Friday, December 14, 2018

Starman Plays Betrayal at Krondor - Part 63

So we've learned that Pug's best friend Tomas might have some idea what The Book of Macros is and that he is in Elvandar from a random book in the biggest library in the world. So now we're going to Elvandar, right?!

Wrong! Now I'm going to show you the OTHER way Betrayal At Krondor tells you where to go, which requires a trip to Malac's Cross and a fight with an army of Panathian serpent priests, in order to save a turbulent priest.


Black Lightning Episode Guide: Season 2, Episode 9 - The Book of Rebellion: Chapter 2 - Gift of the Magi

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



Plot

With Khalil fatally wounded by one of Cutter's poisoned blades, Jennifer must work quickly to save his life while dodging her family and Cutter. Meanwhile, Tobias works to secure the services of a young doctor who feels abused by the system, as part of his plans.


Influences

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry (title, theme of sacrifice) and the Black Lightning comics of Tony Isabella.


Goofs

As Tobias himself points out, Cutter is kind of an idiot. He specifically said he wanted Khalil brought in alive in the last episode and she used a poisoned blade to attack him. Now she's defending her decision to kill Khalil outright and telling Tobias he'd better be ready to pay her for his body. Ignoring that this is not a smart way to treat a client in a gig economy, she is saying this to a man she knows for a fact has no issue with killing underlings who fail to follow orders... given that's the whole reason she sent her after Khalil in the first place!

Lynn's storyline in this episode is completely pointless. Apart from freaking out and playing the hysterical mom, all she does is talk to one man who gives her no new information. It's almost as if the writers have no idea what to do with Lynn now that the Green Light Baby storyline is apparently played out.


Performances

Again, China Anne McClain delivers a powerful performance as Jennifer Pierce and sells the fact that Jennifer is capable of doing everything she does in this episode.

Marvin "Krondon" Jones III continues to be a delight to watch as Tobias.  You wish we got to see more of him in this episode, even though nearly everything he does here - apart from talk to Cutter - is a total non-sequiter to the rest of the plot.


Artistry

The music in the Club 100 scenes is good.

The special effects for the teleporting assassin are good.


Trivia

The episode title comes from a story by O. Henry, which tells the tale of a young couple who each sacrifice what is most important to them to get a Christmas present for the other. This is probably a reference to how Jennifer gives up her family to try and save Khalil and Khalil tries to get Jennifer to abandon him because he doesn't want her to abandon her life for him.


Technobabble

Khalil's system is so full of toxins that it gave him a degree of immunity to Cutter's poison. While he is still sickened, she says that if it weren't for his powers he would have died in minutes.

Most large appliances and generators operate at 240 volts. Since Jennifer runs hotter than that, by increasing the voltage threshold of Jefferson's goggles, that will narrow down the "hot spots" he can see using his electro-vision.


Dialogue Triumphs

Khalil: I remember when I first saw you.
Jennifer: Are you seriously getting all corny on me right now?
Khalil: (coughs) No. No. No, this This is a memory I'll keep for myself. But... (breathing heavier) I knew then that you were special.
Jennifer:Well I remember all the girls at Garfield going on and on about Khalil this and Khalil that. And I'm like, "What the hell is the big deal? Who is Khalil?" And, um, then I saw you standing at your locker. And I can't lie. First thing that popped into my head was "Well, damn!"
(They both laugh.)

Tobias: Must be tough, smart kid like you, good family, good private schools, always getting passed over despite his superior talents. Why do you think that is, Todd, that you keep getting passed over? It's because it's the black man's burden to carry the weight of white privilege. Without the benefits of being rich or white, you'll never be better than second best. Well, unless of course you change the game.

Khalil: You know Tobias is never gonna stop, right? My family, either.
Jennifer:I know.
Khalil: J, we're never gonna be able to run fast enough. You know that, right?
Jennifer: Then we'll find a place to hide, you know? Get 'em off our scent for a while.
Khalil: I think you should go home.
Jennifer: I'm not going anywhere.
Khalil: J, come on. Look, you deserve better than this. Look, just because my life is jacked, doesn't mean that yours has to be.
Jennifer:  I'm not hearing you right now. I'm the ride or die type, you already know that.
Khalil: Yeah, and it's the dying part that I'm afraid of.

Jennifer:Well, I'm not. We're in this together, okay? And after everything we've been through, what should we even be afraid of?


Continuity

Jennifer gets Khalil to a barn.

Jennifer determines that Khalil has a fever.  She thinks his wound got infected and that there was some kind of poison that even his body can't cope with.

Gambi perfected the anti-venom to neutralize Painkiller's venom, which he started trying to make in 203. He uses this to treat Khalil's aunt.

Lynn visits Khalil's mother and looks around his room.

Khalil had a brother, Keenan, who was part of The 100 gang, working as a drug dealer. He died when he was 15.

Khalil's mother has no idea if Khalil knows how to contact his father or not. She describes her ex husband as being no good.

