Friday, July 19, 2019

Starman Plays Fallout - Part 4

In which we return to Vault 15 and Ian does NOT kill us. We do however learn how incredibly tedious vault-raiding can be when there's nothing to fight but rats.


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Starman Plays Fallout - Part 3

In which we play doctor for a while, complete all the quests in East Shady Sands and suffer our first random and regrettable death while exploring Vault 15.


Friday, July 12, 2019

Starman Plays Fallout - Part 2

In which we explore the west side of Shady Sands and take on the first of many sub-quests. In this case, we head off to a cave full of giant scorpions and search for a cure for giant scorpion poison. We also hire our first minion, er companion - a mercenary named Ian who is awfully quick to agree to work on credit.


Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Starman Plays Fallout - Part 1

In which we watch the opening movie and learn for the first time that War.. War Never Changes. We then go through the character creation process, stumble around in a cave for a bit killing rats (as we usually do in the first part of any RPG) and make our way to the first village, where we learn of an exciting opportunity to kill things besides rats in a cave.


Monday, July 1, 2019

Starman Plays Batman: The Enemy Within - Part 22

Here it is! The grand finale! Will we save Amanda Waller from The Joker? Will we save The Joker from himself? Will we get an answer to who really killed The Riddler? Will I find a way to make this version of Batman even more of a screw-up in the 11th hour? Will I ever stop asking rhetorical questions in these introductions?


Thursday, June 27, 2019

Starman Plays Batman: The Enemy Within - Part 21

In which, having finally freed ourselves from the rebar, we return to Wayne Manor, discover Joker's gone wild, further destroy Tiffany Fox's dreams of becoming a vigilante while still taking her help and somehow getting Jim Gordon to help us despite everything we've done to screw his life up.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Starman Plays Batman: The Enemy Within - Part 20

In which we introduce Joker and Alfred to one another while getting patched up, run down the list of potential allies I've totally screwed over during the last four chapters and head into a confrontation with Waller that ends with an incredibly annoying battle... with my mouse.


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Starman Plays Batman: The Enemy Within - Part 19

In which we start Episode Five and our new partnership with The Joker. Yes, you read that right. Not an Imaginary Story! Not a fake out! Batman and The Joker, arm in arm, back to back, fighting to save Gotham from Amanda Waller.


Thursday, June 13, 2019

Starman Plays Batman: The Enemy Within - Part 18

In which we go into a hostage negotiation with our new partner in crime-fighting, John Doe. And it would have worked too, if it hadn't been for that meddling Amanda Waller!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Starman Plays Batman: The Enemy Within - Part 17

In which we explain very slowly why Batman does not kill to our two prospective partners and John Doe proves to have a much better grasp on what Batman shouldn't do than the technical genius. Yeah... this is gonna end in fire.


Saturday, June 8, 2019

Starman Plays Batman: The Enemy Within - Part 16

In which we make Mr. Freeze feel the heat and team up with Agent Avesta because - SURPRISE! - Amanda Waller is doing something sneaky and illegal that could endanger the world as we know it.


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Starman Plays Batman: The Enemy Within - Part 15

In which we start Episode Four, the heist to end all heists and try to minimize the damage while still pretending we are a dangerous criminal. This goes about as well as you'd expect.


Saturday, June 1, 2019

Starman Plays Batman: The Enemy Within - Part 14

In which we investigate the Bodhi Spa and end Episode 3 in the most un-Batman like fashion. Somehow, I don't think we're going to get that threesome with Harley and Catwoman now.


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Starman Plays Batman: The Enemy Within - Part 13

In which we bring Catwoman and Tiffany Fox into the fold while finding yet another way to piss off Jim Gordon while brown-nosing Amanda Waller, as the game continues to break down thanks to my erratic behavior.


Legends of Tomorrow: Season 4, Episode 16 - Hey, World!

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




Plot

With Neron's true plan revealed and peoples' paranoia of the monsters that might be around them growing, The Legends have to find a way to fight fear itself. There's no logical way to win, so illogical means win out, as the team put on a show after bring Hank Heywood's dream of a magical theme park devoted to magical creatues to life.


Influences

Peter Pan (the fairy is clearly modeled on Tinkerbell, the ending where love and audience participation is used to bring a hero back from the dead), The Hellblazer comics of Jamie Delano (rules of Hell regarding soul trading), the Constantine The Hellblazer series (Neron as the chief villain, Neron's line about "Making Earth Hell Again"), Underworld Unleashed (a con-man beats Neron by getting him to break a deal with a hero), Field of Dreams (fathers and sons bonding theme, Ava and Sara quote "If you build it, they will come.") and The Greatest Showman (general aesthetic of carnival scenes, theme of seeing "freaks" as something wonderful).


Goofs

Is Supergirl really that well known of a figure on Earth 1 that she has fans dressing up like her? (Granting that Kara has helped save Earth 1 on three separate occasions now, she hasn't been that visible doing so.)


Performances

Again, it's hard to single any one actor out. But the most subtle gag of the episode goes to Nick Zano, for his reaction when Mick Rory gives Nate Heywood the diary of Brigid and reveals what he last used it for. He subtly makes a face and tries to rub his hand clean... for all the good it does him.

Tala Ashe has the most emotional performance, with Zari Tomaz sacrificing herself so she can spend one last moment with the man she loves before she forgets him forever and he dies.

Casper Crup manages to redeem his performance as Vandal Savage in Season One with one of the best cameos ever.


Artistry

The special effects budget for the year clearly went into animating the dragons.


Trivia Of Tomorrow

11 year old Zari Tomaz names her baby dragon Mithra. In Persian mythology, Mithra was the god of light and friendship.The name Mithra translates to "friend" in Iranian.

The plot of the episode borrows heavily from Underworld Unleashed - the storyline which introduced the character of Neron. In that story, Neron attempted to take over the world by working his way to where he could acquire the purest soul on Earth - that of Captain Marvel. He was thwarted, strangely enough, by James Jesse, a.k.a. The Trickster, who convinced Captain Marvel to offer his soul up in exchange for Neron undoing every other deal he had made since being resurrected. Neron got greedy and tried to touch Captain Marvel's soul, forgetting that the rules of Hell didn't let him make bargains in exchange for wholly selfless reasons. This caused Neron to lose every sole he had taken control of.


Technobabble/Arcana

Nora is able to use her magic wand as a dousing rod to locate John Constantine in Hell.

Soul tokens are the currency of Hell. While a soul is being tortured, their token (which generally resembles a large coin) is traded around between demons. Whoever holds the token can summon the soul to them, no matter where they are in Heaven or Earth.

Demonic banks store and protect soul tokens. They generally have rules against storing living people or souls without tokens.

John knows a spell that allows him to assume the appearance and voice of another person. He uses this spell to try and trick Astra into thinking he's Neron but she doesn't fall for it. Strangely enough, Neron falls for it when John makes himself and Nate look like one another.

A soul whose body is still alive cannot manifest as anything other than a soul token on Earth so long as their body is still possessed by a demon.

A demon must remain true to their word once they have made a bargain for a soul. If they violate the terms of their deal, they lose the soul and all of the souls they currently own.


Dialogue Triumphs

(John is strapped to a rack, being tortured by Calibraxis. Nora strides into the room with far more confidence than you'd expect for a woman dressed as a fairy godmother.)
Calibraxis: Who the hell are you? 
Nora: Really? The dress doesn't sell it? 
Calibraxis: (mockingly) You didn't tell me you had a Fairy Godmother, John.
Nora: Not his. Gary's.

John: (sympathetically) Ugh. And I thought I was the one being tortured.

Neron: Denizens of Hell! For far too long, we have been forced to live like insects underneath the Earth. Soon, a door will open. Look to the sky and await my signal. With me as your king, we will make Earth Hell again!

(Gary is accompanying Mona as she feeds the magical creatures on the Waverider.)
Mona: Stay calm. They smell fear.
Gary: What if fear is my natural scent?!

Nate: My dad had a dream to build a theme park that people would come to see because of magic. That's what the world needs right now, a place for people to come and see the wonder of these creatures in person!

Zari: What about Brigid's diary? If we put it in Nate's hands, he could just dream us up a theme park.
Sara: Z, you are a genius! The... (stops and makes a face in realization) Ugh. It's in the Time Bureau!
Ava: It's okay, so we just break in, but it's not gonna be easy. Even if it isn't demon central, the vault that it's being held in is practically impenetrable.
Mick: (holding up the diary) Oh, it's penetrable.
Ava: Oh, my God!
(Ava runs over to Mick, hugs him and kisses his cheek.)
Ava: I love you, Rory.
Mick: Mm-hmm. (hands the book to Nate) Give it back when you're done. Buck and Garima's sexual odyssey is far from over.

