat Solovar and now they are afraid of humans and will do anything I order. And I will order them to invade your Earth and your city will burn!
Barry: You were planning this the whole time.
Grodd: Yes. Father taught me well. Always think ahead.

(Cisco proposes his idea that someone kill him to stop Grodd's invasion.)
Julian: He's right. Cisco's death would change the newspaper headline in the future.
Harry: Headline?
Caitlin: It's a long story.
Julian: But it would also make another one come true. The one about Killer Frost...
Caitlin: You want -me- to kill him?
Cisco: Think about it. Grodd doesn't know you have cold powers. You might be able to use them.
Harry: Cold powers? (To Caitlin) You have cold powers? (in revelation, to Cisco) I knew it! I knew that you and I did not get Barry out of that mirror!
Julian: Wait! Caitlin! If you kill someone, there's no going back. You'll be Killer Frost for the rest of your life. Now, I did not come all this way to see that happen!
Caitlin: (incredulous) Did you come here because you "live for danger" or to protect me?
Julian: (putting his emotionless mask back on) I just don't want to see you become something you're not.

HR: When it comes to love. you've got to go for it!  You know? Everything else be damned. Because if you don't, you're gonna end up being the kind of person that lives the rest of their life with regret. And I know that telling your dad that you're switching Earths - that's got to be a difficult conversation to have, but one that you've got to go for if you want to be happy. But - you know -  that's just my opinion. What do I know? I'm just a handsomer guy than your dad, with a song in his heart. Good luck, Jesse.


Continuity

Grodd was last seen in 207 just after being sent through a breach to Earth Two to a sanctuary that Harry Wells said was set up for gorillas who had been mistreated by scientists. Harry Wells also noted that there were talking gorillas on Earth Two.

Barry refers to the news crawl from 310 and the text "City Still Recovering From Gorilla Attack".

Jesse finds out Wally is a speedster now.

The Africa of Earth Two (or, at least, the part where Gorilla City is located) is not hot and has vegetation more consistent with a temperate forest than a tropical jungle.

Grodd is somehow able to repress the powers of Team Flash while they are imprisoned. It is unclear if he is doing this telepathically or if it is a property of the cages.

The Indiana Jones movies apparently exist on Earth Two.

Harry refers to the events of 304 and how they used extreme cold to free Barry from a mirror but it wasn't enough and Caitlin had to finish the job, secretly, with her powers.

Jesse decides to move to Earth One. She and Wally seem to officially become a couple.

Julian asks Caitlin out to dinner.

The final scene show Grodd assembling his armies, talking to Gypsy (or some version of her), telling her that she will open the breaches for him.


Location

Gorilla City on Earth Two.


Untelevised Adventures

How exactly Gypsy winds up under Grodd's control in the final scene.


The Bottom Line

Serviceable but not the slam-dunk one expected from the advertising. The Grodd plot is predictable and most of the cast is given little to do but sit in a jail cell and worry for most of the episode. Given the high-end Silver Age concept, the script is surprisingly joyless and it's Julian of all people who makes the inevitable references to Planet of the Apes. At least the production values are top-notch but the whole episode seems oddly lifeless.

Injustice: Ground Zero #21 - A Review

As Barry Allen makes a fateful decision in the wake of Shazam's death, Harley Quinn has a question of her own to ponder - what do I do with myself next? A visit from an old friend and lover may give her some guidance and a new direction for herself and The Harley Horde.


This is a particularly strong issue of Injustice: Ground Zero. Seeing the events of the game from Harley's perspective, as they are presented in this issue, makes them feel brand new. Harley's insights into Barry Allen's character show her intelligence and insight - a welcome change of pace given how she's usually written as a bimbo. Then again, showing Harley's brains has been par for the course in Christopher Sebela's excellent scripts for this series and it's gratifying to see him also touch upon the Harley/Ivy relationship here, however briefly.


Marco Santucci proves a good choice for handling the art for this issue. Santucci's detail-drive style excels in bringing out the best of the intimate scenes that take up most of this chapter. The vibrant colors of J. Nanjan provide the perfect finishes to Santucci's pencils and inks.

