Thursday, March 23, 2017

Batgirl #9 - A Review

Balancing grad school, her volunteer work with the kid's coding club at the library and her work as Batgirl leaves Barbara Gordon little time for her friends and less time for romance. She'd like to spend more time with Ethan Cobblepot but Babs can't help but shake the feeling there's something shady about the charming young tech magnate, who just happens to be the bastard son of The Penguin! Someone is definitely using the apps Ethan's company makes for nefarious purposes and now they seem to be using a hot new game to troll Batgirl...


Batgirl has fast become one of my favorite comics. Writer Hope Larson has forged a mighty alloy made up of the classic Batgirl comics of the Bronze Age and the best bits of the The New 52 and Burnside eras. More, Larson has clearly done her research as to what a modern librarian's work entails (i.e. community outreach and tech skills - not dusting books) and worked that into the mix as well. It's a minor point but it's a fine example of just how Larson goes the extra mile in building this world.

The artwork sports an equally intricate level of detail. Chris Wildgoose is an amazing penciler, equally adept at depicting high-action and soft conversations. Mat Lopes and Jon Lame provide the perfect finishes with their colors and inks. All in all, this is one book to keep an eye on!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 5, Episode 17 - Kapiushon

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




Plot

Captured by Prometheus, Oliver faces unthinkable torture as his sworn enemy tries to break him and Diggle leads the rest of Team Arrow to find him.

Five years earlier, Oliver's increasingly violent tactics begin to worry Anatoly as they head into a final confrontation with Konstantin Kovar, who they've discovered is plotting a coup of the Russian government.



Influences

The Green Arrow comics of Mike Grell (Ollie being tortured while having flashbacks).


Performances

I think David Nykl's performances as Anatoly are probably the most underrated guest performance in the show's history. The series frequently required him to be the voice of reason, comic relief and a figure of menace - all roles he filled easily while still seemingly being the same character. In this episode, he does all three of these things in the span of an hour and makes it seem as natural as breathing.


Artistry

The fight choreography of the flashback sequences is some of the best the show has seen.

The final battle between Kovar and Oliver on the casino dance floor is well-lit, well-blocked and well-directed. Well-done over all, really.


Trivia

The episode title 'Kapiushon' is a rough Anglicization of the Russian word for "hood". It is later revealed that this is what Kovar's men had taken to calling the figure with the bow who was attacking their business interests.

Prometheus reveals that his took his name from the mythological figure who stole the power of The Greek Gods. It is likewise his intent to take away all of Oliver Queen's power.

"Samovol'shchnia"is a Russian phrase meaning "do as you will." It has a deeper meaning that is tied into The Russian Revolution of 1917. In this case, it means a coup - a violent overthrow of the government.


Technobabble

Justin Claybourne's autopsy reveal that his aortic arch was pierced by an arrow. However, the actual cause of death was drowning. He spent 145 seconds (2 minutes, 25 seconds) underwater before his lungs filled up.

Felicity and Curtis had to reroute the electro-optical digital imaging from every reconisance satellite they could gain access to and then capture the data in a 4-dimensional array which could then be parsed using a real-time algorithm. Curtis says solving cold fusion would have been easier.


Dialogue Triumphs

Gregor: (To Oliver) And you are no one's hero. Every thing and every one that you love will wither and die at your touch!

Kovar: My father once told me "do not have 100 rubles but 100 friends."
Merlyn: (laughing) Fortunately we have both friends and money.

(Oliver wakes up on the floor of his cell. Adrian is arranging the last of several photos on the walls.)
Adrian: Do they look familiar? Do you even remember their faces? These are your victims.
Oliver:  (sighs) They were people who did... terrible things. They -had- victims.
Adrian: And husbands. And wives. Daughters. (pauses) Sons. Confess your secret Oliver, and all this ends. I'll give you a gift and you can walk out that door and go back home.
Oliver:  Adrian, you're sick. And you're a hypocrite. There is nothing that I've done that compares with you. You murdered your own wife!
(Adrian moves over to one of the pictures.)
Adrian: Cecil Adams. You knew him by his street name, The Count? You put three arrows in him.
Oliver:  He was going to kill a friend of mine...
(Adrian moves to the floor where a bow and quiver are waiting. He begins to strap on the quiver.)
Adrian: Felicity Smoak.
Oliver: (impatient) Yeah!
Adrian: Confess. Or you get the same three arrows.
(Oliver steadies himself.)
Oliver: Go to hell.
Adrian: I've already been there, Oliver. And I've come back with a message for you.
(In rapid succession, Adrian shoots the three arrows into Oliver's shoulders.)

The Hood: A friend of mine recently showed me the skinning techniques used by hunters in Mongolia. They remove all the skins of things much larger than you in less than five minutes. Which means... you don't have very long... to tell me what your boss is planning.
Kovar's Man: I don't know anything!
The Hood: I was hoping you'd say that.
(The Hood moves in as the camera pans left. We fade to black as Kovar's man begins screaming.)

(Anatoly has discovered Oliver and what is left of Kovar's man.)
Anatoly: This is not human!
Oliver: Anatoly, I told you - putting on this hood... it helps me direct the darkness inside me. It worked, by the way. I know what Kovar is planning.
Anatoly: But at what cost?! You are a fool to think a piece of cloth can separate man from monster. Dividing yourself in two? Will only make the monster stronger until it is stronger than you.
Oliver: You knew what I was capable of back on Lian Yu.
Anatoly: But this man I see now?  Bears more resemblance to Slade Wilson. Or Anthony Ivo.
(Anatoly looks under the cloth and winces.)
Anatoly: Tough man. Clearly he stood a lot before breaking.
Oliver: He gave up pretty quickly. The rest was me practicing.
Anatoly: Practicing to become what?
Oliver: Something else.

(Viktor guides Anatoly and his men into am ambush of Kovar's men.)
Anatoly: You sold us out!
Viktor: We're in a casino, Anatoly. I like to think of it as playing the hand I was dealt.

Adrian: I told you, Oliver. You infect every life that you touch. And now do you realize why? It's because your crusade was based on a lie. You used your father's memory to justify a killing spree. There's a price to be paid for that, Oliver. Your mother paid it. Your friend Tommy paid it. Laurel.... Do you really want to tell me that John Diggle and Felicity Smoak's lives are better having known you?

Anatoly: I cannot believe scared boy in cell beside me would be one to kill Konstantin Kovar.
Oliver: Well, that wasn't me. (Oliver holds up the hood.) That was him.
Anatoly: That is a lie you tell yourself. An excuse that allows you to kill. You kill because you like it.
Oliver: That is not true, Anatoly. I hate it. And I think maybe you've had a bit too much to drink.
Anatoly: Well, that is entirely possible. But in this case I am right. This deal you sold yourself on? That this hood is going to keep this monster of yours at bay? Someday is going to fall apart. And when it does, you are not going to like the man you see underneath.


Dialogue Disasters

Every instance of Adrian Chase shouting "Confess" to Oliver and Oliver shouting back that he doesn't know what Chase wants. Pure Narm.


Continuity

When a Bratva Pakhan dies, a new one is appointed based on seniority.

It is a Bratva tradition that the dead be laid out in state and that other members place money around the corpse. According to Anatoly, this is because the money makes a good gift in Heaven or a good bribe to Satan.

When a new Pakhan takes over, every member of his gang must cut their hand with a knife and shake hands with him.

Malcolm Merlyn was a business partner of Konstantin Kovar.

Merlyn provides Kovar with a large quantity of Sarin Gas in exchange for Kovar providing Merlyn with some unspecified information for Unidac Industries. This was the company which made The Markov Device which Merlyn used to generate earthquakes as part of The Undertaking in Season One.

The Count's real name is revealed to be Cecil Adams. Oliver killed him to save Felicity's life in 207.

Oliver was taught the skinning techniques used by hunters in Mongolia. They are capable of completely skinning large animals in less than five minutes.

In order to win the trust of Taiana's mother, Oliver repeats the phrase she told him in 413 - "The same hammer that shatters glass forges steel."

Evelyn Sharpe/Artemis - last seen in 509 - is thrown into Oliver's cell with a knife. Prometheus says that one of them must be dead when he returns or she will snap her neck in front of Oliver. If she kills him first, she'll be free to go.

Taiana's mother is killed by Kovar. Oliver arrives too late to save her after seeing her being attacked on a security monitor.

Oliver's confession is that he doesn't kill because he has to because of his crusade - he does it because he wants to and because he enjoys it.

Prometheus burns the skin where Oliver's Bratva tattoo is located below his left shoulder.

Anatoly and Oliver got matching Bartva Captain tattoos after Oliver seemingly killed Kovar. Anatoly insisted on promoting Oliver despite his intentions to return home to Starling City so that if he ever needed the Bratva's help, he would be able to get it.

Anatoly also gives Oliver back the hood that he lost in Kovar's casino.

Anatoly refers to the events of the flashbacks in 204 and how Oliver was performing surgery on himself when they first met.

It is revealed that Kovar survived Oliver's beat-down and that he was saved, in part, by Malcolm Merlyn.

Oliver was missing for six days.


The Fridge Factor

Taiana's mother is killed to give Oliver more angst.


The Bottom Line

One of the rare episodes where the flashback sequences are more gripping than the present day material. This is doubly stunning given that we know Oliver and Anatoly will survive their battle with Kovar. The scenes of Oliver being tortured do manage a few honest surprises, though Oliver's confession is hardly a revelation given that it's been at the heart of Oliver's conflict since the first season. Unfortunately, the ending lacks any kind of punch since we know there's still several episodes left this season and no realistic way for everyone else on Team Arrow to quit... particularly when there's a murderous maniac working among them as Star City's D.A.

Starman Plays Gabriel Knight: Sins Of The Fathers (20th Anniversary Edition) - Part 14

In which we set about becoming a fully-sworn Schattenjagger by performing a sacred ritual using a chamberpot.

