Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Starman Plays Quest For Glory 5, The Thief Path - Part 11

A combat heavy chapter, in which we watch all of Elsa's arena fights on the off-chance that gives her a better chance of winning when we bet on her, before we face her ourselves. This is an important step to wooing Elsa, showing that you consider her a worthy opponent. And it also nets us a ton of gold and makes Ferrari poorer, so win/win all around.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Starman Plays Quest For Glory 5, The Thief Path - Part 10

In which we successfully rob the bank a second time (finally), help out Gnome Ann with making her inn a little more presentable and pit ourselves against Toro in the arena.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Batwoman Episode Guide: Season 3, Episode 9 - Meet Your Maker

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

Plot

With multiple signs pointing to the original Poison Ivy having awoken, Ryan, Luke and Sophie begin trying to track her down, while Montoya attempts to reach whatever remains of the woman she loved. Meanwhile, Mary's behavior begins to unnerve Alice, as Jada Jet seeks out an old friend's help in saving Marquis.


Influences

Every horror movie where the idiot protagonists are trapped in a cabin in the woods and A Quiet Place (trying to avoid triggering killer plants tracking sounds).


Performances

Again, Nicole Kang and Rachel Skarsten steal the show.


Artistry

The special effects for the killer plants are interesting.


Bat Trivia

The lake where Poison Ivy kills two fishermen is called Loeb Lake. This is likely in honor of legendary Batman writer Jeph Loeb, who wrote Hush and The Long Halloween.


Technobabble

Luke creates special darts for fighting Poison Ivy that combine a paralytic drug and a herbicide. He's certain this will slow her down without killing her until they can recreate Batman's desiccation formula.

All the psychologists Jada Jet consulted with believe a second jolt of the Joker's joy buzzer will reawaken Marquis' sense of empathy.

Natural networking is where plants communicate through acoustics in the ground.

Poison Ivy describes the cutting of her vine that Batman kept as a sporeling, which she created to recharge her, like a battery without a plug. She says that meeting Mary will restore her.

Luke describes Diggle's box as a transmatter cube and guesses it isn't from Earth. Diggle confirms this, but asks him to keep that quiet.


Dialogue Triumphs

Poison Ivy: What were you thinking would happen when you freed me?
Montoya: I wasn't. I got wrapped up in the moment, seeing you, the white tulip, the memories, the guilt.
Poison Ivy: Ah. I'm so sorry that you had to feel guilt, Renee, while I rotted for a decade with no water, no sunlight, no soul mate. Must have been really awful for you.
Montoya: I am sorry, Pam.
Poison Ivy: How am I supposed to believe that? I needed you... more than anything, and you're the one that put me there. 

(Mary is trying to go off on her own because of Ivy's efforts to reach her.)
Alice: 
Stop! I am supposed to be the crazy one!
Mary: You're not the one with a bitch of a migraine that only seems to stop bitching when I go... this way!
Alice: If you go that way, you'll probably die! The O.G.'s back? She's trying to draw you to her. Why?
Mary: Uh, do I look like the president of the Poison Ivy fan club?
Alice: I don't know, but I do know that a world with two of a kind never ends well. Why don't you ask poor, boring Beth Kane? Oh, that's right. You can't because she's dead! 
Mary: Okay. Then that's why I've been feeling this way? Clearly... w-w-we have some sort of bond, and she's calling out to me. Give me the keys.
Alice: Were you not listening to anything I said?
Mary: I'm going, Alice. This is the woman who unlocked my prowess and the reason why I'm finally happy. The least I can do is go and see what she wants. Please.
Alice: Fine. Let's go meet your maker. 

Mary: Why do we work, Alice? You killed my mom, I replaced you in our family, but... here we are on this crazy adventure together. Hmm? Why?
Alice: Probably because you made me drive out to "deliverance" country.
Mary: It's because despite all of our baggage, we both found the sister we always wanted. I see the girl who... just craves her freedom, and I love that you support me to do what I want... And this is what I want.
Alice: (sighs) Okay. 


Dialogue Disasters

(Sophie watches Luke working out, shirtless, in the middle of their new lair.)
Sophie:
 Pretty sure in the real world this would be an HR violation of appropriate workplace behavior. Luke: Good thing it's not the real world.


Continuity

In the opening scene, Poison Ivy attacks several fishermen at Loeb Lake, to Montoya's disappointment.

