After discovering a dead Doctor Mid-Nite in the year 3000, the team head back to the court of Camelot in search of another piece of The Spear of Destiny. Unfortunately, Rip Hunter and The Legion of Doom are one step ahead of them...
Camelot 3000 (the title and concept of melding Arthurian legend and science fiction), A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court (idea of modern man proving himself a wonder in medieval times), Star Wars (Ray creates an energized sword or light-saber and jokes about the copyright infringement) and the Doctor Who episode Robot of Sherwood (a time-traveler is confronted with the reality of a legend that they insist never existed.)
Nate refers to 507 AD as being Medieval times. Most historians do not consider the Medieval period to have started any earlier than 600 AD. (Then again, Nate is not most historians and the details - such as King Arthur existing or full plate being used in 6th Century England - may be different in the DCTVU reality.)
Star Wars jokes aside, the "light saber" that Ray fashions out of Galahad's sword is a longsword - not a saber.
Given Nate's earlier romanticism of his superhero grandfather and the fact that he grew up reading about the wonders of ancient times due to his hemophilia, his skepticism regarding Ray's desire to be a knight seems really out of character.
The sword fight between Darhk and Ray is pretty good.
The costume design is fantastic, though I'm sure Nate would nit-pick the historical accuracy of the armor and weapons depicted.
Trivia Of Tomorrow
The episode opens with Nate giving the standard introduction.
This episode takes its name from Camelot 3000 - a 12-issue limited series published by DC Comics from 1982-1985.
Camelot 3000 was one of DC Comics' first direct-market projects (i.e. sold directly to specialty comic shops rather than newsstands and supermarkets, as most comics were at the time.) and it was the first book they printed on high-quality Baxter paper rather than newsprint paper. Written by Mike W. Barr with art by Brian Bolland, the series focused upon King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table being resurrected in an overpopulated Earth in order to save humanity from an alien invasion facilitated by Morgan LeFay.
Ray identifies Sir. Galahad by the fact that he's sitting in the Siege Perilous. In the Arthurian legend, The Siege Perilous was a chair reserved by Merlin for the knight who was either the purest of knights or the one who would eventually find The Holy Grail, depending on which legend you go by. In either case, the Siege Perilous was enchanted to kill any unworthy knight who dared sit in it.
When Rip Hunter returned for him, Dr. McInder was working on a bio-morphic implant capable of modifying the host's neural processes. It could be used to rid a person of violent impulses or impose them.
Rip Hunter makes use of some sort of telepathic control-crown and the implant devices to mind-control King Arthur and the abducted knights.
Stein later - upon analyzing one of the recovered receivers and comparing it to the implant he "borrowed" from Dr. Mid-Nite's lab - determines they are the same technology. The commander wears a transmitter, sending orders via electro-telepathic signal to the receiver/soldier. Jax guesses they could hack the signal by boosting the power of the transmitter or giving it to someone with an extraordinarily well-developed brain.
Ray channels the ionic energy of his ATOM gauntlet through Galahad's sword to create a "light saber".
Jax eventually figures out that the telepathic transmitter responds to intensity of thought rather than complexity. This means that Mick Rory is a more suitable commander than Professor Stein.
(The team arrive in the year 3000 only to lose the reading on the Spear of Destiny fragment.)
Ray: So we came here for nothing?
Rory: Maybe not. Gideon? Do they have booze in the year 3000?
Sara: Somebody find a light switch or something.
Jax: What the hell does a light switch look like in the year 3000?
(Jax feels along the wall and flips what looks like an ordinary 21st century light switch. The lights come on.)
Jax: Huh. Yeah, I guess there's not many places you can go with a light switch.
Rory: Rest in peace.
Amaya: That's sweet, Mick.
Rory: No, it's what he wrote on the floor. (points to the blood) R-I-P.
Jax: That's not "rest in peace".
Sara: It's the name of Dr. Mid-Nite's killer.
Nate: I just don't get it.
Stein: Please be more specific. That could be a very long list.
