Friday, February 22, 2019

Starman Plays Batman: The Telltale Series - Part 8

In which, after a busy morning of being a jerk to everyone around us, we meet with Lucius Fox, are told some things we already know and learn that the Children of Arkham have been getting into my backdoor without me knowing it. Then we both lose our jobs so the Board of Directors can cover their own asses, before I go (reluctantly) to warn Harvey that the Children of Arkham have hacked his network too.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Starman Plays Batman: The Telltale Series - Part 7

In which we start Episode 3 and begin to see just how little our choices truly matter.  Everyone calls Harvey Dent our "best friend" despite our telling him to go screw himself in the last Episode. And despite the GCPD having orders to arrest Batman on sight, we find out Jim Gordon had a Bat-Signal installed so he can summon us for help whenever he needs it. But your choices completely influence the game! Really!


Sunday, February 17, 2019

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 4, Episode 12 - Menagerie

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





Plot

Trying to take her mind off of how Alex has changed since having her memories erased, Kara offers to help J'onn with his latest case. Unfortunately, the trail leads them right into a confrontation with Alex and the DEO, as they both face off against a new villain called Menagerie, as the Children of Liberty begin hunting for the alien killer as well. Meanwhile, Lena and James' relationship hits another roadblock and Nia invites Brainy to her Valentine's Day party as she tries to cope with her mother's death.


Influences

Superman #775 (introduction of Menagerie character), the movie Venom (Menagerie talks to her symbiote in the same way that Eddie Brock and the symbiote did) and some origins of the Marvel Comics anti-hero Venom outside of the comics (in some stories, the symbiote came to Earth on a meteor.)


Goofs

Alex says that she hates Valentine's Day. In 213, she said she loved it. It's unclear if this is because of her mind being altered or because her opinion on love soured after her break-up with Maggie. Or if the writers forgot.

To say that it is horribly out of character for Lena to think that sharing her research with the federal government is a good idea is putting it mildly. Particularly given what happened earlier in the season with what little she left in the hands of the DEO in earlier seasons!

How did the Children of Liberty find out about the DEO controlled crime scene? You'd think that would be kept off the standard police bands. (Still a mole inside the DEO?)

It's hard to say who is stupider in the battle between The Children of Liberty and Menagerie - Menagerie for not taking the chance to slip out undetected when the Children of Liberty tell the humans to leave the room or The Children of Liberty for going to fight an alien menace that rips people's hearts out with baseball bats.

How do the DEO get to the Ball so quickly?

Why does Kara send away Dreamer to help Alex when she could use a second person to help her fight Menagerie?

The idea that the DEO would allow the Children of Liberty to take credit for beating Menagerie when the alternative is giving credit to Supergirl doesn't hold water. If anything, what the Children of Liberty did lets the government make a case against against vigilantes in general, human or alien, causing more trouble than they are worth, particularly since - as Alex pointed out - her people were wasted trying to stop the Children of Liberty from interfering. (And they didn't even manage that!)

The Patriot Act on Earth 38 apparently says terrorist charges can only be leveled against someone who threatens human lives. Ignoring the issues with that being a consideration when the act was drafted relative to when it was passed in the real world (aliens were supposed to have been revealed to the world only relatively recently), it seems highly unlikely this could be used to justify releasing a terrorist leader who has threatened humans with his activities. (i.e. James Olsen, Manchester Black, every human caught in the crossfire at the funeral in Parthas)


Performances

Really, the only thing that makes this episode function on any level is the established core cast. Melissa Benoist is still a delight. Chyler Leigh manages to subtlety display Alex's discomfort in several small ways. And David Harewood gets some amazing side-glances to Kara as she uses her powers without revealing herself to Alex.


Super Trivia

Two anti-heroes used the code name Menagerie at DC Comics. The first was a woman named Pamela, who first appeared in Superman #775 and was created by writer Joe Kelly and artists Doug Mahnke and Lee Bermejo. Part of the team of anti-heroes known as The Elite, Menagerie was reportedly experimented on by a shadow-branch of the DEO and transformed into a super-soldier meant to be sold off to the highest bidder.  Pamela was bonded to a collective of aliens known as symbeasts, which she was able to control, reshaping them into weapons and armor. The symbeasts also have individual powers including the ability to generate electrical shocks and one secrets a venom that forces a victim to be unable to lie when bitten. The symbeasts also apparently grant their host acidic blood. Pamela was later killed during an assassination attempt of then President Lex Luthor, after she revealed to Superman that The Elite were being mind-controlled by Manchester Black.

The second Menagerie, Sonja, first appeared in JLA #100 and was Pamela's sister. Bonding with the symbeasts after Pamela's death, Sonja joined the new JLA Elite team formed by Manchester Black's sister, Vera Black. A more sinister figure than her sister, Sonja would eventually be forcibly removed from the symbeasts after she attempted to destroy the JLA Elite from within, ironically helping to facilitate Manchester Black taking control of his sister's body and mind while she manipulated the reformed Elite member Coldcast into committing a murder. He was eventually cleared and she was depowered as punishment before being jailed.

Menagerie was meant to be a parody of Witchblade - a popular 1990s "bad-girl" anti-hero at Top Cow comics, who had similar powers granted by a magical bracelet with a sinister intelligence. The Witchblade had an annoying habit of shredding its host's clothing, leaving her largely exposed save for some metallic "armor" that barely kept her decent. Menagerie also parodied elements of the Spider-Man villain Venom, who had similar powers. However, given that she was an attractive woman who seemed to be naked under her armor, the Witchblade comparison seems more apt.

The Arrowverse version of Menagerie is given the full name of Pamela Ferrer and is closer in tone to Venom than Witchblade. She was a petty criminal who partnered with a man named Chuck, who became bound to an alien symbiote after their getaway vehicle was nearly run off the road by a crashing spaceship and the occupant attacked her. She has the power to spawn independent snake growths, as well as some degree of super speed and the power to fly.

J'onn makes reference to having helped an alien called a Toomian. In the DC Comics universe, Toomians are a species of wolf-like humanoids who have been hunted to near-extinction because of the popularity of their hides among certain rich species who don't care about the legalities of wearing clothes made from sentient beings. The Green Lantern Barreer Wot is a Toomian.