(John and Nora bust down the door to the torture chamber where Ray is.)
Nora: Ray?!
(Ray looks up from a table where he and another man is stacking several large rectangular blocks.) 
Ray: Nora! John! We're just about to start another game of Giant Jenga. You got to meet my old friend!  Well, technically, my new friend. (grinning) We used to be mortal enemies.
(The other man stands up and turns around. It is Vandal Savage.)
Vandal:
Oh, hi, guys. Well, you're just in time for the next round!
(Ray puts an arm around Vandal's shoulders and they both smile.)

(The Legends have just shot a commercial for Heyworld, with Sara as Supergirl, Nate as Green Arrow and Gary as The Flash.)
Zari: Guys, I feel like that would have worked a little bit better with the real Trinity.
Sara: Yeah, well, I asked, and they said hard pass.
Nate: (beat) We should have done the crossover.
Sara: Yeah.

Nate: I can't believe it all comes down to this. After years of anxiety of whether or not I could live up to my dad's expectations, I'm about to bring his crazy dream to life knowing what it could cost me.
Zari: Nate, I'm not going anywhere. You got this.

(The Ogre, The Minotaur and Baba Yaga enter the center ring.)
Nate: Monsters! What do you think, White Canary? Should we show 'em what we got? 
Sara: Wait! Hold on! What if, instead of showing 'em what we got, we ask them what they have?
Nate: Hmm? You mean get to know them? 
Sara: What if, getting to know them, we realize that we have nothing to fear?!
Nate: Minotaur, your passion is music. Why don't you show us what you got?
(Gary runs out with a guitar, which he hands to the Minotaur as the crowd starts booing)
Kid: They said this was a superhero show!
(The crowd begins booing. Mick, who is backstage, growls.)
Mick:
These brats don't respect art!

John: (on seeing the portal to Hell open) Oh, it's gonna take more than a musical number to stop this.

(As everyone is holding hands while singing Sweet Baby James.)
Nora: Didn't they do this last year?
Ava: We're part of the circle this time.


Continuity

Nate and Zari go back to retrieve the dragon egg Zari left at her childhood home in 415.

Tabitha says that Charlie is more than just a shape-shifter, but it is never explained what she means by that.

Nora rescues John from being tortured in Hell.

Zari was bullied whens he was 11 and the other kids made fun of her clothes, saying 'Zari, Zari, why's your clothes so sorry?"

The timeline is changed as young Zari took the freshly hatched dragon to school one day and the other kids loved it. It was the first time in her life she ever felt accepted.

Young Zari taught the dragon how to do a little dance on command.

One of Zari's teachers sees Mithra and uses the Eyes app to call in the Time Bureau, who take him away.

Tabitha forces Charlie to take the form of a Senator during a Congressional hearing on the magical monster crisis and forces her to suddenly change into the giant octopus from 405.

John makes a bargain with Astra - help him get into Neron's vault and get Ray's soul token and he'll kill Neron so the Triumvirate can take over Hell again.

Charlie figures out that Tabitha and Neron aren't out to take over Hell and that the souls were just a means to another end - gathering fear energy.

The video of a young Zari and her dancing dragon goes viral, proving that most people can see magical creatures as something besides a threat.

Astra starts pocketing other soul tokens once she is in Neron's vault.

Nate uses Brigid's Diary to finish building Hey-World in a day.

Gideon tells Zari that her future-predicting program has noted a potential change in her personal timeline. Building Hey-World could help to stem people's fears of metahumans and magical creatures, stopping the Anti-Metahuman laws of 2029 from passing and helping to bring about a new era of understanding and tolerance by 2042. Zari's parents would live out the rest of their lives in Seattle in peace and her brother would never die. Of course if the timeline is altered, Zari will also never have a need to avenge her family which means she'll never meet the Legends.

Sara says that Zari can stay on the Waverider in the temporal zone until the new timeline solidifies so she'll be protected from the future changing.

Nora and John find Ray's soul token in Neron's vault but they push Astra to take them to where Ray's soul is in Hell. They find Ray in a torture chamber playing board games with Vandal Savage.

Vandal Savage was last seen in 116.

Sara, Nate and Gary film a commercial for Hey-World while dressed as Supergirl, Green Arrow and The Flash.

The Ogre's name is Fredrick and he dreams of being a singer.

The Minotaur can play guitar.

John learns the terms of Ray's deal with Neron from 413.

John tells Sara and Nate about Ray's deal and how if they could trick Neron into killing Nate, that would free Ray's body and all the souls Neron trapped.

Young Zari and her mother go to Hey-World on its opening day.

Mick writes a stage-show pitting superheroes against a group of monsters, but deciding to talk to them instead of fighting. The crowd does not like the show.

The Monitor shows up as the crowd is booing the Legends. He does not look pleased.

Tabitha arrives with a fully-grown dragon as the crowd is getting ready to leave the show.

The Monitor can be seen eating popcorn when the dragon arrives.

Sara is saved from the dragon when young Zari runs up to it and gets it to dance. When it does it's dance, it's tail knocks over Tabitha and makes her drop her staff. The dragon then eats her, which causes it to shrink back to it natural baby size.

Neron uses the staff to open the portal to Hell himself.

Nate and John trick Neron by using John's magic to trade appearances.

Neron snaps Nate's neck, thinking he is John. This causes him to vacate Ray's body, enabling John to work a spell to send him to Hell and seal the portal.

John is able to restore Ray's soul to his body.

Zari leaves the Temporal Zone to be with Nate as he is dying.

Hank Heywood's ghost greets Nate, saying he was waiting around to see Nate and his friends beat Neron before he went to "the Happy Place."

Hank possesses Mick Rory long enough to get the crowd to start singing James Taylor's Sweet Baby James, like he did in 406. This prompts John to use Tabitha's staff and the love the crowd feels to resurrect Nate.

Nora notes this is a lot like the events of 318, where the Legends joined hands and channeled the power of love to slay Mallus.

Zari is replaced by her younger brother, Behrad Tomaz, who wears a bracelet with the Air Totem of Zambesi in it like hers. She seems to share a friendship with Nate similar to the one between him and Ray and Sara addresses all three of them as The Time Bros.

The episode ends with Astra sending the evil soul tokens she was collecting to Earth, to give them a second chance. There are 16 tokens in total. The eight we can read the names on include Mary Tudor, Joseph Stalin, Caligula, Charles Manson, Genghis Khan, Lizzie Borden, John Wayne Gacy, and Rasputin.


Location

Hell - A Torture Chamber
Zari's Elementary School - Washington D.C. - 2019
Capitol Hill - Washington D.C. - 2019
Hell - A bar called The Pit
Hey-World - Somewhere Outside Washington D.C. - 2019


Untelevised Adventures

Mick Rory broke into the Time Bureau at some point to steal the Diary of Brigid.


The Bottom Line

Silly and sappy and altogether perfect. The only bad thing about this episode is we'll have to wait the better part of 7 months to see the next season.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Starman Plays Batman: The Enemy Within - Part 12

In which we enjoy some guy talk and coffee with John, manage to piss off Commissioner Gordon even more and have a meeting with John as Batman.


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 5, Episode 22 - Legacy

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




Plot

The Reverse Flash has been freed thanks to his indirect manipulation of the timeline. Now, Barry Allen and his allies must face his greatest enemy once again.


Influences

The Flash comics of Geoff Johns


Goofs

Cecile's powers are now described as being emphatic rather than telepathic. (She could be both, but she's always been shown as more of a mind-reader before.)

How does Iron Heights acquire Cicada's dagger in 2049 when Cicada had never been captured or identified in the original timeline Nora came from?

Why isn't Orlin Dwyer restored to life after Cicada II is made to have never existed? Logically, if she never existed, she never could have killed him. (Come to that, killing Dwyer should have made that version of Grace Gibbons stop existing, since she said that he trained her and mentored her to become the new Cicada in her timeline.)

Why does the dagger not disappear until just before Thawne is to be executed? Logically, if the dagger was destroyed decades earlier, it never would have been there to keep Thawne imprisoned in the first place.

It isn't made precisely clear why the destruction of Cicada's dagger causes Nora to stop existing. It could be either because Nora never felt the need to come to the past to fight the one enemy her father never beat or because Thawne wasn't around to teach her how to use her powers.


Performances

Again, Jessica Parker Kennedy steals the show with her speeches and the earnestness with which she handles Nora's death scene.


Flash Facts

When Thawne escapes, he tells Barry he will see him at their next crisis. This is almost certainly a nod to the 2019 Crisis On Infinite Earths crossover event.

In the closing montage, Ralph is seen in his office looking at a file labeled Dearbon. In the classic DC Comics, Ralph married an heiress named Sue Dearbon, who became Sue Dibny and eventually a member of the Justice League. She was the only non-powered person with no codename to do this.


Technobabble

Upon examining Ralph after he is shot with the mirror gun, Caitlin says that his cells have become kinetically inverted.

Caitlin says that the last time Ralph lost control of his body, they created a stabilizing enzyme that reset his body back to its original form using vulcanization and muscle memory.

