Monday, February 29, 2016

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 1, Episode 15 - Solitude

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


With Kara unwilling to work with the DEO in the wake of her aunt's death and Winn drafted by them to help fight a dangerous alien hacker with technopathic abilities, Kara and James must journey to the Fortress of Solitude to see answers on how to fight the creature known as Indigo. But will their working together strike the final blow to James' relationship with Lucy Lane?


The Outsiders comics of Judd Winick (the character of Indigo/Brainiac 8), All-Star Superman (the key to the Fortress of Solitude being made of a heavy material only Superman or another Kryptonian could lift), The X-Men movies (Indigo's appearance here bares more resemblance to the make-up design for Mystique than her appearance in the original comics) and Superman: The Movie (the interior design of The Fortress of Solitude and the sequence in which Kara must race to stop a missile is a tribute to Superman doing the same thing in the movie).


Granting that hypocrisy from Cat Grant is hardly unusual and that - given the events of 108 she would feel some sympathy for the victims of a hacker making private information public - it still seems odd that Cat was preaching the importance of always reporting the truth to James last week yet this week she's throwing out a gift-wrapped list of powerful people who make use of a website catering to married people who wish to cheat on their spouses because nobody will care about the scandal!


Jeremy Jordan has suffered a lot on this show, particularly in recent episodes. It almost seemed like the writers weren't sure to do with Winn now that he can no longer pine after Kara .  This episode proves a welcome change, as Winn gets to not only save the day by being a more capable hacker than anyone else at the DEO but he gets a nice little subplot where he tries to be nice to evil queen in training Siobhan Smythe.

Laura Vandervoort's performance as Indigo is interesting, to put it mildly. There's a cattiness to the performance that doesn't fit what I was expecting when I heard what character she was playing... and  yet I rather like the idea of a rogue Brainiac in a female robot body playing the femme fatale instead of the usual cool, dispassionate Coluan. It's a little cheesy but it's fun.

The scene in which Alex confesses to killing Astra and J'onn lying to cover for her ends with some wonderful non-verbal acting on the part of Melissa Benoist and David Harewood, as Kara just hugs Alex, J'onn tries to leave the room to give them some privacy and Kara just reaches out and grabs his arm before taking his hand and squeezing it. It's a wonderful yet silent acknowledgement of the relationship between the three.

Once again, the best scenes of the episode are any scene in which Melissa Benoist and Mehcad Brooks get to play off each other. The two have a great natural chemistry and it is a real treat seeing them at work.


The script this week is unusually smart, answering all the logical questions this show usually glosses over as I ask them, such as why Jimmy Olsen knows more about The Fortress of Solitude than Supergirl does.

The final action sequence - with Kara trying to bring down the rocket charging toward National City - is easily the best the show has seen to date.

Super Trivia

The symbol seen on the screen of Kara's rocket when it reawakens in The Phantom Zone - three circles forming a point-down equilateral triangle - is the symbol of Brainiac in the comics.  Indigo later refers to this symbol as the sign of her people - the font of omniscient knowledge.

The truck which nearly hits the car that Supergirl saves has a license plate which reads PLASTINO. This is a nod to artist Al Plastino, who not only co-created Supergirl but also co-created Brainiac.

James offers to take Lucy out to dinner at Noonan's so they can have some time alone together outside of work. This may be an ironic nod to Noonan's Sleazy Bar - the favorite watering hole of super-powered assassin Tommy "Hitman" Monaghan in the comic Hitman.

In the comics, Indigo first appeared in the Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day #1 special. Created in an uncertain future era, she traveled back in time to the early 21st century and arrived severely damaged. She attempted to heal herself by bonding with other electronic life-forms, causing tremendous damage in the process and indirectly killing two Titans. Once it was determined that she was no longer dangerous, she was later adopted into the new Outsiders team, formed by Nightwing and Arsenal.

It was later revealed that Indigo was really Brainiac 8 - the granddaughter of the future Brainiac 6 and that her sweet, innocent personality was a cover for a murderous android akin to the other Brainiacs. She was destroyed, resurrected again later as part of Superboy Prime's Legion of Doom, and destroyed again.

The DCTVU version of Indigo was once known as Brainiac 8 and was once linked to The Great Colun Cyber Construct. She was a descendant of the Brainiac clan. She was captured while trying to shut down Krypton's planetary defense system in order to kill everyone on the planet. She was also considered the most dangerous criminal ever sent to Fort Rozz.

Laura Vandervoort, the actress who plays Indigo, played Supergirl on Smallville.

Indigo's species is identified as Coluan - a highly intelligent, blue-skinned race from the planet Colu. They severed as super-computers on Krypton, responsible for running day to day operations.

In the comics, Coluans are a highly-intelligent green-skinned race from the planet Colu. Though considered cool and machine-like by other species, they are not a mechanical race.

The key to The Fortress of Solitude is made of a million tons of condensed dwarf star and is so heavy that only Superman and a few other select beings - including Supergirl - are capable of lifting it. This is a nod to the mini-series All-Star Superman, where Superman replaced the original key - a gigantic arrow disguised as a directional marker - with one made of dwarf star material.

The DCTVU version of the key is a compromise between the two designs from the comics. It doesn't look like a normal house key, unlike the version from All-Star Superman. Instead, it is an rod-shaped device, not unlike an over-sized arrow, with the House of El symbol engraved on one side.

The Fortress interior contains a statue of two figures holding a globe. The globe is Krypton and the two figures are Superman's parents, Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van.

There are a number of display cases inside the main room of The Fortress. One of them contains the rocket which brought Superman to Earth.

Another display case contains a Legion Flight Ring - the rings used to denote membership in the 30th Century superhero team The Legion of Superheroes, of which Superman was a member in the comics when he traveled forward in time as Superboy.

Kara identifies the robotic helper in The Fortress of Solitude as Kelex. This was also the name of the robotic butler who tended to The Fortress in John Byrne's Man of Steel mini-series.


Winn determines that Indigo created an oscillating variable matrix to cover her footprints.

Winn creates an inversion pathway to track Indigo down.

Winn knows more about Python 6 malware encryption than anyone at the DEO.

According to James, the key to the Fortress of Solitude is made of a million tons of condensed dwarf star.

Dialogue Triumphs

Alex: Kara, Hank was only doing his duty, okay? Protecting the planet, just like you do, every day!
Kara: I don't kill.
Alex: But soldiers do. When they have to. And Hank had to.

J'onn: As effective as kicking and punching is, next time you're angry about something... lets have coffee.

(After Indigo disappears from the monitors after hacking CatCo's computers)
Cat: Toyman Junior? You're the computer expert. Fix this.
Winn: (After Cat has left the room) I definitely liked it better when she did not know who I was.

Indigo: To think... I was once linked to The Great Colun Cyber Construct. And now I wander the same realm as Candy Crush.

James: Think we should run this by Director Henshaw?
Kara: ...No.
James: Kara, I know you're upset with him for what he did. I would be too! But that doesn't mean you have to fight this alone.
Kara; I'm not alone. I'm with you.

Kara: I miss Winn and Alex. I save the world better when I save it with people.
James: Well, you ARE saving it with me.

Indigo: I am invincible! I am a god!
Winn: No. You're just a glorified Windows Vista!


Kara prefers crullers to powdered donuts.

Cat refers to her own recent run-in with having her secrets exposed to the press by hackers in 108.

Supergirl flies faster than Superman, according to Jimmy Olsen.

James Olsen knows the location of The Fortress of Solitude and has been there several times.

Kara had never visited The Fortress of Solitude before, though Clark did invite her several times. She was afraid it would remind her of Krypton and make her feel homesick. Despite this, the Kelex robot in The Fortress of Solitude are programmed to respond to Kara's commands.

A different Kelex robot appeared in Kara's dreams of Krypton in 113. When James asks her about it, she says they were commonplace on Krypton.

The Coulans are identified as a highly intelligent, blue-skinned race from the planet Colu. They severed as super-computers on Krypton, responsible for running day to day operations.

Kara tells Lucy the story James told her about how his father gave him his first camera as a gift before dying in combat from 107. It turned out that Lucy had never heard that story before.

Fort Pemberton holds the closest nuclear missile silo to National City.

Indigo was the one responsible for reactivating Kara's ship and linking it to Fort Rozz so both could escape The Phantom Zone.

Winn hooks up with Siobhan, apparently making-out (or possibly more) in an elevator.

Lucy dumps James, thinking he is in love with Kara and knowing, from Kara's words, that she's in love with him.

Alex confesses to killing Astra. Kara forgives her.

At the episode's end, Non retrieves the pieces of Indigo's body.


The opening flashback takes place in The Phantom Zone, 13 years ago.

The Bottom Line

Possibly the best episode of the series to date. There's nothing tacked on and Laura Vandervoort turns Indigo into a gloriously memorable (if somewhat hammy) villain. Would that they'd given her a more memorable design (seriously, are they TRYING to provoke a lawsuit from Jennifer Lawerence and Fox?!) but the whole thing is so fun, smartly-written and well-acted you can forgive them.

Starman Plays Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines - Parts One & Two

In which we take our first steps into the World of Darkness. Which means character creation, sitting through the opening cinematic and clearing the intro level with the help of our new friend Jake The Vampire... I mean, Smiling Jack. DARKNESS!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Starman Plays Fallout 4 - Part Forty-Four

In which we perform our first escort mission for the Railroad and we take our first steps to becoming a team player (i.e. running all the little petty errands nobody else can be buggered with.)

On the bright side, we also become serious with Piper.

And you, yes YOU, will have a chance to determine where we go from here with this Let's Play!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Starman Plays Fallout 4 - Part Forty-Two & Forty Three

In which we encounter the inevitable sewer level and retake the old Railroad base called Switchboard. We also fight a TON of robots!