Brainiac-5 makes reference to a race of yellow-skinned aliens called Klaramarians, asking if a Klaramarian is yellow when trying to cleverly say "yes." In the DC Comics universe, the Klaramarians colonized the planet Klaramar, having originally come from Saturn, where they were known as the Yellow Saturnians. It is possible they are descended from Martians, given that some versions of the Martian history suggest that the people of Saturn were Martian immigrants. In any case, Klaramarian are easily identified physically by their yellow-orange skin, pointed ears and complete lack of facial features. Like Martians and Saturnians, they are telepathic.


Technobabble

Brainiac-5 ran simulations and determined there was an 87.4% chance that Nia was ready to begin training as a superhero. (He was wrong.)

The alien that bonds with Pamela is capable of perfectly extracting a human heart. It ripped out Chuck's heart with minimal tissue damage and no blood loss, seemingly cauterize the wounds it caused instantly.

The alien's ship presents itself as a solid rock, being easily mistaken for a meteor.

The alien sheds its skin much like a snake.

Brainiac-5 is able to analyze the DNA from the alien's shed skin and creates a composite image of what it may look like now. It looks like a giant snake.

Brainiac-5 claims that having 85% of his mind focused on a problem is the equivalent of a highly-ranked CSI team handling the same problem. He uses this to justify why he is shopping for Valentine's Day gifts when he is meant to be handling DEO data.

Kara suggests using trace radioactivity to track the alien after Alex finds a sample of its acid/venom.

Brainiac-5 says there was no radioactivity in the acid/venom sample, but he did find human DNA belonging to Pamela Ferrer - a woman who had not been declared missing yet and whose home was a few blocks away.

Brainiac-5 identifies the snake-like creature that bonded with Pamela Ferrer as a symbiote. Supergirl later calls it a symbeast.


Dialogue Triumphs

Nia: Brainy?
Brainiac-5: It is I! And I'd like to make myself clear since I did not last time - I am not here for a date.
Nia: (sarcastic) Happy Valentine's Day to you too.
Brainac-5: I sense sarcasm, which I find confusing in this context.

(J'onn explains his plan to allow Kara to work with Alex on a case as Kara.)
Kara: It's Valentine's Day and you're being a matchmaker.

Ben Lockwood: George, I know what it's like to be scared. All of us do. But then... then an opportunity can present itself. And like a switch... your whole world changes. And you find clarity. And focus. And strength like you have never known. So what I need you to do, is just look out for that opportunity. And trust it. And you will take it.

J'onn: I don't think he's here.
Brainiac-5: (from closet door) I'm right here.
(J'onn rolls the door open. Brainiac-5 gasps and closes it again. J'onn rolls it open again.)
Kara: Brainy! What are you doing in the closet?!
Brainiac-5: I just escaped Yvette. Nia's roommate. Apparently every song is her... gem?
(Brainiac-5 holds out his hand.)
Brainiac-5: Do you have the samples?
(Kara passes him a test tube. He looks at it and nods.)
Brainiac-5: This will take a few minutes.
(Brainiac-5 glances out the door nervously and slowly rolls the closet door shut.)


Dialogue Disasters

Brainiac-5: A sophisticated killing! Much like its ship! 

J'onn: Oh, man. I feel like this mind-wipe has hurt our family in so many more ways than we could ever forsee. (Master of the obvious, that man!)


Continuity

Alex thinks she has never been to J'onn's new office before.

J'onn has gotten Valentine's Day gifts from several clients, including the aliens in his support group he helped to organize a neighborhood watch to catch the people spraying "Free Ben Lockwood" graffiti in their neighborhood and a Toomian whose lost family he found.

Col. Haley is away in Washington DC at the moment.

Alex hasn't had time to work on developing her personal life or adopting a child since taking over the DEO. Kara suggests she come to Nia's roomate's Valentine's Day party.

Mrs. Stuart is a woman who thinks her husband has been kidnapped. Her husband is Anthony Stuart -  Director of Alien Affairs. He also helped to draft the Alien Amnesty Act.

Brainiac-5 offers to train Nia in using her powers. She says she is still grieving her mother's death and isn't ready.

Nia asks Brainiac-5 to attend her roommate's party. He agrees.

Ben Lockwood asks his wife and son, George, to wait for his movement to bring about his release. Until then, he advises his son to be the man of action his grandfather would have wanted them both to be. Once his wife has left them alone, Ben whispers some kind of instruction to George.

Col. Haley returns to National City early to help her daughter with a school project.

Col. Haley says The President is not pleased with the DEO's lack of answers regarding the origins of the alien rage drug from 411 or the fact that Agent Liberty is more popular than him in the polls.

The DEO discover Chuck's body, with his heart ripped out and apparently eaten.

Brainiac-5 has a deep fear of snakes.

Two more victims were found with their hearts torn out in a mansion near the crash-site.

J'onn offers Kara the scoop on his case to find the missing Director Stuart if she lets him use CatCo's resources to try and see if he can find any leads on who specifically might have kidnapped him.

James' Valentine's Day gift to Lena is a framed black and white photo he took of her while she was asleep after their last weekend together at Lena's lake house. He says it is how he sees her when there are no distractions in their lives.

Lena asks James to fly off to Paris with her for the weekend spontaneously.

Fred Roberts is a Child of Liberty who threatened Director Stuart after the Alien Amnesty Act was signed. He was later convicted of stalking him. He was released from prison a week earlier, but there was nothing about his current address on file in the police records J'onn had access to as an investigator.

Alex says that she hates Valentine's Day. In 213, she said she loved it. It's unclear if this is because of her mind being altered or because her opinion on love soured after her break-up with Maggie.

Brainiac-5 says that the only common link between the murders apart from the victims having their hearts removed was that they were robbed of all their jewelry. They also determined that Chuck's car was used in a heist and that all of the loot was removed from the cart. It is theorized the alien either requires the gems and metals as sustenance or as resources for its world. In either case, there is only so far it could travel on foot, which gives him a means of triangulating a pattern based on how it is choosing its victims.

Kara determines that Fred Roberts didn't have a release address because he was already back in prison.

Anthony Stuart's phone records indicated he had made several calls to Madison Sinclair - a diamond broker who Nia wrote an article about, who invested in the East City Project. They also indicate that he frequented a restaurant near her house and that he had been there that morning. Kara concludes that he wasn't kidnapped - he's having an affair.