Sherloque says a vibrational jolt should help Ralph to reassert himself.

Swiss Ash is one species of the flowering ash trees indigenous to Europe, but also makes up a sizable amount of the Kollins Woods - the closest forested area to Central City.

A speedster with a connection to the Negative Speed Force can use it to negate a paradox that would cause them not to exist. This is apparently how Thawne has managed to survive in some form despite being erased from existence twice.


Dialogue Triumphs

Nora: (V/O) I always wanted to be a hero, to use my extraordinary abilities to help people. That's why I came here. To meet my family, to stop Cicada, help fix the Flash's legacy, and save him from disappearing in the future. I believed I could do the impossible, but I never imagined it would turn out like this.

Barry: Sometimes in life, all we can do is just live with the consequences. So what you have to ask yourself is what kind of hero are you gonna be? One who takes a do-over after every mistake? Or one who lives with it and moves forward?

Killer Frost: What a bunch of sentimental crap. You two sound like a friggin' Hallmark movie. (This is doubly funny given Danielle Panabaker has been in a few Hallmark movies.)

(The Cicada Dagger disappears. Thawne regards the guards preparing him for execution.)
Thawne: Gentlemen. I hate to inform you... but you're all dead.

(Thawne stares down all of Team Flash)
Thawne: Isn't this nice? Team Flash, back together again with a new guy. (nods to Ralph) Ralph Dibny. Welcome. You should be dead.
Ralph: Yeah, I guess we have that in common.
Thawne: (chuckling) We'll take care of that in a moment.

Nora: Hi, Mom and Dad. If you're watching this, it means that something went wrong. But I don't want you guys to be sad. I'm not. I always wanted to be a hero, to use my extraordinary abilities to help people. That's why I came here: to meet my family, stop Cicada, help fix the Flash's legacy, and save him from disappearing in the future. I believed I could do the impossible, but I never imagined it would turn out like this. I'm glad it did. I wouldn't change anything about my time with you, my sweet parents, the most important people to me in the world. I wish I could be there to celebrate every new chapter, to witness every success. Just know that no matter where I go in my life, you'll always be my side. Because of you, I know I will never, ever, truly be alone, and I will feel your love and support like a warm hug comforting me, wishing me to be the best person I can be. Thank you for everything For making me a hero and for loving me even if I wasn't perfect. Please remember that I love you both and I always will, no matter what the future brings.


Continuity

Ralph throws himself in front of the mirror gun blast. This causes him to turn into something resembling a man-size geode.

All of the metahumans not cured in 521 are sent to a secure CCPD facility.

Barry and Nora discover a wood fragment at CCPD they think might lead them to Cicada.

Sherloque figures out what Ralph deduced - that Thawne was helping Nora to stop Cicada, because Cicada's dagger is being used in the future to negate Thawne's powers and keep him imprisoned.

Cisco reveals that he works at STAR Labs and is Vibe to Kamilla. She is cool with it and says she has no trouble with him trying to date her and be a hero.

Caitlin makes reference to 404 and the first time Ralph lost control of his body.

Cisco makes reference to how he was playing Lady Gaga when Barry first woke from his coma in the Pilot.

Ralph is left unable to speak straight for a short time after being vibrated back to normal.

The wood fragment Nora and Barry found is revealed to be Swiss Ash and is traced to Kollins Woods, which is 12 miles from Central City.

Cecile is used as an early-warning system, being able to sense Cicada's hatred.

The team breach Cicada II into Cisco's force-field at STAR Labs, giving Nora the time she needs to help the child Grace Gibbons get out of her coma and convince her to take the metahuman cure.

The shard of metal inside Grace Gibbon's head is soaked with enough dark matter it negates the metahuman cure. This means Team Flash still needs to destroy Cicada's dagger with the mirror gun in order to defeat Cicada II.

With her metahuman powers as a child neutralized, Cicada II ceases to exist.

In Iron Heights 2049, the Cicada dagger blinks out of existence just as Thawne is about to be executed.

Barry can now use his powers to briefly reverse time.

Nora vanishes from existence because with Cicada's dagger destroyed, there was no reason for her to ever come to the past.

Thawne says that Nora can save herself  by running into the Negative Speed Force, but she refuses to give herself over to it to save herself.

Sherloque returns to his Earth to be with Rene Adler.

Cisco removes his powers with the metahuman cure.

Grace Gibbons is set up with a nice foster family.

Captain Singh announces that he's been appointed the new Chief of the CCPD and is promoting Joe West to the rank of Captain.

Captain Singh reveals that he figured out that Barry was The Flash.

Cisco reveals that he made Caitlin and Killer Frost a new costume.

Nora's time diary and a video she made remain behind.

As the episode ends, time changes and the newspaper from the future which said Barry disappears in 2024 changes, with the date rolling back 5 years to show that Barry now disappears in 2019.


Location

Iron Heights - 2049


The Bottom Line

Nonsensical, painful and poorly explained on every level. Granting that the rules for time-travel have never been consistent and are driven by what is the most dramatic rather than any decent standard set of physical laws, the script for this episode needed a few rewrites.

It isn't clear, for instance, if Carlos Valdes is leaving the series or not now that he's removed his own Vibe powers. There were rumors he was leaving the show, but nothing that was confirmed with the same sense of certainty as Emily Bett Rickards leaving Arrow. We don't have a scene of him resigning his job from STAR Labs and there is no reason in the episode why he would need to do so.

Still, Nora gets a great ending to her story but the selling of it is due more toward Jessica Parker Kennedy's charisma than any craft in the writing or special effects. Both Cicadas are finally dead and gone. And it looks like we'll be getting Ralph and Sue together in Season 6, just in time for the end of the world.

Starman Plays Batman: The Enemy Within - Part 11

In which we start Episode 3, catch-up with Catwoman and go looking for another secret workroom inside of The Riddler's deathtrap-filled lair.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 4, Episode 22 - The Quest For Peace

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




Plot

Lex Luthor descends on Washington D.C. as the hero of the hour and the most beloved man in America. With all of her allies but Alex occupied, Kara has only one chance to stop Lex Luthor's plans. Will the Power of the Press prove capable of doing what Supergirl can't?


Influences

Superman 4: The Quest For Peace (title), Iron Man (the sequences of Lex fighting the Kaznian military in his Lexo-suit while singing "My Way"), the President Lex storyline from the Superman comics (Lex sets himself up as the defacto leader of the USA, if not the actual President), the Martian Manhunter comics of John Ostrander (character of Ma'alefa'ak) and the Batman comics of Grant Morrison (Leviathan organization).


Goofs

It beggars belief that Dreamer and J'onn are put to work in a slave labor camp and just happen to wind up next to friends of J'onn who are looking for someone to lead a rebellion against the guards after less than a minute.

The guards also don't seem to care about stopping the alien workers from talking to each other, which would be unusual even if J'onn and Al weren't being incredibly unsubtle about talking about rebelling. They don't even whisper!

The slow-motion fight scenes in the fifth sequence just don't work. Especially James vs. Ben Lockwood.

It is said that President Baker is removed from office by the Cabinet's invoking the 25th Amendment. Even if The Cabinet does declare The President unfit for duty, a 2/3rds majority vote in both houses of Congress is still required to remove him from office.


Performances

Once again, Jon Cryer steals the show as Lex Luthor.

Melissa Benoist gets a wonderful death scene as Red Daughter, playing opposite herself.


Artistry

The special effects budget for this season was clearly saved for this episode and the CGI is largely theatrical quality.


Super Trivia

The opening logo once again shows the symbol of the Red Daughter and her name in Russian, along with Supergirl's name and the Supergirl logo.

The new President who takes over after Phil Baker is named Plastino. Al Plastino was the name of the artist who co-created Kara Zor-El along with writer Otto Binder.

It is revealed that Eve Teschmacher was recruited to manipulate Lex Luthor on behalf of a group called Leviathan. First appearing in Batman: The Return #1, Leviathan is a splinter-group of the League of Assassins formed by Talia Al Ghul, which developed into a criminal syndicate of unimaginable power.

The Monitor brings a Green Martian to Earth and encourages him to seek revenge against the brother who wronged him, who is revealed to be J'onn J'onzz. This would seem to be a reference to Ma'alefa'ak - the brother of J'onn J'onzz, who was introduced into the Martian Manhunter comics by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake.


Technobabble


An astral projector can appear in any environment, but they cannot interact with people in that environment. However, an astral projection can interact with and ionize other forms of energy, such as by writing in water molecules that accumulate as condensation on a window.

Brainiac-5 says that it will take 20 pods to overload the power core of the Claymore satellite in the time they had left. He further says that J'onn has only an 18% chance of successfully using his own psychic energy to overload the core and a 98% chance of dying in the attempt.