Then, in part two, we get to know the collection of druggies, loonies and snobs that make up The Railroad's high command. We also begin our first mission as a full Railroad agent!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Starman Plays Fallout 4 - Part Forty-One

In which we skip ahead down The Freedom Trail , take on our first mission for The Railroad and meet with Yosemite Sam regarding them consarn chrome-dome Synth critters!

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 1, Episode 6 - Star City 2046

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


When an attack by Chronos forces The Waverider to make an emergency landing in Star City 2046, the team is confronted with an image of a future where they fail to stop Vandal Savage and never return home. This potential Star City is a lawless hellhole where crime and corruption run rampant. For most of the team, it's a disturbing reminder of the price of failure. For Heatwave, however, it's paradise.

Now, as Jax and Ray ponder a romance with Kendra while repairing the ship, Sara will go off the reservation to learn more about the future of her city. Specifically who is the new Green Arrow that is fighting a one-man battle to save Star City? And whatever happened to Oliver Queen?


The Dark Knight Returns
(an older, one-armed Oliver Queen, fighting the god fight alone), Escape From New York (the general aesthetic of Star City in this dark future) and the Green Arrow comics of Chuck Dixon (character of Connor Hawke).


Caity Lotz shines the brightest once again in this episode, easily carrying the weight of the episode on her shoulders. For obvious reasons the main focus of the story is on Sara and Lotz proves more than capable of holding that focus. It's an odd thing given her intended role on the team, but Sara has quickly become the moral heart of the team, calling Rip on his BS about not getting involved.

Stephen Amell plays an entirely different Oliver Queen in this episode but - as with the various versions of the character he's played on Arrow - he does it well.


The fight sequences are all top-notch, particularly Connor Hawke holding his own against all the Legends and the final sequence with an older Green Arrow fighting the new Deathstroke.

The set-design for post-apocalyptic Star City looks great.

Trivia Of Tomorrow

In the comics, Connor Hawke was Oliver Queen's illegitimate son by ex-lover Sandra "Moonday" Hawke. A free-spirited hippie and daughter of a Korean immigrant mother and African-American soldier father, Sandra never told Oliver about their son. Oliver would not learn about Connor until years later, shortly before his death. Connor had been raised in a Buddhist ashram, and taught the ways of aikido archery, though he was a more proficient martial artist than he was an archer. Connor then took up the name of Green Arrow to honor his father's legacy, eventually earning membership in The Justice League.

In the New 52 Earth 2 reality, Connor Hawke is also the name of a hero called The Red Arrow. Curiously, this version of Connor Hawke bears a physical resemblance to the comics version of Roy Harper, being a Caucasian man with red hair.

The DCTVU version of Connor Hawke is John Diggle Jr. He adopted the name Connor Hawke, believing himself unworthy of his father's name after he failed to save his life at some unspecified point. The significance of this is not explained.

The new Deathstroke is identified by the name Grant Wilson and is confirmed to be the son of Slade Wilson. In the comics, Grant Wilson was Slade Wilson's eldest son, who underwent similar treatments to the process that turned Slade Wilson into a super-soldier under the supervision of HIVE. Dubbing himself Ravager, he sought to destroy The Teen Titans.

The DCTVU version of Grant Wilson isn't given much of a definitive background. We learn that he lead an army against Star City in 2031 and that most of the city's heroes were killed in the battle that followed and that Oliver Queen lost his left arm.

The design of 2046 Oliver Queen is a nod to his portrayal in the classic graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns. That story, also set in a dark future, featured a one-armed, senior-citizen Oliver Queen, who was apparently the only active independent superhero until Batman came out of retirement.

Heatwave dubs two of the members of his gang Fonzie and Kenicke. Fonzie was a character from the show Happy Days. Kenicke was a character from the musical Grease.  Both characters were meant to be 1950's tough-guys.

Oliver says that all of Smoak Technologies old equipment is being kept in a warehouse on Adams and O'Neil. This is a nod to artist Neal Adams and writer Dennis O'Neil, who worked together on the now legendary Green Lantern/Green Arrow run that redefined Oliver Queen as a modern-day Robin Hood.


In addition to the propulsion system being "jacked" as Jax puts it, The Waverider also suffers damage to the Neuromorphic Interface for Gideon's logic and navigation matrix. Without it, Gideon cannot function.

Palmer Tech was working on a self-learning, Neuromorphic Cortex in 2016.

Connor Hawke's costume is made of high-density Kevlar, capable of repelling bullets at point-blank range.

At one point, Ray works on repairing something called a quantum manifold.

Dialogue Triumphs

Rory:  You know what I think? I think you think too much.

Sara: I'm coming with.
Rip: No, no you are not. You're too emotionally connected to the city. We've been over this.
Sara: I'm over you. You got us on a mission to change the timeline for yourself. And you won't even let us look at our futures? Now, I know this city better than anyone else, and you're gonna need me out there. So either I'm coming with, or we can find out if the Time Masters are as good at teaching people to fight as the League of Assassins.

Rory: Ah, isn't the future great?
Snart: We really should be getting back to Rip and Sara.
Rory: Why?
Snart: 'Cause I'm not looking to put down roots here.
Rory: Why not? It's everything we've ever wanted. I got a gang that does everything I tell them to. I got a fur coat. I got a chalice!

Sara: Everyone thinks that you're dead.
Oliver; They're not wrong. (to the new Green Arrow) Put the arrow down, John. You're embarrassing yourself.
Sara: John?
Oliver: John Diggle Junior.
Connor: My dad is dead because I couldn't save him. I don't deserve his name. I'm Connor Hawke.
Oliver: So you won't take his name, but it's all right to parade around in someone else's outfit?
Connor: Well, someone has to, because last time that I checked, you were dead.

Stein: Is there something wrong, Ms. Lance?
Sara: Well, all my friends and family are dead, except for Oliver Queen, who happens to be dead inside and missing his left arm.
Rip: Sara, I have told you-
Sara: That this is just a potential future and that it's all gonna go back when we return to 2016... if we return. But what if we don't? We all know Carter's not coming back! It's not like we have the safest line of work.
Jax: I think if Sara wants to stay and help that then we should. I mean, that's what we signed up for: to be heroes.
Stein: I agree with Jefferson.
Rip: Yes, of course you both do, because neither of you understand the pitfalls of changing the timeline. Meddling with the future is arguably more dangerous than changing the past, because it is still in flux.
Sara: Your wife and son's death are in the future. You want us to change that.
Rip: Do not play that card with me.
Sara: So what? Are you only willing to risk the timeline if it's your own family?
Rip: I am not just trying to save my family and I'm not just trying to save one city, but the entire world! I'm not the one being selfish, Sara.
Sara: Go to hell.
Rip: Most likely.

Oliver: Thought I told you to go.
Sara: Grant Wilson has Connor. They're gonna kill him.
Oliver: He knew what he was signing up for and you know there's nothing I can do to help him.
Sara: That's not the Oliver Queen that I know.
Oliver: Maybe I'm not that person anymore. Look at me, Sara. I'm literally half the man I used to be.
Sara: Then that's the half this city needs. He's got too many men, Ollie. I can't do this by myself.
Oliver: What about your friends?
Sara: I'm on my own... unless I'm not.
Oliver: Come on, Sara.
Sara: I never got the chance to ask Connor why he wears the hood. But I know why. It's because this city will always need a Green Arrow.

Oliver: That's good shooting, John.
Connor: It's Connor.
Oliver: Either way, it's Green Arrow.

Rip: I'm just working on determining our next destination. I've considered your suggestion of Hell, but I think I'll give it a miss for the time being.
Sara: I just wanted to say thank you for sending the team to back me up.
Rip: As it turns out, you were right.
Sara: That must have been hard to say.
Rip: Of late I've discovered that I still have a lot to learn, I admit. Including the fact that every future is worth fighting for. That said... this mission is going to continue to present us with difficult choices, and I need to know that you are a member of this team.
Sara: I guess so.


In a past life, Kendra worked as a shipyard welder in 1944.

Stein refers to meeting his past self in 102.

Snart refers to Rory and Palmer becoming buddy-buddy in 105.

Snart refers to pulling a heists on a Blackhawk armored truck. Blackhawk Securities first appeared in A111.


Star City - 2046.

Untelevised Adventures

Reference is made to an Uprising in 2031, in which most of the heroes of Star City died.

Snart refers to pulling a heist on a Blackhawk armored truck and a job a the Del Ray Security Exchange with Rory at some point in the past.

The Bottom Line

Generally enjoyable, though we could have spent more time developing the future Star City and less time on Ray and Jax suddenly competing over Kendra - a move that seems to have come out of nowhere and seems rather tasteless given how recently Carter died. Connor Hawke and Grant Wilson are barely touched upon and it would have been nice to have some explanation for why John Diggle Jr. chose that alias.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Starman Plays Fallout 4 - Parts Thirty-Nine and Forty

In which we go deeper into the asylum and confront Lorenzo Cabot. We then go on to explore the mysteries of The Pickman gallery and discover that my camera won't record for more than 37 minutes or so at a time.

So we finish that up in in the very short Part Forty. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 4, Episode 15 - Taken

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


When Damien Darhk kidnaps his son, Oliver will turn to another old friend - the animal-empowered Vixen - for help. But even if Oliver can save William, can he save his relationship with Felicity when she finds out he's been hiding his son from her? Meanwhile, Thea confronts Malcolm on his recent activities and her suspicions that he was involved with William's kidnapping.

In the flashbacks, Oliver confronts the hostile spirits protecting the magical artifact Reiter seeks.


The Taken movie franchise (title and plot of father trying to rescue family), Green Arrow: Year One (the flashback sequences on Lian Yu), the Green Arrow comics of Elliot S! Maggin (the plot of Oliver Queen running for mayor and various corrupt forces working against him), the original story of Aladdin (Reiter's story of a hidden place only one chosen of the gods may enter to retrieve a magic item is reminiscent of the cave holding the lamp), Gail Simone's New 52 run on Batgirl (the implant Curtis develops is similar to what was used to enable Barbara Gordon to walk again in the comics)Gail Simone's Birds of Prey (the scenes of Felicity's physical therapy) and The CW Seed Vixen animated series.