From there, we move on to the shortest day and easiest puzzle in the game - made longer and more annoying by the inclusion of a sliding puzzle in this special edition.

Finally, we journey to Africa and face a all-too-brief family reunion with our awesome uncle - The Third Doctor! (Okay, not really. But he sure does LOOK like Jon Pertwee!)

Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor: Year Two #15 - An Advanced Review/Preview

The Doctor's plan to take comic creators Sonny and Val off on a tour of the Universe was all going so well... until they landed on a planet of Mindmorphs intent on stealing their minds! Will the creative duo be able to channel their talents in order to save the Doctor? Or is this partnership, and the minds of all on the planet, beyond saving?






The first thought I had upon reading this issue was "Oh, so this is The Doctor vs. the giant brains from Futurama?" The second thought I had upon reading this issue was, "Holy crap! That's awesome! The Doctor is fighting the giant brains from Futurama!"

In fairness, the idea of intelligence-draining aliens has been a standard science-fiction trope for years as has the idea of human ingenuity overcoming alien logic. Robbie Morrison's script for this issue may not be the most unique Doctor Who has ever seen. What it lacks in originality, however, it more than makes up for in wit and execution. It's a fun read, plain and simple.

Rachael Stott's artwork helps contribute to that exciting aura of enjoyment. Her pencils and character designs are as bold and bright as The Doctor himself, made bolder still by Rod Fernandes' colors. Hopefully they'll continue to hang around for Year Three because this is one fantastic-looking book!

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 2, Episode 15 - Fellowship Of The Spear

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




Plot

After retrieving the other half of The Spear of Destiny from The Legion of Doom's hideout in what remains of The Vanishing Point, The Legends travel to WWI. It is here that they team with a young soldier named John Tolkien to find the means to destroy The Spear. The power of The Spear speaks to them all, however, and they must contend with The Legion's latest recruit... Leonard Snart!


Influences

The Lord of The Rings
(plot involving heroes seeking to destroy a magic artifact that risks corrupting them, secret writing is revealed when the artifact is exposed to fire, and numerous other nods to the original books by Tolkien and the Peter Jackson films based upon them), Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (the scene of the team searching an old church for clues to locate a holy relic) and The DaVinci Code (idea of ancient conspiracy built around Jesus Christ and The Crusades).



Goofs

The show uses an establishing shot of The Amiens Catherdal to identify the church where Gawain was buried. In the show, Tolkien says it was built in the 1600s. The real world Amiens Cathedral dates back to the 13th Century and is the oldest Gothic cathedral in France. (Then again, the building is also identified as The Amenis Church so it could be an entirely different one..)


Performances

Dominic Purcell gets a fantastic turn here. After being the comic relief for so many episodes, he gets a chance to display some genuine pathos here as we see his fear at not being quite right in the head after he starts seeing Snart again. Then there's his internal conflict that Snart is right about how his teammates will never view him as anything but a dog to be kept on a leash.


Artistry

The battle sequences do a good job of capturing the horrors of trench warfare.


Trivia Of Tomorrow

Rather than the usual opening narration, this episode opens immediately with a "Previously on Legends of Tomorrow" announcement before showing clips from previous episodes.

The book which Nate refers to - The Burden Of The Purest Heart - Sir Gawain's Secret Treasure by J. R. R. Tolkien - is not a real one. Tolkien did produce what many consider the definitive translation of Sir Gawain and The Green Knight.

As depicted in this episode, Tolkien did serve as a Second Lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers during The Battle Of The Somme.

Nate describes The Battle of Somme as one of the bloodiest conflicts in human history. It was definitely the largest battle on the Western Front of World War I, with over one million men wounded or killed on both sides of the conflict.

As depicted in this episode, Tolkien suffered repeated health problems while enlisted and was frequently removed from the front lines. Eventually he was declared unfit for fighting. Despite this, he maintained his rank after being demobilized in 1920.

As depicted in this episode, Tolkien did not enjoy military life. Even ignoring his continual ill health in the trenches, he preferred the life of an academic and it's quite likely he would have avoided joining the army had the social stigma for young men avoiding volunteering been so great at the time. Indeed, he delayed volunteering until after he had earned his degree - presumably in the hopes that the war would be over before his graduation date.

The Spear of Destiny is said to glow in the presence of Jesus' blood. This is similar to how, in The Lord of The Rings, some Elven blades would glow blue when orcs and goblins were nearby.

The Spear of Destiny urges people around it to use it. This is similar to how The One Ring in The Lord of The Rings attempted to tempt people around it.

The Spear of Destiny can only be destroyed by The Blood of Jesus Christ - the same substance that empowered it. This is similar to how, in The Lord of The Rings, only the fires of Mount Doom - which were used to forge The One Ring - could destroy The One Ring.

A secret message is revealed when The Spear of Destiny is set on fire. The One Ring from Lord of The Rings also presents a secret message when tossed into the fire.

At one point, Stein says one does not simply walk into the middle of a war zone - a nod to a complaint about simply entering Mordor in The Lord of The Rings.

Amaya's argument that they can use The Spear wisely against their enemies rather than destroying it mirrors that of Boromir in The Lord of The Rings.

Rip's speech about the courage of men not failing this day is a nod to Aragorn's speech in The Return of The King.


Technobabble

Stein theorizes that The Spear of Destiny is made of some magnetized compound which acts as its own sealant.

The British army broadcast on a frequency of 3 mHz.


Dialogue Triumphs

(The Legends look over the two pieces of The Spear of Destiny that they have.)
Rip: It's hard to imagine that when joined with their siblings, they're as powerful as God.
Jax: But right now, that's just a useless piece of wood.
(Sara picks up the wooden piece of The Spear.)
Sara:
It's not useless. I know ten different ways to kill somebody with this.
Mick: Not to mention it's great for scratching those hard to reach places.
Ray: Please don't tell me you used The Spear of Destiny as a back-scratcher!
Mick: Who said anything about my back?
(Sara drops the piece of wood.)
Stein: Well, as Mister Rory has demonstrated, in the wrong hands, this divine artifact can be put to truly horrific use.
Mick: Yeah!

(Sara comes up behind Mick, who is staring at the place where Snart died.)
Sara: Mick? Mick! Are you okay?
Mick: Am I okay? Why wouldn't I be okay?
Sara: ... I miss him too.
Mick: He blew himself up. For what?
Sara: So the rest of us could live.
Mick: Idiot:
Sara: Mick, we've got to go. (harder) Look, this is a heist. We have to steal the other pieces of The Spear and get out of here. (pauses) You think this is what Snart wants?! You waiting around so that you can get caught?!
Mick: ... probably not.
(Wordlessly, Mick turns around and walks past Sara. She looks back to the point herself before following after.)

(Rip tries - and fails - to shoot his way into the obelisk holding The Legion's pieces of The Spear of Destiny.)
Rip: Your try, Mr. Jackson.
Firestorm: Oh. (pauses as he looks at the obelisk) What's your favorite candy?
Rip: Jellybeans. Why?
(Firestorm slaps Rip on the shoulder and walks over to the obelisk. He touches it and it begins to flash yellow and red. Within a few seconds, the material collapses into a pile of jellybeans along with two pieces of wood. He smiles and gestures like a magician having just accomplished a great trick.)
Firestorm: A little transmutation trick me and Grey have been working on.
(Rip slaps Firestorm on the shoulder and kneels down. He takes one of the jellybeans and looks at it carefully before putting it in his mouth. He clearly enjoys the taste and savors it a moment before grabbing the pieces of wood.)
Rip: Both delicious and impressive, Mr. Jackson.

Thawne: This can't be happening. They're not smart enough for this to be happening...

Snart: My, my my - how the mighty have fallen.
Mick: You said that the last time you appeared. Huh. You picked a hell of a time to show up. I'm kind of in the middle of something.
Snart: Yeah. In the middle of being a good little doggie to those insufferable wannabees.
(Mick closes his eyes and clutches his forehead.) 
Mick: Stay on mission, now. Gotta find this Hobbit guy.
Snart: J.R.R. Tolkien? Why? Hoping for an autograph?
Mick: I don't even know who the guy is! All I know is I gotta find this Hobbit guy who knows the guy that's buried with Jesus' blood. Then we can destroy The Spear of Destiny!
Snart: Mick, Mick, Mick - when have we ever destroyed anything we've ever stolen, let alone the most valuable score in the universe? What have they done to you?

(Snart is trying to convince Mick to use The Spear of Destiny to save his life.)
Mick: You're in my head. You're an... illumination.
Snart: A hallucination?
Mick: That's it.
(Snart punches Mick, bruising his face almost instantly.)
Snart: Now, did that feel like a hallucination?
(Snart leaves, leaving Mick to rub his face in confusion.)

Rip: This darkness will pass.
Tolkien: You speak as someone who has seen the future.
Nate: Haven't all students of history? Those who suffer, heal. Everything destroyed gets rebuilt and our towers grow a little taller every time.
Tolkien: I should like to believe you. Tell me - why do you seek The Grave of Gawain?
Rip: Ehhh... It's a long story.
Tolkien: Well, I enjoy long stories.
Nate: Yeah. He does.

(Mick grabs Stein, gesturing to the bruise on his face.)
Mick: Snart did this!
Stein: I believe you!.
Mick: You do?!
Stein: Of course not! I just don't want you to hurt me!