Todd Green is a young teacher who is denied a gran for an advanced encryption class. The grant is instead given to Garret Tortolani - a rich white teacher whose dad donated the money to have a new wing built on the local research center.  When he is escorted off the campus, he finds a card in his car from Tobias Whale, asking him to meet him that night at Club 100 because "he deserves better."

Jennifer uses her powers to break an electronic medicine dispenser to get the drugs she needs to treat Khalil's injuries.

Jennifer barely dodges Jefferson and Anissa at the hospital an doesn't notice Cutter tailing her.

Gambi is able to hack the hospital security footage to identify Jennifer and see which way she went after she left wit h the drugs she stole.  He also gets a shot of Cutter's face.

Jefferson has to be talked down from going off flying to look for Jennifer without his costume.

Khalil claims to be on fire inside even after he's been given antibiotics.

Khalil says she knew Jennifer was something special when he first saw her.

Jennifer says that she didn't think much of Khalil until she heard other girls fawning over him and then she looked at him and had second thoughts.

Todd Green graduated college at 17, and earned a Masters and PhD before he was 21. Tobias Whale says he has been keeping an eye on him for sometime.

Todd Green does not like being touched, though he does like women.

Cutter's real name is Giselle Cutter.

Tobias reminds Cutter that he was paying for Khalil to be brought in alive - no exceptions or excuses.

Gambi thinks Cutter is a low-level telekinetic, as it's been said that bullets don't touch her even at point-blank range and she can throw knives around corners.

Lynn searches for any information she can find on Khalil's father, Kito Payne, on Gambi's workstation.

Jennifer connects with a part of her self in the psychic landscape she formed in her head that intuits how to use her powers and recalls old science lessons. This gives her a version of her father's electro-vision that lets her see Cutter in the darkness using a pair of night-vision binoculars, though she can see her bio-electricity as well.

Jennifer is able to taser Cutter to bring her down.

Jennifer reasons that Cutter must keep an antidote in case she cuts herself by accident.

Cutter keeps an antidote to her poison in her necklace.

Kito Payne is working at a diner He tells Lynn that he did keep in touch with Khalil by phone. He told him to stay away from Tobias, but Khalil felt he owed Tobias for the surgery that let him walk again. He said Khalil had told him he had a place of his own now and that he wasn't staying with Tobias.

Jennifer and Khalil tell each other they love each other.

Jennifer and Khalil leave Cutter tied up in the barn.

By the time Gambi, Jefferson and Anissa get to the barn, Cutter has escaped.

Tobias transfers $100,000 into Todd Green's account. He agrees to work for Tobias.

Jennifer and Khalil continue driving off somewhere together.

The final scene shows a teleporter killing several people in a bar. He then takes a phone-call from someone who asks him to come to Freeland.


Location

An unknown location with a bar full of dead rednecks, after the teleporter kills everyone.


The Winick Factor

Granting that Jennifer is supposed to be smart for her age, it's embarrassing that she is able to outwit and evade a professional assassin, her medical doctor sister, her professional educator father and "Uncle Gambi" whose job description in his previous life was "tracker of teenagers with super powers for secret government program."


The Bottom Line

A failure as an episode. An enigma as a mid-season finale. None of the major subplots of the season are settled. Then again, most of them haven't been refereed to in about a month, like Jefferson's job status, where The Green Light babies still alive are standing and whatever is going on with Grace Choi. And then Tobias' scenes are all focused on introducing a new scientist character who - based on how quickly Body Bag Boy and Looker were removed from the show - will be gone in three episodes as well, along with the new teleporting assassin.

The hell of it is the best things about the show right now - the Khalil/Jennifer romance and Tobias' plan - are the only things this episode pays attention to. And yet nothing is done to advance those storylines. All in all, I'm one more lackluster episode away from abandoning this episode guide.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 4, Episode 9 - Elseworlds, Part 3

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




Plot

With reality altered yet again and Barry Allen, Oliver Queen and Kara Zor-El now criminals in a world ruled by a tyrant Superman, can our heroes overcome The Monitor and The Book of Destiny?


Influences

Infinite Crisis (John Deegan's behavior as the fake Superman is not unlike that of Superboy Prime), Injustice: Gods Among Us (Superman ruling the world as a tyrant, leading an organization that mostly exists to massage his ego, heroes from another Earth including a good Superman coming to fight the evil Superman, Supergirl imprisoned ), Scarface (Carlos Valdez seems to be doing an Al Pacino impression playing a crime boss), The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost (Cisco paraphrases this poem),  All-Star Superman (Lois Lane is wielding the Solar Hammer from this story), Crisis on Infinite Earths (the final scene with Psycho-Pirate), Arkham Asylum: Serious House on a Serious Earth (The state of John Deegam at the end of the story is like that of Doctor Destiny), The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes (John Deegam as Doctor Destiny, but with the Book of Destiny instead of Dream's Ruby.),  Larry Niven's essay "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex." (The problems of an Earthling/Kryptonian pregnancy are briefly mentioned.) and the Christopher Reeves Superman movies (the idea of flying around the Earth quickly to alter time and the sequence where The Flash and Supergirl do so, Lois's dress when she's having dinner with Clark in the Fortress of Solitude, Superman making an engagement ring by crushing coal into a diamond.)