Felicity rightly calls Oliver out for his stupidity in ever agreeing to Samantha's bargain - probably the biggest contrivance for artificial drama in the show's history. She even points out, when Oliver tries to defend Samantha's horrible request by pointing out that William's kidnapping is exactly the sort of thing Samantha was afraid would happen, that keeping the secret from her did jack and squat to protect William.

The CGI of Ollie grappling onto the roof of Darhk's skyscraper may be the worst effect the show has ever seen.

While I applaud the writers trying to give Laurel something to do for once besides take up space in the action scenes, Laurel having a breakdown in her father's office and whining about Oliver cheating on her years ago seems incredibly petty.  So does Laurel's refusing to take Samantha's apology for sleeping with Oliver and saying that Ollie is the one who should apologize... in front of Oliver and Felicity.


Megalyn Echikunwoke gives a fine performance as Vixen, playing the character with the same cool confidence she displayed in the animated series. Hopefully this won't be the last we'll see of her in the live action DCTVU.

Willa Holland does a phenomenal job selling the scene and holding her own against John Barrowman in the scene when Thea finally tells off Malcolm.

Stephen Amell absolutely nails Oliver's speech to William at the end.


The first scene in which we see Vixen chasing down the criminals is well-shot and paced.

The special effects used to create the animal effects for Vixen are quite good and look like they came straight from the comics.

The final sequence, in which Felicity finds herself able to walk and then literally walks out on Oliver is a powerful one and well directed.


In the original comics, Mari McCabe was part of a small African tribe and inherented The Tantu Totem from her mother. She later immigrated to America, where she became a fashion model, fought crime as The Vixen and was recruited into the new Justice League, led by Aquaman and based in Detroit.

Vixen first appeared in an animated series on The CW Seed which officially ties into the DCTV Universe. The Arrow, The Flash, Vibe and Felicity Smoak all made appearances in the series' first season.  Oliver refers to this, saying that he and Vixen had "an animated encounter last year".

The DCTVU version of Vixen was orphaned and sent to America, where she was raised in Detroit by her foster parents Chuck and Patty. She's an aspiring fashion designer, rather than a model.

The DCTVU version of Vixen has the same powers as her counter-book counterpart, being able to access the Ashe - life force or power - of the animal kingdom, allowing her to replicate the abilities of any animal.  She does this using a magical necklace called The Tantu Totem, made by the African trickster god Anansi for a warrior named Tantu.

Darhk identifies Mari's necklace as being from the M'Changa province and says he saw the artifact once before.  In the comics and the animated series, the M'Changa province of the fictional African country of Zambesi is where Vixen was born.

Mari said that she called a friend named Dr. Macalester regarding Darhk's totem.  This is the name of the college professor in the Vixen animated series who told her of the legends of the Tantu Totem.


The Tantu Totem works by allowing Vixen to magically channel the Ashe or spirit of any animal and utilize their special abilities. This includes the strength of a gorilla, the speed of a cheetah, the flying powers of an eagle and the tracking abilities of a bloodhound.

Vixen's contact, Dr. Macalester, identifies Darhk's idol as a Kushu Idol - very rare and powerful, but its power requires a constant connection to one of the Earth's ley lines. Vixen describes the ley lines as magical wi-fi and the idol as the internet connection.

Dialogue Triumphs

Felicity: We have extremely powerful friends. You do not know who you're messing with!
Darhk: If it makes you happy, the messing ends today. I tried to bring you into the fold, Mr. Queen. I tried to kidnap your nearest and dearest. I tried to kill you but none of that took.
Oliver: Well, like she said, you don't know who you're messing with.
Darhk: I suspect that is true. But as they say - or should - the fourth time is the charm.
(Oliver's phone begins to ring.)
Darhk: Go ahead. Take a look. I'll wait.
(Ollie looks at his phone.  He sees a video of William playing in front of a fireplace.)
Darhk: William thinks that I'm friends with his mother. Funny. (chuckles) Anywho, 6 o'clock on Friday you're going to hold a press conference and drop out of the mayoral race. Oh, that's 6 PM by the way. I will be at home watching you from my brand new television.
(Darhk gets in his car and is driven off.)
Felicity: What did he show you on your phone? Who's William?
Ollie: He's my son.

Felicity: God, Oliver are you the only person on Earth who considers the truth complicated!

Oliver: The boy Darhk has - William? He's my son.
(Diggle and Laurel look stunned.)
Felicity: Yeah, I just found out too. Apparently the only two people that knew about William were Oliver and Darhk.
Thea: (quietly) Actually, I found out, too... um....
(Felicity glares at Thea)
Laurel (quickly, trying to change the subject) Um, what's our next plan?
Felicity: William lives in Central City, right?
Oliver: Yep.
Felicity: I will call Barry. See what CCPD can do. Is it okay that I tell Barry that William's your-
(Oliver shifts uncomfortably. Felicity just stares at him.)
Felicity: Barry knew too?
Oliver: (to Thea, trying not to look at Felicity) Let's get in touch with Malcolm. He has an ax to grind after what happened to The League. (turning back to Felicity) And um... Malcolm knows as well.
Felicity: (coldly) Maybe it would be easier to list the people who don't know about your son.

Thug: Come on out! Face us like a man!
Vixen: I've got a better idea. How about I kick your ass like a woman instead?

Thea: Did you tell Darhk about Ollie's son?
Malcolm: Do you really think I'd do something like that?
Thea: Just answer the question!
Merlyn: No. No, I won't. Because you should know me better than to ask me the question.
Thea: I know you all too well.

Vixen: You're doing everything you possibly can. You can't beat yourself up about it.
Oliver: Well, you don't know me very well, do you?

Vixen: I heard what you told Felicity about keeping him close. Owl ears. Uh, I never knew my real parents. I grew up in foster home, and my whole life, I wondered, "Who am I? Where did I come from? Why didn't my real parents want me?"
Oliver: A boy should know who his father is.
Vixen: He should. And he will.  But knowing what William's going through right now, I realize that I wasn't ready for the answers. Learning about my heritage, my powers, the evil my mother fled our homeland to protect me from? No child should have to carry that burden. I mean, look around you. Oliver. The best gift you can give him is his childhood. Keep him as far away from your world for as long as possible.

(Laurel is about to use the Canary Cry when Darhk begins strangling her... and Speedy and Green Arrow as the same time.)
Darhk: I'm sorry. I can't hear you with your throats closing up like that.

Vixen: Have you thought anymore about what I said?
Oliver: I--I just got him back.
Vixen: Let me just say for all the frustrations I have about my real parents giving me up, I am so grateful I was raised in a situation where that was my biggest issue in life. Best things my parents ever gave me was that freedom. That and this totem, that makes me a total badass.
Oliver: You don't need a totem for that.
Vixen: You're damn right I don't.

Merlyn: I heard you found the boy. You can't believe how relieved I am -
Thea: Cut the crap!
Merlyn: Excuse me?
Thea: I know it was you. You took him out of spite!
Merlyn: For us. You have to believe me I did it for us!
Thea: You, you purposely... you put him in danger. How... you know what? I'm not doing this anymore. This song-and-dance where you come over to my apartment and you whisper your lies, it is over!
Merlyn: Thea! I did it to protect us!
Thea: Shut up. How could you possibly think that there was an us to protect? You know, sometimes, I lay awake at night? And I wonder what Robert would think about our relationship. He raised me. He loved me. And I threw that all away the moment I became your daughter.
Merlyn: Yes. Yes, you did, and it was your choice.
Thea: And I wish I never did.
Merlyn: Don't you dare speak to me like that! You would be dead ten times over if not for me! I taught you how to fight, how to be strong! I turned you from a delicate, spoiled brat into a warrior! And all I've ever gotten from you in return is your venomous spite!
Thea: For a very good reason!
Merlyn: You have no idea what you are up against! You are incapable of seeing the bigger picture! But I can! And I would rather you hate me and be alive than love me and be dead!

Oliver: Hi, William. I hope you're well. And I hope you're safe. There's something that I-- I want to tell you. I wanted to tell you before, but... But this is better. I'm your father. Biologically, that is. And as far as really being your father goes... I haven't earned that yet. A father should be there for his child, every day no matter what, to make sure that they feel loved, that they feel safe. And a child should be able to rely on their father and go to him for-- for guidance and reassurance. I have failed to do that for you... And now I'm--I'm gonna tell you why. (pauses) I'm the Green Arrow, and my life is very dangerous, which is why... We decided to keep you out of it for all these years. What happened to you in Star City?  That was my fault. And I can't allow anything like that to happen ever again. That's why I've asked your mother to move you far away and to not tell anyone where she's taking you. Including me. It's also why I asked her to wait to show you this message... until after your 18th birthday. I wanted to give you a real childhood. I wanted to give you that gift. Goodbye, Son. I sure hope it's not forever.

Dialogue Disasters

Samantha: Look, Laurel. It was one time. And I knew that you and Oliver were together. But I was young. And stupid. And selfish. And I should have been honest with you.
Laurel: No. Oliver should have been.


Curtis' husband Paul  is a physical therapist.

Darhk refers to his attempts to recruit Oliver into HIVE (407), kill his family (409) and finally to kill Oliver himself (also 409).

Oliver tells Felicity, John and Laurel about the ultimatum he was given by Samantha Clayton in 408 that he would never see his son unless he promised to tell no one about him.

Barry Allen was the one who clued Samantha Clayton in on contacting Ollie regarding William's kidnapping.

Oliver reveals that he is The Green Arrow to Samantha Clayton.

Vixen uses William's favorite toy - an action figure of The Flash - to get his scent and track him.

Thea found out about Malcolm's hand being cut off in 413.

Quentin refers to the idol Darhk' gets his power from, which we saw in 401.

Oliver suspends his campaign and endorses Ruve Adams.