Snart: Pretty pathetic if you ask me.
(Snart emerges from behind the team, cold gun in hand. Mick looks at him in disbelief. Everyone else is stunned.)
Rip: Mr. Snart?
Mick: Wait... you can see him?
Ray: You're supposed to be dead!
Snart: Yeah, they told me all about how I get soft and die for you losers. I didn't believe them:
Mick: Believe who?
Darhk: (entering from behind Snart) Well, if that's not an entrance line, I don't know what is.
Tolkien: What is going on here?
Rip: The Legion must have traveled back in time and picked up Mr. Snart before he joined The Legends.
Darhk: He told us all about your plan of how you were going to destroy The Spear.
Snart: (mock-cheerful) Thanks for the tip, Mick!
(The rest of the team turn and look at an embarrassed Mick.)
Mick: ... I didn't think he was real!
Darhk: No-no-no! No need to defend yourself. (pauses) Actually, there is. Angriff!
(German soldiers swarm the church and begin firing on The Legends.)

Rip: Attention all combatants! May I have your attention, please? There are casualties on the battlefield. Brave men on both sides who are in urgent need of medical attention. I know that the divisions between us run deep. That they may very well be insurmountable. But I implore both of our armies, for this one moment, to come together as allies and honor a ceasefire so that the injured may be removed from the field of battle. There may come a day when our courage fails us. When we forsake our friendship sand break the bonds of fellowship. But today is not that day! And perhaps in showing our humanity, we might just save it.


Dialogue Disasters

(As The Waverider flies away)
Thawne:
Nooooooooooooo!


Continuity

Rip reveals that The Legion of Doom have been operating out of The Vanishing Point.

The pieces of The Spear of Destiny are attracted to each other and can be used to track one another.

Mick flashes back to the events of 115 and Snart's death.

Firestorm has refined his transmutation powers to the point that he can transform the laser-resistant pillar holding The Legion's spear fragments into jellybeans.

"Natum de sanguine, perditus a sanguine" is written on The Spear of Destiny in letters of fire, which are revealed when the spear is burned. The phrase means "Born of blood, undone by blood."

Nate knows Latin.

Nate spent a year in Oxford while working on his Masters Degree. During that year, he dated a woman named Wendy.

Nate theorizes that only The Blood of Christ can destroy the Spear of Destiny.

According to Rip, there are several points in time which a time-traveler cannot risk interfering with. The birth, life and death of Jesus is one of these points.

Nate remembers a paper he read where a young scholar suggested that Sir Gawain did not find The Holy Grail, as legend claimed, but instead had a vial of Jesus Christ's blood.

Darhk says he and Merlyn were sent to locate The Kalabros Maniscript when The Legends raided their base and took their pieces of The Spear.

Mick refers to the hallucinations of Snart he had up until 209.

Nate cannot do a convincing British accent.

Nate played Bert in his middle-school production of Mary Poppins.

Amaya tells Sara that she saw the future of her village, her daughter and her granddaughter.

Laurel Lance told Sara about Amaya's grand-daughter - the modern-era Vixen.

Gawain's burial place is in a cathedral in Amiens.

Darkh reveals that The Legion of Doom took Leonard Snart from a point in time from before he joined The Legends.

Amaya claims to hear the voice of her mother when she is near The Spear. The voice urges her to save their people and their legacy.

Mick claims to hear the voice of his parents around The Spear, only they're begging him not to play with fire.

The location of the blood of Jesus is revealed to be smack dab in the middle of No Man's Land.

The Spear of Destiny glows in the presence of Jesus' blood.

Mick betrays The Legends to join The Legion of Doom. He offers Amaya a chance to go with him but she declines.

The vial holding Jesus Christ's blood is destroyed.

Merlyn locates The Kalabros Maniscript - The Word of God and an owner's manual of sorts for The Spear of Destiny.

The episode ends with The Legion of Doom using The Spear of Destiny.


Location

A battlefield near the Somme River in North-Central Framce - 1916
The Vanishing Point
The Church of Amiens in Amiens, France - 1916.


Untelevised Adventures

We don't see how The Legion of Doom persuaded Snart to join with them.

We also don't see the "not easy" adventure Malcolm Merlyn had to go on to retrieve The Kalabros Maniscript.


The Bottom Line

A great episode with one hell of a cliff-hanger and Dominic Purcell's best turn yet as Mick Rory.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 3, Episode 17 - Duet

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




Plot

Team Flash is surprised when Mon-El and Hank Henshaw emerge from a breach with an unconscious Supergirl in tow.They tell everyone about The Music Meister - a new telepathic villain who put Kara under his spell. Soon Barry is similarly enscrolled and both heroes find themselves trapped in a world right out of a musical. And if they hope to get out of this one gracefully, they're going to have to sing and dance their way to the end of the story!


Influences

The Mayhem Of The Music Meister! episode of Batman: The Brave And The Bold, the MGM film version of The Wizard of Oz (various lines refer to songs from it, Barry notes that the people around them in the dream world look like people from his and Kara's lives) and various Mr. Mxyzptlk stores from the classic Superman/Supergirl comics (Music Mesiter's powers and general M.O.)


Goofs

Very little about The Music Meister makes sense in terms of powers, power limits and motivations. But hey, it's a musical, so don't worry about it.


Performances

The entire ensemble does a great job with the musical numbers.


Artistry


The set design, costuming and lighting of the musical dream world are fantastic.

The original songs are toe-tapping numbers that will stick with you after the episode is over.


Flash Facts

Grant Gustin (who plays Barry Allen), Melissa Benoist (who plays Supergirl) and Darren Cris (who plays The Music Meister) all previously appeared together in the musical comedy/drama Glee.

The Music Meister was originally created for the cartoon Batman: The Brave And The Bold. A powerful telepath who was bullied for his love of singing and musicals as a child, he discovered that he could control the minds of other people by singing. This resulted in the people under his control bursting out into song, as if they were in a musical production. The episode in which he appeared - The Mayhem Of The Music Meister! - was nominated for an Emmy and frequently places in the top rankings on lists of Television History's greatest musical episodes.

Precisely what The DCTVU version of Music Meister is never explained. J'onn says he was an alien, but his species is never identified. He is able to steal both Barry and Kara's powers and clearly possess some kind of telepathic abilities - presumably how he is able to know so much about everyone and their secrets. He claims his motivations are purely to help mend Barry and Kara's broken hearts. This makes him very much like Mr. Mxyzptlk, whom Kara has already fought once. Oddly enough, nobody else makes this connection in the episode.

The songs featured in this episode include Singing In The Rain from Singing In The Rain, Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany's, Put A Little Love In Your Heart by Jackie DeShannon and More I Cannot Wish You from Guys And Dolls.

The backstage area where Barry meets Kara features several posters for Thurston The Great Magician. This is a reference to Howard Thurston - a stage magician who was certainly the most famous of his time and one of the "Royal Dynasty" of magicians.

John Barrowman - who plays Malcolm Merlyn on Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow - appears in the dream world as club owner/gangster "Cutter" Moran.

Jeremy Jordan - who plays Winn Schott on Supergirl - appears in the dream world as Grady The Piano Player.

Carlos Valdes - who plays Cisco Ramon on The Flash - appears in the dream world as Pablo The Waiter.

Victor Garber - who plays Dr. Martin Stein on Legends of Tomorrow - appears in the dream world as Digsy Foss's husband/ Millie Foss's other father (who is never named in the whole episode!)

Jesse L. Martin - who plays Joe West on The Flash - appears in the dream world as crime boss Digsy Foss.

Candice Patton - who plays Iris West on The Flash - appears in the dream world as Millie Foss.

Chris Wood - who plays Mon-El on Supergirl - appears in the dream world as Tommy Moran.

The original song - Superfriends - was written by actress/singer/songwriter Rachel Leah Bloom, who is perhaps most famous for her work on the show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

The original song - Runnin' Home To You - was written by Pasek and Paul, who also wrote the 2017 Academy Award winning song City of Stars for the movie La La Land.


Technobabble


Kara's vital signs are low after a few hours in The Music Meister's trance.

Caitlin determines that the Speed Force levels in Barry's cells and the amount of solar radiation in Kara's body have been severely depleted by their comas. She speculates that their powers are being drained by The Music Meister.


Dialogue Triumphs


Barry: Who are you exactly?
Mon-El: My name's Mon-El. I'm Kara's...(struggles before spitting out the word) friend.
(Barry just raises an eyebrow.)
Mon-El: We're more... more than... friend?
(Barry looks to Wally.)
Mon-El: We've been kissing a lot.
Caitlin: Oh! She never mentioned she had a boyfriend.
Mon-El: It's a recent thing, so...
J'onn: I thought you two broke up?
(Mon-El looks away as everyone goes awkwardly quiet.)
H.R.: (laughing nervously) I'll tell you what. I know enough not to mention the break-up between Barry and -uh-
Iris: (quietly) H.R.?
H.R.: Sorry...

(Kara and Barry speculate on where they are and how to escape.)
Barry: We just need to figure a way out.
Kara: (smiling) I guess I could click my heels together three times?
Barry: Yeah!
Kara: I was kidding.

(Wally runs into the lab. Everyone is watching Music Meister on a monitor trying to break into a bank with his stolen heat vision. Cisco has changed into the leather jacket for his Vibe costume.)
Mon-El: We've got to bring him in.
Wally: No. Not we. Me. I'm the reason Barry got whammied.
Cisco: We win and we lose as a team. I'm coming with you.
J'onn: I'm coming too.
Cisco: Look, John - I respect this whole special agent situation you've got going on, but this problem right here needs someone with...
(Without saying a word, J'onn shape-shifts into his Martian form.)
Cisco: ... green skin and a sick-ass cape.
J'onn: Call me The Martian Manhunter.
Mon-El: I think you'll find that J'onn is a lot more than just a pretty face.

Millie: Dads, there's no reason to be concerned!
Barry: (stunned) Dads?
Millie's Dads: (in unison) You got a problem with that?
Barry: No. I love musicals. So...

Barry: Wow. Things really are easier in musicals.