Starman Plays Skyrim Special Edition - Part 33

In which we marvel at the beauty of Skyrim and just what we see in the reflections of the water as we make our way to yet another bandit camp that needs clearing-out.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 2, Episode 13 - Mr. & Mrs. Mxyzptlk

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




Plot

Just as Mon-El and Kara confessed their attraction to one another, they found themselves bewitched by a strange magical man who professed his own love for Kara. Taking her rejection as a challenge, this so-called Mister Mxzyptlk launches a campaign of chaos on National City, intending to make Supergirl into Mrs. Mxyzptlk! At the same time, Winn finds love with an alien woman and Alex tries to figure out just why Maggie doesn't want to celebrate Valentine's Day.


Influences

The Supergirl comics of Sterling Gates (lots of references to Krypton and Kryptonian culture), Action Comics #291 - The Bride Of Mr. Mxyzptlk!, Disney's Aladdin (Mxyzptlk sings part of the song A Whole New World, the rules for what Mxyzptlk can do with his magic are similar to the rules governing genies), the stage musical Hamilton (Mxyzptlk puts himself and Mon-El on a stage, dressed as Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, for their duel), the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Mxyzptlk quotes Willy Wonka while wearing a purple coat), various Superman cartoons and comics featuring Mister Mxyzptlk and various Supergirl stories where the villain wants to marry Supergirl and makes threats to force her to do so.


Goofs

As funny as Kara drinking orange juice is, Mxyzptlk said he couldn't force someone to drink it. That doesn't mean he can't stop them from drinking it. (Based on his expression as he watches Kara drinking, maybe he can't?)

While the characters seen in the hologram after Mxyzptlk spells his name backwards do come from the official Kryptonian Alphabet, they do not spell out Kltpzyxm. Instead they spell out "DJEP9TZW" (I freely admit to this being nit-picky, but why use the symbols at all if you aren't going to use the correct ones?!)


Performances


Peter Gadiot proves a perfectly playful Mxyzptlk, finding the perfect balance between being amusing and annoying, thus portraying Mxyzptlk as an overgrown kid pulling on the pigtails of a girl he likes rather than a psychotic stalker.

As per usual, the chemistry between Chris Wood and Melissa Benoist is one of the episode's best features.


Artistry


The CGI effects for Mxyzptlk's magic are some of the best this series has seen, from the blue sparkle effects when he works a spell to the scene where Kara has to fight a giant crystal statue of her uncle.

While I usually abhor covers of classic rock songs, the cover of The Police's Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic played under the final scene of Mon-El and Kara together is rather nice and the perfect song for the scene.


Super Trivia


This episode was co-written by Sterling Gates, who wrote the Adventures of Supergirl tie-in comic based on the first season of the Supergirl TV series. He also wrote the Supergirl series right before the New 52 reboot and is generally considered to be the best writer to handle the character's monthly exploits in the past 15 years.

The basic idea of this episode seems to have been taken from Action Comics #291 (August 1962) - The Bride Of Mr. Mxyzptlk! This comic marked Supergirl's first encounter with the 5th Dimensional Imp in the comics and, as in this episode, his scheme is to force Supergirl marry him.

Mr. Mxyzptlk first appeared in Superman #30 (September 1944). His specific backstory and appearance have changed over time but his point of origin has remained consistent. As a being born of The Fifth Dimension, Mr. Mxyzptlk has the power to alter the third-dimensional realm at will. This power has been described as magical and is capable of affecting Superman, regardless on whether or not it might be considered "true" magic. In any event, Mr. Mxyzptlk is mischievous but not evil and usually only plays around with Superman out of boredom or to challenge himself.

Mxyzptlk is pronounced Mix-Yes-Spit-Lick.

In the comics, the only way to get rid of Mr. Mxzyptlk was to trick him into saying, writing or otherwise spelling his name backwards - Kltpzyxm.

Kltpzyxm is pronounced Kill-Tip-Seize-Um.

In the DCTVU, Mr. Mxyzptlk has apparently never encountered Superman. His appearance here is the first recoreded instance of a Fifth Dimensional being on Earth apart from various legends involving genies, djinns, leprechauns and other creatures capable of altering reality with magic and wishes. The rule about getting him to say his name backwards also applies but it is, as Mon-El notes, much more trouble than it is worth if you don't have issues with just killing them.

Mr. Mxyzptlk says that there is no one "as brave or bold" as Kara where he comes from. The Brave And The Bold is,a classic DC Comic series devoted to team-up stories.