Col. Haley approaches Lena on behalf of President Baker with an offer for a contract to develop her research into giving humans alien powers for the government to create super soldiers. Lena is reluctant but agrees to think on the proposal after the news of the heart-eating alien breaks.

George Lockwood records a viral video wearing his father's mask, encouraging other Children of Liberty to hunt down the alien killer so that they can use their actions to demand his father's release.

J'onn and Kara arrive at Madison Sinclair's house and find the dead bodies of her and Anthony Stuart, just before the DEO arrive.

Kara "accidentally' finds a hidden safe in the Sinclair house, after using her X-Ray vision. Alex determines that it's lock was melted by some kind of acid or venom.

Kara suggests using trace radioactivity to track the alien after Alex finds a sample of its acid/venom. When Alex asks how she knew they could do that, Kara lies and says that Winn bragged about all the tech that he had access to off the record.

Alex runs into Becca - a woman with whom she had drinks twice but never called back.

Ben Lockwood saw George's message while in prison and approves of it. He advises George that people have to know it was the Children of Liberty who caught the killer and advises him to be ready for an opportunity.

J'onn and Kara eventually find Brainiac-5 hiding in a closet from Nia's roommate, who keeps wanting to dance with him.. He is able to run the samples while he is in there... somehow.

Kara tells Nia about how Alex had her memories of Kara being Supergirl erased.

The last time Becca saw Alex she was still discussing her adoption plans.

Becca thinks Alex is an FBI agent.

The team determines that Pamela is a jewel thief who is using her bond with the symbiote to enhance her ability to steal as it eats the hearts of her victims.

Nia has a dream of Supergirl fighting Menagerie.

Kara thinks that the reason Alex is holding back on moving forward with her life is that she's gone back to her old habits of protecting her younger sister now that she doesn't know Kara is Supergirl.

The Children of Liberty take credit for Menagerie's defeat in the press.

The President insists that Pamela Ferrer be sent to a regular prison rather than a black ops site so a public example can be made of her, even though she isn't really an alien.

Nia asks Brainy to help her train.

Alex tells Kara that she is going to start trying harder to trust that Kara can take care of herself.

Kara got Becca's number for Alex.

Lena tells Col. Haley that she's accepting her offer.

Ben Lockwood is released from prison after the White House counsel determines that the Patriot Act statute being used to charge him as a terrorist only applies to human lives being threatened.

The episode ends with Pamela receiving a letter from Manchester Black and the revelation that her symbiote is not quite dead.


Location

Oaks Bluff - an exclusive community near National City.


The Bottom Line

Easily one of the weakest episodes of Supergirl ever and a definite contender for the worst of all time. The subplots are all over the place. The performances equally uneven considered as a whole. And Lena is horribly out of character on ever level. Throw in an underdeveloped villain who somehow manages to be even more empty than her comic book inspiration (i.e. she's a crook with a symbiote) and this is one hard episode to sit through.

Season 4 is on a definite downward slide. The only good thing that can be said about this episode is that we know it is building up to the return of Manchester Black who, it should be noted, disappeared about the same time the show started going downhill. I do not believe this to be a coincidence.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Starman Plays Batman: The Telltale Series - Part 6

In which we have our first confrontation with the Penguin, do the worst job possible of blending into the crowd at a seedy bar, further ruin Batman's reputation by scaring the mayor, further ruin our relationship with Harvey Dent and end Episode 2 with several major diversions from the history of Batman in the comics.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 5, Episode 14 - Cause and XS

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



Plot

After Iris is endangered by Cicada, Nora starts using time-travel to try and save the day, only to progressively make the situation even worse. Meanwhile, with the metahuman cure nearly complete, Cisco takes a night off for a date with his new friend, the bartender Kamilla.


Influences

The movies Groundhog Day (the character keeps relieving the same day over and over trying to find a way to break the loop) and Run, Lola, Run (a woman running to save her boyfriend causes slight variations in the chain of events as we see the same sequence play out multiple times)


Goofs

If Ralph was at his office when Cicada attacked Iris the first time, why wasn't he the first one there when Iris' panic alarm was activated?

Really, how many more times is the team going to take down Cicada and then just stand there as he gets away?  Just dog-pile him and put the meta-blockers on him!

Honestly, the most unforgivable aspect of this episode is they didn't go with the much better title of Run, Nora, Run.


Artistry

The effects work and transitions as Nora runs back in time is rather nice.


Flash Facts

Nora attempts to change the past 52 times. This is yet another repeated use of the number 52, which, as has been noted before, is a number of some significance in the DC Comics Universe.

Cisco says that he doesn't have to dress like Ozone to impress Kamilla. This is a reference to the movie Breakin'.


Technobabble

The metahuman cure requires one month to fully synthesize.

Sherloque suggests the Speed Force might be used to enhance the synthesis process. All compounds are formed by a catalyst and the most efficient catalyst for a compound that negates dark matter is super-luminal particles like tachyons. Since the densest tachyons in existence lie inside The Speed Force, a trip with the metahuman cure through the heart of the Speed Force should prepare it in the span of an hour.

Cicada's dagger is revealed to allow him to detect nearby metahumans. This allows him to find Ralph in the office across the hall from Iris' office, when Cicada goes looking for Iris and she isn't there.

When Cisco is lying about what kind of workouts he indulges in, he mentions pilates for the core, plyometrics for the quads and circuit training along with finger push-ups.


Dialogue Triumphs

(Nora, having just traveled back in time, runs into Ralph, who asks if Cisco has left for his date yet.)
Nora: I don't think so.
Ralph: Great! I get another chance at this.
(Ralph walks into the main lab. Nora looks into the room and sees everyone else, realizing where.. and when... she is.)
Nora: ... we do.

(On the third time through the loop.)
Barista 1:
One Zoom and one decaf Flash.
Kamilla: Thank you.
(Cisco is about to reach for one of the cups then stops himself.)
Cisco: Something's wrong.
(Barista 1 gives him the side-eye.)
Cisco: And I think I have to go.
Kamilla: Right now?
Cisco: No. (pointing to his phone on the table) Right... now.
(The trouble alert on Cisco's phone goes off.)
Cisco: (sadly) Yep. Gotta go. (getting up) Umm - I'd ask if we could have a do-over, but, um, something tells me we already have.
(Cisco exits, leaving a stunned Kamilla behind, stammering in shock.)
Barista 1: The men in this city.
Barista 2: Tell me about it.