Darhl's totem is destroyed by Vixen and he is left without magic as a result. He is also arrested for Williams' kidnapping.

When the police question William, they discover that he was taken by a one-handed man - Merlyn.

When Samantha gives William back his Flash figure, he says he'd like to get a Green Arrow one instead.

Felicity is able to walk out of her and Oliver's apartment after removing her engagement ring.


Oliver goes to meet Vixen in person in Detroit, Michigan.

Untelevised Adventures

John Constantine is apparently in Hell, which is why Oliver can't call him for help.

Mari apparently met Laurel Lance as Black Canary at some point between this episode and the end of Season One of the animated series. She's also spoken to Felicity on the phone before.

Mari says she's gone against several people with magical powers and all of them had a totem like hers.

The Winick Factor

Nearly everyone takes Oliver to task for being an idiot and/or a bad father in this episode. Samantha blames Oliver completely for a situation that was caused, in part, by her draconian demands. Diggle doesn't say anything but seems to be judging Oliver for agreeing to keep his distance from his son, based on his speech about needing to be there for your child every day. And Laurel further cements her position as the worst person ever by saying that Ollie was wholly to blame for the tryst that resulted in William's conception when Samantha tries to apologize to her for sleeping with Ollie when he and Laurel were dating,  To make matters worse, she says this in front of Oliver and Felicity! You know it's bad when the only person who seems willing to lend Oliver a sympathetic ear in the whole episode is Vixen!

On that note, it really undercuts Oliver - and the rest of Team Arrow - that Vixen is the one to defeat Darhk instead of them. Granting that the season is not over yet, it still makes them look bad that some relatively new heroine was able to deal with the bad guy that has been running them ragged all season.

The Bottom Line

As an introduction to Vixen and a back-door pilot for a live-action solo series or commercial for Season Two of the animated series, it's pretty good. As an episode of Arrow, however, it stinks.

Arrow: The Dark Archer #4 - A Review

At the mercy of Saracon of The Hidden, Malcolm Merlyn must tell a story. A story of the time when he was a man called Arthur King. A story of how he first encountered The League of Assassins...

John Barrowman and Carole E. Barrowman are spinning a rich and intricate tale with this mini-series. The scope of this story is cinematic and the art team do a fantastic job of depicting the action of the script. The action is lain out well and the colors perfectly suit each scene. And you don't have to be a fan of the Arrow series to enjoy it!

Starman Plays Fallout 4 - Part Thirty-Eight

In which we hit the road with Jack Cabot to go deal with his wayward father and "God only knows what," (i.e. raiders).

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 2, Episode 15 - King Shark

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


The closing of the breaches and the loss of Jay Garrick has hit the team hard. Harry and Jesse Wells must learn to cope with life on a new Earth. Caitlin throws herself into her work, closing herself off from everyone emotionally in a way that seems disturbingly familiar to Cisco. And Barry still can't shake the feelings of guilt regarding how badly he disrupted the life of his Earth-2 counterpart and cased Joe West's death.

Thankfully, they'll have little time for brooding when the Earth 2 refugee known as King Shark escapes from an ARGUS holding facility. Lyla and John Diggle travel to Central City to warn Barry that King Shark is out for The Flash's blood - a problem Barry will have to cope with while trying to get to know Wally West better.


The Flash: Season Zero #11-18
(aspects of this story were utilized in creating the Earth 2 King Shark, including his name and the Earth 1 Shay Lamden being a cancer patient) and Jaws (The episode's advertising specifically referenced the movie, Wally calls King Shark Jaws at one point and Cisco makes numerous references to the movie with his jokes.)


Everything in this episode regarding King Shark contradicts the story-line in The Flash: Season Zero #11-18, which introduced King Shark into the reality of the show. This may not be an official goof, but it is odd since the comics were nominally meant to be set in the same universe as the show. The contradictions are noted in Flash Facts.

Why does King Shark just leave The Flash there after knocking him down outside The West home? It's not like ARGUS has had any luck hurting him so far and it wouldn't have taken that much time to grab The Flash and take him as a meal to go before the ARGUS team gets there.

King Shark claims to be able to track The Flash by scent yet this is contradicted by the later scenes in which Caitlin determines that King Shark was using passive electrolocation to track him.


John Diggle and Barry Allen have never gotten much chance to interact in any of the various Flash/Arrow crossovers. While they still don't get a lot of time here, the brief moments where they discuss Felicity and Barry feeling closed off from her and John warning Barry against taking on too much and giving into grief are both nice scenes. David Ramsey and Grant Gustin play them perfectly.

Danielle Panabaker nails it again this episode - both playing the grief-stricken, closed-off Caitlin at the start and in taking on the Killer Frost persona to prank Cisco at the end.

Violett Beane is barely given any more to do in this episode than her brief scenes as a girl hostage in earlier episodes. Still, we do start to see some of the sass and intelligence that her rather mentioned here and Beane does a good job of playing Jesse Wells here with what little she is given.


The special effects that bring King Shark to life may be the best in the show's history. He looks amazingly real, even in the daytime scenes.

Flash Facts

Originally a Superboy villain, King Shark had two wildly conflicting origins - one that named him as a mutant that evolved from sharks as man evolved from apes and the other that named him as a son of an ancient Hawaiian Shark God. The New 52 incarnation of King Shark is a member of the Suicide Squad and has no clear background as of yet.

Curiously, The Flash: Season Zero comic introduced an Earth 1 version of King Shark in an eight-part storyline told in The Flash: Season Zero #11-18.  This King Shark was a sick man named Shay Lamden, who was caught in the Particle Accelerator Explosion while undergoing an experimental treatment involving shark cells.  The merger of dark matter and shark DNA transformed Shay into an ever-hungry monster, who the DCTVU version of Amanda Waller eventually recruited into The Suicide Squad. In the comic, his wife was named Christina.

According to Wells, the Earth 2 King Shark was a man named Shay Lamden who was a marine biologist before the Earth 2 Particle Accelerator explosion changed him into a half-man/half-shark creature, who fell under Zoom's control.

The Earth 1 Shay Lamden died on the night of the particle accelerator explosion.  He apparently died after the particle accelerator explosion caused every cell in his body to grow uncontrollably for three days, turning him into something not-human. Officially he was listed as having died of cancer. His wife, Dr. Tanya Lamden, is a research scientist at Nautilus Labs, where she studies sharks.

As in the comics, King Shark has super-strength, increased durability and bullet-proof skin. He swims fast enough that he can keep pace with The Flash running on water and claims to have the ability to track by scent.


Harry says that the quark matter energy used to seal the breaches prevents them from being opened ever again. Ergo, there is no way of reopening them and returning to Earth 2.

King Shark can only stay out of the water for a few hours before he has to return to a body of water and reoxygenate his blood.

Wally developed plans for a turbine-powered supercar. The car would have an engine like the ones used on some helicopters, only it would run on bio-diesel.

Barry points out the vehicle would have fuel economy issues, since the engine is basically a small-scale jet engine it will burn fuel quickly. Wally says this is why he wanted to use bio-diesel - so the car could run on anything that burns with oxygen.

Barry also points out that the noise generated by a turbine-powered supercar would wake anyone trying to sleep nearby while the engine was running.

Harry creates a probability distribution algorithm utilizing partial matching strategies, based on semantic trajectories (i.e. water, Central City, The Flash) to find King Shark. Jesse suggesst he also consider mobility behaviors.

Wally says the hardest part of his design was amplifying the torque without increasing drag. A heavier engine would only slow the car down but the streamline version he designed should optimize both torque and horsepower. Barry worries this won't be enough and suggests a one-to-one transfer gearbox to drop the output shaft of the engine, reverse rotation and send more power to the torque converter.

Sharks are predators that use passive electrolocation to find their prey. They sense the bio-electrical potential around the bodies of other fish. Caitlin theorizes that King Shark can sense the electricity in Barry Allen's body.

Caitlin then suggests that they can track King Shark using active electrolocation - this is when a fish generates an electrical field and uses it to find other fish by detecting disturbances in that field. Cisco calculates that they can use the STAR Labs satellite to generate a specific electric field and then measure any electrical distortions that correlate to a one-ton walking shark.

Cisco also crafts a "Flash lure" on a buoy, rigged to mimic and enhance the electric field Barry's body generates naturally.  He also stuffs it with what he thinks is enough tranquilizers to put King Shark to sleep for a month.

Harry crafts a container made of promethium metal to contain King Shark after he is subdued. He says it is impenetrable.

When running through things that could be going wrong with the scanner, Jesse Wells asks Cisco if he set the right distortion scope.

Barry ultimately defeats King Shark by using his powers to electrify the water around him, and throwing lighting at King Shark after running a circle around him.

Cisco tries to adjust the wavelength trigger on Reverb's glasses to see if he can get them to work on Earth 1.

Cisco suggests there is something wrong with Caitlin's circulation and that she might have Raynaud's Disease - a condition where blood flow to the hands is reduced in response to cold or emotional distress.

Dialogue Triumphs

Harry: In the meantime, I would not say anything about her counterpart from my Earth. That goes for Joe and Iris too.
Barry: Why?
Harry: Because you don't want to influence their reality in ways that should not be influenced.
Cisco: Like in the same way as when Barry time-travels?
Harry: Exactly. But also... what's the point? None of those people - they're not you're people. Their lives are not your lives. Never were. Never will be. Bury it. Move on.

(The Flash runs around Central City)
Barry: (V/O) So that's what we did. We didn't talk about Earth 2.
(We see Harry and Jesse moving into a room at STAR Labs with some cots set up.  Harry seems about to say something but then thinks better of it as he sees the unhappy look on Jesse's face.)
Barry: (V/O) We kept what happened there between the three of us and got on with our lives knowing there was nothing we could do now to stop Zoom.
(We see Caitlin in the lab hard, working with a flash of Velocity 9, until her gaze falls on Jay Garrick's helmet, which is on the end of her lab table. She sighs as Cisco watches her, clearly concerned.)
Barry: (V/O) Instead we tried to just adjust to our new circumstances. And cope with our losses. Jay's death took it's toll. It left scars on all of us. Some more than others.
(We see Joe and Iris setting the table for dinner at the West home. Barry watches them, looking sad.)
Barry: (V/O) And so to try and keep my my mind off thoughts of the surreal other-life I experienced that wasn't my own, I kept running. Waiting for some other metahuman threat to rear its ugly head and distract me from the frustration I was feeling.  And as fate would have it, I would not have to wait long.