Dialogue Triumphs

(An alien man begs for mercy as he is locked into Luthor's machine, repeatedly muttering "Please don't.")
Lex: (cheerfully) 
Don't worry. It won't hurt.
(A metal plate slides over the man, who begins screaming.)
Lex: (nonchalant) Hmm. Guess I was wrong.
(Eve Teschmacher looks at the screen for the device as Lex examines the gauntlet he is wearing.)
Eve: Alien energy transfer complete. Your gauntlet should be charged.
Lex: Only one way to find out. (looks around the room and points to a guard on a balcony overlooking the room) Um... excuse me? Uh... stand very still!
(Lex aims the gauntlet at the guard and shots him with a ray. The man screams briefly as his body breaks down into a mass of liquid. Lex looks suitably impressed, but not surprised.)
Lex: Hmm... get a mop.

Red Daughter: Supergirl is dead. What happened?
Lex: (shrugging) The Kaznians invaded.
Red Daughter: Your signal was late! I was supposed to lead the attack!
Lex: No, Ryzhaya Dch. You did exactly what you were meant to do.
(A missile approaches in the air. Lex nonchalantly reaches up with one hand and shoots a laser blast that destroys it.)
Red Daughter: You betrayed me! Betrayed Kaznia!
Lex: What can I say? I'm proud to be an American.
(Lex reaches up and fires his gauntlet as the scene fades to black)

Eliza: Lex and The Preisdent have succeeded in convincing the people that all aliens are dangerous! That Supergirl is the enemy-
Alex: And Lex is the hero.
Kara: Then I guess it's my job to show them who Lex really is. Show them the truth.

(Lena is sarcastically rude to Lex.)
Lillian: Now, now! You play nicely. This is the first family gathering we've had in ages and I'd like to enjoy myself.
Lena: Your murderous son has duped the world into thinking he's Earth's hero. This is hardly Thanksgiving dinner.
Lillian: Sounds perfectly normal for our family.

(Lex describes his plans to turn aliens into giant disposable batteries and growing rich selling the power to the world.)
Lena: That's vile!
Lex: Vile AND viable. As another world leader once said, "I don't see why man shouldn't be as cruel as nature."
Lillian: Try not to quote Hitler in public, dear. It'll hurt the brand.

(As Lex leaves the room.)
Lena:
You're not buying this, Mother?!
Lillian: Of course not! I've already poisoned his tea. If he'd stop running his mouth long enough to take a sip, he'd be dead by now.

(Dreamer is confused why nobody can see her astral form.)
Dreamer: Guys?
Brainac-5: If my calculations are correct, Dreamer has just astral projected into this office.
Dreamer: You anticipated me being here?!
Brainiac-5: She is here. She's wondering in this exact moment how she can contact us. Because an astral projectee can place themselves in any environment, but they cannot interact with that environment.
Alex and Nia: (together) So how is that a good plan?!?
Nia: (to Alex) Thank you!

Lex: The truth is meaningless. The people of Earth believe I am their savior. They needed a human hero and I fulfill that need. Nothing will ever change their minds.
(As Lex continues speaking, we cut to the streets of National City, where two young men are walking. One of them stops the other as he gestures to a news report on his phone. It is Kara's article.)
Lex: Facts are irrelevant. All that matters is spin.
(We cut to outside the White House, where a mob of people are waving signs cheering Lex Luthor.  One of them looks at their phone and is shocked as she sees Kara's report.)
Lex: People are so stupid. They don't even read. And even when they do, they certainly don't think. I am the leader of this nation now. And nothing can stop me.

J'onn: During the battle for my home planet, I ran. Millions died. I will not make that same mistake again!

Lex: How are you alive?! How did you do it?
Supergirl: How do you think I did it? I'm Supergirl.
Lex: Just like your cousin! No matter how many times I stamp you out, you miraculously resurface! With your glossy cape and your prefect hair!
Supergirl: Let me let you in on a little secret, Lex. Truth and Justice always prevail.
Lex: (chuckling) You and your cousin are such saps. Luckily, I came prepared.
(Lex taps a button on his gauntlet. His hands begin to glow with green Kryptonite energy. Supergirl looks uncomfortable for a moment but then steels herself.)
Supergirl: So did I.
(Supergirl presses in on the S-shield on her chest and the armored suit Lena made for her slides into place. Lex looks stunned.)
Supergirl: You can thank your sister for this.

(Red Daughter is dying of Kryptonite poisoning, while being held by Supergirl.)
Red Daughter: You were right. My Alex was nothing like your Alex. Protect your people... as I protected mine.

(Lex's suit starts falling apart as he plummets toward the ground. Suddenly, he is caught by one hand by Supergirl. He struggles to wiggle free of her grip.)
Supergirl: Let me save you!
Lex: (scoffs) Saved? By a Kryptonian? I'd rather die!
(Lex's gauntlet releases from the rest of his armor and he falls to the ground, his armor seemingly erupting in a wave of green energy and a fiery explosion.)

(Lena draws a gun on Lex)
Lex: (impatiently) Come on, Lena. This is no time for theatrics. We both know, no matter how much you despise me, you're not ruthless enough to pull that trigger-
(Lena pulls the trigger twice, unloading two bullets into Lex's chest.)
Lena: The world will never be safe with you in it.

Lex: I'm about to die, but at least I lived without ever being a fool. You're left with no one and nothing!

Eve Teschmacher: Who are you?
Old Woman: You already know that, dear.
Eve Teschmacher: I did everything you asked. I worked for him. I hurt people for him!
Old Woman: Lex was supposed to move the needle. He failed.
Eve Teschmacher: So let me go!
Old Woman: Sorry, sweetie. That's not on the agenda.
(Eve looks around and sees that everyone on the street, from the homeless man to the cops, are watching her.)
Old Woman: Leviathan is everywhere. Leviathan is everyone. And Leviathan is coming.

(A breach opens and a figure in a black-hooded robe emerges. The Monitor steps forward to meet him.)
Figure: Where am I?
The Monitor: Earth.
Figure: It can't be!
The Monitor: You've been trapped for too long. A phantom to your people. Now it is time you avenge yourself against the brother who wronged you.
Figure: Will you help me?
The Monitor: It was I that brought you here. You must walk the path yourself. Besides... I have one more place to visit.
(The Monitor walks off as the figure lowers its hood, revealing itself to be a Green Martian.)
Figure: (in Martian) I 'm coming for you, J'onn J'onzz.


Dialogue Disasters

Again, every time Ben Lockwood opens his mouth.


Continuity


The episodes opens with Kara's escape from the Red Daughter in 421

Red Daughter returns to Lex and says she failed him by not killing Supergirl.

Lex says she didn't fail him and it was his fault for thinking that Kryptonite exposure alone could kill Supergirl.

He applauds Red Daughter for making Supergirl bleed and gives her a photo of Eliza Danvers, telling her to attack Supergirl where she is most vulnerable - the heart.

Lex is confirmed to be using the alien prisoners to charge his new power suit.

Eve witnesses Ben Lockwood killing Otis Graves. Lex asks her to send a team to kill Lockwood.

President Baker's first name is revealed as Phil. He was a state senator before becoming Vice President.

Lex reveals that he was responsible for Phil Baker's rise to power, having taken out President Marsdin's original running mate and then pulling strings to put Phil Baker on the ticket. He then arranged for President Marsdin to be outed as an alien, putting Baker in the White House.

As in 416, the montage of the Kaznian invasion and Red Daughter fighting Supergirl is set to Frank Sinatra's "My Way."

The battle between Red Daughter and Supergirl was seen in 421.

Lex uses his new suit to fight the Kaznian military, single-handed.

Lex seemingly kills the Red Daughter on National TV.

It is revealed that Lex didn't really kill the Red Daughter but weakened her and has loaded her into one of the energy-draining pods at Amertek's refinery.

President Baker calls a second press confrerence, declaring that Otis Graves was found dead with a manifesto detailing his philosophy and taking credit for the crimes that were pinned on Lex Luthor. As such, he gives Luthor a full Presidential Pardon and appoints him as the new Secretary of Alien Affairs.

Ben Lockwood learns about this watching TV while hiding at his steel mill. He survives an assassination attempt by a squad of Eve Teschmacher clones and asks the one who doesn't disappiate after he knocks them out at super speed why Luthor had been using him.

It is revealed that Shelley Island has been turned into a slave labor camp, with those aliens who can't output energy for Luthor's refinery being put to work assembling electronics for Amertek.

J'onn winds up working next to Al - the alien who runs the alien dive bar - and the two begin to plan a rebellion.

Brainiac-5 escaped to L-Corp and regrouped with Lena.

The two watch a news report where it is revealed that Lex donated an experimental power source to replace the destroyed power grid on the eastern side of the United States.

Brainiac-5 is able to recover Kara's evidence of Luthor's wrong-doing that was stored on the CatCo servers.

Brainac-5 tells Lena, Kara and Alex about how Luthor was not only using alien prisoners from the DEO desert facility in his experiments but alien civilians abducted by Ben Lockwood and the Children of Liberty.