Barry: I'll be there in the nick of time if you're ever in a spot.
Kara: And if you're not there in time, you can just go back in time, and give it another shot.
Barry: (spoken) I'm actually not supposed to do that any more.
Kara: (spoken) Oh. Okay.

Continuity


This episode immediately follows the events of S216.

The episode opens with a flashback to Barry's childhood, where he is seen watching Singing In The Rain with his mother.

Kara did not say anything about Mon-El to the heroes of Earth One during the Invasion! storyline.

Kara and Barry are powerless in the dream world.

According to The Music Meister, Kara and Barry created their shared dreamworld together due to their shared love of musicals.

Cisco is revealed to have the power to vibe other people into the dreams of other people.

The Music Meister escapes, with no explanation as to who or what he is.

Kara and Mon-El seem to be back together again as a couple.

Barry proposes to Iris again. She accepts.


Location


The opening flashback takes place at some point in Barry's past before his mother died.


The Bottom Line


Those hoping for a full musical ala the Once More With Feeling episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer may leave this episode sorely disappointed since there's only two original songs and nothing within the context of the original action of the show. Those hoping for something as funny as the classic Brave And The Bold Episode with the cast being forced into a kick-line will be likewise let down. Taken on its own merits, however, this is a solidly amusing episode... except for my own personal opinion that there's better chemistry between Kara and Barry than their respective love interests.

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 2, Episode 16 - Star-Crossed

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




Plot

The arrival of an unknown alien ship may spell trouble for Kara's relationship with Mon-El. At the same time, Winn's winds up in trouble with the law thanks to his new girlfriend, Lyra. And then a new villain called The Music Meister attacks...


Influences

The Mayhem Of The Music Meister! episode of Batman: The Brave And The Bold, the Star-Crossed episode of Justice League: The Animated Series (title, plot based around lovers from two worlds finding out the other lied to them.) and every rom-com where the noble woman manes the idiot man want to be better.


Goofs

Why doesn't J'onn use his telepathy to determine whether or not Lyra is telling the the truth about her endangered brother and her reasons for committing the theft?

How does The Music Meister know about Barry Allen or how to work the inter-dimensional extrapolator? (Presumably he gained the knowledge telepathically after locking eyes with Kara.)


Performances


The episode is a nice performance piece for Jeremy Jordan, who gets to take center stage for most of it.

As cheesy and cliche and "rom-com" as the Kara/Mon-El scenes are this week, Chris Wood and Melissa Benoist still have amazing chemistry together.


Artistry


The special effects sequences are top notch, with Kara's confronting the ship and the destruction of Daxam flashback standing out.

The make-up for Mandrax is a little more intensive than what we usually see for aliens on this show.

The ending musical sequence is well-shot.


Super Trivia


Winn describes Lyra as a "she-hulk" when she breaks a lock with one hand. She-Hulk is, of course, a super-strong superheroine with the Marvelous Competitor of DC Comics.

Teri Hatcher - who plays Queen Rhea - played Lois Lane on the 1990s drama Lois & Clark.

There are two notable DC Comics characters who also had the name Rhea.  One of them was Rhea Jones - a member of the Doom Patrol who fought crime under the codename Lodestone. As her name implies, she had magnetic powers. The other Rhea was a character in New Teen Titans - apparently the Rhea of Greek Myth - who was really an alien who inspired the myths of the original Titans. This Rhea also saved an infant Donna Troy from a fire and bestowed a measure of power upon her.

Kevin Sorbo - who plays King Lar Gand - is famous for having starred in the 1990s Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.

In the original comics, Lar Gand was the original name of the amnesic Daxamite who was named Mon-El by Clark Kent after his rocket landed on Earth. He also used the names Valor and M'Onel while serving as a member of the Legion of Superheroes in various alternate realities.

The painting which Winn is accused of stealing is Vincent Van Gogh's The Starry Night. Painted in 1889, it is one of the most famous paintings in Western Civilization and has been part of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City since 1941.

Lyra's species is identified as Valerian. There is a Valerian race on Star Trek that are trade partners with The United Federation of Planets.It is also the name of a flowering planet, whose roots can be used to make mild sedatives.

A passing reference is made to the planet Rimbor Five. In the original comics, Rimbor was part of the United Planets in the Legion of Super Heroes books. Rimbor had a reputation as a lawless world where crime and corruption were commonplace. It was the homeworld of LoSH member Ultra Boy and was populated by several different species, including humans.

The Music Meister was originally created for the cartoon Batman: The Brave And The Bold. A powerful telepath who was bullied for his love of singing and musicals, he discovered that he could control the minds of other people by singing. This resulted in the people under his control bursting out into song, as if they were in a musical production. The episode in which he appeared - The Mayhem Of The Music Meister! - was nominated for an Emmy and frequently places in the top rankings on lists of Television History's greatest musical episodes.


Technobabble


The DEO picks up a homing signal on a teleportation beam.

The Guardian's shield is made of titanium alloy capable of deflecting laser blasts that can cut through a trailer.

Winn analyzes the inter-dimensional extrapolator that Cisco Ramon built for Kara back in L207 and declares that it is working fine.


Dialogue Triumphs

(Kara and Mon-El have just beamed down from Mon-El's parent's ship.)
Mon-El: So, you survived the first dinner with the fam...
Kara: You're a liar!
Mon-El: I'm sorry, okay?! Can you really blame me for wanting to be just Mon-El - a regular guy from Daxam?
Kara: Ohhhh - wow.
Mon-El: With how you feel about Daxamites, if you had known that I was the crown prince, would you even talk to me?
Kara: You didn't even give me the chance!
Mon-El: I tried to tell you so many times, okay? I really did.
Kara: What? Is that supposed to make this better?
Mon-El: Me being the prince doesn't change anything. Not how I feel about you...
Kara: This changes everything! It's bad enough you lied but you being the prince? I thought you were just born on a cruel planet but you lead it! You benefited from its cruelty! What about that Kryptonian emissary? Your guard... Do you even feel guilty?
Mon-El: Of course I do...
Kara: (shaking her head in disbelief) I can't even look at you.
(Kara flies up into the sky as Mon-El watches her sadly.)

Alex: Kara, maybe Mon-El is an evil prince. But maybe he's just a guy who is ashamed of his past and he's looking for a fresh start?

(An informant agrees to sell-out Lyra for Hamilton tickets - a price Alex agrees to. As they walk away...)
Winn: Hamilton? How you going to pull that one off?
Alex: The guy who plays King George is from Rimbor Five. He owes me a favor.

J'onn: Miss Strayd-
Winn: - needs our help!
J'onn:  - is an admitted con artist.
Winn: Her brother is in danger!
J'onn: Have you ever met this brother? Or could this possibly be just another con from a woman who knows how to play you?
Winn: (slowly) I believe her.
J'onn: I know you do. But I can't afford to.

Lyra: This was your plan all along?!
Winn: I mean, if I had told you half of National City's heroes and a squad of DEO Agents were going to show up, were you going to come along?
Lyra: Keeping secrets? (smiles)  Looks like I'm rubbing off on you.


Continuity


As the episode opens, Kara and Mon-El are watching Game of Thrones together.

Kara loves musicals and thinks that Funny Face is the most romantic movie ever.

Lyra is strong enough to break a padlock with one hand.

We discover that Mon-El is Prince of Daxam - not the royal guard that he claimed to be.

Queen Rhea refers to the events of 209 and how a Dominator ambassador informed them that their son helped orchestrate a slave revolt.

We find out that the sequence described by Mon-El in 204 was a complete lie. His escape from Daxam was facilitated by his bodyguard ushering him away from a one-night stand, ignoring people in need, killing a Kryptonian emmisary and stealing his rocket.

Alex remarks that Winn has a type. The last woman he was involved with sexually became Silver Banshee.

Valerians do not show up in photographs or on video cameras.

Alex finds two other similar heists in the past nine months - a Rodin stolen from the Modern Arts and Culture Museum in National City and an original Warhol taken from the Art Institute of Metropolis. Both of the suspects in those cases claim to have been set up by a girlfriend.

Worris is one of the regulars at the alien bar who both Alex and James have pumped for information in the past.

The Valerians in National City hang around a trailer park near Blackmore.

The actor who plays King George in the National City production of Hamilton is an alien from Rimbor 5 who owes Alex a favor.

Winn says he was a theater geek in high school.

Lyra has a brother named Bastian who was smuggled onto Earth with her. The two were refugees following a ten-year war on Starhaven, where their parents starved to death. She claims to be unable to sleep alone in the dark because of her nightmares of being locked below-deck on a spaceship for six weeks.

Lyla admits to real affection for Winn but claims she had to use him to steal the painting in order to pay a debt her brother owed.

Lyla's buyer is a fence named Mandrax - he was another Fort Rozz escapee.

Lyra's last name is Strayd.

Winn forgives Lyra for setting him up. It is unclear if she plans to say in National City because of this but Winn says that any woman who would go through the lengths she did to say her brother is someone worth forgiving.

Kara dumps Mon-El, despite his big romantic speech about how she makes him want to be better a better man.

Mon-El tells his parents he is not returning to Daxam with them and further tells them not to return to Earth.

Winn says that he's pretty sure he and Cisco Ramon would be best friends if they lived in the same dimension.

The Music Meister says he was looking for Kara, is aware of the existence of Barry Allen and knows how to work the the inter-dimensional extrapolator.


Location


The Music Meister's psychic dimension


The Bottom Line


A predictable, cliche-driven episode that works purely because of the charisma of the cast. Jeremy Jordan does a fantastic job holding the focus of the episode as Winn while Chris Wood and Melissa Benoist make their rom-com break-up subplot work.

That being said, I'm annoyed that after all that had been done to establish Winn and Lyra that they have her turn out to have been manipulating him because it's lazy writing. I'm also not sure what's worse - James being absent from the show for weeks at a time or episodes like this where he only shows up to get his butt kicked.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Lucifer #16 - A Review

This will probably be my last review of Lucifer for the foreseeable future. This is not because I don't enjoy the book. Indeed, it's one of my favorite monthly comics. Unfortunately, it's become all but impossible for me to review on an issue by issue basis.