J'onn makes a reference to The Zook Uprising on Mars. In the Silver Age Martian Manhunter comics, Zook was the name of an alien being who acted as a pet/sidekick to J'onn J'onzz. Zook was a creature that resembled a cartoonish dog, who had the powers of temperature manipulation (he could freeze or super-heat objects he touched), limited shape-shifting abilities and he could track anyone whom he had met before, no matter how they had disguised themselves.

In the 1998 Martian Manhunter comic series, Zook was the name of a Martian plant that could be fashioned into clothing that could shapeshift in tandem with a Martian.

In the first scene at the bar, Winn is drinking Lallorian Lager. The planet Lallor comes from the Legion of Super-Heroes comics, where in the 30th century Lallor is ruled by a dictatorship. The planet had its own superhero team - The Heroes of Lallor - who fought against tyranny and worked alongside The Legion of Super-Heroes on several adventures.

Lyra Strayd says that she is from the world of Starhaven. In the DC Comics universe, Starhaven is a fictional planet near the core of the Milky Way Galaxy and home to the Legion of Super-Heroes member Dawnstar.

Winn claims to have translated a book from Starhaven called "The Book of The Ten-Pointed Star". Ten-pointed stars are a frequent motif in both Islamic artwork and Freemasonry.

The duel scene in which Mxyzptlk teleports himself and Mon-El to fight for Kara on a theater stage dressed as Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr is a nod to the musical Hamilton.

Mon-El swears to Rao that he will listen to Kara in the future. Rao is the name of a Kryptonian deity - a god of light and life, similar in scope to the Egyptian sun god Ra. It is also the name of the red star which Krypton (and in the DCTVU, Daxam) orbited.

Kara threatens to kill herself by blowing up the Atomic Cauldron of The Fortress of Solitude. In the original comics, The Atomic Cauldron was the power source of the Fortress of Solitude. The most powerful furnace on Earth, the Atomic Cauldron ran on liquefied Sunstone crystals.

Mxyzptlk makes a reference to Thoni Tea. In the original comics, Thon was an area of Krypton and tea was brewed from select plants on the hills on the Gorvan shore.


Technobabble


One of the items Winn finds in the DEO basement tests off the charts in 5th Dimensional Energy. He has no idea what it would do to Mr. Mxyzptlk and can't analyze it further until a spectrometer finishes updating. This will take six hours.

The device is later revealed to have the power to cut a 5th Dimensional being off from their home dimension, effectively making them powerless.

According to Kara, the Atomic Cauldron of The Fortress of Solitude is one of the most powerful fusion furnaces on Earth. She can overload the Suntones at its core, creating an explosion equivalent to a 400-megaton bomb. This is roughly equivalent to 30,000 of the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima.

The shields of The Fortress of Solitude are strong enough to contain a 400 megaton blast. Anyone inside the Fortress, however - even a Kryptonian - would be completely vaporized.


Dialogue Triumphs

(Mxyzptlk waves his hand. Suddenly Kara is in a fancy white wedding gown.)
Kara: What is - ? Are you crazy? You cannot just put me in a wedding dress!
Mxyzptlk: Why not? It's Vera Wang!

Kara: I'm flattered... but I'm not going to marry you, Mxyzptlk.
Mxyzptlk: You know, it's funny. I'm all-seeing and all-powerful but that's one of the few things I can't make you do. That and make you fall in love with me and/or stop you from killing yourself and/or make you drink orange juice, for some reason! Everything else, yes, but go figure.

(Mxyzptlk has just anchored three robbers in place and turned their own guns upon them. Kara moves at super-speed to catch the bullets.)
Robber: Thank you, Supergirl!
(Kara looks annoyed and throws an elbow back, knocking the robber out.)

(Alex wants to celebrate Valentine's Day but isn't sure how to deal with Maggie's hatred of it.)
Kara: Okay Okay. So the trimmings aren't her style, but you can celebrate your own way. What kind of stuff does she like?
Alex: I dunno? Guns?
(Kara makes a face that suggests this is the last thing in the world she'd equate with romance.)
Kara: ... anything else?
Alex: She loves scotch!

Mon-El: Oh... I'm sorry that I was busy, uh, defending your honor!
Kara: (freezing in place, turning around, furious) I am not some damsel in distress! I am Supergirl! I can defend myself! And more importantly...  I told you I was handling it!
Mon-El: Well, Kara sometimes you're not a good judge of what you can handle, so... (shrugs and claps his hands) there it is.
Kara: Really?!
Mon-El: Yes.
Kara: Is that why you didn't tell me that the secret to getting Mixxie off Earth was to get him to say his name backwards? Because you didn't think I could handle it?
Mon-El: No. I didn't tell you that because it never works! Because first of all, it's hard enough to say it forward. And second of all, that guy is a motor-mouth but he's not stupid!