Lena gets an invitation from The President to meet him at the White House. The invitation turns out to be from Lex, who has taken over the Oval Office and also arranged for Lillian Luthor to be freed.

Lex reveals his master-plan, now that the Luthor name is cleared, is to build his fortune on his new power source - supercharged disposable batteries, powered by alien energy.

Lena asks what makes Lex think Superman is going to sit idly by on Argo and let him do this. Lex says that the first batch of aliens are being used to charge a revised Claymore satellite that will allow him to destroy Argo from a distance.

Eve Teschmacher objects to Lex's plan to kill Superman, which she was not consulted on. Lex says that killing Superman once and for all was always the point and he doesn't care if half the energy they've gathered will be burned up destroying Argo.

The device Lillian Luthor built to extract the Harun-El from a human system is completed.

Dreamer eventually notifies the team that the alien captives are being held on Shelley Island, after realizing she's invisible and inaudible to people in her astral form. She is able to write out a message after Brainiac-5 breathes on a cold window.

Brainiac-5 determined that Lex is using Shelley Island to charge the new Claymore satellite and that it is aimed at Argo. He says that he will try to hack the power core while Kara, Jimmy and Alex try to save Dreamer and J'onn.

Ben Lockwood shows up with a group of Children of Liberty he says that he gave the Harun-El treatment to and start fighting Supergirl, Alex and Jimmy.

Upon finding they can't disable the power core for Claymore, J'onn tries to overload it with his psychic powers.

Lena and Lillian escape the White House by struggling with Eve Teschmacher for a gun and pistol whipping her with it and macing two Secret Service agents, respectively.

Lex files to Shelley Island and begins blasting everything with his new Lexo Suit.

Lex reveals that his suit has the ability to generate Kryptonite radiation.

Thankfully, Kara came prepared and puts on the armored costume Lena made for her.

Dreamer pools her dream energy with J'onn's psychic powers but it is not enough.

Seeing two people do something so illogical causes Brainiac-5's previous personality to reassert itself and start saying words of encouragement to Dreamer and J'onn.

Brainiac-5 finally tells Dreamer that he loves her.

James is able to inject Ben Lockwood with the Harun-El removal device.

Red Daughter is freed by J'onn and Dreamer.  She flies to Supergirl just in time to take a lethal Kryptonite laser bolt for her.

The Red Daughter dissipates into a cloud of purple energy which Kara seems to absorb. This gives her the power she needs to overpower Lex's Kryptonite beams and blast his gauntlet with her heat vision, which glows purple.

Lex refuses to let Supergirl save him from falling to his death as his armor starts to fall apart. He seemingly falls to his death but actually teleports to a secret base under his childhood treehouse... where Lena is waiting to inject him with the Harun-El extractor.

Lena shoots Lex. He applauds her for finally proving how ruthless she is but asks who is left to be proud of her.

Lex reveals that Kara is Supergirl and that all of Lena's friends and Lillian knew and lied to her about it before he dies.

As far as the world is concerned, Lex Luthor died blown up on Shelley island.

The Cabinet invoked the 25th Amendment to remove President Baker from office and he was arrested.

Ben Lockwood was arrested on a new battery of terrorism charges.

James lost his right eye in the fight with Ben Lockwood.

The new President Plastino ends martial law and reinstates the Alien Amnesty Act pending a new vote in Congress.

Col. Haley holds a press conference to apologize to Supergirl

Alex kisses Kelley Olsen for the first time..

Lena shows up for game night but is clearly uncomfortable.

Kara wants to tell Lena the truth about her secret identity but Alex wants to let her just have one night to enjoy with her friends. Kara agrees.

George Lockwood is seen talking to a crowd and preaching against his father's message of hate on the news.

Eve Teschmacher is confronted by an old woman at a bus station in National City, who tells her that "Leviathan is everywhere, Leviathan is everyone and Leviathan is coming."

The Monitor brings someone to Earth through a breach - a Martian who must avenge himself upon the brother who wronged him. This brother is identified as J'onn J'onzz.

The Monitor says he has one more place to visit.

Lena cracks the glass in the picture of herself, Alex and Kara together in her office while using it is a coaster for her drink.

The episode ends with The Monitor manifesting in Lex's secret lab and regarding Lex's corpse, as his hand starts to open another breach.


Location

Washington D.C. - 24 hours earlier.
Amertek Energy Refiner - 6 hours earlier.
The White House - 1 hour earlier.
Midvale - Today.
Amertek Energy Refiner - Today.
Lockwood Steel Factory - Today.
Shelley Island - Today
The White House - Today.
Luthor Manor - Today.


The Bottom Line

Much like Season 4 of Supergirl, it's a bit of a mess overall, but the parts that work work very well. There's just not a lot of middle ground. The inclusion of the Children of Liberty and Ben Lockwood just feels pointless and seems to be there just to give James something to do... much like James suddenly having lost an eye. A lot of things are resolved too quickly to register (such as Brainiac-5's personality being restored) and it seems like most of the cast is just treading water until the Lex vs. Supergirl fight.

That being said, the special effects work is great and the fight between Lex and Supergirl is everything we hoped it might be. It looks like we'll have multiple villains again next season, which is worrying on multiple levels, even ignoring what might happen with Lena an whatever the Monitor is up to. Either way, Season 5 of Supergirl won't be boring!

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 7, Episode 22 - You Have Saved This City

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



Plot

The battle between Team Arrow and the Ninth Circle comes to a head, as old friends return to Star City to help with the coming fight. Meanwhile, over two decades later, the next generation of Star City's heroes must save their city - and the world - from a corporation intent on empowering a new police state.


Influences

The Green Arrow comics of Benjamin Percy (battle with Ninth Circle) and Judd Winick (destroying a wall that separates the rich and poor parts of Star City.)


Goofs

The Ninth Circle leadership expels Emiko from their ranks and kills her because of her vendetta against the Queen family exposing the group to the public. Yet they are perfectly willing to keep that vendetta going once Emiko is dead, because... reasons?

For that matter, even if the Ninth Circle were going after Oliver and Felicity for being thorns in their side, why not go after the whole of Team Arrow? All of whom have public identities now!


Performances

Emily Bett Rickards gives it her all one last time and steals the show in both the modern day and future segments. Somehow, Stephen Amell seems all the stronger playing against her and he's hardly a slouch. Their final moments together are Emmy-worthy.


Artistry

The fight scenes are fantastic, even for this show.

The episode's ending is absolutely perfect - both as a send-off for Felicity Smoak and as the series in general, as it seems that all of Season 8 will be devoted to Crisis on Infinite Earths.


Trivia

The female Ninth Circle member who seemingly takes over after Emiko is kicked out of the group is identified as Beatrice. In The Divine Comedy, Beatrice was the name of the poet Dante's ideal woman, who acted as his guide to the nine spheres of Heaven, just as Virgil had been his guide to the circles of Hell.

While the original Green Arrow comics introducing the Ninth Circle didn't include a member named Beatrice among the Ninth Circle's ranks, the name fits their convention of their leaders taking the names of important figures from The Divine Comedy.


Technobabble

Emiko somehow finds a way to block Felicity from tracking the Cygnus X-1 bacteria by its chemical signature.

Someone using a signal-bounced untraceable number calls in a fake bomb scare to a local shopping mall, to force people out into the open where they can be attacked by a Ninth Circle drone.

The Ninth Circle use a scrambler to make it impossible to track the detonation signal for their Cygnus X-1 bombs.

Curtis builds a number of optimized cryogenic chambers to that can be used to freeze the Cygnus X-1 bacteria.

Felicity determines all the Cygnus X-1 bombs and droves are hooked up to the same detonator. This means they only have to neutralize one target rather than over a dozen.

In Star City 2040, Penal Code Statute 10101971 governs vigilante justice.

Smoak Tech invented a line of flexible restraints, easier to store than traditional handcuffs.

The Archer program is revealed not to have a server room - its server is built into the wall that separates The Glades and Star City.

Felicity built a backdoor into the original Archer system so that anyone who had both her DNA and that of Oliver Queen would be invisible to the system. This is why Mia was able to fight the Zeta soldiers so effectively - Archer could literally not predict her next move, like all the other vigilantes.

When the wall between The Glades and Star City was built, explosives were planted in each control tower in case it ever had to be destroyed. The signal can only be activated from inside the tower.


Dialogue Triumphs

William: What are they gonna do with us?
Rene: 
You mean before they torture us to find out what you stole off Keven Dale's computer or after?
William: I'm gonna stop asking questions now.

Felicity: (sadly) This is not the life that Oliver and I wanted for them. They're supposed to be living happy, normal lives right now. That was the only thing that Oliver asked me to do. It was the only thing that I promised him I would do. And I failed. Some mother I turned out to be.