Cisco: We're going to need a bigger Flash.

Barry: I just wanna catch this thing, man... have everything with Zoom and Earth 2 put behind us so we can just move on with our lives.
Diggle: You're starting to do that thing Oliver does, Barry. Carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. Gotta stop that, man. It's gonna slow you down.

Cisco: You are not yourself, Caitlin. And it's freaking me out because you have this icy look in your eyes like you did over there.
Over there?
(Cisco makes a face as he realized what he just said)
Caitlin: You mean Earth 2?
Cisco: No. Uh... no. What I meant to say...was, um...
Caitlin: (advancing on Cisco) You met my doppleganger, didn't you?
Cisco: (forcing a laugh) What?! No!
Caitlin:(firmly) Cisco...
Cisco: Look, I'm not supposed to say anything.
Caitlin: Why not?
Cisco: Because I'm not supposed to say anything!
Caitlin: (firecely) Francisco Ramon, if you don't start talking - 
Cisco: Okay! Fine! Yes! I met your doppleganger! She's a cold-hearted ice queen named Killer Frost! A metahuman who enjoyed killing!  A lot. There! Great! Now Harry's going to kill me and throw my stuff across the room.
Caitlin: Cisco... I'm not a meta-human. 
Cisco: Okay, I hear you, but you're acting just like she did over there. You're being shut off. You're being detached. You're being cold...
Caitlin: Because I have to be right now! I just watched Jay get killed! Right in front of my eyes! Just when I was starting to feel normal again. Just when I was beginning to love! So, if I let myself feel? If I let all of that pain and anger out, it's never going to stop. And that's not gonna help me either. So let's just get back to this research and figure out how to find King Shark. 
Cisco: Okay.
Joe: I don't suppose my homeowner's insurance covers a Sharknado attack?
Wally: I don't understand you people. Jaws busts through your house like the Kool-Aid Man, The Flash shows up and ya'll just act like it's no big deal.
Iris: Yeah, well we've had a lot of weird thing happen in Central City over the past two years.
Wally: Weirder than a talking shark wearing pants?
Joe: Man, you'd be surprised.

(Barry tells Joe and Iris about how the Earth 2 Joe died)
Barry: I knew that it wasn't you. That none of that... was this life but... I mean, watching it happen in front of me. Living that? It didn't feel any different, because it was all still real! And Jay warned me not to get emotionally sucked in when I went there... and then that's exactly what happened. And now Joe West on Earth 2 is dead because I showed up.
Joe: Barry - that's not your fault.
Barry: Yeah, it is my fault. It's all my fault. Zoom? This King Shark? Jay's death? It's all because of me. And I just left an entire world at Zoom's mercy.

Cisco: Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the suburbs, King Shark shows up at your house.

Diggle: Look, Barry - when I was in Afghanistan, I lost a lot of friends. Brothers. So losing Jay, I know what it feels like. You question yourself. Blame yourself for his death. And that guilt, it can tear you apart, but trust me, man - you gotta get control of it or it'll rip you up inside. Use this, man. Let it guide you. So it never happens again.

Barry: We're the ones who opened the door to Earth 2. We're the ones who brought Zoom here. But we are also the ones who are going to stop him.
Harry: How? How are we going to stop Zoom, Allen?
Barry: I don't know yet. But those breaches aren't closed forever. And we're not done with Earth 2. (Barry pulls the cover off of a glass case containing Jay Garrick's helmet) Jay's death was not in vain. We will meet Zoom again. And the next time, I will beat him. Whoever that monster is.

(The Masked Man on Earth 2 looks up as he hears a sonic boom.  Zoom enters the room, holding Jay Garrick's corpse, which he drops on the floor. The Masked Man begins to breathe more heavily, as Zoom pulls off his mask to reveal he looks like Jay Garrick!)
Zoom: Well, this is a complication...


King Shark was last seen in 204.

In ARGUS code, a Code Seven is a security breach.

Amanda Waller spent the last two years monitoring metahumans, looking for "assets" that could be exploited - i.e. weaponized.

Barry refers to how Harry was able to track Grodd in 207 and asks him to work out a formula for predicting King Shark's movements.

Cisco designed the helmet for Diggle's costume.  Diggle confides that it could use some improvements, which Cisco agrees to tend to.

Wally is an aspiring engineer.

Reference is again made to Diggle feeling uncomfortable watching Barry run.

Cisco tells Caitlin about Killer Frost.

Barry tells Joe and Iris about their Earth 2 dopplegangers.

Barry refers to Zoom defeating him in both 206 and 213.

Joe is a slow reader.

Wally finally gets his car to where it can run on collected bacon grease.

Caitlin does not have the metagene.

Barry puts Jay Garrick's helmet in a glass case in the middle of the main lab at STAR Labs.

Zoom unmasks himself to reveal that he looks like Jay Garrick.


A secret ARGUS facility in Star City.

Untelevised Adventures

ARGUS apparently captured King Shark after Harry Wells fought him in 204.

The Bottom Line

A wonderful episode and a good one to go out on before a month long break.

Injustice: Gods Among Us - Year Five #10 - A Review

Disaster strikes The Rogues!  Superman was hot on their trail and now they're under attack by something... bizarre. And with Mirror Master out-cold and no back-up on the way, this could be the end for Batman's latest allies.

Brian Buccellato writes a good action scene. And this issue is, for the most part, one good action scene. Yet there are still plenty of the touching, more dramatic moments that have made this series so enjoyable as well as a gut-punch of an ending.

The art team exceeds their usual high standard this week. Bruno Redondo is as skillful at staging high-octane action scenes as Brian Buccellato is at writing them. The inks by Juan Albarran perfectly enhance the original pencils. And the colors by Rex Lokus are all well-chosen.

Starman Plays Fallout 4 - Part Thirty-Seven

In which we start our search for the missing Emogene Cabot, accidentally have a one-night stand and somehow inspire Piper to become more romantic with us as a result of it.  Also, we find out what happened to The Vault-Tech Salesman from the game's opening. As if you cared.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 1, Episode 14 - Truth, Justice and The American Way

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


A serial killer with advanced technology is killing off the Fort Rozz escapees. While Kara tries to deal with this Master Jailer (who is really more of an executioner than a jailer), she must content with a new assistant making her life miserable at work. And James Olsen debates whether or not to report on what he knows about the DEO and their illegally incarcerating Max Lord, when Max's absence begins to draw attention...


The Superman comics of Martin Pasko (creator of Master Jailer), The Legion of Superheroes (reference to the planet Starhaven), Doctor Who (The DEO use the same call-signs as UNIT), The Supergirl comics of Sterling Gates (Silver Banshee as an arch-enemy for Supergirl), the Supergirl comics of  Michael Green and Mike Johnson (the name of Siobhan Smythe) and the Kelley Puckett Supergirl story The Way Of The World (the name of Alphonse Luzano).


Why does Non explain the Kryptonian funeral rights to Kara? Unlike Clark, she should be familiar with them.

Why doesn't Alex wear a helmet into a combat situation like the other DEO agents?

Why hasn't Cat just fired Kara at this point, if Kara is abandoning work for DEO business so frequently that she now requires a second assistant to make sure things get done?

One wonders why none of the Fort Rozz escapees have tried to leave the National City area in the dozen or so years since escaping.

One also wonders why The Master Jailer is just now getting around to trying to kill off all the escapees after a dozen years. And why he's doing it in sequential order based on their prisoner number. And the sheer odds of the escapees all being in the same area to where they could be easily hunted in sequential order.

Alex's gun must have some phenomenal range and power to shoot the boards above The Master Jailer's ship in such a way as to allow sunlight to stream down and hit Kara's cell, when the distance between the cabin floor and the the ship was such that they need grappling ropes to climb down to the ship.

James' conflict in this episode just doesn't ring true. While it makes sense that someone as basically honest as Jimmy Olsen would be uncomfortable with lying in general and lying to the woman he loves in specific, (ignoring the character's history of indulging in some pretty crazy schemes to cover up his stupidity in his romantic life) it's just plain idiotic for him to not see the justification for locking up an amoral sociopath like Maxwell Lord, who gleefully endangered innocent people as part of his vendetta against Supergirl and threatened James himself. It's even more idiotic for him to ask Kara to reveal herself to a woman with a grudge against Supergirl and connections to a man who has made it his business to try and kill Supergirl at least once. And it's especially idiotic that James is listening to Cat Grant making a moral argument about how reporting the truth saves lives when the only possible outcome of James reporting what he knows about the DEO is people dying.


Todd Sherry has a marvelously understated performance as Dr. Luzano. As heavy-handed and false as the comparison between his being executed by The Master Jailer and Maxwell Lord being locked up by the DEO is, the moment between himself and Kara in their cells is well acted and he manages to sell his dialogue here.

Super Trivia

The title for this episode comes from a line of dialogue in the opening of the 1950's Adventures of Superman TV show - where Superman is described as fighting a never-ending battle for "Truth, Justice and The American Way".

In the comics, Siobhan Smythe was the name of the first human to befriend Supergirl in the New 52 reality. An Irish immigrant who had a unique power that enabled her to understand any spoken language, she instantly learned the Kryptonian language upon hearing Kara speak and diffused a tense situation between Kara and the NYPD. The two became fast friends, with Siobhan teaching Kara about Earth culture and Kara protecting her new friend from her father - a supervillain called The Black Banshee, from whom Siobhan had inherited amazing powers. Dubbing herself the Silver Banshee, she was told the family legacy would eventually turn her to evil but she attempted to resist the dark lure of her powers with Kara's help.