Goofs

John Deegan says he saw nothing about Supergirl existing in the Book of Destiny before she and Clark fought Amazo in "Elseworlds - Part 1". Yet Kara has come to Earth One before during Invasion! and Crisis on Earth-X.

John Deegan's face is horribly dried out and emaciated once The Book of Destiny is destroyed, yet his hands look perfectly normal


Performances

Tyler Hoechlin has a good deal of fun playing both versions of Superman. Again, we wish he and Elizabeth Tulloch's Lois Lane had their own spin-off.  Maybe after Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Stephen Amell doesn't get many chances to do a good old-fashioned ranting speech at The Powers That Be, but when he does he sounds like the Oliver Queen from the comics. Still wish he had the goatee, but his moment against The Monitor is phenomenal.


Artistry

Solid effects work all around, but the scene of the two Superman fighting is probably the best.


Super Trivia

The episode opens with a parody of Kara's usual opening monologue, delivered by John Deegan.

The first shot we see of Mr. Ramon seems to be a tribute to the Al Pacino movie Scarface, with Cisco counting a pile of money in his club.

Mr. Ramon paraphrases the Robert Frost poem "The Road Not Taken" with his line "I have ledgers to keep and miles to go before I sleep."

Mr. Ramon refers to Superman as Super-Dick. This could be a nod to the website Superdickery, which compiles classic scenes from Superman comics of Superman seemingly being a jerk for no reason.

Alex says that the IT guy she was dating was now dating Pam from HR. This could be a nod to Pam Poovey from the series Archer - an HR person with a reputation for dating all her co-workers.

During the fight where the two Supermen go through an office building, a woman sees this and shouts "Bizzaro!"  This is a nod to the Bizzaro Superman - a popular Superman villain who either hails from an imperfect copy of Earth called Bizzaro World or is a imperfect clone of Superman made by Lex Luthor, depending on the reality.

Barry's idea that he and Kara can slow down time by running around the Earth super-fast is a tribute to a scene in Superman: The Movie where Superman makes time run backwards while flying around the Earth very quickly.

When Lois Lane shows up with Braniac-5 and Martian Manhunter, she is wielding a large hammer. This was alter identified by actress Elizabeth Tulloch as The Solar Hammer - a counterpart to the Cosmic Anvil in Superman's forge in All-Star Superman. Superman uses them to make small suns for a baby sun-eater he keeps as a pet.

Lois makes mention of a study from Harvard that says women are better in a crisis than men. This may be another clever bit of foreshadowing that Clark won't be around during Crisis on Infinite Earths.

The whole dinner sequence in the Fortress of Solitude is a tribute to the Christopher Reeves and Margot Kidder Superman movies. Lois' dress, Clark being a bad cook and Clark making an engagement ring by crushing coal into a diamond are all taken from the movies.

The man wearing the golden mask in the final scene is The Psycho Pirate - a JSA villain with the power to manipulate the emotions of others. He became a figure of some prominence after Crisis on Infinite Earths, being only one of a handful of beings who remembered the existence of the multiverse. The Psycho Pirate primarily operated out of Gotham City and famously ruled the city by using his powers to take control of Bruce Wayne and Alan Scott. (The secret identities of Batman and Green Lantern.)

The Psycho-Pirate quotes the tag-line from the original ads for Crisis on Infinite Earths.


Technobabble

Barry suggests that he and Kara can literally slow down time by traveling around the globe in opposite directions at just over Mach 7. This will create enough centrifugal force to slow the Earth's rotation and everything on the planet's surface.


Dialogue Triumphs


Dr. John Deegan: My name is John Deegan and I'm from Gotham - a city in grave need of heroes. As a doctor at Arkham Asylum, I did my part by protecting this city from the criminally insane. But the world didn't understand my methods, so I worked in secret until one day when a cosmic being recognized my potential and gave me the chance to be something greater ... someone greater! Now... I am Superman!

Barry: People don't become heroes because of circumstance. They become heroes in spite of circumstance!

(Oliver draws his gun.)
Dark Superman: Idiot. I'm bulletproof.
Oliver: I know.
(Oliver turns and shoots the support cablse that are the only thing holding up the crane that the Dark Superman set on fire earlier. We hear a group of children in the path of the shuddering crane scream.)
Barry: You want to be Earth's hero? Save the children or stop us!
Oliver: Your choice. (mockingly) Superman.

Kara: You're a monster.
Dark Superman: (smiling) No. I'm Superman.

Monitor: I must confess - my interest is piqued. You possess neither power nor abilities, yet still manage to outwit an opponent with the powers of a super... man.
Barry: It's just one word. Superman.
Ollie: (annoyed) What is this?  Hmmm?  If you're testing us, then let us get back to it!
Monitor: Oliver Queen. A man who channels his hubris and anger and calls it strength. Are you truly that eager to die? (he regards Oliver) No... not eager. Willing.  Ready to. Good. There might be hope for this universe yet.
Barry: If that's supposed to be a pep-talk, I've had better.