Oliver: You have every right to be angry. I was angry, too, because you let our father die. And that led to a ripple effect in my life of loss. I lost Tommy, my mother, Laurel, Quentin. And I wanted to kill you for all of it!
(The two struggle as Emiko tries to stab Oliver. He flips her and takes away her knife, holding it on her.)
Oliver: I know his death affected you, too. 
(Oliver releases the pin and stands up, allowing Emiko to stand.)
Oliver: Instead of finding the hero that I really believe is inside of you, you went down a dark path. And it killed your mother.
Emiko: Dante killed my mother!
Oliver: No, he didn't, Emiko. Your allegiance to the Ninth Circle killed your mother. Your hatred of our father killed your mother. His worst impulses drove you away, and it led to every terrible moment in both of our lives. I think that together, we can be better.
(Oliver holds the knife out to Emiko.)
Oliver: So if you're gonna kill me, do it.

(Emiko hesitates, as Virgil enters the room with a squad of Ninth Circle soldiers)
Virgil: Well, if you're not gonna kill him, we'll gladly oblige.

Oliver: I've spent a long time thinking about my legacy as the Green Arrow. I always hoped it would be saving the city. But now I know that my greatest legacy is this team. I started this mission alone. I was certain that I would end it alone, but the truth of the matter is that every bit of success that I've had along the way is because of all of you.

Diggle: You know, the spirit of this place will live on long after we're gone. You've inspired so many people, Oliver. They will carry on your legacy.
Oliver: Sounds like a cycle for good.
Diggle: Far better than that. A cycle of heroes. Who will fight to defend this city with every fiber of their being.
Felicity: Anyone ever told you you always know exactly what to say? 
Digg: (stone-faced) I have been told.
(Oliver and Felicity laugh ad Diggle cracks a stoic smile.)

Oliver: So what bargain have I made? What does the multiverse require? 
The Monitor: That you assist me as we seek to prevent the inevitable.
Oliver: But that sounds impossible.
The Monitor: The multiverse is more complex than you could fathom.
Oliver: What are you not telling me? 
The Monitor: I've seen your future, Oliver, inexorable and unavoidable. I have watched you die.
(Oliver just stares at The Monitor.)
Oliver: During this crisis?
The Monitor: (nods) I am truly sorry.
Felicity:No. You are not taking him!
Oliver: Felicity....
Felicity: Oliver...
The Monitor: I am not here to bring harm to you or your daughter. Trust me, the world needs her.
Felicity: You think that I'm just going to let you leave here with my husband's life? 
Oliver: This is bigger than us... Than all of us.
Felicity: Why does it always have to be you?
The Monitor: I cannot prevent his passing, but he can prevent the deaths of countless more, including you and your daughter. But he needs to come with me tonight.

(Oliver exits Mia's room to find Felicity sitting in their dining room.)
Felicity: (softly)This is why we can't have a normal life. This is why our children will never have normal lives.
Oliver: I had to make the deal.
Felicity: (holding back the tears) Oh, there's always gonna be some danger or some threat. The league of Assassins or HIVE or the Ninth Circle or the end of the friggin' universe.
Oliver: I need you to make me a promise.
Felicity: (drying her tears) Yeah, okay.
Oliver: No matter what happens to me... No matter what... You need to do everything in your power... You...You need to keep William and Mia safe.
Felicity: (standing, moving to feel Oliver's face) I will keep them safe. But wherever you go? Whatever happens to you? You'll never leave me. On our wedding day, you told me that I was the best part of you, but the truth is... we are the best parts of each other. And that is so much bigger than the friggin' universe.
Oliver: When I came back to Star City to start my mission, I didn't think that I was... capable or deserving of love.(sobbing)  But you opened up my heart in ways that I never thought were possible. My only regret is not telling you I loved you sooner.
Felicity: (hugging him tighter) No regrets.
Oliver: Would you tell Mia that I love her every day? And I know that she will grow up to be as smart and as beautiful as her mom.
Felicity:  I will find you... again. I promise.
Oliver: I love you.
Felicity: I love you so much.
(The two kiss passionately and hug each other for several seconds. Reluctantly, Oliver lets go of Felicity as she feels his face one more time before he lets go and walks back to the living room.)

(Felicity walks through the woods near Queen Manor. She stops and The Monitor approaches her.)
Felicity: I'm ready.
The Monitor: Where I'm taking you, there is no return.
Felicity: I have waited a very long time to see him. I'm ready.
(Felicity twists her wedding ring as The Monitor opens a breach. The two step forward into it as it seals behind them, with no indication they were ever there.)


Continuity

Sergeant Bingsley passes out and is in the back of am ambulance. As such, he can't confirm that Team Arrow didn't attack the police.

Team Arrow escapes from the SCPD thanks to Oliver's timely use of a smoke arrow.

The whole of Team Arrow have arrest warrants put out for their real names.

Curtis Holt and Black Siren return to help fight The Ninth Circle.

Ben "Bronze Tiger" Turner, last seen in 715, is revealed to have been paroled. He helps calm the crowds during the drone attacks.

Ben Turner agrees to help stop the Ninth Circle.

Lyla picks up John Jr., Zoe and Connor and takes them to an ARGUS safehouse.

Felicity tracks the signal to trigger the Cygnus X-1 release to the top floor of Palmer Technologies - what was Robert Queen's office when the building was still owned by Queen Consolidated.

Virgil tells Emiko that the rest of The Ninth Circle's leadership is concerned that her vendetta is bringing too much heat down upon them. He asks her to detonate the bombs now but she refuses.

Sergeant Bingsley tells Mayor Pollard that Team Arrow is innocent. He and several other cops join the team to swarm Palmer Industries.

 Oliver offers Emiko another chance for them to work beyond their father's life and be better people together. When she refuses to take it, he offers her a dagger and tells her to kill him.

Before Emiko can make a decision, Virgial arrives with a group of Ninth Circle soldiers and a woman named Beatrice, who informs Emiko she has been cast out of the Ninth Circle.

Beatrice throws the knives that fatally wound Emiko.

With her dying breath, Emiko warns Oliver that the Ninth Circle know that Felicity is pregnant an they will stop at nothing to kill him, her and their child.

Oliver escapes from Palmer Industries just before a fire bomb destroys the upper floors. 

Black Siren returns to Earth 2.

Bronze Tiger is offered a place on Team Arrow by Diggle. He turns it down, saying that he wants to focus on being with his son now that he's free of prison. Diggle understands but says ARGUS may approach him about a job anyway.

Curtis announces his intention to propose to his longtime boyfriend, Officer Nick Anastas and go back to his new job in Washington D.C.

Roy says he's going to take some time to be alone and figure out a way to atone for the two guards that he killed before he joins back up with Thea Queen and Nyssa Al Ghul.

Oliver says he and Felicity are going to leave town for a while, leaving Diggle in charge of the team while they are away.

Before everyone parts ways, Oliver says he is going to design a Mark of Four based around The Four Pillars of Heroism he thought up ad that the six of them (Oliver, Felicity, Diggle, Rene, Dinah and Roy) will be able to use it as a signal if they ever need help. This symbol was first mentioned and seen in the flash-forwards of 708 when Dinah revealed she had a tattoo of the symbol to William Clayton.

Diggle helps Felicity and Oliver find a home in a rural community called Bloomfield, which is a sort of retirement community for ex CIA, ARGUS and DIA personnel who need to go into witness protection. The entire city is basically one gigantic safe-house.

Several moinths pass during which Oliver and Felicity enjoy their time together, Mia is born and Oliver and Felicity both enjoy being the parents of a young baby.

The Monitor appears in Oliver and Felicity's living room and confirms the time has come for Oliver to fufill the bargain he made in S409.

Oliver explains that he agreed to give the Monitor "whatever the Multiverse requires" to save it during the coming Crisis, in exchange for the means to save Barry and Kara during the battle with Dr. Destiny. The Monitor reveals that this means that Oliver must come with him and help him to "prevent the inevitable."

The Monitor reveals that he has seen Oliver die and that there is nothing that can be done to avert his fate. He does say, however, that it is possible to make Oliver's death mean something and that he can use it to save the uncountable lives, including those of his wife and daughter.

The Monitor also says that it is important that Mia Smoak's life be saved, but does not explain why.

Oliver is allowed a chance to hold Mia one last time and to kiss Felicity before he leaves with the Monitor.

Mia is somehow able to fight several of the Zeta droids before they focus on her and overpower her.

The rest of the Zetas are finished up by a disguised Connor Hawke.

William and Rene are saved from Galaxy One by Zoe.

Felicity reveals that Mia is able to fight the Zetas because a backdoor in Archer stops her DNA from being analyzed and her movements predicted.

This prompts William to come up with a plan to destroy Archer by using the delay caused by Mia's presence at a gate scanner to upload a virus into the system.

The virus doesn't destroy Archer but triggers a system-wide reboot which shuts it down for four minutes.

Mia volunteers to activate the self-destruct on the wall during that four minute window.

William is able to code a 60 second delay into the self-destruct so Mia can escape in time.

Rene, Dinah, Roy and Felicity agree to take the rap for the destruction of the wall.