Poison Ivy declares that submerging herself in water is not restoring her strength, like she thought it would.

Ryan visits her adoptive mother's grave, which notes she died in 2015.

Cora Lewis worked three jobs and volunteered at her church while raising Ryan.

Sophie spars with Luke, who seems more determined than ever to get in shape and become a good fighter. She guesses this has something to do with his being man-handled by Marquis Jet in 308.

John Diggle appears for the first time since S612, though it is believed his last chronological appearance in the Arrowverse was in F716In either case, he has started growing a beard since his last appearance.

John Diggle oversaw Jada Jet's personal security detail at some point when her husband was still alive and they remained friends after.

John Diggle is also implied to be an old flame of Jada Jet, as he tells her he got back together with his wife and had kids and she seems disappointed.

Sunlight is also not restoring Poison Ivy's strength.

Ryan is still angry at Sophie for sleeping with Montoya and refuses to talk to her directly.

Team Bat presume Poison Ivy is active again based on reports of the two dead fishermen at Loeb Lake, an unnatural hornet attack at a pesticide factory and an oil rig being tipped over. All of these attacks were within a two mile radius of a national park outside Gotham City.

Jada offers Diggle a job as head of her security detail. He turns it down, saying that he only agreed to meet with her because he just happened to be in Gotham City attending to other business. 

Diggle agrees to help Jada find Joker's joy buzzer, which she believes might be able to cure Marquis. He suggests, given all the other Batman villain weapons on the street, that all of them were part of a collection, which means the joy buzzer might be out on the street as well.

Diggle says his sources at ARGUS thought Renee Montoya, who works for the Mayor's Offices' Rogue Unit, would be worth consulting about the possibility of a Bat-villain weapons cache.

Poison Ivy reaches out through the plants to send a message to Mary, bringing them together.

Alice tries to talk Mary into leaving Gotham with her to go to Santorini.

Mary describes the sensation of being summoned by Ivy as feeling like brain-freeze when you eat something cold too quickly.

Ryan, Sophie and Luke's van is attacked by vines shortly after they get to the national park.

A random hunter dies after trying to warn Ryan, Sophie and Luke away. They hide in a cabin.

Luke blames himself for the team's current predicament and says it's clear his father didn't give him the Batwing suit because he isn't meant to be a hero.

Ryan says that real heroes screw up all the time and keep going, pointing out that Sophie allowed Alice and Poison Ivy to escape on her watch. Sophie sarcastically agrees, pointing out that for all of Ryan's alleged detective skills, she didn't realize Mary was possessed by Poison Ivy until it was too late.

Poison Ivy confronts Montoya on how Batwoman and her allies seemed to know how to find her. Montoya admits to working with them, but says Ryan is different from Batman. Ivy refuses to believe her and goes off to kill Batwoman.

Jada Jet knows how to pick locks and apparently learned the skill while living on the street in her youth.

Diggle and Jada find Montoya's list of the missing Bat Villain weapons.

Alice makes reference to the Beth Kane doppelganger from 112.

Alice agrees to help Mary find Poison Ivy, but Mary knocks her out so she can go on her own.

Sophie and Ryan continue to argue, but Ryan does thank Sophie for grabbing the Batsuit out of their van before it was destroyed.

Sophie asks Ryan why she's always held a grudge against her and says it goes beyond her treating Ryan badly when she was a convict.

Luke is able to kill the vines that come into the cabin with a mixture of salt and vinegar.

Ryan puts on her Batsuit and makes for a truck they saw earlier that had a bag of salt in the bed.

Diggle and Jada steal he booze out of Montoya's mini-fridge.

Jada has no idea how Ryan tracked her down.

Jada finds Joker's joy buzzer in Montoya's desk.

Montoya tries to kill Mary.

Luke saves a boy, whose father was the hunter killed by Ivy earlier in the episode.

Luke visits his father's grave. He also died in 2015.

Luke tells his father that he thinks he is ready to be a hero now.

John Diggle meets Luke as his father's grave and says he is sure his dad is proud of him.

Luke returns a box to Diggle and says he couldn't get it open. This is the box Diggle found in a smoking crater in A810.

Diggle says ARGUS couldn't get the box open either, but it opened for him once before.

Luke guesses that whatever makes the box open isn't based on science.

Diggle asks Luke for one more favor - passing on a message to Batwoman from Jada Jet, that she found her fix.