Cisco: Nora, sometimes we fail because all we worry about is not failing.


Dialogue Disasters

Cicada: You said you were going to beat me, but tonight... (growling) I'm going to beat you.  All of you.


Continuity

Cisco has started looking at Kamilla's photos on-line in anticipation of their date. He worries she might be too good for him.

Nora refers to Barry having to stay in the Pipeline for 24 houirs in 510 and Iris' encounter with Cicada in 513 to persuade Barry not to go into the Speed Force alone right now.

Ralph has written a companion book to The Book of Ralph from 502 called The Book Of Love. It follows up his 27-step plan for getting over a bad-breakup with a blueprint for approaching a first date. The book includes chapters on Initial Planning (Chapter One), Knowing Your Terrain (Chapter Six) and Intelligence and Reconnaissance (Chapter Thirteen). This last step involves looking at her public profile on social media and determining what kind of men she has been interested in in the past.

Caitlin and Sherloque excuse themselves to finish working on the injection device for the metahuman cure.

Iris goes back to her office to work on a story.

At 8:27 PM, Iris is knocked out by Cicada.

There is a drink called The Cicada at C.C. Jitters.

Based on a picture of Kamilla with some guy in a suit and slicked-back hair, Cisco shows up for the date in a suit with slicked back hair.

Cisco tries to play the suave businessman but only comes off as a conceited prick who profits off of other people's work after Kamilla asks why he wears a business suit in the lab (remembering his using science terms when they first met in 512) and he lies about working for Ramon Industries.

Kamilla's drink of choice is a Decaf Flash.

Cisco's drink of choice is the Zoom.

When Cisco gets Iris' alarm warning, he asks Kamilla for a raincheck. She doesn't even say goodbye as she leaves.

Iris' alarm sounds at 8:52 PM.

Cicada throws his dagger in a long arc and commands it to hit Killer Frost in the back when it comes back to him, having seen XS and Killer Frost coming.

Nora runs back in time to just as Ralph was arriving at STAR Labs with The Book of Love.

Sherloque seems to recognize something is wrong when Nora comes back the second time.

Nora persuades Iris to stay at STAR Labs on her second time around.

This time, without Nora in the lab to watch Cisco as he is looking through Ralph's photos of Kamilla, this time he sees one of her being lifted up by a large, sporty-looking fellow.

Cicada goes to Iris' office but she isn't there. This leads to him sensing Ralph, who is across the hall in his detective agency, and Cicada knocking Ralph out. This time, he recognizes Ralph as Elongated Man but otherwise gives the same speech about beating all of Team Flash tonight.

The second time, Cisco shows up for his date in a t-shirt and ball-cap. He tries to play the part of a gym rat, but Kamilla said she thought he was the kind of guy more concerned with flexing his mental muscles than his physical ones.

This second time, Cisco touches Kamilla's hand as they reach for the same drink instead of being stopped by the barista. He vibes the baristas making derisive comments about his not knowing a decaf from his own drink by looking and how the men in Central City are idiots.

Once again, Kamilla leaves when Cisco asks for a do-over date, without saying a word.

The second time, Raph shouts a warning about Cicada's dagger and Nora moves Killer Frost out of the way, only for Ralph to be stabbed by Cicada's dagger.

The third time, Sherloque definitely seems to think something is up with Nora but says nothing. 

Nora convinces Iris to stay and write her article at STAR Labs and convinces Ralph to stay and try some of the brownies she has in the lounge.

Nora encourages Cisco to look at Ralph's collection of pictures of Kamilla. This time, when he handles them, he vibes Kamilla saying that she thought he was a man who flexes his brain rather than his muscles from the second time Nora time-traveled.

Sherloque also seems to notice Cisco's odd reaction, which Cisco describes as deja vu.

It is 8:07 PM when Cisco leaves for his date the third time.

The third time, Sherloque goes to Iris' office and is ambushed by Cicada at 8:27 PM.

The third time, Cisco shows up for his date looking like a male model and claiming to be a social media influencer. He gives Kamilla a business card. This time, when he touches her hand, he vibes her saying that the last time they spoke he was talking about genomes and DNA so she assumed he was a scientist.

The third time, Kamilla orders their drinks instead of Cisco.

This time, Nora goes in to face Cicada alone, not taking Caitlin with her. Unfortunately, being Cisco left his date earlier, he gets there just in time to get stabbed in the back by Cicada before Nora gets there.

The fourth time, Nora takes everyone into the lounge and tells them they have to stay there for one hour.

The fourth time, Cisco vibes Ralph showing him the photos he took from Kamilla's profile and the details from his previous dates about what kind of man she thought Cisco was.

The fourth time, Cicada breaks into Iris' office and finds a picture of Iris with Joe and Cecile.

The fourth time, Cisco texts Kamilla and says he won't be able to make their date because of a problem at work.

The fourth time, Cicada takes Cecile Horton hostage and she is stabbed with the dagger before Nora arrives.

This leads into a rapid fire montage where everyone dies again, several times, in different ways, with Ralph in costume as Elongated Man dying at one point.

Nora tries entering into the Speed Force to find her dad and get his help, but she can't do it for some reason. She also can't go back to before Barry entered the Speed Force.

After 52 attempts, everyone figures out that Nora is reversing time.

Ralph says this may be one of the fixed points that The Legends theorized and that there's no way to alter things so that nobody dies.

Cisco tells Nora about how he once died in an alternate timeline in 115.

Nora has seen both Breakin' movies.

Team Flash finally breaks the chain by having Iris lure Cicada to the roof. He throws the dagger as he sees XS approaching, at which point Vibe, Elongated Man and Killer Frost arrive.  Vibe creates two portals as Elongated Man stretches his arm and Killer Frost ice blasts toward Cicada.  The dagger almost hits Ralph, but it goes backward as Nora reverses time. She uses Elongated Man's arm as a dragline and runs through Killer Frost's blast, which slows her down enough to steer her way throubh one Vibe portal and out the other. This lets Nora push Cicada into the path of his own dagger. He is still somehow able to super-jump away.