Drawn as it is from the mythos of The Sandman, Hellblazer and the original Lucifer, this series has a LOT of backstory. If you're read those previous works, you'll find this series to be a wonderful continuation of the saga. Unfortunately, what makes this series so wonderful to a fan of classic Vertigo like myself also makes it inaccessible to 95% of the comics-reading public. Just summarizing the subplots in this issue outside of the context of the larger saga would require six or seven paragraphs!

Every issue of Lucifer is proof that good comics can be fine art. Richard Kadrey is a worthy successor to the legacies of Moore, Gaiman, Ennis and Carey. The artwork by Lee Garbett and Antonio Fabela perfectly matches the gothic tone of the story. This is a fantastic book, but you can't just pick it up and jump into it.

Green Arrow #19 - A Review

While many characters suffered from poor characterization and a lack of development in The New 52, it's hard to think of a complex character who underwent greater devolution than Roy Harper. Raised Native American and a proud single-father, his history was scrapped in favor of a vague backstory that hinted at his being a homeless petty criminal whose employment and subsequent falling-out with Green Arrow was never explained... until now.

The story of Green Arrow #19 alternates between flashbacks showcasing the Green Arrow/Speedy relationship and action sequences in the modern day. It is here that Roy Harper and Oliver Queen have crossed paths again, with Roy having come home to aid the tribe that raised him and Oliver tracking the latest crimes against humanity being perpetuated with his company's resources - i.e. building an oil pipeline across sacred Native land.


In just two short issues, Benjamin Percy has done much to negate the damage dealt to Roy Harper. Roy's Native roots have been reaffirmed, though the details of how he came to be adopted have yet to be divulged. And Percy has rebuilt the friendship between Dinah Lance and Roy Harper, albeit under different circumstances than in the original universe. The "big sister looking out for little brother "vibe is there again, even if this Dinah didn't check this Roy into rehab.


Despite there being two separate teams at work in this issue, there is no discontinuity between the pages. Both Eleonora Carlini and Mirka Andolfo utilize a style based around detailed pencils and light inks, so the two complement each other to the point that I'm not entirely certain that one did the flashbacks and the other did the modern day sequences!  Well, whoever did what, the artwork in this issue is fantastic!

Aquaman #19 - A Review

The Aquamarines were created by the US Government with one purpose in mind - creating a team of super-powered soldiers capable of bringing down Aquaman if necessary.  Now, they have come to Arthur Curry requesting his help in dealing with a mutual enemy - the nightmarish creature called Dead Water and the "strange water" substance that created it.

Dan Abnett is one of the best when it comes to writing good science-fiction with a militaristic flair. Aquaman #19 is a prime example of the genre. Unfortunately - from the perspective of one who enjoys more character-based adventure - this issue is a bit dry. No pun intended. The Aquamarines are all ciphers with little in the way of personality and the opening scenes of the book are heavy with exposition. This gives the reader little chance to establish a rapport with any of the cast and little reason to care about them being endangered when the action begins.


Once the action does start, however, Aquaman #19 becomes an entirely different book. Philippe Briones is given ample opportunity to showcase his talents for depicting both unusual beasts and fantastic fight scenes. The colors by Gabe Eltaeb provide the perfect conclusion to the pencils and inks.

Starman Plays Gabriel Knight: Sins Of The Fathers (20th Anniversary Edition) - Part 13

In which we finally get some straight answers from Uncle Wolfgang, commit an unexpected act of grave robbery whilst in the middle of an expected act of grave robbery and travel to Germany, where - unlike in the original game - the ancestral castle is not being tended to by some woman in a Bavarian peasant wench outfit.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 5, Episode 16 - Checkmate

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




Plot

Oliver learns the truth of who is behind Prometheus's mask but will that help him to save Susan Williams? Meanwhile, Felicity finds that the hacker group Helix won't help her anymore until she starts doing some favors for them.

In the flashback, Oliver reveals his new identity to Anatoly as they plot how to take down Gregor and his captains with an army of three men.


Influences

The comics of Dennis O'Neil (presence of Talia Al Ghul, the opening sequence in the dojo) and the I Am The Night episode of Batman: The Animated Series (Oliver has a similar tantrum to one Batman has where he destroys part of his lair in the wake of a police officer ally being shot.)


Performances

The chemistry between Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards is as strong as ever.


Artistry

The opening fight scene where Oliver fights all of Talia's students is brilliantly choreographed and well filmed.


Trivia

It is confirmed that the Talia who trained Oliver in Russia is Talia Al Ghul. In the comics, Talia Al Ghul is Ra's Al Ghul's most recent child - one he sought to marry off to a worthy male heir. She first appeared in Detective Comics #411 (May 1971). 

Talia confirms that she had a disagreement with her father and broke away to form her own clan of assassins. This occurred in the comics as well, following the events of the story Batman: Legacy. There, Talia abandoned her father after he attempted to force her to marry the villain Bane and took up a position managing Lex Corp after Lex Luthor was elected President of the USA. She would later take control of the League of Assassins, following a war for control of the organization after her father's death. She also established another group - Leviathan - purely for the purpose of fighting Batman.


Technobabble

Helix has 3-D nano-electrics designed to interface with a neural network. They stole the prototype from Palmer Tech.

Helix has a giant monitor showing multiple real-time feeds from every cell phone camera in the world, running through a pattern-recognition algorithm. According to Felicity, this is more complex than anything the NSA has in the DCTVU.

The T-spheres are capable of detecting resonance frequencies.

Oliver keeps a hand-held flash-bang in his quiver for emergency escapes.

Felicity hacks a DPS drone, feeds the receiver false information and then spoofs the GPS system.

Curtis has also programmed the T-Sphers to act as independent search drones.

Oliver has a camera capable of being snaked under a sealed door that broadcasts to a small monitor on his wrist. This allows him to spy the C-4 trap that is rigged to go off if the door is opened.

The T-spheres are capable of generating sufficient force to break through a solid wall.


Dialogue Triumphs

Oliver: One of your former students is trying to kill me.
Talia: Oh, he doesn't want to kill you, Oliver. He means to destroy you utterly.
Oliver: (in realization) You knew!  If you knew, then why would you train him? Why wouldn't you warn me?!
Talia: Two years ago he sought me out. He'd already learned much about you. He's a man of remarkable capacity-
Oliver: Talia, enough! If you knew what he wanted, then why would you train him?!
Talia: You killed his father. And I helped him in his pursuit of vengeance because by then you'd killed mine!
(Oliver just stares at her, stunned.)
Talia: I never told you my full name, did I?
Oliver: No, you didn't.
Talia: It is Talia Al Ghul.
(Oliver exhales slowly.)Oliver: Ra's Al Ghul was your father.
Talia: Yes. My father and I came to be at odds, so I forged by own path. (pauses) But he was still my father when you put a sword through his chest!
Oliver: So that's why you're not going to help me? That's why you won't tell me who this Prometheus is?
Talia: Of course I will, Oliver. Because I want you to suffer. He calls himself... Adrian Chase.

(Adrian Chase is walking to his car. An arrow suddenly passes him and shatters the driver's side window. He stops dead as Green Arrow emerges from behind him, drawing another arrow.)
Chase: Gonna try it this way now? (turns to face Green Arrow) I gotta tell you, I don't know how that mask is going to play here. Especially since the city's not too fond of your alter ego these days.
Green Arrow: I'll give them The Throwing Star Killer. See how they feel.
Chase: Wait, that's your big plan?  Arresting me?  Oh, man - that's a bit of a letdown, I have to say.
Green Arrow: (lowering his bow) Well, I'm not gonna kill you. If only because that's what you want me to do.
Chase: But you've done everything I've wanted so far. Did you really think I'd let all this end in a parking garage?
Green Arrow: What did you do?!
Chase: I gave your girlfriend an exclusive. (pauses) Wait - are you still dating Susan Williams? I gotta tell you, buddy, it's been a little hard to keep track.
Green Arrow: What did you to do her?!
Chase: She's fine. Don't worry. As long as I'm around to make sure she gets some food and water. Starvation and dehydration? Terrible way to go. Bottom line - I die, she dies. I don't make it back to her in time? She dies. Now, you could try torturing me for her location. We both know what you're capable of in that department. But... I think that we both know what I'm capable of. So Ollie?  Who do you think will last longer? Susan or me? (sighs happily) Ohhhhhh, I'm ten steps ahead and you don't even know what game we're playing yet!
(Chase laughs as he gets in his car.)

Felicity: I'm... sorry.
Oliver: I'm not angry. You don't... you don't work for me. I'm worried.
Felicity: Right. Of course! For all you know, Prometheus could have...
Oliver: Not... I'm worried about you.
Felicity: ...Oh.
Oliver: Because you're into something. And you don't want to tell anyone about it. Or maybe you just don't want to tell me? I think we can both agree that keeping secrets doesn't end well. So..
Felicity: Yeah. You're right. It's just... right now's not really a good time with everything going on. You just have to trust me on this one, ok?
Oliver: Okay.

(Anatoly enters the room to find Oliver changing into his Hood costume.)
Abatoly: There you are. Viktor has confirmed Gregor's location. But tell me, why did you want him gone? And... why are you playing Robin Hood?
Oliver: I met a woman. She taught me how to give my darkness an identity so that it doesn't consume me.
Anatoly: And you believed her? (mutters in Russian) Oliver... whatever you think is inside you ... is inside you. You cannot name it like that and keep it apart from you.
Oliver: This woman's taught me differently.
Anatoly: This woman does not know what she is talking about. And if you are not careful, Oliver, one day she will be the source of your greatest pain.