Alice finds Mary's phone and a man's corpse impaled on a tree.

Montoya built up an immunity to Poison Ivy's pheromones by poisoning herself a little each day.

Mary finds Ivy. The two hug and Ivy is rejuvenated.


Location

A national park outside Gotham City.


The Killing Jokes

Granting that they're somewhat desperate, Team Bat going into a national park hunting a villain who manipulates nature with an untested weapon seems incredibly stupid, even for these heroes.


The Bottom Line

Painfully bad. The "heroes" continue to be as unsympathetic as they are idiotic and the only thing marking the villains as villains is random, unmotivated murders. Not even John Diggle and the promise of his Green Lantern storyline being resolved can make this episode worth watching more than once.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 7, Episode 9 - Lowest Common Denominator

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

Plot

When Gideon jumps the time machine into John Constantine's manor, the team find themselves trapped in a hellish reality show. With the rest of the team's emotions running wild thanks to the dark influence of a damned film crew, it will fall to Astra to try and save the team as Behrad tries to express his feelings for the sorceress without making a big production out of it.


Influences

Reality TV in general, with specific shout-outs to Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Survivor, Real Housewives, Big Brother, Naked and Afraid, The Real World and Jersey Shore.


Performances

All the cast are on fire here playing reality show stereotypes.


Artistry

The direction does a great job of capturing the feeling of a cheesy reality show.


Trivia Of Tomorrow

This is the first episode of any Arrowverse series since Crisis on Infinite Earths set outside of Earth-Prime.

The episode features a unique title card sequence, with 

The logo for the demonic LCD network is modeled on The CW logo.


Technobabble/Arcana

Astra knows a spell that can reveal the presence of hidden spirits. She uses this to reveal the Cursed Crew to the rest of the Legends.

Dialogue Triumphs

(Gary watches Gideon eat an apple seductively.)
Gary:
Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me?
Gideon: Well, if you're referring to the increasing temperature in the house, - you're correct.
Gary: (disappointed) Oh.
Gideon: If you're insinuating we should go upstairs and fool around, also correct. 
(Both start giggling and run for the staircase.)

(The other Legends discover Gideon and Gary in bed.)
Spooner: All right. Well, how long has this been going on?
Gideon: Uh, well, including the foreplay, approximately... 
(All the other Legends moan, grossed out.)

Nate: Look, just when you think you can trust a woman, she turns around and shows her true self. That's why you can't trust dames. You can only trust... gains. (flexes for the camera.)

Ava: Oh, no. I'm turning into the implanted memories of my mother. 

Spooner: They both make good points, but just know that whichever alliance I join, I promise I will betray it

Behrad: You guys want to make asses of yourselves for the cameras? Is that what you want?  Because I know what it gets you. I have countless memories of cameras in my face, every time I was scared! Every time I cried! You want to know about the first time I ever failed? Don't worry. "Keeping Up With The Tarazis" had a whole episode about it! I figured out the way to beat it was to be unflappable, chill. Pop a gummy, lay low, relax. If they don't see it get to you, they don't have the power. But... it gets to me. A lot of things do. I'm sad sometimes. I'm scared a lot. I died, and I never talked about it! Because maybe I'm afraid if I'm honest with anyone, they'll end up hating me. (To Astra) All I wanted to do was ask you out, and now I'm crying for all of hell to see and laugh at me... for my friends to realize they never knew the real me... And for the girl I like to run far away from me. But I'm done now. Here's the honest truth. When it comes to you, Astra... I lose all my cool.  I'm just B. 

Gideon: It's quite nice feeling emotional again. It's like a warm and gooey feeling as opposed to a cold and calculated urge to murder.
(There is an uncomfortable silence.)
Nate: Say what?
Gideon: I'm just kidding. I'm quite funny, actually. 
(Everyone laughs as Gary and Gideon hug.)
Sara: So funny. But, hey, since you are a part of this team and a supercomputer, so you tell us, where do you think we should go?
Gideon: I'm glad you asked, Captain, because I've given it much tactical and emotional consideration, and I think I want to trust my gut, as us humans say, and my gut is telling me to plot a course for Sarajevo in 1914. We need to save Archduke Franz Ferdinand and stop World War I.
(Everyone except Gideon laughs. They all slowly stop as they realize Gideon was serious.)
All But Gideon: What?!