Mr. Ramon: All right. I've got ledgers to keep and miles to go before I sleep.

Superman (To Ollie) Still Barry?
Ollie: Oh, no. We-
Barry: No. Yeah.
Superman: Oh! So it's fixed? That's great.
(Oliver makes a face as Barry looks to him as if to follow his lead. They both glance back at Mr. Ramon. Superman takes entirely the wrong meaning from their hesitation.)
Superman: (quietly) Oh no.
(Superman glances between Ollie and Barry and then back at Mr. Ramon.)
Superman: (hesitantly) Kara?
Mr. Ramon: Mr. Ramon.

(Dark Superman has just caught Kara and Alex in the hall trying to escape.)
Dark Superman: I warned you.
Kara: (trying to lie, badly) No, I tricked her into opening my cell. We don't know each other!
Alex: (firmly) Yes, we do. She is my sister.
(Alex gives Kara a look. Kara smiles a bit.)
Dark Superman: (mockingly) Awwwww. Well, then you can burn together.
(Dark Superman's eyes begin to glow red. Suddenly, a breach opens. Ollie, Barry, Mr. Ramon and Superman emerge. The Dark Superman's eyes go back to normal and he looks stunned as he sees the real Superman.)
Superman: Hi. (smiles) Nice suit.

Green Arrow: I'm not afraid of you! I'm not impressed by you! Stop with these games and show yourself!
(Green Arrow is teleported into The Monitor's subspace platform.)
Monitor: So much passion. And hubris. To think... that if you just yell loud enough you can command a god.
Green Arrow: You're not a god!
Monitor: Yet there isn't a name for what I am, so I suppose "god" will have to do. Your time is limited. I'm not sure what little remains is best spent making demands of me. I already told you what you had to do.
Green Arrow: I know what happens to Barry and Kara.
Monitor: Hmmm. And now you're here in the faint hope I can alter it.
Green Arrow: Well, you just said you were a god. (defiantly) Now I don't think you're testing us to see if we're strong enough. I think you're testing us to see if we're good enough. And I don't think, in any of the universes you've tested, that anyone has ever stood and confronted you like this.
Monitor: (turning away from Green Arrow) Yes. You are the first in a multitude.
Green Arrow: I'm not who you need!
(The Monitor stops in mid-step.)
Green Arrow: You said I'd pass the test if my knew my true self?
(The Monitor turns back around to face Green Arrow.)
Green Arrow: My true self is filled with darkness. But Barry and Kara are different! They inspire hope! They inspire people, because they are the best of us! And if this test of yours is going to kill our best chance of stopping this crisis? (pauses) Well, as gods go... you're not a very smart one.
Monitor: The universe is a complex piece of machinery and balance must be maintained. One change requires another. How would you propose I keep the balance?
(Green Arrow looks pained as he considers this.)

Superman: You can't just wear that symbol on your chest and call yourself a hero, Deegan. Our powers amplify who we are. And the way you've been using yours? Tells me you don't have the mettle for this.
Dark Superman: (frantic) No, no! You're wrong! I did - I didn't think big enough! (panting) I won't make that mistake again!
(An Amazo robot appears by his side, willed into existence by the book. Superman tries to use his heat vision on the robot but it responds with a blast of its own, sending Superman flying into a car.)
Dark Superman: You see?! There is no defeating me! I am the master of this world!
(Suddenly, Braniac-5, Lois Lane and Martian Manhunter emerge from a breach portal.)
Lois: Blah, blah, blah. That's a bit much don't you think?
Superman: (confused) Honey?
Lois: Yes, dear?
Brainiac-5: (walking forward towards Amazo) So... an enormous robot...
(Amazo shoots a heat-vision blast that goes between Lois and Brainiac-5, missing them both.)
Brainiac-5: ... with the powers of Superman. (almost smiling) This is exciting. (looking back to Lois) Uh, thank you for including me.
(Brainiac-5 goes into a run and starts to fly at Amazon. They meet in the middle and go spiraling into the sky.)

(Amazo's body drops down between all the heroes. Brainiac-5 flies down a few seconds after.)
Brainiac-5: Does the book say anything about what I should do with this? (holds up Amazo's motherboard.)

(John Deegan lies in a cell in Arkaam, his eyes vacant, his face gaunt. We hear a voice from the next cell.)
Man From Next Cell: Don't worry, Doctor. Everything is as it should be. The stage is set. Worlds will live. Worlds will die. And the universe will never be the same!
(The man is revealed to be wearing a gold featureless mask as he turns around to the camera. It is the Psycho-Pirate.)


Continuity

John Deegan has reimagined himself as the Superman of Earth One. He looks like the Superman of Earth-38, but wearing an all-black costume. It is revealed he got the idea from The Book of Destiny when he saw the battle with Amazo from F509.

Barry Allen and Oliver Queen have been turned into a group of robbers called The Trigger Twins.

John Diggle, Alex Danvers and Killer Frost now work for Superman in what was STAR Labs. Their organization is never given a name, but they are a peace-keeping force that back-up Superman, though Killer Frost says all they really do is get paid to massage Superman's ego.