Winn: I need a relationship pearl.
Mon-El: Yeah, uh... things were a lot easier on Daxam when I objectified women and didn't care about anyone. So...

(Mon-El and Mxyzptlk are fist-fighting in the aisle of a theater.)
Mon-El: How could you think she'd ever want to be with someone like you?
Mxyzptlk: Why? You think she's going to be with you?! Face it!  What have you got to offer her? I can give her everything. There's no contest between you and me and you know it! I'm a god and you're a loser.
(Mon-El steps in and grabs Mxyzptlk by the throat.)
Mon-El: You're a dead man.
Mxyzptlk: Strike that. (holds up the power-draining device that he just pick-pocketed off Mon-El) Reverse it.
(Mxyzptlk grins and presses the button on the device. Suddenly, Mon-El is chained up above the stage and Mxyzptlk is below him, holding a pistol.)

(Mxyzptlk teleports into the Fortress of Solitude. He is wearing a tuxedo and holding a bottle of champagne.)
Mxyzptlk: (sing-song voice) Kara, darling? Where arrrrrrrree yooooooou? It's time! Kara?  You said noon! And here I am! (angrier) Kara!
Supergirl: (landing behind him) I can hear you.
(Supergirl is holding a glass of orange juice, which she takes her time drinking and savoring.)
Mxyzptlk: Where's the dress?  The flowers? The pigs in blankets?
(Supergirl hmms and holds up a finger, continuing to drink for about three seconds before stopping, melodramatically smacking her lips and sighing with satisfaction.)
Supergirl: See, that's the thing, Mixxie... I'm not going to marry you.

Mxyzptlk: No!  You made me write my name backwards!
Supergirl: Yep. On some planets to write something down is to truly say it.
Mxyzptlk: You tricked me!
Supergirl: No. No, I followed the rules. You say your name backwards. You go back to The Fifth Dimension. No questions asked.
Mxyzptlk: That's it! You nasty woman! Now I'm going to-
(Mxyzptlk snaps his fingers. Nothing happens... until his hand suddenly dissolves into glowing blue mist.)
Mxyzptlk: No! It's started...
(Mxyazptlk looks up to Supergirl, sadly.)
Mxyzptlk: I just wanted... I wanted someone to love me.
Supergirl: You can't force love, Mxyzptlk. You have to let it find you.

Lyra: I didn't think you'd call.
Winn: Why? Last night was... like, beyond amazing on just so many levels.
Lyra: I figured it was a one-time thing for you. An experience. I've never met a human that was actually up for dating an alien.
Winn: Well, now you have. (chuckles) Look, I'm not naive, okay? I know that there are lots of people who don't think that humans and aliens should mix. If we're being super honest, I... potentially falling for an alien is not what scares me. It's falling for anyone. Just have... kind of... had my heart trampled on a few times.
Lyra: Me too.
Winn: Lyra...you aren't like some experience to me, okay? You are a potentially... real, fulfilling, challenging relationship and that's... that's just way too much chaos. That's too fast. (makes a back-pedaling gesture) Whoo-hoo. Just gonna... uh...heh. Um... what do you say we just take it slow?
Lyra: Sure.
Winn: Okay.
(Winn smiles. Lyra reaches across the table and takes Winn's hands.)
Lyra: (whispering) Slow. (pauses) Take me to where you live.
Winn: Yes. Ma'am.

Mon-El: I get that you were upset that I wasn't listening to you. And I... I tried really, really, really hard to listen to you this time. And I heard that you..  you don't think that we belong together, and I respected that.
Kara: No, but... Mixxie wasn't the only one that I tricked.
Mon-El: What do you mean?
Kara: I just said it so you'd let me go. To protect you. Plus, he could have been listening, so...
(Kara moves away from Mon-El and starts walking across the room,)
Mon-El: Wait, so... you didn't mean any of that stuff that you said?
Kara: Well, the first bit about your infurating male ego? That part I meant.
Mon-El: Okay, okay....
Kara: But the second part? About us not being a match? I didn't mean that.
Mon-El: (impressed) Wow. No, you're good. You're good.
Kara: (smiling) Well...
Mon-El: (nodding) Well, you... got rid of Mixxie.
Kara: (nodding) I did.
Mon-El: That means nothing is... nothing is stopping us.
Kara: Nope. Nothing is stopping us.
(The two look at each other before falling into each other's arms and kissing passionately.  Mon-El lowers Kara onto the couch and the two continue kissing as we focus on two red roses in the foreground.)