Continuity

The episode picks up immediately after the team's escape in 707, with the time machine taking the Legends into the Hell Mansion.

Gary guesses that the time machine took them to the Hell mansion since Gideon thought of it as being her "home" when the other Legends told her to take them home.

Gwyn hears the voice of his lost love Alun coming from outside the mansion. He opens the door, which allows something into the mansion.

Gideon has a fever and isn't feeling well after the last jump. She tells Gary she thought she did well to take the team to the Hell Mansion but everyone is obviously disappointed in her.

Gary and Gideon decide to go upstairs and fool around.

Behrad tells Zari 2.0 and Nate that he wants to ask Astra out.

Behrad says he hasn't smoked weed or done edibles since they became lost in time.

Nate says that he considers Zari 2.0 his best bud, now that Behrad is practically his brother-in-law.

Gwyn informs the rest of the Legends that he thinks he let something into the mansion. They split up to search for it.

Nate and Zari 2.0 are sprayed with some kind of gross magic goo and are forced to take their shirts off while exploring the attic.

Nate winds up wearing a white shirt that makes him look like John Constantine.

Zari 2.0 winds up in a flannel shirt that makes her look like Zari 1.0.

Nate and Zari figure out something is altering their minds to try and bring them together.

Sara and Ava discover Gary and Gideon in bed together. Soon the rest of the team run in and discover the two have been lovers since 706.

Gary is blamed for making Gideon too unfocused to time-travel properly.

After Zari says this all seems like a bad reality show, Astra identifies the spirits in the house as The Cursed Crew - a ghostly reality show production crew from the 1990s who were cursed to film footage for the hellish network of a demon named Harris Ledes, until they captured some truly real emotion.

Zari says the Cursed Crew cam twist emotions and amplify conflict, creating petty drama for the amusement of their audience.

Astra leaves the mansion to confront Harris and get him to back off. She tells the rest of the Legends not to give in to their emotions while she is gone.

Zari 2.0 had a reality show as a child celebrity, Keeping Up With The Tarazis. Behrad was recast on it after refusing to appear on camera.

Gwyn asks Spooner to explain just what reality television is to him. Instead, Spooner tells him to stick with her, staying they can form an alliance and that she watched all 40 seasons of Survivor.

As Ava and Sara start trying to get back to thinking of a plan to fight Evil Gideon, Sara becomes obsessed with planning the ultimate beach-themed honeymoon.

As they start discussing how they'd never hook up, Zari and Nate begin arguing over just why they would never hook up.

Gwyn pushes Sara to discuss a plan to save Alun. Sara shrugs him off, but writes him an IOU promising to help him save one person at any point in the timeline.

Spooner begins wandering around the house naked as a strategy, saying everyone trusts the naked person, because they can't hide anything.

Harris Ledes' hellish network is called Lowest Common Denominator Productions. 

Astra and Harris Ledes know each other from Astra's time in Hell.

Astra tries to get Harris to back off, claiming the souls of the Legends are hers to play with. He is content to do so, until Behrad is caught in the lobby of LCD Productions.

After Astra refuses to "piddle" Behrad, Harris realizes she's become mortal and is now fair game for any demon to play with her.

Harris tries to discover Behrad's deepest darkest secrets but is saddened to find he has none.

Astra thinks Behrad followed her because he thought she was too weak to go solo or was going to backslide into being a demon.

The Cursed Crew cause Gideon to dump Gary and to start acting like a cool, emotionless manipulator.

Gary's human form is shown to have three nipples, as first mentioned in 415.

Gideon manipulates Zari 2.0 into thinking the reason Nate is acting so weird to her is because he really doesn't want to move in with Zari 1.0.

Gideon alter tells Nate that Zari 2.0 said his Zari was ugly and is better than her, as Nate starts working-out and bronzing his skin.

Gideon manipulated Gwyn into considering that he might use his "one saved life" voucher to save more than one person.

Sara ignores all the drama in favor of planning a trip to Cabo.

At dinner that night, Gwyn says a blessing, which is bleeped out by the Cursed Crew.

Gwyn asks to use his voucher to save Archduke Franz Ferdinand and prevent World War I.

Ava gets angry at Sara for making a promise that could endanger the timeline.

Zari 1.0 is brought out of the totem in the middle of the fight and joins in.

After Gideon offers to take everyone out of Hell, Gary eats the time machine interface so it can't be used.