This time, when Cisco goes on the date, he is himself, doesn't lie, is honest about being a tech guy more than a scientist but the passion with which he speaks about helping people with his new project hooks Kamilla's interest instantly. He also calls their orders ahead and says he just had a feeling about what Kamilla would like. This time the baristas speak of him with approval, saying he's not like most of the men in the city. This time, Cisco asks for a do-over and Kamilla agrees.

Barry is stunned when Nora tells him about how she traveled in time 53 times trying to fix the situation. He gives her the same speech Jay Garrick did in 302 using a broken coffee cup as a metaphor for time. He also tells her that no one can account for how things can be changed by a trip through time. This stuns Nora, who seems to have been told differently.

Sherloque is seen working on translating the time-code again

Nora goes back to 2049 and asks Thawne is he is sure he knows what he is doing. He angrily insists he is the only speedster who knows what they are doing before assuring Nora that if she follows his instructions, they can defeat Cicada, destroy his dagger and save her father.


Location

Iron Heights Prison - 2049


The Bottom Line

A decent enough filler episode, though Cisco's attempts at playing someone else to impress his date reek of the Idiot Ball and don't jibe with Cisco's usual empowered nerdiness. Still, the effects work is great though Legends of Tomorrow really did this storyline better twice with Here I Go Again and Legends of To-Meow-Meow.

Black Lightning Episode Guide: Season 2, Episode 13 - The Book of Secrets: Chapter Three: Pillar of Fire

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




Plot

Lynn begins working on the Green Light Babies in a new secure location, as Jennifer begins plotting her revenge on Tobias Whale. Meanwhile, Anissa makes a startling discovery about her girlfriend, Grace Choi, and Jefferson receives some interesting news regarding the possibility of his becoming Principal again.


Influences

Batman and the Outsiders (character of Shakedown) and Judd Winick's Outsiders (Grace Choi's background as a child sex slave.)


Performances

Again, this is China Anne McClain's show to steal.


Artistry

The direction and pacing of the story by Robert Townsend is top-notch.


Trivia

The episode title - Pillar of Fire - is a Biblical reference to one of the forms taken by God to be a guiding light to the Children of Israel.

The first of the super soldiers Tobias wakes up is a man named Marcus Bishop aka Shakedown, who it is said can control and emit vibrations. In the original Batman and the Outsiders comics, Marcus Bishop had the same code name and powers and was part of the mercenary group known as The Masters of Disaster.

Rather than just generating earthquakes, this version of Shakedown is able to use his powers in a manner similar to Count Vertigo, causing intense pain in people's heads.

This episode reveals that Grace Choi was the victim of human trafficking and sold into a prostitution ring when she was 16. In the original Outsiders series, Grace was kidnapped and sold into sex slavery at a much younger age, escaping when her powers manifested at puberty. Her father's identity was never confirmed, but her mother was revealed to be a part of the Bana Amazons who exiled themselves from Themyscira.


Technobabble

The power grid of Gambi's sanctum is built to withstand the electromagnetic pulse from a nuclear explosion, yet Jennifer is able to short it out while outputting half of her total power.

Gambi has a Geiger counter built into his watch. He uses it to determine that the pods kept in the secret room of the clinic were slightly radioactive and left behind a residue.

The super-soldiers are awoken by use of a special serum and controlled through an implant in their heads that corresponds to a watch worn by their handler.

Lynn says that she's discovered a way to jump-start the neurotransmitters in the pod kids' brains, speeding up their recovery and reviving them permanently.The treatment involves using a derivative of Looker's silver element, which can supercharge deteriorating nerve cells in metahumans.

Dr. Jace says she has some new theories on how to tackle the pod kids' cellular matrix deficiencies.

The drug Grace was taking is a custom compound in a mega dose of a medication used to treat schizophrenia.


Dialogue Triumphs

(Jennifer has just shorted out the computers in Gambi's sanctum while testing her powers in a sound-proof shield-zone.)
Jefferson:
 So my hot-headed 16-year-old daughter is a walking nuclear bomb?
Gambi: Not nuclear, Jeff, but like Perenna said, she is powerful. Extremely powerful.
Jefferson: 
After all she's been through... I'm not sure she's stable enough to keep her abilities in check.
Jennifer: Dad?
Jefferson: (walking over to the microphone) Yeah?
Jennifer: You know Anissa taught me how to read lips, right?
(Jefferson's face drops.)
Jennifer: (sarcastic) So thanks for your vote of confidence. I appreciate it.

(Tobias inspects the tech used to manage the super soldiers.)
Tobias:
 I'll give those evil child-snatchin' bastards one thing. They've got great taste in watches.

Tavon: You know, it's not right what Lowry's doing. Garfield is your school. All he cares about is making rules and making himself look better in front of his bosses, and that's not right. I mean, all the students think so. The teachers, too.
Jefferson: Okay, look, Tavon, I was the one who wasn't here for Garfield when it needed me most. Not Lowry.
(Tavon nods and starts to walk away but then turns around.)
Tavon: You always say that Garfield is a place for second chances. Where's your second chance, Principal Pierce?
(Jefferson stands there, stunned and gratified.)
Napier: (from behind Jefferson) If you wanna bask in this "Lean on Me" moment a little longer, I can come back a little later.

Anissa: I know you're frustrated-
Jennifer: Please. Don't do that. I already know what you'll say. You'll side with Dad and say I need to be responsible.
Anissa: Hell no!
(Jennifer is surprised.)
Anissa: Look, Tobias has to go. But what I do agree with Dad is, is that Tobias is dangerous. And we can't be running around half-cocked with no plan. We cannot take Tobias down if he kills us first. Jennifer: Wait, did you just say "we"?
Anissa: You thought I'd let you go out there alone?


Continuity

50% of Jennifer's power out-put is more energy than Jefferson was able to handle in his prime as Black Lightning.

Anissa taught Jennifer how to read lips.

Agent Odell offers Lynn a lab at Bowman College and a $1 million grant in exchange for her help in moving the Green Light Babies. Lynn refuses until she is given straight answers about what the ASA is up to.

Agent Odell tells Lynn about Markovia's metahuman weapons program and how the instability of the metahumans they created resulted in them being put in stasis. With Lynn close to stabilizing the Green Light Babies, Lynn has become a target of the Markovian government, which could use her research to make their army viable in the long-term.