Dinah officially makes Zoe the new head of The Canaries.

Roy thank William for getting him off of Lian Yu.

Roy says how he got on Lian Yu in the first place and a long story when William asks him how he got there.

Felicity meets with Mia and William in the woods behind what was Queen Manor at Robert Queen's gravestone.

It is revealed that there are two new gravestones there. One for Emiko Queen, who is buried on Robert's right.  The other is on Robert's left and is for Oliver Queen.

Oliver Queen's tombstone identifies him as The Green Arrow and says he died in 2019.

Felicity says that this is the last time she'll see Mia and William, as she is going on a journey of her own - one that she can take now that she is satisfied that Mia and William can take care of themselves.

The episode ends with Felicity meeting with The Monitor, who asks if she is prepared because she cannot return from where they are going. Felicity replies that she has been waiting a very long time to see him as she twists her wedding ring. The implication is that The Monitor is taking her to see Oliver, but with no indication of where or when.


The Bottom Line

The first two-thirds is a bit of a rushed mess, which has no purpose but to finish up Emiko's storyline and everything involving the Zeta soldiers. The final third, however, contains some of the best moments in Arrow history and a fantastic farewell to the character of Felicity Smoak. For once, the episode is more than the sum of its part and the perfect finale more than makes up for the weak start.  It will be interesting to see how the show goes on in Season 8 without Emily Bett Rickards but it will be an interesting train-wreck if nothing else.

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 4, Episode 15 - Terms Of Service

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




Plot

With the Time Bureau now under Gary Green's control, Ava and Sara enact a bold plan to take it back. When the rest of the team winds up at the mercy of Tabitha, Zari and Charlie join forces to figure out what Neron is up to in Ray Palmer's body. And John Constantine faces a difficult choice, as he is given a chance to escape from Hell but can't take everyone he wants to save with him.


Influences

The Collector by John Fowles (lead character a parallel of Gary), the Hellblazer comics of Jamie Delano (the idea of a stock market for souls), Alan Moore's Swamp Thing (the general vision of Hell), Neil Gaiman's The Sandman (the idea of Hell being run by a triumvirate), Secret Origins (vol. 2) #48 (Depicted Hell as being ruled by a triumvirate consisting of Lucifer, Belial and Azazel), King Kong (Mona's transformation spooking the crowd mirrors King Kong going berserk while on display) and the Hellblazer comics of Garth Ennis (the demon Calibraxis,the idea of John Constantine having the three most powerful demons in Hell fighting over his soul)


Goofs

For a strip club in Hell, the dancers in the Flesh Factory are modestly dressed and seem more like contortionists than exotic dancers. (Then again, a strip club where the dancers don't strip or dance provocatively seems wholly appropriate as a place to torment the lustful in Hell.)

Performances

It is hard to single anyone out given how the whole ensemble is utilized. Still, we'll give the MVP award to Adam Tsekhman who somehow manages to make Gary somewhat sympathetic even as he's indulging in some truly petty acts of evil... which makes the reveal that he's intentionally trying to do a bad job of playing the bad guy all the funnier. Even his making Sara and Ava dance for him - something which SHOULD be creepy as Hell (pun intended) - manages to be more comedic than terrifying, as if this truly were the worst thing he could think to do as a bad guy.


Artistry

The set design for Hell is fantastic, as are the camera tricks used to make the whole experience of traversing it and speaking with demons unsettling and unnerving.


Trivia Of Tomorrow

The novel Gary chooses for his book club to read is shown to be The Collector by Neil LaChance. The description of the book, however, seems to match that of The Collector by John Fowles - a novel about a socially awkward butterfly collector who abducts a young woman in the hopes that she will fall in love with him. It seems likely the author of the book was changed due to the characters in the episode who read it saying the book is "not very good."

The Hell of the DC Comics universe is diverse and ever changing. Some aspects of it mirror the traditional view, with pits of fire and many torture chambers. Hell also contains urban areas which mirror places in the real world. The modern vision of Hell in the DC Universe was conceived by Alan Moore and introduced during his run on Swamp Thing. It is said in Neil Gaiman's Sandman that the only people who go to Hell are those who honestly believe they deserve to go there, but this does not seem to be wholly accurate as innocents can be held captive in Hell against their will.

The Arrowverse version of Hell is an urban dystopia where it always night, what light that exists is green and sickly, save for the red fire pits in the distance.

At one point John is menaced by a biker demon with a beard, who he once sent to Hell, named Calibraxis. In Garth Ennis' run on Hellblazer, Calibraxis.was the name of a demon who claimed to be responsible for possessing a man and committing the murders later attributed to Jack The Ripper. John was responsible for exorcising Calibraxis from an unnamed member of the British Royal family.

John asks a demon named Masher how Neron's name is trading. The idea of Hell having a stock-market was introduced during the Hellblazer run of Jamie Delano, with mortals being able to bank on better bargains for selling their soul depending on the state of the market. It was also possible for demons to trade souls to one another in exchange for various favors and demons being able to encourage investment in their name as part of various schemes to acquire a mass of souls in exchange for a small initial investment by other demons. This is because souls are also used by demons to power their magic as well as a form of currency and status.

John demands to be taken before a body known as The Triumvirate. In the DC Comics and Vertigo universes, Hell has been depicted as being ruled by a series of triumvirates. The first triumvirate was revealed in Neil Gaiman's The Sandman and consisted of the fallen angel Lucifer, the demon Azazel, and Beelzebub, Lord of Flies.

A separate triumvirate was revealed in Garth Ennis' run on Hellblazer. This was later retconned as being the first triumvirate of Hell.  It consisted of three demonic beings known as the First of the Fallen, the Second of the Fallen and the Third of the Fallen. When Lucifer fell from Heaven, he took over the rulership of Hell from them and served as sole ruler until a civil war in Hell, as seen in the pages of Alan Moore's Swamp Thing. 

For a time following this civl war, Hell was ruled by a Second Triumvirate, which consisted of The Demon Etrigan, Rann Va Dath of the Pit and Abaddon the Destroyer. They acted as an interim government until the establishment of The Third Triumvirate. ruled by Lucifer, Azazel and Beelzebub. After Lucifer abandoned the throne of Hell in the The Sandman: Seasons of Mist, the original First Triumvirate took over the rulership of Hell, even as the day-to-day operations were overseen by the angels Duma and Remiel. This changed leading into the Lucifer monthly comic by Mike Carey, after John Constantine was able to depower the First of the Fallen, who gave up ruling Hell to focus on gaining revenge on John.

To further confuse matters, a Stanley And His Monster story in Secret Origins (vol. 2) #48 (April 1990) revealed another Triumvirate, consisting of Lucifer, Belial and Azazel. It is believed that Belial was used in place of Beelzebub due to a research error.

The Hell of the Arrowverse is revealed to be ruled by three demons - Satan (First of the Fallen), Belial and Beelzebub.All three appear as old men in business suits

The First of the Fallen is considered to be the arch-enemy of John Constantine in the Hellblazer series. It is unclear if the Arrowverse version and John enjoy a totally similar relationship.

In the Hell of the Vertigo universe, Satan is a title rather than an individual demon or fallen angel, the name coming from the Hebrew word for "adversary." While originally bestowed upon the ruler of Hell, the title of Satan now seems to be bestowed upon whichever member of the Triumvirate acts as the official military leader of Hell's armies. Lucifer answered to the title of Satan in several Vertigo comics before he renounced his throne.

The flashback scenes of John losing Astra to a demon as well as the scenes as John is sent to his room in Hell are taken from the original Constantine show, intercut with new footage of the new actress playing Astra as a young girl.

It is revealed that Astra has become a demon in the service of Hell. In the DC Comics cosmology, it is possible for a mortal to become a demon. Typically this happens when an extremely evil human is promoted, having impressed some elder demon into giving a fraction of its power to a particularly inventive mortal sinner. Presumably a mortal who had acquired multiple souls could also gain power through playing the demonic stock market or some other form of gambling.


Technobabble/Arcana

According to Charlie, Ogres are big softies who wouldn't hurt a fly.

Article 27 of the Time Bureau Creed says that no supervisor will show favoritism towards a fellow employee - a statue Gary says Ava violated by starting a book club that he wasn't invited to be a part of.

Hell is ruled by a triumvirate of demons, made up of Satan (First of the Fallen), Belial  and Beelzebub.

The beings known as Fairy Godmothers were all witches who were cursed to only be able to use their magic to do the bidding of others.

A free witch can takeover the curse of a Fairy Godmother by taking her wand.

It is possible for a human to become a demon after having been warped by Hell and embracing their corruption.


Dialogue Triumphs

(The Legends watch Neron's ad for PalmerX 2019)
Nate: I don't care if Neron's wearing my best friend's face. I want to punch him.

Mick: Get in line.

(We see a montage of the various Legends wielding various weapons. The line ends with Zari, distastefully holding a bandoleer of grenades.)
Zari: This seems like overkill.