Behrad opens up to the other Legends about hiding who he really is, playing a chill stoner that everyone liked. This frees the Cursed Crew from their curse and saves everyone.

Sara agrees to take on more responsibility as co-Captain, saying it isn't fair for Ava to play the house mom.

Gwyn apologies for pushing Sara on the idea of averting World War I. Sara accepts the apology and promises to save Alun.

The Zaris and Nate work things out.

Zari 1.0 goes back in the totem.

Astra and Behrad agree to take it slow, since Behrad is still figuring out who he is sober.

Gary tells everyone off for assuming that Gideon can't make her own decisions and that he corrupted her somehow. Gideon agrees, saying it is hypocritical given how almost everyone else on the team found love with someone else, so why not them?

Everyone apologizes and says they are fine with Gary and Gideon dating.

Gideon says their next step should be averting World War I.


Location

Hell.


The Bottom Line

A hilarious bottle episode which masterfully sends up reality TV.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Superman and Lois: Season 2, Episode 2 - The Ties That Bind

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

Plot

Clark reveals his visions to Lois and admits there may be only one person on Earth who can help him understand their meaning. Meanwhile, some surprising news sends Lana down a new career path, as tensions rise between Chrissy and Lois following an unpleasant revelation regarding one of Lois' old stories. Finally, Natalie begins to befriend Sarah, causing her to break her plans with Jordan, as Johnathan ponders a rival athlete's newfound strength.


Influences

The Death of Superman (appearance of Doomsday) and the Supermen of America series.


Performances

Alex Garfin has perhaps the strongest individual performance, showing Jordan Kent's true grit as he offers to help his father and stands against Tal-Rho.


Artistry

The special effects for the fight between Jordan and Tal-Rho are good.


Super Trivia

The episode was directed by David Ramsey, most famous for playing John Diggle on Arrow.

While she is not given a first name, Dr. Faulkner seems to be based upon Dr. Karen Lou "Kitty" Faulkner, who was a supporting character in the post-Crisis Superman comics and, later, the villain Rampage. First appearing in Superman #7 in July 1987, Kitty was working on a pollution-free energy source. An accident transformed her into an orange-skinned Amazonian monster, who grew in size and strength as she was exposed to solar energy, but also became more uninhibited and angry. She later got a job with STAR Labs, became an ally of the Will Payton Starman and later became the director of STAR Labs' office in Metropolis.

The Arrowverse version of Dr. Faulkner is a geologist in the employ of AmerTek's mining operation in Smallville. She claims to have several degrees and is an expert in mineralogy.

A different version of Rampage appeared in the Adventures of Supergirl comic tying into the Supergirl series. This Rampage was named Caren Falqnerr and said to be a Byrnian - an alien species that had the ability to shapeshift into a monstrous form when angered once charged by the energy of a yellow sun. The name Byrnian is a nod to creator John Byrne, who created Kitty Faulkner.

AmertTek is revealed to be the company contracted to clean all the X-Kryptonite out of the Shuster Mines. This is the first mention of the company on Earth-Prime, but they have a long history, in the Arrowverse and the comics, for being dishonest.

In Supergirl season 4, AmerTek was a corrupt weapons manufacturer with connections to Lex Luthor, on Earth-38. The Earth-1 version of AmerTek showed up repeatedly in Arrow and in one episode of The Flash, usually in reference to some piece of advanced technology being stolen.

In the original comics, AmerTek was the corrupt military industrial firm which employed John Henry Irons before he went into hiding after trying to blow the whistle on the company's illegal activities. 

The drug dealer Superman tries to stop from taking hostages at an airport is identified as Phillip Karnowsky. This was the alias of a supervillain in the Superman comics known as Barrage, who lost his arm in a fight with police officer Maggie Sawyer. He later acquired a suit of power armor and an energy canon arm. 

A different version of Phillip Karnowsky appeared in S207, where he was a vigilante who framed Guardian for one of his own killings.

The Earth-Prime version of Phillip Karnowsky was shown to be using some kind of inhaler that temporarily made him as strong as Superman, in addition to his guns.

The idea of Kryptonians creating their children through genetic engineering rather than sexual intercourse dates back to the 1978 Superman: The Movie, although the original references to this were largely cut during filming. The idea was made more implicit in 2013's Man of Steel, where Clark Kent's status as a natural-born child marked him as unique.