In the classic DC Comics Universe, The Silver Banshee was the code-name of a villain named Siobhan McDougal. The scion of an ancient Gaelic clan, Siobhan attempted a magical ritual to claim her rightful place as head of the clan over the objections of her uncle and brother. She was drawn into the netherworld, where a being known as The Crone offered to send Siobhan back to Earth in exchange for a magical book that had been part of Siobhan's father's library.  The quest to recover the book resulted in several murders, which got the attention of Superman and brought him into conflict with The Silver Banshee.

The Silver Banshee's powers include super-strength, speed-agility, super-speed, super-hearing, super-durability to both physical and energy attacks. She has a hyper-sonic scream capable of incapacitating even Kryptonians and Amazons. She also has the ability to kill anyone by speaking their full true-name. Since her powers are magical in nature, they are capable of hurting Superman and Supergirl.

The DCTVU version of Siobhan Smythe thus far has not shown any signs of any superpowers, save perhaps some kind of super-hearing that allows her to eavesdrop on people in the CatCo offices more easily. She has aspirations of becoming the next Cat Grant.

In the comics, The Master Jailer was a man named Carl Draper. A classmate of Clark Kent and Lana Lang in Smallville, Draper was infatuated with Lana and hated Superboy, who continually (though unintentionally) showed-up his efforts to impress Lana. A key example of this came when their class was trapped in a cave while on a field trip. Although Carl showed impressive bravery by exploring the cave to find another way out, he was given no credit as Superboy rescued the rest of the class before Carl could report his findings.

As an adult, Draper became a security expert and built the perfect prison for containing super-villains.  His invention received little attention, however, until Superman heard of his work and made it even more secure... by putting it into orbit.  This proved the final straw and Draper created the identity of the Master Jailer to prove his superiority by crafting a trap-filled prison even Superman could not escape. He failed, and in a final bit of irony, was locked up in the prison he had designed.

The DCTVU version of The Master Jailer was a guard at Fort Rozz. Originally from the planet Trombus, he masqueraded as a National City police detective with the last name of Draper, while hunting down and killing the Fort Rozz escapees who were disguising themselves as Earthlings. He made use of advanced alien technology, including an armored suit that made him a match for Supergirl physically.

Fort Rozz Prisoner 2445 masquerades as an astronomy professor named Dr. Alphonse Luzano. In the comics, Alphonse Luzano was a nanotech expert responsible for creating the technology that turned Mitch Shelley into the hero known as The Resurrection Man. Luzano was introduced in the Supergirl story The Way Of The World, where Kara and Shelley hunted forn Dr. Luzano in the hope that his technology might create a cure for cancer that Kara could use to save a little boy she promised she would help.

When pondering who could be responsible for abducting various Fort Rozz escapees, Alex asks J'onn if it might be a certain someone after J'onn says they could be dealing with "an interstellar bounty hunter".  J'onn says that "if he were in town, we'd know." This is almost certainly a reference to Lobo - a DC Comics anti-hero who is an interstellar bounty hunter and not known for his sense of subtly.

When fighting the Master Jailer, Kara says that she thought masks were only big in "that other city". This is almost certainly a reference to Gotham City - home of Batman, Batgirl, Nightwing, Robin and many other mask-wearing vigilantes.

Dr. Luzano claims to have been born on the planet 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 Superheroes member Dawnstar.

J'onn identifies Trombus as a planet of technologically advanced weapons manufacturers. In the DC Comics universe, Trombus is a planet comparable to Earth both technologically and socially, which is protected by a group of heroes known as The Hyper Family. The Hyper Family drew strength from Trombus' red sun, much like how Kryptonians draw strength from yellow suns.

J'onn uses the call-sign Greyhound while the team Alex is leading in their search for The Master Jailer is referred to as Trap One and Alex is addressed as Trap Leader. This is a nod to the classic Doctor Who series, where UNIT - a body similar to the DEO in that it was charged with protecting the Earth from hostile aliens - made use of the codename Greyhound to refer to their command center and the various away teams were labeled Trap One, Trap Two, etc.

Near the end of the episode, Dr. Luzano says he dislikes flying and is thankful that Earth's yellow sun did not give him the ability to fly. This is a mythology gag for fans of the Legion of Superheroes because at some point (the 23rd century by one account) the inhabitants of Starhaven (Dr. Luzano's homeworld) were genetically-altered so that they would have wings and be able to fly naturally.


The chains used by the Master Jailer are made of black star alloy.

The Master Jailer's cell for Kara utilizes a red-tinted lamp to simulate the effects of Krypton's red sun in order to neutralize Kara's powers.

Dialogue Triumphs

Kara: (reciting the Kryptonian Prayer for the Dead) You have been the sun of our lives. Our prayers will be the sun that lights your way on the journey home. We will remember you in every dawn. And await the night we join you in the sky. Rao's will be done.

Max: Back to your old self, I see.
Kara: I suppose I owe you a thank you.
Max: You owe me more than a thank you. I assumed my heroic save would earn me early parole.
Kara: So you can tell the world who I am? Put my family in danger? Try to kill me again?
Max: I'm just trying to protect the planet.
Kara: From what?! From me?!
Max: When the gods walk the Earth, it's us tiny mortals who end up suffering. (pause) So, nothing for my largess then?
Kara: I was told you asked for and received Netflix.
Max: (laughs) You thought I was dangerous before, you have no idea how dangerous I get when I'm bored.
Kara: I recommend "Call The Midwife".
Max: (suddenly shouting) Without me, you'd be dead!
Kara: Without you, the world is a better place!

James: When I'm getting a lesson in ethics and morality from Cat Grant, I know we've gone off the deep end.
Kara: Okay, James? I hear you and I know this is hard, but it's not about you.
James: As a journalist, knowing what I know?
Kara: What you know is that we've caught the most dangerous man on the planet.
James: But this is bigger than one man, Kara! You're helping them run a secret Guantanamo here and it's not just for aliens anymore. You're holding humans and you are completely unaccountable! I mean, don't you see this is exactly why Max Lord hates you?
Kara: So you think that Max Lord has a real reason to hate me?
James: (pauses) No!  I'm sorry, no... What I mean is, he's terrified by you. Because of your ability to do exactly what you are doing to him right now. I mean, you could go in there and swat him dead like a fly if you wanted to.
Kara: I would never do that!
James: I know that! But look, when you have more power than any human army on Earth, you have to be better than this. Kara, it's never going to come down to just a battle of strength. Or smarts. Or even wills with you. Ultimately, it's going to be a battle of values. Your values versus your enemy's. And if you're willing to abandon those values, what makes you better than Max Lord? I mean, is this the kind of hero you want to be?
Kara: I'm the kind of hero who believes in doing what needs to be done to keep the world sage.
James: Well, the Supergirl I know beleives in Truth and Justice. Kara, I don't recognize you like this.
(Kara scoffs)
James: That symbol on your chest? That means something. To a lot of people. "Stronger together" you said. But this is not strength.

Dr. Luzano: I was born on Starhaven. Do you know it?
Kara: Yes, my father took me there when I was younger. It's beautiful. The air smelled like cinammon.
Dr. Luzano: (chuckling) It did, didn't it? After a strong storm season, one of my wives fell ill. The healing expenses were too much. And so a simple man entered the complicated world of interplanetary drug smuggling. Caught on my first run. And sentenced by Alura Zor-El to 18 years in Fort Rozz.
Kara; I suppose you hate my mother too?  Like all the other escapees?
Dr. Luzano: I did at first but over time I understood. One tragedy cannot be undone by committing another. So when I crashed on Earth, I sought only to lead a good life. I became a professor. Taught the one thing I knew better than anyone on this planet - the stars.

(Alex and Kara enter the room holding Max Lord's cell.)
Alex: You're free to go.
(Kara triggers the door release for Max's cell.)
Max: That's unexpected. (stepping out of the cell) Why?
Kara: Because it's the right thing to do.
Alex: Because she's a better person than you are.
Max: I'm relieved of course, but curious. How do you know I won't expose you, The DEO and all your shenanigans to the world once I exit this place?
Kara: I don't. All I can hope for is that there's still some part of you that will listen to your better angels.
Max: You're still harboring hope? Even for me? You really are an alien.
(Kara leaves the room)
Alex: If you don't have better angels - and I suspect you don't - you should know that we've amassed a dossier the size of this room, documenting your crimes, ready for immediate release to law enforcement. You tell on us? We tell on you.
Max: (scoffs) Mutably assured destruction. You make me nostalgic for the Cold War, Alex.
Alex: Dos Vedanya.
Max: (pretends to shiver) Brrrrr.


On Krypton, it is customary for a surviving female of the deceased's family to lead the funeral rites.

Kryptonians launch their dead into space in rocket-shaped coffins.

The Kryptonian mourning period is two weeks. During that time, the family suspends all toil so that they may focus their thoughts on the deceased so that they may light the way to Rao.

Max Lord is DEO Prisoner 5090.

Max Lord apparently dated Jennifer Lawrence.

Fort Rozz Prisoner 2444 used the alias Gabriel Phillips. His species feeds on rotting flesh and he was incarcerated in Fort Rozz on charges of murder and armed theft.

James refers to the family motto of The House of El - Stronger Together - which Kara told him in 102.

Fort Rozz Prisoner 2445 was masquerading as a human college professor who taught astronomy named Dr Alphonse Luzano. He was born on the planet Starhaven. He was sentenced to 18 years for drug trafficking - a crime he turned to in order to get the money to save the life of his sick wife.

J'onn refers to the promise he made Jeremiah Danvers to protect his daughters, which he told Alex about in 107.

Kara was taken to Starhaven by her father when she was young. She says the air smells like cinnamon.

James asks Kara for permission to to tell Lucy Lane that Kara is Supergirl.