(Sara tells the rest of the team to execute Plan B over the comms.)
Zari: What's Plan B?
Mick: I only listen for my name.
Nate: I assume it's like Plan A, but, you know, with less people.

Demon: You're dead, demon hunter!
John: I was going to be a demon proctologist, but the pay wasn't as good.

John: I invoke a parlay. I demand to speak to the Triumvirate!
Calibraxis: I'm a demon, not a pirate, John. I thought you understood the rules.
John: Well, you little maggot, as long as I'm alive, then the Triumvirate can pass me around like a little sparrow amongst the cats. But as soon as I die, you dim-witted dick, then my soul belongs to Neron, and then the Triumvirate lose out on all the tasty little bits of torture that they've got planned for me. So you've got two choices: You can either kill me and royally piss off the old bags that run this place, or take me to speak with the Triumvirate.

Ava: You know what, Gary? It's a little hard to feel sorry for you when you're holding us all hostage.
Gary: You're not getting it. This whole time Tabitha has been trying to use me to hurt you.
(sadly) All I wished was for us to hang out! I was trying to protect you. (shrugs) I get it. I'm not cool.
But I don't deserve to be treated like a joke. (voice becoming more sinister) So, now... now the joke's on you.

Charlie: If I die, I'm going to come back and haunt you!
Zari: I would love a ghost friend.

(Charlie, disguised as a Time Bureau Agent, escorts a cuffed Zari into the Bureau.)
Zari: Stick to the plan, Charlie.
Charlie: You mean the plan where I need to rely on my shoddy shape-shifting to portal creatures one by one out of their cells and on to the Waverider, where Gary may or may not wish them to Kingdom Com?
Zari: Yep. That plan.

Sara: Gary, when Rip first recruited the Legends, he picked the people that were insignificant to history - the original losers. You don't have to be cool to be a Legend. And maybe we forgot that somewhere along the way, but...you are one of us.

(Charlie shapeshifts into Tabitha and makes a break down the hallway. Unfortunately, Neron sees her.)
Neron:
Oh, my love! My love!
(Charlie stops and laughs with Neron.)
Neron:
Uh, still no luck with Nora?
Charlie: (sadly) No.
Neron: Oh. Well, she'll take your curse soon. After all, you are very convincing.
(Neron leans in for a kiss, but Charlie leans backwards to avoid it.)
Charlie: Well, I better head back. Evil deeds to do and all that.
(As Charlie hurries off Neron exhales into his hand and smells his breath, shuddering a bit.)
Neron: Hmm. No.

Nora: (as she is sucked into the portal to Hell) Gary, you dick!


Continuity

A young Zari is revealed to still be living just outside Washington DC in the year 2019, as in 401. Her mother is currently pregnant with her younger brother, Behrad.

Neron, as Ray Palmer, informs people of the existence of monsters through televised ads promoting a technology conference called PalmerX 2019, where he promises to unveil a solution to the monster problem.

Nora Darhk is still inside Time Bureau HQ, fighting her way through the brainwashed Time Agents while hiding in the ducts.

Gary has used Tabitha's powers to redecorate his office and give himself three nipples.

According to Tabitha, John Constantine has banished thousands of demons back to Hell in his life.

Neron tells Mona of his intent to give her a special role in his plan.

Gary complains that the Legends never invited him to their pizza parties or their Dungeons and Dragons games.

Gary wishes to be part of Ava, Nora and Sara's book club, magically teleporting them into his office.

The book Gary selects for his book club is The Collector by Neil LaChance.

Gary wishes for the rest of the book club to be forced to read the book super quickly so they can discuss it.

Without Sara and Ava, the rest of the Legends decide to infiltrate PalmerX 2019 and figure out Neron's plan.

John finds out that half the demons in Hell have found out he's been sent to Hell and are looking for him.

Gary wishes to be Captain of the Waverider. Tabitha sends him, Ava and Sara to the ship.

Tabitha allows Nora to remain with her, saying she has no quarrel with Nora as she wasn't part of the group of people who sent her to Hell.

Tabitha was in Hell for 327 years.

Tabitha says that Neron rescued her in Hell and won her heart.

Tabitha says that Neron is much older than her.

Tabitha says that she thinks she and Nora might have been friends in another life.

Tabitha sends Nora to PalmerX 2019 in a fancy gown to act as "Ray's" armcandy.

Neron threatens to kill Mona if Nora turns on him.

Neron tells Nora that her father is going stark raving mad in the deepest pits of Hell.

Neron says that he's keeping Nora around as his "girlfriend" because he figured the best revenge possible for her trying to kill him was to give her a front-row seat to everything he's about to do while wearing the body of the man she loves.

Neron, posing as Ray, claims to have spent the last two years hunting magical creatures around the world and developing an exoskeleton that will let him fight them. He also unveils an app he calls Eyes, which will allow people to report monster sightings to him in real time.

John goes to a demonic strip club called the Flesh Factory in search of a soul broker called Masher.

Masher says that Neron's stock is about to rise, due to a highly anticipated acquirement of a massive soul collection on Earth.  This suggests that Neron is about to make a power play for the throne of Hell.

Masher was sent back to Hell by John, but is far more forgiving about it than most demons.

John is confronted by a demon named Calibraxis, whom he convinces to take him before the Triumvirate that rules Hell.

Neron angers Mona, forcing Wolfie to come out before a crowd, revealing the world's first real werewolf.

Mick and Nate are teleported back to the Waverider to be part of Gary's new crew of Legends.

Zari uses her wind bracelet to save herself from the mob, leading to Neron calling her a witch.

Gary starts wearing Nate's old costume, which he calls the Kid Steel suit.

Only 2000 people signup for the Eyes App after PalmerX 2019. It is flushed out of the news cycle by Kanye West releasing a surprise album and a video of a cat getting a bath.

Neron plans to arrange a monster attack on the Capitol.

Tabitha places Nora in the same sell as a wounded Mona.

Tabitha tells Nora that she thinks they can help each other - something she wants to do as a fellow witch.

Zari takes Charlie to her childhood home to hideout.

According to Zari, ARGUS institutes a fascist government in the United States in 2021 to better control metahumans.

Zari discovers that the Terms of Service for the Eyes app contain a clause that give Neron the soul of anyone who downloads and uses the app.

After the Legends annoy him by condescending to him, Gary wishes for Mick to be turned into a big baby, Nate to be forced to relive Gary's high-school years (with braces, acne and a frizzy mullet) and for Sara and Ava to be forced to dance for his amusement.

Zari accidentally leaves the backpack containing the dragon egg in her childhood home when she and Charlie leave. It is found by her younger self.

John bargains with the Triumvirate that rules Hell, promising them that he will stop Neron's plans to take over Hell in exchange for their letting him leave Hell with Ray's soul.

The Triumvirate forces John to make a choice between Ray and Astra - the girl he accidentally condemned to Hell. John chooses Astra.

Gary is a fan of the game Settlers of Cattan.

Tabitha tells Nora that she'd be able to heal the dying Mona with her powers and that all she has to do is take Tabitha's wand.

This is revealed to be a trick, freeing Tabitha of her curse and trapping Nora as Gary's fairy godmother.

Zari and Charlie enter into the Time Bureau, with Zari posing as a prisoner and Charlie as a time agent.

Charlie's cover is blown when the witchy Tabitha finds Neron just a few minutes after Neron saw Charlie disguised as fairy godmother Tabitha.

Zari opens all the cells in the Time Bureau as Charlie sets a Time Corridor portal into the Waverider at the end of the detention level's main hallway.

Gary wishes for his fairy godmother to rescue John and Ray from Hell, not knowing that Nora is now his fairy godmother.

Charlie is able to free all of the magical creatures and rescue Mona, though she's left trapped in Mona's cell.

Neron wants to kill Charlie but Tabitha says they can use Charlie's powers to create whatever magical monsters they want for his attack on the Capitol.

John discovers that Astra's time in Hell has turned her into a demon. She refuses to go back to Earth, breaking John's deal with the Triumvirate, who decided it is more fun to torture John and that they can deal with Neron themselves.

When we last see John, he is trapped in a cell, with Calibraxis advancing on him with a curved blade. We hear the sound of flesh being cut and a scream after things go to black.

It is revealed that the dragon egg is hatching in a young Zari's bedroom.


Location

Zari Tomaz's Childhood Home - Outside Washington DC - 2019
Hell
Time Bureau HQ - Washington DC - 2019
PalmerX 2019 - Washington DC - 2019


Untelevised Adventures

Gary leads his team of Legends in stopping a fairy from disrupting an episode of The Great British Bake Off.


The Bottom Line

A decent but not great episode which sets the stage for the season finale well enough. It seems like the whole cast is stretched too thin, but there are about a dozen players to keep track of. Still, there's a lot of solid ideas here and the show moves between them quickly enough that it doesn't seem overwhelming.