Ollie: Me and my team are gonna find her. And when we do - the second that we do - I'm going to put an arrow right through your heart.
Chase: You do realize how impotent you sound right now, right?
Ollie: You think this is a game? (grabs Chase by the lapels) I don't feel like playing anymore.
Chase: But you don't have a choice, Oliver. If you kill me, you kill Susan. And she will be as dead as your mother. As Tommy. As Shado. As Laurel. As your friend Pike here, probably. All dead because of you. So go ahead. Kill me. Let's find out how much more loss you can take. Because I don't think it's much. I think you're one loss away from being destroooooyed...
(Ollie slowly lets go of Chase.)
Chase: I guess we'll have to find another way to handle this then. You see, that's the beautiful thing about all of this, Oliver. If you kill me, you'll only really going to be killing yourself.

(The Hood shoots one of the Bratva guards. As his partner turns to see what happened, Anatoly comes up behind him and snaps his neck. The Hood nods.)
The Hood: (in the deep voice Oliver uses as The Hood)
Thanks for the assist.
Anatoly: What is thing you are doing with your voice?

(Prometheus removes his mask.)
Prometheus: I'm glad Talia told you. I prefer it this way. Face to face. There's an honesty to it.
Green Arrow: Well, honestly? I'm going to keep both of us here until this building comes down on us.
Prometheus: Then you'd be dead
Green Arrow: So would you.
Prometheus: Really? You really think I'd let that happen, Oliver?
(Prometheus flips a switch on his detonator. The bombs are all deactivated.)
Prometheus: Remember - I'm always ten steps ahead of you.
Green Arrow: You know...if that were true...you probably would have seen this coming.
(Spartan walks around the corner with a horrified Doris Chase.)
Prometheus: I told you Oliver - I'm not going to kill you... and you can't kill me!
Green Arrow: Yes, Adrian! Yes I can!
(Green Arrow is about to move in when an arrow strikes him in the back of the leg. He falls down and turns to see Talia Al Ghul, glaring at him, bow in hand, as he falls unconscious.)


Continuity

Talia confirms that she is the daughter of Ra's Al Ghul and that she trained Prometheus, in part, as revenge for Oliver Queen killing her father.

Talia says that Prometheus came to her about two years earlier, shortly after Oliver killed Ra's Al Ghul.

Talia tells Oliver Prometheus' identity, saying that she wants him to suffer.

Oliver finds out that Adrian Chase is Prometheus.

Thea, Lyla and John Junior are confirmed to be safe.

Curtis and Dinah travel to Opal City to check out Prometheus' mother. They discover her house abandoned, save for a monitor showing a 30-second clip of Prometheus menacing Susan Williams.

Felicity discovers that Adrian Chase's real name is Simon Morrison and that his mother's name - Amanda Westfield - was an alias.

Oliver gives the evidence of Adrian Chase being an alias to Captain Pike. He is later stabbed by some random mugger outside of police headquarters.

Adrian Chase stabs his wife after she finds out he is Prometheus.

Talia ambushes Green Arrow, shooting him when his back is turned as he fights Prometheus.

Susan Williams is able to escape Prometheus' base.

Doris Chase dies en route to the hospital.



Location

An unnamed monastery in an unnamed mountain range.
Prometheus' mother's house in Opal City.


The Fridge Factor

Susan Williams - a secondary villain for most of the season - is reduced to the role of girl hostage.

Doris Chase is killed with very little sense of ceremony.


The Bottom Line

A solid episode, despite it giving the ensemble little to do for most of its run-time. For all the talk of Oliver's teammates being his strength, this episode is heavily focused on the one hero vs. the one villain and everything else is surplus to requirements.

Starman Plays Gabriel Knight: Sins Of The Fathers (20th Anniversary Edition) - Part 12

In which we plan to sneak into a secret voodoo cult meeting, make use of two secret voodoo codes we somehow conned our way into learning and we get to experience the most creepy and simultaneously funny glitch in the game.


Legends of Tomorrow: Season 2, Episode 14 - Moonshoot

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




Plot

The Legends travel to NASA's HQ in Houston in 1970, where Commander Steel - guardian of the last piece of The Spear of Destiny - served as part of Mission Control on the Apollo Space Program. Unfortunately, The Reverse Flash has beaten them to the punch and replaced one of the astronauts on the Apollo 13 mission.


Influences

The films Apollo 13 (setting and general aesthetic, particularly during the landing sequences), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (the "proper credentials" gag at the press conference.), Beetlejuice (the Day-O sequence), The Martian (Ray being left stranded on The Moon, his video diary sequences, Ray directly refers to the movie when he says now he knows how Matt Damon felt) and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (the sequence with Nate and Henry facing each other as Henry sacrifices himself.)



Goofs

How is The Reverse Flash able to stay in one time period long enough to take part in a moon landing mission without The Black Flash catching up to him? (Presumably he can stay off the radar by not using his powers and the zero-gravity environment makes that easier.)


Performances

Honestly, the whole cast deserves a shout-out here.  There's not a single bum performance in the episode.

Matt Letscher gets to show off the playful side of Eobard Thawne here. You get the sense he's sincere about missing working with other scientists and enjoying working with Ray but then you're reminded that as charming as he is, he's still a killer who will cross anyone so long as he can get away with it.

The chemistry between Letscher and Brandon Routh is good with Routh finding a good balance between his usual comic relief role and playing the serious science hero in the face of a scientist villain.

Arthur Darvill gets a nice subtle performance here, broadcasting Rip's confusion at not being in charge without so much as one angry shouting match.


Artistry

The anti-gravity sequences are quite effective and the fight choreography between The Atom and The Reverse Flash is well-handled.


Trivia Of Tomorrow

The episode opens with Mick Rory reading the opening narration. Unlike in 211 this time the speech does not end with him asking "Who writes this crap, anyway?"

Elvis Presley did perform at the Houston Astrodome a little over one month before The Apollo 13 Mission. (February 27-March 1 1970 vs. April 11, 1970).

What little we hear about Eobard Thawne's background here matches up with his backstory in the comics. There, Eobard Thawne was a scientist in the 25th century who was fascinated with The Flash and The Speed Force. His studies enabled him to tap into The Speed Force, which he used to travel back in time so he could meet his hero. His first jump took him into a museum devoted to The Flash, where he discovered that he was destined to become The Flash's greatest enemy. The revelation drove him mad and led him to try to destroy The Flash in an effort to avert his destiny, ironically becoming the villain the museum said he was.

The show's closing credits show Professor Stein singing Day-O.


Technobabble

Ray plans to use the dwarf star power source for his ATOM Suit to power the fuel cells of the LEM. Thawne concedes this might work assuming Ray takes the gas spectrometer into account. Unless adjusted for the relative volatility the LEM might explode in mid-launch sequence.

The Waverider uses gravitational inertia to float back to Earth.

38 degrees is the angle at which a spacecraft needs to reenter the Earth's atmosphere

The depressurization caused by blowing the cargo bay doors of The Waverider will correct the angel of descent. Unfortunately, this has to be done manually and whoever opens the doors will be sucked out into space.


Dialogue Triumphs

(Rip emerges from his study with a folder, just seconds after the rest of the team located Henry Heywood working at NASA in 1970.)
Rip: I think I may have found a way to track down Commander Heywood.
Stein: Don't worry, Mr. Hunter. We've already found him!
Rip: ... you did?
Jax: We're heading to Houston in 1970.
Rory: (raising his beer) Yeah! Elvis at the Astrodome!
Nate: And then we're going to rescue my grandfather.
Rory: Then Elvis.
(Rip moves past them to stand on the platform with the Captain's controls for The Waverrider.)
Rip: (flustered) We still need to figure out a way of contacting Commander Heywood without arousing suspicion. To that end that I suggest that we-
Sara: It's simple.
(Sara steps up on to the platform next to Rip.)
Sara: We infiltrate NASA.
(Sara slaps Rip on the back as he simmers silently, looking annoyed as only he can.)

(Rip approaches Henry Heywood at a NASA press conference.)
Rip:
Henry. (extending a hand to shake) Great to see you.
(Henry suddenly lets loose with a haymaker that knocks Rip down to the ground. The reporters immediately begin taking pictures as Henry picks Rip up off the ground.)
Henry: (whispered in Rip's ear) You son of a bitch!
(Henry looks around as he pushes Rip toward two security guards and nods to the crowd.)
Henry: Sorry folks. He doesn't have the right credentials.
(All of the reporters wordlessly hold up their press badges as Rip is escorted out.)
Henry: We take press access very seriously around here.
(Henry looks over the crowd and then sees Ray Palmer, sticking out like a sore thumb and trying not to be seen. He glares at Ray.)
Ray: (weakly and quietly) Surprise. We're back.

Flight Coordinator: What's your area of expertise?
Jax: (British accent) I'm a booster systems engineer. They call me "The Rocket Man".

Ray: He doesn't have super-speed in zero gravity!
Thawne: Newsflash, Raymond - I don't need super-speed to kick your ass!
(Thawne pulls a knife from his sleeve and kicks against the wall to charge Ray.)

The whole of the Day-O sequence.

Rip: What about Mr. Thawne?
Ray: He's a little tied up at the moment.
(Ray walks past Thawne, who is indeed literally tied up.)
Thawne: (groaning) Puns. The lowest form of humor.

Ray: I'm Dr. Raymond Palmer. Time traveler, superhero and most recently - astronaut. It's April 13, 1970 at 2200 hours and I am stranded on the moon. Fuel on the LEM is close to zero. Food and water provisions were designed to last days - not months. So - yeah. I'm gonna have to science the crap out of this.
Thawne: What are you doing?!
(Ray turns the camera to where Thawne is tied up.)
Ray: I'm - uh - filming us for posterity. In case we don't... make it back?
Thawne: I am not dying on the moon!
Ray: Sign- Signing off.
(Ray switches the camera off.)