(Amaya asks why Sara didn't kill Rip or let Jax do it when they had the chance.)
Sara: Because we're not killers, Amaya.
Stein: Except for yourself and Mr. Rory and...
(Sara gives Stein a warning glare.)
Stein: I'll stop helping now.
(Nate is ranting about how much medieval life sucked.)
Nate: And I'm not even touching skin diseases...
Amaya: Speaking of which, why did you choose to dress like a leper?
Nate: I didn't! This (motions to his costume) is historically accurate. You all look like you're going to a Renaissance fair.
(The Legends are surrounded by knights with weapons drawn. Their leader is on horseback.)
Ray: (in a bad High English accent) Wait! I mean ho! I mean hark! Good knight! We intend you no harm. We are but mere travelers in this land.
Nate: (muttered) Your dialect is way off.
Ray: I, Raymond of The Palms and my band of merry men - and women - humbly request safe passage to Camelot and an audience with King Arthur.
Amaya: (disbelievingly) King Arthur?
Ray: Yes, you see his crest on their shields.
(The lead knight removes their helmet, revealing themselves to be a pale, red-haired woman.)
Guinevere: I am Guinevere.We shall escort you to Camelot. (stares at Nate) But your leper must remain outside the castle walls.
Nate: I'm not a leper!
Sara: Your tracking in the woods was excellent. There's not many people that can get the jump on me like that.
Guinevere: I was a warrior long before I was a queen.
Sara: Why does it sound like you preferred that?
Guinevere: Politics is not one of my passions. But Arthur is a true friend and ally. I believe in his vision for a more just and peaceful kingdom.
Sara: From what I see, Camelot lives up to its reputation.
(A mind-controlled Arthur is holding Stargirl at knife-point.)
Darhk: (out of the corner of his mouth, in a bad Elvis Presley impression) The King has left the building.
(Darhk looks to Stargirl expecting a reaction.)
Darhk: You don't get the reference? (groans) Pity.
(Sara is trying to persuade a reluctant Guinevere to take command of what remains of the Knights of The Round Table.)
Sara: Look - sometimes the mantle just falls into your lap. Trust me. I know that it's hard. But you are clever! You are brave. And you are a natural born commander. I know you can do this.
(Ray is preparing to go into battle with the rest of the Knights of the Round Table. Nate stops him.)
Nate: What are you doing? These guys don't stand a chance out there! Is this really worth the risk for some dream?
Ray: Yes. Because a long time ago that dream meant the world to a little boy. And he still remembers.
(As Ray marches off, Nate appears to remember something and fumbles for a book in his satchel. He pulls out the volume which had a drawing of a woodcut of a knight he thought resembled Ray. The woodcut now depicts that knight being laid out in state.)
Nate: This isn't going to end well.
(Ray shows Nate that he is wearing his ATOM Gauntlet and draws his sword. On contact with the gauntlet, blue energy runs through the blade.)
Armorer: (stunned) It's like a saber! Made of light!
Ray: (giddy) Yeah! Just don't call it a lightsaber! Major trademark issues, right?
Ray: All of these men are willing to die on the battlefield - not for some Spear but... an idea. And I get it now. Camelot isn't about history. It's not even about some dusty old books that got a lonely kid through childhood. It's about one noble idea - that we can all stand up for what's right, no matter what. I can't walk away from that.
Nate: I believe you Ray. I do. And Camelot's great. But if you don't leave right now, you're going to die here.
Ray: Would it kill you to be just a little bit more supportive?!
Nate: You don't get it, man! I checked the manuscript. I saw your funeral!
Ray: (pauses) Well... sounds to me like the stuff Legends are made of.
(Sara is preparing to leave Ray behind to escape with the head of the Spear of Destiny.)
Rory: As much as Haircut's a pain in my ass, I'm not going to let him fight alone.
(Rory stands and starts to move to the exit.)
Sara: Sit down! That's an order.
Rory: What's an order?
Sara: Don't test me, Mick.
Rory: Don't threaten me, Blondie.
(Sara stands up and stares down Mick.)