Lynn agrees to help move the pod kids on the condition that Dr. Jace be kept away from her.

Anissa searches Grace's abandoned apartment and finds a photo of her with a couple she assumes are Grace's parents. She also finds one of Grace's pills. She eventually asks Gambi for help analyzing the drugs.

Henderson and Gambi investigate the hidden room in the free clinic. Gambi is unable to say if the four large objects removed from it are a different design of suspension pod, but he does confirm they are radioactive but only in the degree to be a power source - not a weapon.

Dr. Jace gives Tobias a syringe full of a serum that awakens the soldier-metahumans and several of the watches that control them.

The first soldier Tobias awakens is a man named Marcus Bishop who was called Shakedown who has vibration control and emission powers. His powers are such that he can overpower Cutter's telekinesis and he is able to match her in pure hand-to-hand fighting.

Jefferson is apparently teaching English Literature now.

Dr. Napier Frank, last seen in 201, shows up to tell Jefferson that he thinks he can get Jefferson reinstated as Principal after the footage of Lowry's racist response to a student protest in 212 was posted on-line by students and went viral.

Tobias and Cutter have entered into a sexual relationship.

Lynn is using a derivative of Looker's silver "element" to treat the pod kids. Looker was last seen in 207.

Gambi is making a supersuit for Jennifer.

Tobias offers to make Shakedown a partner in his organization rather than a puppet.

Jennifer crashes at Anissa's house for a few days just to get away from her parents' home for a bit.

Anissa agrees to help Jennifer get revenge on Tobias, but says they have to come up with a solid plan of attack first

Lynn wants to take Wendy Hernandez (last seen in 202) and move her into the isolation wing of the hospital.

Jennifer attacks some of Tobias' men at Club 100 trying to find where he is.

Gambi discovers that Grace Choi's real name is Shay Li Wylde and that she was a foster child until she was abducted and forced into prostitution at the age of 16, where she was until she was freed by ICE. She disappeared until she emerged in Freeland as Grace Choi.

Jefferson advises the school-board to let Lowry keep his job and be given more time to implement his program.

Grace is apparently schizophrenic.

Anissa saves Jennifer after she goes after one of Tobias' runners at the Seahorse Motel.

Shakedown and Cutter try to take over the ASA lab where the Green Light Babies are.

Dr. Jace acts to seal the base when she sees Cutter and Shakedown on the security camera.

Shakedown recognizes Dr. Jace.

Dr. Jace has one of the watches that lets her control the four super soldiers.

Dr. Jace agrees to help Cutter and Shakedown collect the rest of the Green Light Babies.

Dr. Napier tells Jefferson not to expect any more favors from here after he wasted all the capital he had on a chance for Jefferson to get his job back, only for Jefferson to speak in favor of Lowry.

All of the Green Light Babies except Wendy Hernandez are abducted by the time Black Lightning and Thunder get to the ASA base.

Perrena says that Jennifer is full of anger and she may literally explode if she doesn't find a way to cleanse herself of it.

Dr. Jace says she can get the Green Light Babies fully healed in two weeks to a month.

Todd Green is given a new car (which explodes) now that the's outlived his usefulness, with the Proctor Briefcase hacked and Dr. Jace now overseeing all the Metahuman Pods for Tobias.


The Fridge Factor

Grace's entire background is based around rape and trauma, with the added bonus of it being used to give Anissa angst.


The Winick Factor

Grace was one of Judd Winick's pet characters who was entirely defined by a laundry list of traits (Chinese, ex-child sex slave, lesbian) rather than an actual personality. Thankfully, the show has taken steps to mitigate this, but it is still saddening they went back to her shock-based origin story.


The Bottom Line

A well-directed, well-acted episode which managed to get all of its subplots moving along a little bit. A fine episode to end with before going into a three week break.

Starman Plays Batman: The Telltale Series - Part 5

In which we take a walk down Memory Lane (i.e. Crime Alley) and question Carmine Falcone about the effort to besmirch the Wayne family name before we find new ways to piss off the GCPD and try and make Vicki Vale like us.


Monday, February 11, 2019

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 7, Episode 13 - Star City Slayer

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




Plot

Disappointed that William lied to him and Felicity, Oliver takes some time off from his Green Arrow duties to focus on his family. Luckily, the rest of Team Arrow is now sworn in as deputies and ready to deal with the new serial killer that is plaguing Star City... until it becomes apparent that the Star City Slayer is targeting them!



Influences

The Green Arrow comics of Kevin Smith (concept of Star City Slayer, Mia)


Goofs

Any drama to the Star City Slayer targeting Dinah is nullified by the fact that we know Dinah is alive 20 years in the future.

The Claytons say they should have filed for custody of William years ago. One wonders, in retrospect, why they didn't. As they say, Oliver is a convicted felon and that he is a professional superhero who was absent for most of William's life. Even though Samantha's dying wish was that Oliver take care of their son, there's no way to prove that in court and everything Samantha had done before then was aimed at limiting Oliver's influence on William. Throw in the multiple kidnappings and yeah - there's no way any judge in Star City would think twice about getting William out of Oliver's home.

Curtis' T-Sphere is much less conspicuous and likely to attract attention than the giant Maglite that Diggle is carrying when he tells Curtis not to use his T-Sphere.

Granting that Stanley Dover is insane, why hang onto his old prison jumpsuit?

Stanley Dover's miraculous drug completely paralyzes a person's muscles... except for the ones needed to talk.

Felicity says that it gets really cold in Central City in the winter. Given that Star City is based in the Arrowverse where Seattle should be, it should be pretty cold there in the winter too.


Performances

Juliana Harkavy steals the show in both timelines.


Artistry

The production team did a good job establishing a creepy mood with the Star City Slayer house. The lighting, music and set decoration are all fantastic, though the creepy stuffed monkey and music box were a bit much.



Trivia

The concept of The Star City Slayer was first utilized in Kevin Smith's story Green Arrow: Quiver. The name was given to a serial killer who was kidnapping children and murdering them. He was eventually unmasked as Oliver Queen's friend, Stanley Dover.

Curtis says that the phone number Diaz called trying to reach Dante was traced to a line in Egypt belonging to one of Dante's contacts who is named Virgil. In the Green Arrow comics, Virgil was a member of the Ninth Circle and one of Dante's chief lieutenants. In the Divine Comedy, the Roman poet Virgil acts as Dante's guide to Hell.