The Alura hologram is forbidden to talk about Myriad upon pain of shutting down.

The Bottom Line

A fascinating episode intellectually for all the references and resources it draws upon in expanding the mythology of the show's unique universe. Pity the actual story is so stupid, with the characters being bent to serve the plot rather than the other way around. The Master Jailer (who I don't think is ever actually addressed by that name in this episode) is a lackluster villain and the only thing worse than Cat Grant is having Cat Grant The Younger to make Kara's work life even more miserable.

Adventures of Supergirl #3 - A Review

Held captive by the monstrous alien known as Rampage, things are looking bleak for Kara. Rampage's sister was killed by DEO Agent Alex Danvers and now Rampage plans to avenge her by killing Supergirl. Yet Kara can't help but feel some sympathy for Rampage - another alien stranded on a strange world and changed forever by Earth's yellow sun.
I have to give Sterling Gates and Bengal credit for this storyline and how it subtly salutes the work of John Byrne. The last issue saw Bengal craft a wonderful visual tribute to one of Byrne's most famous X-Men panels. This issue sees Gates' explaining the background of this version of Rampage, which is a neat twist on the original character Byrne created for his Superman comics. The artwork is strong throughout this story and Gates masterfully showcases how Kara's greatest power is her sense of compassion.

If this issue has a flaw, it's that too much of the focus is on Kara as a captive. After the awesome final panel last issue and all the character development Alex received, I thought for sure the focus in this issue would be on Alex going into action to save her sister. The issue is still enjoyable but it would have proved a nice change of pace given how little development Alex has received outside the context of her being her sister's biggest advocate.

Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor #4 - A Review

Briarwood House. 1932.  The Doctor and Josie Day are still following The Doctor's "to-do" list, uncertain of just where they are going and why they are going there. Still, the fancy party they find seems safe enough, though Josie tempts fate by saying the whole thing reminds her of an Agatha Christie novel and those always have a murder. This is true enough, although said murders are not orchestrated by faeries nor do they involve animated trees...

Emma Vieceli's artwork for this issue is breathtaking. The is a light, airiness to her style that suits the ethereal nature of this story. This is most evident in the sequence in which the history of The Nixi is related, with Vieceli's art given a unique sepia-tone finish by Hi-Fi.

Once again, George Mann writes a top-notch story that blurs the line between magic and advanced science, like many classic Doctor Who stories. Mann has quickly become one of my favorite Doctor Who writers. I hope time permits his working on more of these mini-series for Titan Comics in the future.

The Tithe #8 - A Review

The FBI team led by Agent Campbell has discovered the unthinkable! A Senator with dreams of moving into The White House and a domestic terrorist have joined together to bring about a new American Republic and a new crusade against Islam. A daring nighttime raid may be the only hope they have of stopping the plot, but will all of Agent Campbell's team make it out alive?

There are some who will say that the plot of The Tithe is unrealistic. And yet, as Matt Hawkins points out in his commentary at the end of the issue, the idea of an American Senator manipulating domestic terrorists and blackmailing Muslim immigrants into becoming suicide bombers in a bid for political power is no more outlandish than some of the conspiracy theories bandied about the mainstream media. Indeed, such a plot seems downright mundane given that a conservative radio host this week was claiming that Justice Anthony Scalia did not die of a heart attack but was offered up as a human sacrifice by Texan pagans to increase the power of President Obama. But I digress.

Regardless of the claims of some critics, Hawkins takes great care to present a centrist view regarding the political and religious matters inherent to the story. It would be all too easy to paint all Christians or Muslims as rabid extremists or all people of faith as misguided but Hawkins avoids this. Indeed, our lead FBI investigator, Agent Campbell is a devout Christian conservative Texan who has an open and understanding attitude toward people of other faiths. He jokes at one point that he can forgive his daughter converting to Islam but that he cannot reconcile her abandoning The Cowboys for The Lions.  It is through lines such as these, and a number of other litle character moments, that Hawknis crafts true characters rather than the cardboard cut-outs that fill most political fiction.

Previous issues of The Tithe have suffered for a lack of action, but this one makes up for that in spades. Most of the issue's second half is devoted toward a tense, action-packed scene of the FBI storming a terrorist compound. Rahsan Ekedal, Phillip Sevy and Jeremy Colwell have truly undone themselves this time.

Alas, this may well be the last we see of The Tithe after a planned crossover with Postal and Think Tank.  Apparently the sales on the individual issues have not been high and we may never get to see the planned third volume, in which Sam and James go rogue to rob The Vatican  More is the pity, for this thriller has thrilled me like no other comic of its kind.

Starman Plays Fallout 4 - Part Thirty-Six

In which we undertake our first job for Jack Cabot, actively avoid taking on any new quests (despite running into a few plot hooks) and discover the best way to take on a Legendary Deathclaw is from across a toxic river.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Starman Plays Fallout 4 - Part Thirty-Five

In which we explore the Boston Common area, kill a Swan and investigate the mysteries of the Boylston Club and Cabot House.

Heeeeeeeeeey Cabot!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

King Conan: Wolves Beyond the Border #3 - An Advance Review

Conan's quest to return a magic crown to the lands from which it came have taken a dark turn. His soldiers dead, Conan just barely escaped sacrifice at the hands of a witch who has united the various Pictish tribes under one banner. Now, to save his kingdom, Conan has forged an unlikely alliance with members of the renegade Wolf Tribe. But can Conan trust their word, even when they follow the word of his old ally, the druid Nai?
With this issue, Tim Truman has journeyed well beyond the role of an adapter. Despite this, Wolves Beyond The Border feels like a long-lost Robert E. Howard script. Part of this is due to how well-placed this story is within the Howard aesthetic and continuity - indeed, this story makes mention of the events of Howard's Beyond the Black River. The greater part of this, however, is due to Truman's skill as a storyteller and his ability to spin a ripping yarn in a manner to do Howard credit.

Truman is matched in skill and suitability by this series' art team. For my money, Tomas Giorello is the finest artist to work on the Conan comics in the past five years. And the colors by Jose Villarrubia are as wild and vibrant as the land of Hyboria.

 King Conan: Wolves Beyond The Border #3 is due out on 02/24/16!

Secret Six #11 - A Review

Batgirl doesn't go into the Gotham suburbs often. But she has little choice when she learns that some bad people are looking for her former Birds of Prey teammate Strix. Now if only she can get past Strix's new friends.  Meanwhile, a phone call from a special someone is about to make Big Shot's jaw drop - an impressive sight given his powers.

This proved a bittersweet issue in several regards. I've missed Gail Simone writing Batgirl and seeing her subtly satirize the new Batgirl of Burnside (well, it's sort of subtle) is a real treat. And Big Shot's enthusiasm is infectious, leaving you really hoping that things are going to work out for Sue and Ralph after all this time.

The artwork is also up to its usual standard. Dale Eaglesham and Tom Derenick are both talented artists and while their styles are quite different, the differences are not so drastic as to be noticeable. Colorist Jason Wright may deserve some of the credit for this, insuring a uniform look to the issue.

Lucifer #3 - A Review

The search for God's murderer leads Lucifer and Gabriel into The Dreaming. There they will seek information from Lilith, who may know something of another fallen angel capable of doing the deed. One who, even now, is causing mischief on Earth...

The artwork for this series is, in a word, amazing.  Lee Garbett's style is a perfect match for the classic Vertigo aesthetic. And the colors by Antonio Fabela are uniformly well chosen, with a good deal of visual contrast between various elements, such as the coloration for Eve and Lilith.

With this issue, Holly Black's story is beginning to take shape and we can see the edge of things to come. I commented in my review of the last issue that I wasn't quite sure what to make of the subplots set in the mortal world. I still can't guess where things are going with this series' ensemble cast but the whole affair is reminiscent of Gaiman's Sandman and Carey's Lucifer. As such, I'm content to enjoy the ride.

Starman Plays Fallout 4 - Part Thirty-Four.

In which we explore a mysterious trap-filled maze that was either left here by Edward Nigma or Jigsaw. Also, Piper goes barbarian and has a heart-to-heart talk with us.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 1, Episode 5 - Fail-Safe

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


With Atom, Heatwave and Professor Stein in the clutches of the Russians, Vandal Savage's plans to create his own Firestorm are alarming close to becoming a reality. Snart will lead the rest of the team to rescue them but Rip Hunter gives Canary a secret mission - kill Stein if it looks like he can't be rescued!


John Ostrander's Suicide Squad (the general theme of intrigue and espionage, villains turned into reluctant heroes as well as the 1980's Cold War setting), Gail Simone's Birds of Prey (the theme of Canary grappling with her humanity and the temptation to use the lethal skills she has learned),  the TV series Prison Break (character played by Wentworth Miller trying to break a character played by Dominic Purcell out of prison) and Rocky IV (Rory refers to this movie when threatening the Russian soldiers)


Again, the show shakes up the pairings to allow the ensemble cast a chance to play off different members of the cast.  Rory and Ray, Kendra and Jax, Snart and Sara. The chemistry is brilliant throughout and there isn't a weak link among them nor one note hit false.

That being said, once again Wentworth Miller and Caity Lotz steal the show.  Their interaction as Snart and Canary is amazing and it's interesting to watch these two characters - both outsiders and criminals with a code - play off of one another because of everything they have in common and - in the case of this episode - everything they don't. It's interesting that both are on the same journey to become something better, though they are approaching it from different ends, with Canary trying to regain the humanity she fears she's lost and Snart aspiring to the nobility he's never truly been able to claim unconditionally as a gentleman thief.


The fight scene in which Canary takes on six men at once in the locker room as Rip Hunter fights a man who outweighs him by a fair amount is another brilliant fight-scene for Caity Lotz, Arthur Darvill and the fight coordinators and director.

The special effects for the dogfight in space-time in the final section of the show are phenomenal for a television show.