STAR Labs is now decorated with the House of El symbol and is a base for Superman's peacekeepers.

Kara is Subject One and kept in a cell in the STAR Labs Pipeline.

Deegan tells Kara that he saw nothing about her or "The Man of Steel" whose face and powers he took apart from their battle with Amazo in F509.

The power dampeners in STAR Labs' cells are capable of weakening Kara's powers. Her cell is also equipped with sonic speakers that inflict tremendous pain on her due to her super-hearing.

Deegan reveals that he rewrote the destinies of everyone on Earth One so nobody is living the same life.

The Alex Danvers of Earth-1 is a closeted lesbian and a workaholic, whose background is close enough to that of the Earth-38 Alex Danvers that Kara is able to guess enough to convince her that, in another world, they are sisters.

Barry and Ollie plan to find this world's version of Cisco, breach to Earth-38, find the real Superman and get him to come fight the new Superman while they try and fix reality.

Barry makes reference to the Earth-2 Cisco he met in 213, describing him as not being very helpful.

The Monitor tells Barry and Ollie that self-sacrifice alone will not win the challenge but they must also know their true self.

Cisco Ramon is a club owner and crime-boss in Central City's underworld in the new reality. He insists on being addressed as Mr. Ramon.

Gary Green is a bartender and super-villain fanboy at Mr. Ramon's bar.

James Olsen is one of Mr. Ramon's bodyguards. He is known as Superman's Worst Pal.

Barry is able to persuade Mr. Ramon not to kill them by saying that he knew his brother Dante - the brother Barry

Mr. Ramon made his fortune using his powers to break into bank vaults.

The Alex Danvers created for Earth One is said to have dated a guy in IT. This could be a reference to Winn Schott. He apparently started dating Pam in HR.

Kara can speak Japanese. Alex taught her the language when she first came to Earth.

Kara wins the trust of the Earth One Alex by reciting a Japanese poem that Earth-38 Alex taught to her the first night they snuck out to fly together.

Earth-38 Alex spent a summer in Nagano, Japan when she was 6. She got homesick and a girl from the village took to the temple in secret one night. Alex wrote a wish on a note and put it in a crack in the wall of the temple, hoping it would come true.

Apart from being 7 instead of 6, the Earth-1 Alex did the exact same thing.

The little girl in the village taught Alex the poem, which in Japanese roughly translates to "pinky swear."

Kara tells the Earth-One Alex that her Alex was also drawn to a life of service, that she's in charge of an organization and she doesn't hide who she is or dare back down when she's told to do something that's wrong. He tells her that she wants a wife and children some days and that she's optimistic and thinks she can have everything she wants in life - it's just a mater of if, not when.

Superman has encountered other books that can rewrite reality like The Book of Destiny before and he knows how to use them. The author operates them through sheer force of will but changing the story in the book comes at a cost.

Mr. Ramon says he served time at STAR Labs.

Mr. Ramon runs for it once the Supermen start fighting.

Oliver starts fighting Diggle and Killer Frost in the elevator.

The Dark Superman's "Fortress of Solitude" is the STAR Labs Time Vault.

Superman is able to use the Book of Destiny to start restoring reality. He gives Barry and Ollie their powers and training back before the Dark Superman reclaims the book.

Oliver Queen is revealed to still have his Kryptonite Arrow.

As Deegan begins rewriting reality again, the STAR Labs building briefly acquires the double-lighting bolt symbol worn by the Nazis of Earth-X.

Superman reveals that he saw it written in the Book of Destiny that Kara and Barry die trying to slow down the rotation of the Earth. They decide to do it anyway.

Ollie asks Superman to get the book back from the Dark Superman. All he tells Superman about what he'll be doing is that he has an idea.

Lois arrives from Earth 38 with Martian Manhunter and Brainiac-5.

Brainiac-5 fights the new Amazo. J'onn focuses on protecting the civilians. Lois and Superman take on Deegan.

Time slows down just as Lois is sent airborn by the dark Superman. Superman catches her.

While time is slowed down, Oliver Queen emerges and shoots The Book of Destiny.

When the book is destroyed, it leaves John Deegan a comatose, desiccated husk.

Clark has finished fixing up the Kent Farm. He says he wanted to make sure it was perfect for Ma. This seems to indicate that Jonathan Kent is dead in this reality.

Clark tells Kara he's sure she is stronger than he is and that she and Alex will keep having each other's backs, even if Kara isn't part of the DEO.

Lois reveals that she's pregnant. She and Clark are going back to Argo City for a year so there are no complications with the pregnancy.

Clark asks Kara to take over protecting the Earth for him for a while, since he doesn't plan to be Superman for a while so he can focus on being a father.

Clark proposes to Lois Lane. She accepts.

As is their post-team-up tradition, Oliver and Barry go off for a drink alone.

Ollie says the one thing he'll miss about super-speed is the sense of clarity he felt when he entered Flashtime when nothing else was moving but him.

Barry guesses that Oliver talked to Monitor and did something to rewrite his and Kara's destiny. Ollie denies this, though he admits he did talk to the Monitor.