When talking on the phone with Dinah about her difficulties in coping with her job now that her status as a metahuman has been outed, Captain Singh refers to a case Dinah handled as an undercover cop where she brought down the Bludhaven-based organization of a gangster called Blockbuster single-handed. Blockbuster was the codename of Roland Desmond - a gangster who ran the criminal underworld of the city of Bludhaven and was the arch-enemy of Nightwing.

Felicity makes reference to Oliver making his famous chili. In the comics, Oliver Queen is indeed renowned for his chill cooking skills,. Ollie's preferred recipe is said to be so spicy it can break Hal Jordan's concentration, burn Superman's tongue, dehydrate Aquaman instantly and allow The Flash to resist the effects of Leonard Snart's cold gun. The only people who can safely eat it besides Oliver himself are Black Canary and Batman. His recipe can be found here.


Technobabble

The Star City Slayer is tied to eight murders in Central City through the angle of entry in all of the victim's wounds.

Curtis says that all of the Star City Slayer's victims had elevated levels of magnesium in their blood. This wouldn't be a red-flag on its own, but high levels of magnesium in the blood coupled with a decreased red-blood cell count indicates the presence of a drug called Mivacurium - a neuromusclar blocking agent that could be used to paralyze someone, which wouldn't show up on a standard toxicology scan due to its rarity.

Curtis has been working on a new mini-infrared laser that proves capable of cauterizing Dinah's throat wound.



Dialogue Triumphs

Dinah: It was one thing when all the people in our inner circle knew about my secret identity, but now everybody knows. The cops at SCPD. Everybody. I dunno - maybe I'm just worried people are gonna treat me differently now that the secret's out?

Curtis: Look at us. Working together again. Being targeted by a homicidal maniac. Feels like a Monday.

(Blackstar claims Felicity is still alive.)
Zoe: Don't listen to her! She's a liar! She'll say anything-
(Blackstar slaps Zoe.)
William: You didn't need to do that.
Blackstar: No, but I enjoyed it.

William: Come on! Don't give me a reason to pull this trigger.
(Blackstar shoves Dinah away.)
Blackstar: You're not gonna shoot me.
(Blackstar drops her knife.)
William: You sure about that?
Blackstar: Yeah. Because my name is Mia Smoak. I'm Felicity's daughter. And your sister.


Continuity

The Star City Slayer develops film the old-fashioned way and uses a type-writer to make his threatening notes.

Dinah finds a letter on her desk at work which says "I SAID I'D KILL YOU ALL. NOW YOUR TIME HAS COME."

Diggle finds a note in his mailbox which says "YOU WILL SUFFER."

Rene Ramirez finds a note taped to his door which says "I CAN FIND YOU ANYWHERE."

A newspaper headline on the Star City Slayer's murder-board confirms that Dinah's secret identity as Black Canary has been revealed to the public.

William was expelled for fighting with another student. He says he won and went for the nose, like Ollie taught him over a year ago. He refuses to discuss the matter further.

Diggle had a DNA rest run n the note that was left in his mailbox.

Curtis says that the phone number Diaz called trying to reach Dante was traced to a line in Egypt belonging to one of Dante's contacts who is named Virgil.

Curtis tells John he was offered a job with the Kohler Humanitarian Institute in Washington DC, creating technology that could help people on a global scale and that he intends to take it.

Dinah has begun teaching Zoe martial arts. She's thrilled to be learning how to "kick ass" from the Black Canary.

Rene shows Dinah the threat he got. She tells him about her threats and the one Black Siren got in 711.

The Star City Slayer kills former Star City Councilman Kullens after injecting him with a paralyzing drug. Kullens was last seen in 618. Apparently Kullens was forced from office and imprisoned after being revealed to be taking bribes from Ricardo Diaz, but his lawyer was able to get him released.

Kullens received a note which read "DO YOU THINK YOU"RE SAFE NOW? YOU'RE NOT."

Oliver asks if the two victims from the murders referred to in 712 might be connected to Kullen's murder. Dinah says those victims also had their throats slit and, after further questioning, their families revealed that they had gotten threatening notes as well.

Black Siren is said to be at a conference in Washington D.C. this week.

Oliver says that nobody on Team Arrow knew the first two victims.

Dinah says she encountered a similar serial killer when she was working undercover in Central City.

John offers Curtis a job as the head of ARGUS' science and technology division. He would be in charge of shaping the future of ARGUS and making all the decisions, just like he wanted.

Captain Singh from The Flash makes reference to some new metahuman villain sending most of his officers to the hospital before The Flash and his friends saved the day. This could be a reference to a future episode of The Flash.

Felicity reveals her favorite Rubik's cube pattern - a cube within a cube - to William. This was referred to in the flash-fowards in 704.

Oliver tells William that he'd like for him to live with him and Felicity.

Mr. and Mrs. Clayton - William's grandparents - show up because he called them. They tell Oliver that they intend to file a suit for guardianship.

William says he wants to live with his grandparents because he has no chance at a normal life with Oliver and Felicity.

The Star City Slayer committed 8 similar  murders over the course of 2 months in Central City.

Curtis determines that the Star City Slayer is using a drug called Mivacurium to drug his victims. It is a rare neuromusclar blocking agent that doesn't show up in toxicology screenings.  It is so rare that only one shipment of it has been sent out within the past month in Star City. It was sent to a condemned house in The Glades to a man named John Doe.

Diggle finds bloody hand prints in one bathroom in the condemned house.

Curtis finds a Slabside Penitentiary jumpsuit hanging in the closet in the condemned house.

Dinah finds the murder board with her pictures on it, as well as the Star City Slayer's typewriter and two new notes. One says "DEATH IS COMING FOR YOU AND ALL THOSE YOU HOLD DEAR." The second one says "YOUR FUTURE IS IN THE HANDS OF A VENGEFUL PAST." She also finds a scrap book of recent news articles about Oliver.

The Star City Slayer is revealed to be Stanley Dover, last seen in 707.

Dinah's throat is cut by Stanley Dover.

Curtis is able to treat Dinah's wound with a laser built into his T-Sphere.

William thinks Oliver's chili is too spicy.

Stanley Dover pumps a paralytic gas into Oliver and Felicity's apartment while the power is out.