This episode features the first Post-Crisis reference to Lucy Lane. However, the character described by Lois seems radically different from the one seen in Supergirl season 1.


Technobabble

Based on Sarah's description of her car and her dad's efforts to change the ignition switch, the starter and the battery, Natalie deduces the problem is a clogged fuel filter.

Anderson claims that Phillip Karnowsky somehow acquired some X-Kryptonite. Presumably this was part of the formula he inhaled that temporarily made him as strong as Superman.

John Henry has a seismometer among the gear in his RV, which measures the difference between a set point when the bedrock isn't moving and processes the variables once it starts shaking.

The '78 Firebird gets 280 horses and has dual exhaust.

The earthquakes coming from inside the Shuster Mines are not seismic in nature, according to John Henry's readings. He concludes that something is causing the earthquakes.

The Lara hologram says Clark's visions are being caused by an invasive cosmological event - interdimensional kinesthesis. In simple terms, some other being is causing the visions.


Dialogue Triumphs

Lois: I know this isn't ideal, being back here around me.
John Henry: It's the best thing for Nat.
Lois: What about you?
John Henry: I'll make the adjustment.
Lois: You sure?
John Henry: (firmly) I'll make the adjustment. 

(Jordan and Tal-Rho are watching Superman and Lara's hologram talk from a distance.)
Tal-Rho:
See how she favors him... your father?
Jordan: Well, yeah, he's not a genocidal sociopath who tried to destroy civilization.
Tal-Rho: And your mother... does she favor the weakling?
Jordan: From what I hear, Jon's probably stronger than you now.

Tal-Rho: Aren't you gonna thank me for reuniting you with your long-lost mother?
Clark: She could have been a mother to us both if you'd chosen a different path. |
Tal-Rho: There is no choice in this life, only the illusion of such.
Clark: I think you're wrong. She believes there's still good in you.
Tal-Rho: And you, brother? Do you feel the same?
Clark: No. But I want to.


Continuity

As the episode opens, Lois has cooked a big breakfast for everyone. This is a surprise to Clark, Jordan and Jonathan.

Natalie has beaded her hair since the last episode.

Natalie is sleeping in Jonathan's room.

Natalie is a vegan and says she is not a breakfast person.

Clark has another vision and collapses in the kitchen. It is made apparent that nobody else knew about this. Clark says this is the third such spell he has had after the one while saving a submarine and the one during the earthquake in 201.

Clark says the visions showed him destruction of some sort and rocks crumbling, like a cave in. In the third one, he heard someone scream.

Lois suggests the visions could be residual memories of Krypton's destruction from when Clark was possessed by General Zod.

George Dean crashes the event that Lana organized for Daniel Hart.

George Dean has been Mayor of Smallville for over ten years and hasn't had anyone run against him in ten years.

Sarah is taking French as a foreign language elective.

Natalie is taking shop class in 5th period.

Sarah identifies the car her father got her as a '78 Firebird.

AmerTek is identified as the company overseeing the clean-up of the Shuster Mines. Lois and Chrissy are due to interview Dr. Faulker, the head of the project that morning. 

Chrissy informs Lois that a podcast devoted to journalist oversight has accused her of coercing some of her sources on an expose into Ally Allston - a self-help guru Lois painted as a dangerous cult leader.

Lois defends her story and her sources, noting that she made it clear in the first sentence of the article that one of the sources quoted was a member of her family.

Clark visits Tal-Rho in prison and asks if there's a chance the Eradicator could be responsible for his visions.

Tal-Rho says he hasn't had any flashes of memories beyond his own and he's had far more Kryptonians in his mind than anyone else. 

Tal-Rho tries to tal Clark into escorting him to his Fortress, where he has technology that could run some tests and make sure Clark is healthy.

Tal-Rho claims he is now completely powerless and that John Henry Iron's red solar flare took away his ability to metabolize sunlight. He is later revealed to be lying. 

Dr. Faulkner is the head of the AmerTek clean-up crew.

It has been 40 years since Kansas experienced an earthquake.

The epicenter of the recent earthquake was in the Shuster Mines and there have been multiple tremors.

Daniel Hart drops out of the race for Mayor, having been given a job offer in Bristol County.

Sarah forgot about her after-school plans with Jordan, having invited Natalie to help her with her car. She invites Jordan but he says he isn't a car guy and will text her later.