Barry tries to get Ollie to hug him again. Ollie refuses this year, but he does make a toast to appreciating what you have for however long you may have it.

Oliver gets a call from Batwoman, asking if he's sure John Deegan won't be a problem. She asks because she's been spying on him and he apparently made a new friend in Arkham Asylum, where he is not a patient.

The episode ends with Psycho-Pirate talking to John Deegan and assuring him that everything is going according to plan.

A title card at the end of the episode tells us to expect to see Crisis on Infinite Earths in Fall 2019.


Location

Earth-1 - Centeral City
Earth-38 - The Fortress of Solitude.
Earth-38 - Smallville, Kent Farm


Untelevised Adventures


Oliver, Barry and Mr. Ramon apparently made 16 other attempts to travel to Earth 38 before they got it right.

Amazo's fight with Braniac-5 takes place entirely off camera.


The Bottom Line

As a finale for the crossover, fantastic. As an episode of Supergirl... well, it's a little odd that Kara doesn't seem to do that much in an episode of her own show and that all the focus is on what her cousin and Barry and Oliver are doing while Kara is in prison. At least Kara escapes based on her own ability to empathize with people and isn't rescued by the male heroes but it's still a bit weird. Still, it's not like Kara wasn't awesome in the first two parts.

Starman Plays Betrayal at Krondor - Part 62

In which we easily sneak around many ambushes on the road to Nivek's office and then make our way back to Sarth as the game drops yet another subtle hint that we might want to go there.

You know - in case it wasn't obvious that we might want to check the biggest library in the world for The Book of Macros?


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 4, Episode 8 - Legends of To-Meow-Meow

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




Plot

John Constantine breaks the first rue of time-travel and tries to change his past. Only Zari and Charlie know what he has done, but Charlie and John keep trying to cover up their mistakes rather than fix it, as reality becomes more and more unstable.


Influences

The Steven Moffat era of Doctor Who (use of the phrase Timey Wimey, general idea of time travel comedy), The A-Team (the Custodians of the Chronology segment, general 80's high-action hero vibe), Charlie's Angels (the Sirens Of Space-Time segment, general 70's glam-action vibe), Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Gideon's fight with the vampires in the Sirens of Space-Time credits sequence), Moby Dick (the references to Charlie being the various teams' "white whale."), the "Smile Time" episode of Angel (the heroes are transformed into puppets) and any children's program featuring puppets or Muppets. (John references Fraggle Rock)


Goofs

It's a minor point, but we never do find out how Gideon got a body in the Sirens of Space-Time reality.

How big of a screw-up is everyone else in the Time Bureau for Gary Green to manage to be Runner-Up Employee of the Month?


Performances

Matt Ryan does a stellar job here, remaining as Constantine-y as ever, even when faced with sentient puppets and the kind of weirdness that not even he has to cope with on a regular basis.

Maisie Richardson-Sellers also does a bang-up job here, giving Charlie a bit of heart to go with her sassy personality. It would be easy enough for her to bolt and run but because she honesty does believe that people deserve to not be killed for being different, she sticks with trying to stop The Legends from being blood-thirsty lunatics.


Artistry

The production team did a fantastic job on the various credit sequences denoted each change to reality and emulating the feelings of a 1980s action show, a 1970s action show and Sesame Street in the episodes themselves. The stunts. The graphics. The music.  It's all perfect.


Trivia Of Tomorrow

During the Custodians of the Chronology segment, it is revealed that Oliver Queen, Barry Allen and Kara Zor-El all made attempts to contact The Custodians of the Chronology. Ray comments that this sounds like the annual crossover and Nate says they will pass. The same week this episode aired, the Elseworlds event was occurring between all of the other Arrowverse shows in 2018. Nate also makes a reference to how he bets they swap clothes this year - a reference to how the plot of Elseworlds saw Oliver Queen and Barry Allen trading identities after reality was rewritten.

Amy Pemberton, who provides the voice for Gideon, plays the more humanoid holographic Gideon in the Custodians of the Chronology segment and the Gideon with a physical form in the Sirens of Space-Time reality.

At one point, Ava makes a reference to "timey-wimey crap," This is a slightly more obscene take on a line from Doctor Who, where The Doctor described a complex situation as "timey-wimey stuff."


Technobabble/Arcana

Leprechans have luck manipulation powers.

John has a spell that allows him to break transmogrification spells, letting him change Zari back to her human form. It requires a bit of her hair. He can also reverse this spell, changing her back to a cat. He says this is far easier.

In addition to being reborn every time she changes shape and effectively immortal, Charlie's shape-shifting can also be used to heal injuries. She is able to instantly heal bullet wounds, sword-wounds and can even survive having her neck snapped.


Dialogue Triumphs

(Ray Palmer enters the casino with some kind of high-tech laser rifle in his hands.)
Ray: (growling) Reach for the sky you filthy animals! (pauses, then in a nicer voice) Pretty please?

Ray: Oh man! Garima's gonna flip when she hears we met Marilyn Monroe!
Nate: Do you think a murderous alien queen who sprang to life from Mick's fantasies is into Marilyn?
Mick: Yes.