Dialogue Disasters


Mxyzptlk: You don't get to tell me what to do until after we're married!


Continuity


Mister Mxyzptlk claims to be all-seeing and all-powerful but his magic does have limits. He cannot make someone marry him, fall in love with him, stop them from killing themselves and/or (for some reason) force them to drink orange juice.

J'onn encountered a 5th Dimensional Being once on Mars. That being moved the Xan'Xie mountains halfway across the planet during the Zook Uprising.

Mon-El says Daxam had contact with The 5th Dimension and had a zero-tolerance policy regarding 5th Dimensional Beings being allowed on the planet. He says 5th Dimensional Beings knew how to party but were very dangerous. To that end, the preferred method of dealing with a 5th Dimensional Being on Daxam is to slay them as quickly as possible - preferably via crushing.

Martians celebrate a custom similar to Valentines Day, where written messages are sent to loved ones.

Since Martians are a telepathic species and thoughts were easily exchanged between them, important and intimate communications were written down as a symbolic gesture. J'onn notes that on some planet (Mars among them) it is believed that to write something down is to truly say it.

Maggie's usual breakfast is a seasame seed bagel, dry, double toasted with black coffee. Alex feels this is gross.

Alex is 28.

Eliza Danvers makes a big deal out of Valentine's Day and sends her daughters cards to honor it.

Maggie hates Valentine's Day. Alex loves it .

Winn's drink of choice is Lallorian Lager. Reportedly it is considered a drink for weak-willed idiots.

The woman who saves Winn in the bar is named Lyra Strayd. She is from Starhaven, which was mentioned in 114, where Kara noted that she had visited the planet as a young girl and that the air smells like cinnamon. Apparently she told this story to Winn at some point.

A blight came to Starhaven which apparently destroyed the cinnamon smell.

Winn translated a passage from a book from Starhaven called "The Book of The Ten-Pointed Star" - "The hurt of one is the hurt of all. The honor of one is the honor of all." Lyra says that her father read to her from that book every night when she was a child.

Maggie likes guns, scotch, tiramisu and bonsai trees.

The Parasite - last seen in 206 - appears as one of Mxyzptlk's illusions.

A Fifth Dimensional Being can be forced to return to their home dimension if they are made to say their name backwards.

Mon-El is on a first-name basis with a DEO agent named Dana.

Maggie Sawyer was lying in 206 when she said her family was comfortable with her coming out. The truth is that she fell for a friend named Elisa Wilkey when she was 14. The two watched horror movies and smoked cigarettes in private together. On Valentine's Day, Maggie gave her a card with a note about how she felt. Elisa gave that card to her parents, who called Maggie's parents.  Maggie was kicked out of the house that day and had to go live with an aunt for the next three years. This is why Maggie hates Valentine's Day.

Winn makes reference to getting reservations for a certain restaurant being more difficult than getting a Hellgramite to eat leafy greens. Kara fought a Hellgramite in 102, where it was revealed that they were chlorine-based lifeforms that the only things on Earth they could eat safely were certain chemical compounds such as DDT.

Winn grew up in Newark, New Jersey.

Winn and Lyra spend Valentine's Day together. They agree to try and start a relationship together.

Maggie sets up a "Valentine's Day prom" for Alex to make up for screwing up her Valentine's Day plan.

The episode ends with Mon-El and Kara making out on her couch.


Location


The Fortress of Solitude.


The Bottom Line


A perfect Valentine's Day special, hampered only slightly by the fact that it aired the week after Valentine's Day. But why quibble? Kara and Mon-El are finally together and the other romantic subplots all work perfectly. It's nice to see Maggie (for once) admitting to a misstep in her relationship with Alex after several episodes with Alex being the one to make things weird. The Winn subplot surprised me in that I was sure his new lady friend was probably going to be a black widow and lay her eggs in him after mating.  And heaven help us, they made Mxyzptlk work in live action. Sterling Gates needs to write more episodes of this show.