John Henry advises Lois to be herself and be patient to reach Natalie.

Lois asks John Henry for help analyzing the AmerTek site and figuring out what is causing the earthquake. He agrees, provided it is a one-time thing, saying he needs to focus on being Natalie's father and is done being Steel.

Clark hears gunfire and interrupts a hostage situation at an airport. Unfortunately, he has another vision spell during the situation.

The Supermen of America step in and save the hostages and Superman.

One of the Supermen of America agents is Tag Harris, last seen in 106. Clark later notes that he is barely 18 years old.

The Department of Defense still has dedicated Kryptonian physicians on the payroll, who give Superman a check-up after the fight with the drug dealer.

The DoD team Lt. Anderson runs is officially known as the Threat Reduction Agency.

Lt. Anderson identifies the hostage-taker as a drug-runner and arms dealer named Phillip Karnowsky. He claims he stole X-Kryptonite from the Shuster Mines before AmerTek moved in to it.

John Henry sets up a seismometer at the Shuster Mines.

Lana considers several other people to run for Mayor. These include Denny Brooks (a former councilman who quit to spend more time with his family), Ted Hargrove (a man who isn't well liked) and Del Mason, who runs the 4H festival every year, but is moving to Edgerton.

Timmy Ryan, one of Jonathan's teammates, boasts that he's doing much better thanks to his new training regiment. He is later able to deadlift 315 pounds while working out with the team, to Jonathan's shock.

Clark tells Jordan that he's going to go to Tal-Rho's Fortress. Jordan insists that he come along to watch his back.

Jordan tells Clark that things with Sarah aren't going well and he'd like to think he could do some good helping him. He also offers to teach Clark how to manage an anxiety attack so he can ride out his fits better.

Tal-Rho reveals that he has a hologram of Lara Lor-Van, his mother, made from before the destruction of Krypton. This is different from the record of her personality in the Eradicator, which briefly possessed Lana in 110.

Lara expresses disappointment in Tal-Rho, describing the Eradicator as her greatest regret and lamenting that it was left in the hands of a monster.

Lara says she had no idea Tal-Rho existed until it was too late to do anything, given the way Kryptonian children are raised apart from their parents until reaching a certain age. When Clark asked how this was possible, Lara revealed that he was the first live-born baby on Krypton in generations and that all the babies before them were genetically engineered. 

Natalie is able to get Sarah's car to start.

Sarah asks Natalie if she's ever had a secret she was afraid would change how people see them. She says yes, but doesn't clarify what it is. She does say, however, that she should be honest with Jordan or get better at hiding whatever it is that is making things weird between them.

Clark has another vision fit, during which Tal-Rho reveals he has not lost his powers after all.  Jordan moves to protect his father and holds his own, showing that his powers have increased in the last three months, as Lois noted earlier.

Lara persuades Tal-Rho to let Jordan go, saying that he is not his father and she sees the good in him.

Something inside the Shuster Mines attacks one of the workers as the Earthquake is going on. A worker named Joe is able to blow up the mine, trapping himself with the creature.

Clark returns Tal-Rho to his special cell.

Chrissy tells Lois that the podcast went viral and the next episode is interviewing someone who is recanting her story.

Lois tells Chrissy that the mystery family member in her story was her younger sister Lucy, who Lois saved after she swallowed a bottle full of pills and almost drowned in a bathtub while trying to "find her other self."

Los hasn't talked to Lucy since the expose was published.

Kyle tells Lana that she should run for Mayor, and tells her he already got her the signed support of the entire Smallville Fire Department. Lana had the same idea, and already filled out the paperwork to run.

Jonathan voices his belief that Timmy Ryan is using steroids or something to Jordan, noting that he was the biggest slacker on the team but is suddenly super-strong.

Sarah tells Jordan that she kissed a girl named Aubrey at camp. 

Clark confirms that he's had five visions in the past few days.

John Henry determines that each vision coincided with the tremors coming from the Shuster Mines.

Dr. Faulkner confirms something came through the mines, and describes it as more powerful than they had hoped.


Location

An unidentified airport.

Tal-Rho's Fortress of Solitude, located in The Badlands


The Bottom Line

Another solid episode, which builds the mystery of what is in the Shuster Mines effectively enough, though long-time Superfans can guess based on the glimpses we get. Great character moments for the entire ensemble and all the subplot plates are set to spinning well.