John Constantine: This is not the when when I am supposed to be!

Zari: Because of you dicks I have been a cat for so long! (pointing to her mouth) Do you know where this tongue has been?
(John shakes his head, looking nervous and for once not taking the obvious straight line.)
Zari: Places!

(Mona and Charlie, who is disguised as Gary, bump into the real Gary Green while making their escape from the Time Bureau.)
Gary: Wait! Stop right there! (looking up and down at Charlie) Are you... me?
Charlie: ... yes. From the future.
Gary: (gasping in delight) Do I ever find love? Or at least my sunglasses? (thoughtfully) They might be in my other pants-
Charlie: Yes, Gary. All that and more.
(The sound of laser fire is heard down the hallway)
Charlie: But right now, I need you to delay The Custodians.
Gary: Okay. Oh! But be careful! There's been reports of a shape-shifter on the loose.
Charlie: (tensely) Yeah. I know that already.
(Gary raises an eyebrow at this, wondering why he's being so rude to himself.)
Charlie: ... because I'm you from the future, dummy!
(Charlie grins as Gary gapes and nods knowingly as Charlie copies his goofy laugh.)

Ava: Okay. I don't have time for all this timey-wimey crap.

(Sara, Ava and Gideon strut into Hank Heywood's office in matching tight leather outfits.)
Hank Heywood: Good morning, Sirens.
All: Good morning, Hank.
Hank Heywood: Well I hope you're ready to go to work today because we have one hell of a case on our hands.

(John and Charlie are in the front of the jump-ship, flying away from Salem 1692.)
John Constantine: You know, I hate to jinx us but I really think we nailed it this time.
Zari: (from behind them) I just hope you guys are right.
(John and Charlie turn around and look aghast. We then see that Zari is now a puppet.)
Zari: What's wrong? What are you looking at? Is there something on my nose?
(Zari reaches up to touch her nose... and sees that her hand is made of felt.)
Charlie: ... bullocks.

John Constantine: Fraggle Rock is going on here?
Puppet Sara: Well, today we learned about the importance of cooperating!
Puppet Ray: And about the number three!
Puppet Nate: And about a famous man from history named Napoleon!
All Except John: (nodding excitedly) Mmm-hmm, Mmm-hmm!
John Constantine: ... I think I need a drink.
Puppet Sara: Oh! We can help!
(On cue, music fills the ship.)
Puppet Sara: When you're thirsty for a drink -
Puppet Ray: And you just can't reach the sink -
All Except John: You gotta ask for help! You gotta-
John Constantine: (waving his hands) Alright! Please! Please! No more singing!
(The puppets all grumble.)

(Zari expresses concern for the strain altering the timeline is placing on John's health.)
John: I can take the pain, love.
Zari: What if you can't? What if you die, John? What happens to all the people who need you alive and Constantine-y?
John: Oh yeah? Well, you can leave that to the real heroes, all right, because I am done giving a damn.
Zari: Oh. I see. This isn't about saving Desmond anymore. It's an excuse for you to give up on yourself.

Charlie: You guys are so intent on killing magical creatures! Can't you see that this is wrong?
(Sara sighs and walks behind Charlie, seemingly troubled by the idea of killing needlessly.)
Sara: (flatly) Not really.
(Sara grabs Charlie's head and jerks her neck suddenly, snapping her neck.)

Desmond: Look, I thought this was real.
John Constantine: Yeah, it is real, Dez! And that's why I moved Heaven and Earth so that I could save you from a lifetime of - an eternity of anguish, that I caused. (pausing to steel himself) Look... I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm sorry you ever even met me.
Desmond: Don't be sorry. Only a fool would fall in love with John Constantine and not expect it to be rocky. I knew the risks. And I took them anyway. For you.
(John puts his hand on Desmond's shoulder.)
Desmond: I'm still pissed at you. (sighing) Why can't we just go back to the way things were?
John Constantine: That's exactly what I was thinking.
(John reaches into his pocket and pulls out a Time Bureau memory eraser.)
Desmond: What is that?
John Constantine: Know one thing, Desmond. I'm not quitting on you.
(John activates the eraser and leaves Desmond standing there as he makes his getaway.)

Zari: John. You okay?
John Constantine: Yeah, well - ah, my mind is no longer split in two, but... can't say the same about my heart, though.

(Ava is reading the last chapter of Mick's newest book.)
Ava: Let me get this straight - they're making love on the surface of the sun?
Mick: It's a...(pausing to think of the right word) a metaphor.
(Mick smiles as if proud for having that kind of depth.)

(Hank Heywood hanks up his phone, having been in formed of the Kaupe's escape on the golf course.)
Hank Heywood: Uh - there's been a setback, but we'll make it right.
(We shift camera angles to see Hank' golfing partner. It looks like Desmond.)
Neron: Oh, you'd better...
(The face shifts into a porous mass that looks like a giant sponge shape into a human face.)


Continuity

Charlie goes to 1962 Las Vegas disguised as Marilyn Monroe.

Charlie knows a leprechaun named Red who she finds playing the tables. He is later shot dead by The Legends.