Henry: After five years I found myself blaming you for the choice I made. Turns out that abandoning my wife and son - even to save the world - was a mistake.
Rip: It's the great irony of time travel. That despite it we still find ourselves living with regret. One of mine was that I couldn't find a better way to protect The Spear. One that would have spared you such a personal sacrifice.
Henry: When you showed up, I thought maybe I could go back. Change history. But what's done is done. All I can do now is look forward.
(Henry offers Rip his hand. Rip shakes it.)

Thawne: I know it's easier for you to think of me as a monster but um - I've met some of history's monsters, Raymond, and believe me - I'm not one of them.
Ray: You killed Barry's mother. Twice! Rex Tyler?! Brainwashed Rip into killing Dr. Mid-Nite?!
Thawne: Time travel has a way of revealing the truth to you. And you and I have more in common than you think.
Ray: Pass me the pliers.
Thawne: We're both scientists. We're both obsessed with achieving the impossible. You dedicated your life to learning how to shrink yourself down to the size of an atom and - I spent mine learning the secrets of The Speed Force.
Ray: I became The Atom to help people!
Thawne: (pauses) You could use the dwarf star in your exo-suit to power an entire city but instead you chose to become The Atom because you weren't satisfied with your small, pathetic life. There is no shame in wanting to be greater! To reach higher! To... (smirking ) walk on the moon,
Ray: Is that why you want The Spear? Reach higher? Become greater? Run faster?
Thawne: No. I'm after something much more... elemental. I want to live. (pauses) Surely you can sympathize?

(Stein explains that the damage to The Waverider will make it reentering the atmosphere dangerous.)
Rory: What are you saying?
Stein: I'm saying that our crew has an infinitesimal chance of ever returning home. And by infinitesimal I mean -
Rory: A snowball's chance in hell?
Stein: That would look rosy in comparison.

(Sara walks into Rip's study. He's sitting there with a drink in his hand.)
Sara: Drinking alone?
Rip: Only as a metaphor.
(Sara walks past him to pour herself a drink.)
Sara: You're in here feeling sorry for yourself?
Rip: Oh, no. I've got more than one way of feeling sorry for myself, surely?
Sara: Thanks for backing my play earlier.
Rip: I wasn't... entirely supportive on this mission.
Sara; Indeed. But still... must be hard. Coming back to your ship and finding someone else in charge.
Rip: No. That was the easy part. The harder adjustment was seeing that you are a much better Captain than I ever was.
Sara: So that's why you're in here feeling sorry for yourself?
Rip: I'm in here trying to figure out what my place is if I'm not this team's Captain.
Sara: So you're saying you don't fit in? You're an outcast? A misfit?
Rip: Let's assume.
Sara: Sounds to me like you're a Legend.
(Rip snorts before looking at Sara. The two clink glasses.)


Continuity

Commander Steel was last seen in 202.

Rip dropped Commander Steel off in New York City in 1965.

Commander Steel gave Rip Hunter his dog tags, to deliver to his wife and one-month-old son, in 1947.

Commander Steel was an nicknamed The Chameleon in the JSA. He spoke seven languages like a local and mastered the arts of camouflage and concealment.

Commander Steel was a fighter pilot before joining the JSA.

The team find a picture of Commander Steel, working Mission Control at NASA on April 13, 1970 as part of the team trying to save the Apollo 13 mission.

Mick Rory is a fan of Elvis Presley and  knows enough about Elvis' most famous performances to know that he played at the Houston Astrodome in 1970. (February 27, 28 and March 1, to be exact.)

Commander Steel joined NASA so he could put his piece of The Spear of Destiny in the most remote place possible. It is hidden with the flagpole of the American flag that Neil Armstrong planted on The Moon during the Apollo 11 Mission in 1969.

Stein, Jax and Rory pose as Flight Controllers with the British Space Program.

Commander Steel knew that Rip Hunter had a wife and son but not that they had died. This indicates that Rip undertook his mission to hide The Spear of Destiny sometime before he went rogue and recruited The Legends.

The Reverse Flash can't use his powers in Zero-Gravity.

Stein knows all the lyrics to the Harry Belafonte song Day-O.

Nate tells Amaya what Ray told him about meeting her granddaughter in the early 21st century and how she has a destiny waiting for her in 1942.

We learn that this version of Eobard Thawne existed at some point after he worked with Cisco Ramon and Caitlin Snow while pretending to be Harrison Wells in the first season of The Flash. He speaks of missing the camaraderie of working with fellow scientists to Ray.

Command Steel rigged an essay contest so that he could get his son, Hank Heywood, to Houston to see NASA so that he could see his son at least once.

Astro-navigation is taught in grade schools in the 22nd century.

Commander Steel sacrifices himself to save The Waverider.

Thawne is able to phase through the cells of The Waverider brig once they are back in Earth's gravitational pull. Shortly after that, his warning alarm tells him that The Black Flash is approaching, leaving him with no time to search The Waverider for the two pieces of The Spear that The Legends have.

Nate delivers a message to his father as a teenager.

Rip officially offers up any claim on the position of Captain to Sara.

Amaya asks Gideon to show her the future of Zambesi starting with her return home. She sees pictures of her granddaughter, Mari, in her Vixen costume.


Location

Manhattan, New York - 1965.
NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas - April 13, 1970.
The Lunar Surface- April 13, 1970


The Bottom Line

One of the best episodes of the series to date.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 3, Episode 16 - Into The Speed Force

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




Plot

Desperate to rescue Wally from the prison that Savitar escaped, Barry once again enters into The Speed Force and experiences visions of friends and enemies lost to time and space. Meanwhile, Iris considers the state of her relationship with Barry as Jesse pushes the rest of Team Flash to find a way to track down Savitar.


Influences

The Flash comics of Mark Waid, particularly Terminal Velocity.


Artistry

The lighting and direction of the sequences in The Speed Force are genuinely creepy.


Flash Facts


HR says he is not going to be held responsible by his Earth Two counterpart if Jesse gets stuck in a negative world. Cisco recognizes this as a reference to the original Super Mario Bros. game, where a glitch could cause the player to get trapped in World - 1 - an endless water level. This world is more typically identified as Minus World rather than Negative World, however.

Cisco says "To Infinity and Beyond!" when Barry enters The Speed Force. This is the catch-phrase of Buzz Lightyear in the Toy Story films.

Cisco refers to the movie The Iron Giant when speculating on how a piece of Savitar's armor might seek out the rest of it once broken off.

The fake Snart in The Speed Force makes a remark about how Jay Garrick is "getting slow in his golden age." Jay Garrick was the first superhero to use the name The Flash, back in what is commonly known as The Golden Age of Comics from 1938 to the mid-1950s.


Technobabble


HR asks why they can't come up with some kind of tether to keep Barry from getting lost in The Speed Force. This leads Cisco to say he could do that and Julian to develop a biological component that can measure Barry's vitals when he is in The Speed Force, letting them pull him out if something happens.

The electrode halo - in addition to being the device that allowed Team Flash to channel Savitar through Julian Albert - is also part of the device that Cisco used to pull Barry Allen out of The Speed Force the last time he entered into it.

Goldtooth is the Cisco Ramon designed inter-dimensional equivalent of Bluetooth.

The electrode halos are electromagnetically linked via Goldtooth. It gives them all the relevant locus information no matter where in the multiverse Barry is. If he needs help, it will automatically stimulate Cisco's prefrontal cortex, letting him open a breach to wherever Barry is and pull him back to Earth One.

Julian speculates that Savitar's blade is made of  some kind of new metal akin to a Luttinger liquid - a theoretical model describing interacting electrons in a one-dimensional conductor such as carbon nanotubes.

HR refers to the theory of Schrödinger's Cat - a paradoxical thought experiment involving trapping a cat in a box with a radioactive source and a poison that will be released upon the emission of radiation - the result of which is that the cat will be both alive and dead until the box is opened and it can be observed.

Caitlin says that the metal of Savitar's blade is made of a near-frictionless material that is a constant state of flux. While totally motionless on the outside, it is constantly moving on the inside as if being affected by an outside influence. Julian likens this to how tides are affected by the phases of the moon. Jesse suggests that the outside influence is Savitar and that he somehow has the ability to control the metal despite it being separated from his armor.

Cisco describes feeling a lot of harmonic feedback when trying to vibe into The Speed Force.


Dialogue Triumphs


(Barry and Iris are alone in the hallway at STAR Labs.)
Barry:
I'm gonna find Wally.  Whatever's holding him, whatever's keeping him trapped in there? I'm gonna get him back.
Iris: Okay.
Barry: Okay.
(Barry looks down at Iris' hand. She still isn't wearing her engagement ring.)
Barry: Iris?
(Iris doesn't meet his eyes.)
Barry: Did I lose you?
(Iris says nothing and just walks away quickly. Barry turns and watched her sadly. Joe enters from behind Barry.)
Joe:
Baar?  What's going on?
Barry: Nothing. I'm just trying to.. make her not worry so much.
Joe: About Wally?  Or you?
Barry: Joe, now is not the time, alright?
Joe: Look, you are about to risk your life to save her brother. I think now is the perfect time.
Barry: (sighs) She's having doubts about us. About marrying me.
Joe: She... call off the engagement?
Barry: Guess I changed the future one too many times.