Stein: (standing up) I can't believe I'm actually agreeing with Mr. Rory.
(Jax stands up along with Stein.)
Sara: I said sit down!
Amaya: (standing up) Stop! I've already lost one team. I'll be damned if my decision rips The Legends apart too.
Sara: What are you saying?
Amaya: Listen to your gut, Captain. Don't abandon Ray. It may be sentimental but the team should come before tactics.
(Sara looks to everyone else. They all seem to be in agreement.)
Sara: Alright. Let's do this.
(Jax is able to get the mind control technology to work... giving Rory control of Stein.)
Jax: It worked! I knew it! Okay! Now all we've got to do is amplify the signal.
Rory: What do you want me to do?
Stein: (sarcastically) Just rest your brain, Mr. Rory.
Jax: (flipping switches on the control panel) We'll let you know when it's time to take control of the evil army.
Rory: (smiling wickedly) Ah! Finally, I get to fulfill my destiny!
Stein: God help us.
There are flying cars and a cure for blindness the year 3000.
Dr. Mid-Nite cured his blindness and found work as a researcher in the field of cybernetic implants.
Nate is uncomfortable with traveling to the future since it makes his skills as a historian less useful.
Jousting did not begin in England until 1300 AD.
Ray was a big fan of Arthurian lore as a kid.
Women were allowed to be knights in Camelot.
Camelot is a court of equals and Arthur does not want anyone bowing to him.
Stargirl traveled back in time and became Merlin - the wisest adviser of King Arthur.
It is revealed that the final mission of the JSA - referred to by an elderly Obsidian in 205 - was to recover The Spear of Destiny in Leipzig, Germany in 1956. Their mission was joined by Rip Hunter, who told them that the spear could alter reality. They broke the spear into four pieces and Rip took each of the three JSA members - Stargirl, Dr. Mid-Nite and Commander Steel - to a different point in time.
Stargirl used her knowledge of the future to build Camelot up from a middling kingdom and establish King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table as guardians of her piece of the Spear of Destiny.
Damien Darhk is revealed to be The Black Knight who is kidnapping the nobles of Camelot.
The mind-controlled King Arthur kills Sir Galahad.
Nate checks the reference book in which he found a woodcut of a knight that resembles Ray in 201. The woodcut now depicts the knight being carried as part of a funeral procession.
Stargirl was entrusted with the spearhead of The Spear of Destiny. She hid it on the tip of The Sword In The Stone, buried within a rock that only a strong man could pull free. Amaya is able to retrieve it by drawing upon the strength of a gorilla.
Stargirl elects to stay behind in Camelot.
Guinevere is apparently a lesbian whose marriage to Arthur was entirely political.
It appears that Sara Lance is the inspiration for Lancealot in the Arthurian legend - the knight who won Guinevere's heart after she married Arthur.
Ray declares that he would rather make his own fate rather than know what the history books say will happen. We see that Nate's manuscript now has a woodcut of Ray being fitted with a crown by a red-haired woman.
Rip Hunter is now prisoner in The Waverider's brig. The final scene reveals, however, that Gideon is still programmed to respond to his commands.
Detroit, USA -3000 AD
Camelot, Britannia - 507 AD
Leipzig, Germany - 1956 AD
The Fridge Factor
Averted right up until the point that we find out Stargirl fell in love with King Arthur and that for all her talk of duty and her oath to protect the Spear of Destiny, her whole motivation was trying to make a perfect kingdom for the man she loved. Granted, she DID an impressive job of building it up, but making it all about a man kinda kills the strong feminist vibe the episode had until that point, with Sara and Amaya taking charge of respective situations, Merlin being a woman, the existence of female knights in Camelot and Guinevere taking command.
On that note, would it kill them for Sara to meet another strong woman and not have a one-night stand with her? It's fast becoming a running gag and encouraging the promiscuous bisexual stereotype.
The Bottom Line
A solid episode despite some out-of-character moments and the feminist subtext being a little dodgy considering other story elements. The historical purists like Nate may groan but this is episode is simply fun.