In the new reality, Custodians of the Chronology, The Legends are gun-totting, A-Team style action heroes called Custodians of the Chronology. They have had a shoot-on-sight policy regarding magical creatures ever since the incident at Woodstock (i.e. 401) where Sara was killed by a unicorn. Nate is still part of the team and Zari has been stuck in the form of a cat ever since being transformed by the fairy godmother in 402. Garima is also part of the team, with Mick apparently having kept the Book of Brigid from 405. They have started decorating the Waverider with trophies of their kills. Gideon now has a more realistic projected avatar rather than a CGI head. Ava has dyed her hair black and is hiding in her office listening to Indigo Girls music mourning Sara, who has a memorial in the Time Bureau lobby. John Constantine was imprisoned by The Time Bureau after becoming dangerously unstable, as he remembered two separate timelines.

The Time Bureau lobby also has a plaque denoting Gary Green as Runner-Up Employee of the Month.

Mona helps John to escape prison as she hates The Custodians of the Chronology since killed her Kaupe friend and made him into a rug.

In the second altered reality, Sirens of Space-Time, Charlie and Constantine shoot the unicorn before it can kill Sara. Unfortunately, since this solved their problem before Sara recruited Constantine to help the Legends with the unicorn, John wasn't there to stop the Fairy Godmother from 402 from killing Mick, Nate and Ray. This caused Sara and Ava to develop a "shoot-on-sight" policy for magical creatures. Gideon was given an advanced robot body and Zari was apparently still transformed into a cat.

Ava's codename in the Sirens of Space-Time reality is Roundhouse.

Gideon's codename in the Sirens of Space-Time reality is Hard Drive.

The guns the Sirens choose in their armory are Heatwave's flame-thrower, Captain Cold's cold gun and Rip Hunter's revolver.

Gideon's body is equipped to detect shape-shifter pheromones. This is how she knows that Charlie isn't Amaya.

In the third altered reality, Puppets of Tomorrow, Charlie disguises herself as the fairy godmother and tricks Prudence Hawthrone into relinquishing her fairy godmother before she kills Nate, Mick and Ray With the bond severed, the fairy godmother latches onto Mick Rory, who calls his former teammates a bunch of "Time Bureau Puppets", transforming them into singing, kid's show hosts who teach positive moral lessons while saving the timeline, while he and the fairy godmother go off to steal a bunch of stuff. Zari is also turned into a puppet, though she manages to maintain her snarky personality.

In the fourth altered reality, Ava dies and is given a memorial in the Time Bureau lobby. The details of her death are not given.

In the fifth altered reality, Henry and Nate Heywood die in a battle with a garden gnome. They also get memorials in the Time Bureau lobby.

In the sixth alternate reality, Gary Green dies as a result of a Time Courier accident that sent him to Mt. Vesuvius. He also gets a memorial in the Time Bureau lobby. Despite it just being Gary, Charlie apparently elects to try and fix it so no one dies.

In the seventh alternate reality, there are no plaques but John passes out due to the strain of all the alterations to time on his memories. He finally agrees with Zari that they need to go back to the way things were before and abandons Charlie. This leads to Charlie taking the form of Ava, and getting the Legends to travel to New Orleans in 2018 in a bid to stop Zari and John. In this reality, The Legends once again have a "shoot-to-kill" policy regarding magical fugitives.

John uses a Time Bureau memory flasher to erase Desmond's memory of the past few minutes so he doesn't remember the fight he and second John had. Once the original John and Desmond kiss, the timeline is restored.

Charlie realizes that she is the missing X-Factor in all the alternate timelines and that if it hadn't been for her meeting The Legends, they never would have started capturing Fugitives alive.

John, Zari and Charlie arrive back at the Waverider as the rest of the team is tying up Mike The Spike, who is still in the body of the puppet Professor Stein.

It is suggested that Charlie might be bisexual, as she seems pleased that Zari thinks she is hot in her Amaya form.

It is revealed that Mick's pen name for his novels is Rebecca Silver - the writer from 406 who wrote the book Uncaged Desire that Mona gave to Nora Darhk.

Mick and Ava achieve a peace of sorts, like Sara wanted in 407.

Ava reads Mick's novel Heatwaves - An Erotic Space Odyssey.She says his female characters are shallow and libidoness and fun to read.

Mick, in turn, says he tried Ava's snickerdoodle recipe and liked it.

John tells Sara about what he did - altering the timeline, how he accidentally damned his boyfriend and his conflict with Neron. Sara says The Legends will help him, no matter what.

The Kaupe is revealed to have escaped Time Bureau HQ, as it had done at the end of 407.

Neron is revealed to be using Desmond's form on Earth and to be playing golf with Henry Heywood. Apparently Neron is the power behind Project Hades.


Location

Las Vegas, Nevada - 1962
Washington D.C. - Time Bureau HQ - 2018
Woodstock, New York - 1969
Salem, Massachusetts - 1692
New Orleans, Louisiana - 2018


The Bottom Line

Awesome. Just plain awesome. April 2019 cannot come fast enough.,