Barry: Where is Wally West?!
Eddie: He's not exactly here per say. He's in the prison you created. Well, your future self, that is.
Barry: How do I get him out? (more intensely) How do I get him out?!
Eddie: I think you' ll find we're not going to be as accommodating as we were the last time you visited us.
Barry: What the hell does that mean?!
Eddie: It means things have changed. We gave you your speed back because you said you'd come to terms with your mother's death. But you lied to us. You went back in time and saved her. And in doing so, you created Flashpoint.
Barry: Zoom had just killed my father -
Eddie: We know. And we understand. Which is why we allowed you to do that. But choices have consequences and I'm afraid we can't let you make any more choices like that.
Barry: Wally's just a kid...
Eddie: He's a Flash. He made his choice. Now he has to live with it. Just like you do.
Barry: I'm not going anywhere until Wally is free.
Eddie: Then be prepared to spend an eternity in here.

(Jesse wants to run off and find Savitar.)
HR: Hold your roll, Jesse Quick. This hesitation that you feel on behalf of the group is our realization that this "go for broke" attitude is the very attitude that got Wallace in his predicament in the first place. Am I right?
Julian: I can't believe I'm uttering the words but... I actually agree with HR.
Cisco: Ditto.
HR: Thanks boys.

(Barry looks on Caitlin holding a baby, singing her to sleep. Ronnie Raymond stands by his side.)
Ronnie: This troubles you. Another life that could have been and never was.
(Ronnie walks over and kisses the baby on the forehead. Caitlin mutely walks off with the baby.)
Barry: Caitlin and Ronnie should have had that. A family... a future.
Ronnie: The future doesn't always turn out as we want it to.
Barry: I see what you're doing. First Eddie. Now Ronnie. Showing me all the people who sacrificed themselves for the greater good...
Ronnie: No, Barry - their sacrifices were for you. As was Wally's when he attempted to stop Savitar.
Barry: Savitar tricked Wally! And now he's trapped. Wally doesn't belong in The Speed Force. You have to let me take his place. (pauses) That's why I'm here. 
Ronnie: Or the other reason, Barry.
Barry: I want to sacrifice myself for Wally. 
Ronnie:: We can't allow that.
Barry: Why not? 
Ronnie: Because where Wally has gone is a hell all his own.
Barry: Savitar said "one would suffer a fate far worse than death".
Ronnie: And it's not for you. Leave Barry. While you still can.
(Ronnie turns his back on Barry and starts to walk away.)
Barry: No.
(Barry pulls up his hood and looks at Ronnie, who turns back to face him.)
Barry: Whatever hell Wally's trapped in, I'm going to set him free. And I'm not leaving here until I do.
Ronnie: Very well. But you were warned.
(There is a growl from behind Barry as The Black Flash runs out of nowhere and shoves him across the bank of computer desks.)

(HR block's Jesse's path as she tries to leave the lab with the piece of Savitar's blade. He tells her that he is not letting her pass.)
Jesse: You done?
HR: Yeah. Said my peace. And guess what? I'm still. Not.
(Jesse punches him once at super-speed.)
HR: ... moving.
(HR falls to the floor. Jesse kneels down and checks to make sure the unconscious HR isn't seriously hurt. She nods to herself.)
Jesse: That was oddly satisfying. 

(Barry watches Wally West through the window of the door to a hospital room. Wally is starring at an empty bed, eyes watery. unable to look away. Leonard Snart comes to stand besides Barry.)
Barry: What's happening to him?
Snart: Wally West is caught in an endless temporal loop, just like Savitar after you imprisoned him here in the future. No wonder he hates you.
Barry: What's he seeing?
Snart: He's reliving the single most painful moment of his life. Over and over again. His mother's death.
Barry: Wally... he doesn't deserve this
Snart: And let me guess - you do?
Barry: I know what my hell is. I've already seen it. In the future.
Snart: You don't like the future, Flash? Change it!
Barry: I can't ! Don't you get it?!  I can't! I'm not fast enough! He is! (he sighs and looks back to Wally) That's why you have to let me take his place. Wally can save Iris.
Snart: (annoyed) Not learning your lesson, Barry. You keep telling us one thing and then doing another! (pauses) You want to know what inspired Leonard Snart to sacrifice himself? It was you. Barry Allen. You inspired him to be... better. You inspired him to be selfless. To sacrifice himself for others. To be a hero. Just like you.
Barry: I'm no hero. Not lately.
Snart: So... what? Had enough, Scarlet Speedster?  Time to hang up the cowl and give it all up? Well,, if you're out...
(Snart draws his cold gun and powers it on.)
Snart: ... you're out.
Barry: (tiredly) I'm done fighting.
Snart: We know. And that's exactly the problem.
(Snart blasts Barry, sending him flying against the wall. Barry is pinned to the wall, gasping for breath as the ice sticks him up against the wall unable to move.)
Snart: You think seeing Iris' death is hell? You ain't seen nothing yet.
(Suddenly a red streak appears and knocks Snart down. It is Jay Garrick.)
Jay Garrick: (looking to Barry) Let's get you out of here.

(Barry guides Wally to the door out of the hospital room.  Jay moves to stand where Wally had been.)
Barry: Jay? Let's go. 
Jay: Sorry kid. This is where I stay for a while.
Barry: What? What are you talking about?
Jay: We both know that a speedster needs to take Wally's place. That's why I'm here.
Barry: No. No, Jay! You already lived your hell when you were Zoom's prisoner.
Jay: And you set me free! And I owe you for that.
Barry: Jay -
Jay: I've run a hell of a race. But every marathon has a finish line. Time's finally come for me to cross it. But you? You, Barry... you need to put an end to this once and for all and stop Savitar.
Barry: How?
Jay: Do what you do best. Be The Flash. (Jay holds up his helmet and hands it to Barry.) Cisco said that he could use this to track you and bring you home. 
(Barry reluctantly takes the helmet.)
Barry:  I'm gonna get this back to you again. When I break you out of here.
Jay: (nodding) See you soon, Flash. 


Continuity

Helium is used to power gas stoves on Earth 19. This fact is revealed with HR says "Now we are cooking with Helium!"

The Super Mario Brothers game series exists on Earth 19.

Barry's shoulder is still injured from the last episode.

The electrode halo - the device Cisco used to pull Barry out of The Speed Force in 221 - is given an official name. This is also the same device Julian wore to channel Savitar.

The place where Barry arrives in The Speed Force looks like the Central City Police Department on a stormy night.

Barry saw Eddie Thawne die in 123. He took a trip to the past, where he saw Eddie before his death in 217.

The motto of the Central City Police Department is "Justice For All."

A Time Wraith - last seen in 223 - blocks Barry's path in The Speed Force.

The second location Barry travels to in The Speed Force resembles the hallway and main medical lab of STAR Labs.

Barry last saw Ronnie Raymond when he sacrificed himself to close the super-breach in 201.  He saw Ronnie's Earth Two counterpart, Deathstorm, die in 213.Barry sees a version of Caitlin holding a baby girl. He is told, by the vision of Ronnie Raymond, that it is her daughter.  Barry quickly figures out that this is a vision of the life Caitlin and Ronnie would have had together if Ronnie hadn't sacrificed himself.

Caitlin says that the metal from Savitar's blade, much like the box that held The Philosopher's stone, both exists and does not exist at the same time.

On Earth 19, according to HR, the theory of Schrödinger's Cat is called Schroeder's Cat.

On Earth 19, according to HR Charlie Brown was the kid with the piano in the Peanuts cartoons rather than Schroeder. The joke was that Charlie Brown was a terrible piano player.

HR wears a men's size 11 shoe. Presumably American size, assuming Earth 19 shoe sizes are the same as Earth One's.

The third place Barry finds himself in The Speed Force is a hospital hallway.  Wally is trapped in one of the rooms, seemingly starring at an empty bed.

Barry last saw Leonard Snart in the flesh in 209. A hologram of him appeared in 304. Snart apparently died in L115.

Wally West's personal hell is watching his mother's death over and over for all eternity.

According to The Speed Force, Leonard Snart chose to sacrifice himself because of Barry Allen's example.

Savitar claims to have already lived through all of the events that are about to happen to Team Flash.

Jesse Quick is able to throw lightning like Barry Allen.

Savitar is apparently immune to lightning and can either throw lightning without having to run around first or can absorb and redirect the lightning generated by other speedsters, as evidenced by his throwing a bolt of blue-white lightning at Jesse.

Jesse is able to hurt Savitar by stabbing him with the piece of his blade aiming for a gap in his armor.  HR correctly guesses that Savitar wouldn't be wearing armor if he didn't need it. This confirms that Savitar is mortal and not a god, no matter how fast he is.

Jay Garrick was last seen in 309. He says that Cisco came to his Earth (Earth Three) and asked for help when the team lost contact with Barry.

Jay takes Wally's place in The Speed Force.

Jesse decides to travel to Earth Three until Savitar is defeated - partly to thwart whatever plans Savitar had for her and partly to protect Jay Garrick's Earth until he can return.

Iris declares that she wants to marry Barry.

Barry says that he thinks they need some space while they figure out everything and that he's afraid he did propose to her for the wrong reasons.

Iris will stay in their apartment while Barry stays with Cisco.


Location


The Speed Force


The Fridge Factor

Averted hard in the case of Jesse Quick, who makes all the correct intellectual leaps to figure out how to use the piece of Savitar's armor to find him and hurt him.  Honestly, I'd rather the show follow her and see her adventures on Earth Three than watch Barry whine about saving Iris for another seven episodes this season.


The Bottom Line


A solid episode but not for the reasons you'd think. The sequences in The Speed Force are powerful, precisely because they keep Barry off-balance and knock him out of the "I must save Iris!" rut he's been in for the past few episodes.  The sequences with Jesse Quick are strictly standard in terms of writing yet are made engaging by Violett Beane's performance. As good as Grant Gustin and Candice Patton are, however, they can't make the continual drama between Barry and Iris engaging and reducing Iris to the role of She Who Must Be Saved has killed all of the character's momentum. Still, it's nice to see Wentworth Miller snarking it up as Snart, regardless of the circumstances. And John Wesley Shipp continues to get more and more impressive with ever appearance he makes as Jay Garrick.