Trivia Of Tomorrow

Carlos Valdez, who plays Cisco Ramon on The Flash, has a quick cameo in Professor Stein's hallucination as the eager student asking him for more details of how The Firestorm Matrix works. He appears to be dressed in 1980's fashions, with a sport coat over a bright T-shirt with pink jeans and slicked-back hair in a pony tail.

"Menia Ispravcit Rasstrel" means "Execution Will Reform Me" in Russian.

Snart notes that this is not his first prison break. This is a nod to Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell having starred in the TV series Prison Break. 

Dr. Vostok's form when she becomes Firestorm and is about to meltdown resembles that of the heroine Firehawk, who has the same powers as Firestorm and blue-fire hair.

In 1986, the drinking age in Russia was 12.


The Firestorm Matrix is naturally unstable, with the thermocore reacting exponentially to the rate of fission in the host body.  The quantum splicer was created to address that problem.

Jax tore his anterior cruciate ligament during the STAR Labs particle accelerator explosion.

The quantum splicer decelerates the rate of fission and decreases the core body temperature of Firestorm.

Dialogue Triumphs

Stein: I'm so happy to see that you're taking an interest in my work.
"Cisco": Well, what can I say, sir? Nuclear physics are my passion.
Stein: (pausing thoughtfully) Sir? The Cisco I know never dwelled on formality. What's more, your hair is different - your wardrobe neat... your comportment gentlemanly.
"Cisco": (laughing) Oh yeah. You like? I just subscribed to GQ.
Stein: Huh. A snide attempt at humor. Almost Cisco-like. (shaking his head) Almost.

Sara: I just took out six men. You guys couldn't handle one?

Russian Gangster: Koshmar is not a hotel for petty criminals. If your friends are there, they must be insane, ruthless animals.
(Cut to Ray and Rory being escorted into a cell block.)
Ray: (smiling at the prisoners, who give him the death glare in response) Hey! Howdy!  How you doing?

Snart: This isn't my first prison break.

(Snart walks in on Canary, retrieving various weapons from her luggage.)
Snart: Impressive how many weapons you can fit into that outfit.
(Wordlessly, Canary tosses him a small case. Snart opens it and sees the shrunk Atom suit.)
Snart: And how much stupidity Raymond can squeeze into this one.
Canary:  The plan is to save him too. Not just Stein and your partner.
Snart:  Oh, I'm going to save Raymond, all right... so I can beat some sense into him. And what about you?
Canary: And what about me?
Snart: Clearly I'm not the only one with a side mission. What did Rip keep you after class to talk about?
Canary: He wanted to go over a few details of the plan.
Snart: He wants you to take out the old man, doesn't he? It's the obvious play. It's also heartless.
The plan is to save Stein. And if, for whatever reason, we can't, Rip showed me what will happen to my home in 2016. To our families. If Stein breaks, the damage is irreversible.
Snart: Been on a lot of heists. And even when things got rough, I never took out one of my own.
Canary: Well, this isn't a bank heist.
Snart: First, he left my partner twisting in the wind. Now he's going to have you ice Old Silvertop. We're all just pawns, Sara.  C'mon. I'm the crook. You're the assassin...
Canary: He's not just asking me to kill! He's asking me to save the future! And if, for whatever reason, we can't save Stein, then I'm going to do what needs to be done.

Canary: Remember, we get Stein first.
Snart: And if the plan fails, you'll kill him. You want my advice?
Canary: No.
Snart: Don't use your gun. Do it with your hands. Do it while you're looking right into Stein's eyes.
Canary: You're talking about a member of our team!
Snart: I just don't want YOU to forget who we're talking about.

Colonel: So... are you still planning - what did you threaten before? To go Rocky IV on my ass?
Rory: (laughs) I changed my mind.
(The Colonel turns on the elcticity, shocking Rory and Ray)
Rory: Ivan Drogo lives at the end of the movie.

Savage: If 4,000 years of life have taught me one thing, it is patience.

(Ray has just interupted The Colonel's torturing Rory.)
Rory: What are you doing, Boy Scout?
Colonel: Yes, Boy Scout - what are you doing?
Ray: Nothing compared to what I did to your mother last night.
Colonel: You have quite a mouth on you.
Ray: So did she.

Canary: All right. This duct should take us to solitary. We get to Stein-
Snart: Yeah, I'm not going.
Canary: That's the plan.
Snart: That's Rip's plan. My priority is Mick.
Canary: Fine. Forget it. So much for your code... crook.
Snart: Any time, assassin.

Rory: Of all the dumb things I've seen in my life, you getting that guy to beat on you takes the cake.
Ray: You're welcome.
Rory: You think you proved something back there?
Ray: I proved I wasn't scared.
Rory: You proved you make a great pinata. He could have beaten you to death.
Ray: Well, some things are more important than survival. Like standing up for what you believe in. Your principles. Your team. Must be something you're willing to die for.
Rory: The perfect score.
Ray: Well... only difference between us is how we define "score".

Stein: My country is, by no means perfect. But at least we are free to criticize our government, vote in free elections and love who we choose.  I hate to break this to you Dr. Vostok. You are on the wrong side of history.
Vostok: For now. But you will help us change history.

Jax: (having just run 120 yards in 12 seconds, despite popping his knee) Barry Allen who?

(Canary is lining up her shot on Stein. Her finger is just about to squeeze the trigger when Snart speaks over the radio.)
Snart: Sara, don't do it.
Canary: I don't have a choice. It's the only way to save Star City. The future...
Snart: That's how a killer thinks. And that's not you anymore.

(Kendra is planting explosives in one of the Russian labs when Savage enters the room.)
Savage: Rip Hunter must be a fool to send you into my arms. Come with me, Chay-ara and I will find a way to prolong your life.  We will live together in eternity.
Kendra: No.
Savage; (smirking) No?
(Rip Hunter comes up behind Savage, leveling his laser revolver against his head.)
Kendra: My answer will always be 'no'.
(Rip Hunter nods to the exit.)
Rip: Go.
(Kendra nods and leaves.)
Savage: You want to kill me again? Doesn't this game ever get too old for you, Gareeb?
Rip Hunter: It's Captain Hunter if you don't mind.
Savage: Oh.
Rip Hunter: I'm here to make sure you never build a Firestorm... And my watch, actually. You stole it from me in a pagan blood ritual back in 1975? Ring any bells?
(Savage begins to reach for his pocket.)
Rip Hunter: Ah-ah... slowly.
(Savage places the watch on the counter. Rip Hunter takes it.)
Savage: I have no desire to kill you. I want you alive. I want you to see the world burn. I have looked so often at your wife and son these last 11 years. Miranda and Jonas. Their faces etched into my mind. And when I finally get to meet them, I will let them know that you and your friends are responsible for their suffering.
Rip: Not if I see you first.
(Rip turns around and exits the lab... slowly pulling the detonator for the explosives from his pocket and setting if off.  Savage is caught in the ensuing fireball.)

Jax: (To the Soviet Firestorm) I know you're in there, Grey!
Dr. Vostok: And he's begging for you to save yourself.
Jax: I'm not talking to you! I was talking to Professor Stein!
(Vostok laughs)
Jax: Your mind is stronger than her's, Grey! I get it! I know why you've been so hard on me! You don't want to lose me like you lost Ronnie! And that's why I know you're not gonna let her kill me.
(Vostok tries to throw a fireball at Jax... but it isn't working.  Somehow.)
Jax: Cause I've had you inside my head. And I know what a tough, old son-of-a-bitch you can be! So you've got to fight her. Because you and me? We're Firestorm, Grey! You and me!
(Stein suddenly erupts out of The Soviet Firestorm/)

(Rory is passing shots of vodka to everyone else.)
Courtesy of Yuri The Bear.
Canary: How did you even have time to steal this?
Snart: There's always time to steal.

Stein: A toast - to the first time we haven't completely ruined the timeline.

Snart: To Rip. To things not going according to his plan.

Canary: Stein doesn't know, does he? That I almost killed him?
Rip: That I advised you to kill him.
Canary: It's funny. When I was in the League of Assassins, failure to follow through on a hit was unforgivable. A thousand times worse than death. (sighs) Maybe I'm losing my edge?
Rip: Or gaining a new one. The fact that you didn't pull the trigger speaks volumes. You know, the safe move would have been to kill Martin with The Cold War hanging in the balance. I would like to think it was your... humanity that stayed your hand.
Canary: I'd like to think that too.  But I had some help.
(Canary looks thoughtfully at Snart, who is sitting across the room.)


Vandal Savage refers to the events of 102, when Stein attempted to buy a nuclear warhead from him.

Savage knew Joseph Stalin and cites him as one of the most skilled interrogators in history. He notes that Stalin's preferred target area were the bridge of nose, shoulder blades and right underneath the chin. He still has a small hand-ax, which was given to him by Stalin as a gift.

Sara suggests contacting The Bratva (The Russian Mafia) in order to get information on how to break into Labor Camp 54. Both Oliver Queen and Sara Lance had connections with the Bratva on Arrow.

Not surprisingly, Snart hates saunas.

Jax refers to a story Professor Stein told him about Ronnie Raymond sending him a message by cutting into his own arm.  This occurred in F114.

In the alternate future where the Soviets gain access to Firestorm technology in 1986, Star City becomes the seat of the American resistance. It falls in 2003.

Stein claims to have been obsessed with Russian culture in his youth and that he regretted not seeing it before it collapsed.

Rip Hunter reclaims the watch that Vandal Savage stole from him in 103.

Chronos attacks the team in The Temporal Zone, forcing them to crash-land in Star City in the year 2046.

The Palmer Technologies building in 2046 Star City now bears a logo for Smoak Technologies, suggesting Felicity Smoak finally took over the company in everything including the name at some point.

The team is confronted by a Green Arrow who is not Oliver Queen.


Soviet Union - Moscow, Koshmar, Labor Camp 54 - 1986
Temporal Zone
Star City - 2046

The Bottom Line

A perfect follow up to last week's episode and darn near perfect in every other respect.