Stanley says that his father was a doctor and that he gave Stanley a lot of the same drug he now uses to paralyze people when he was bad.

Stanley says there are other people who are trying to hurt Oliver and that he did things to make sure they couldn't, like former Councilman Kullens.

Stanley Dover says his older brother tried to take his punishments to protect him but that only made things worse.

Stanley finally drugged his parents and "corrected them" when he couldn't take it anymore. When Stanely's brother found out what he did, he said he belonged in Arkham Asylum. Stanley "corrected" him too.

Before Oliver, Stanley fixated on at least three other older brother figures and began killing the people around them who he felt were getting in the way of their relationship.

Curtis decides to take the job in Washington DC rather than stay with ARGUS.

Curtis signs over his half of Helix to Felicity, making her the sole owner of their company.

Oliver agrees with William that he never really asked him what he wanted and asks what he wants now. William says he wants a normal life. Oliver says he is pretty sure he can't ever give that to William.

William moves to Central City to live with his grandparents.

Oliver says that he will come visit whenever it's cool with William and his grandparents and William will always have a home in Star City if he needs it.

Felicity gets a call from Dr. Schwarz with the news that she is pregnant.

Zoe is unable to find the bombs with The Archer Program.

Roy spent the last few days trying to find Blackstar, but he says she's very good at being a ghost.

William says the problem with finding the bombs isn't his algorithm - it's the fact that The Archer Program was designed to monitor The Glades. Star City is 10 times larger and has half the technological infrastructure of the Glades in 2038.

William guesses that the bombs haven't been planted yet and they must be somewhere off the grid. This leads Roy to guess that they are in the old Team Arrow Bunker.

Blackstar is able to take William, Zoe, Roy and Dinah down with knock-out darts.

Blackstar threatens to kill Zoe if William doesn't give her the codes to hack into Archer.

Blackstar once again denies having anything to do with the bombing plot or killing Felicity.

Dinah recognizes Connor Hawke as John Diggle's son.

Blackstar says that Felicity isn't dead. She claims to just know this and says she needs the Archer codes to find where Felicity is hiding. She says that she and Felicity owe each other.

William tells Blackstar that he's gay and that Felicity was his stepmother. She had no idea that William was Oliver Queen's son.

Blackstar and Connor Hawke are able to hold their own in one-on-one fights with Dinah and Roy respectively.

Blackstar reveals that her name is Mia Smoak and that she is Felicity's daughter by Oliver Queen.


Location

Central City
Star City - 2038


Untelevised Adventures

Captain Singh makes reference to Blockbuster and his gang in Bludhaven trying to muscle into Central City and starting a turf war with the crime families and how Dinah's work prevented a city-wide bloodbath.


The Bottom Line

A mediocre episode for so many big events. Curtis is shuffled out of the show with far less drama and violence than expected. William is likewise sent out of the picture. Yet most fans are likely to feel more relief than sadness because Curtis has felt like a fifth wheel for a while and William's presence on the show, when he has been around, felt equally unnecessary.

The whole Star City Slayer subplot feels just as haphazardly handled. After all the build-up for Stanely Dover, this was a disappointing and hasty conclusion to say the least. For all the effort to build up the horror elements of this episode, they fall flat because we know Dinah is going to survive another two decades and the audience can easily guess the killer's identity long before he shows up. Frankly, the best thing to come out of this is the revelation that Ollie and Felicity have a daughter and that she is awesome.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Starman Plays Batman: The Telltale Series - Part 4

In which we face a major decision about whether to trust the police or the press in going after Carmine Falcone before we tackle the man himself (literally) in his high-rise night club.


Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 5, Episode 13 - Goldfaced

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




Plot

Barry and Ralph go undercover to explore the black market of Central City's metahuman criminal underworld. Unfortunately, the two heroes quickly find themselves in a position where they may have to commit a crime to get what they need to defeat Cicada. Meanwhile, Iris' investigation into Cicada's whereabouts gets her into a sticky situation.


Influences

Every cop movie where the straight-arrow cop goes undercover and immediately blows their cover because of a crime they can't ignore.


Goofs

Granting that Team Flash is supposed to be all about not killing, that didn't stop Iris from killing Savitar. So why doesn't she finish the job when she has Cicada down and in pain? (Apart from ending the chief battle of the season about ten episodes early, of course...)


Artistry

The sequence of Barry and Ralph going all Call of Duty on Goldface's men to Rob Zombie's Dragula is a perfect balance of music, lighting and stunt-work blending together into a glorious whole.


Flash Facts

First appearing in Green Lantern #38 in July 1965, Goldface was originally designed as a foil for the Silver Age Green Lantern Hal Jordan, whose power ring could not affect anything that was yellow. A criminal scientist named Keith Kenyon, Goldface developed a serum based on gold that gave him super-strength, invulnerability and a golden glow. He also utilized a gold-gun that sprayed liquid gold and wore golden armor. In time,Goldface changed from a simple bank robber to a crime boss and tried to use his powers to muscle in on existing criminal empires. This brought him into conflict with The Flash. Eventually, his elixir turned his skin into organic metal.

Goldface's background was retconned significantly Post-Crisis. Now, Goldface was the son of a union leader in Central City, who turned to crime to rebel against his family. He also acquired his powers after being exposed to a sunken chest full of gold that had been altered by toxic waste. Otherwise his career as a criminal was largely the same, except that he moved to Keystone City after his release and followed in his father's footsteps to become the Commissioner of Union 242. He teamed up with The Flash to save the city after his ex-wife, the villain Blacksmith, attempted to form a new Rogues' Gallery to take over the city's underworld. Unfortunately, his reformation didn't stick and he later died in prison, killed by the Darkstar Tomar Tu, who was trying to avenge the death of his father (the Green Lantern Tomar Re) at Goldface's hands.

The Arrowverse version of Goldface is Blacksmith's ex-boyfriend. He's said to have stolen more weaponized technology than any criminal in Central City. He's been said to have been running a black market in Central City for years and is now running Blacksmith's territory as well. He has the metahuman power to change his skin to gold, much like how Citizen Steel becomes organic steel. This makes him stronger and more durable than an average person but does make him more conductive to electricity, as Barry is able to disable him by tricking him into using his gold chain whip on a power box.

The character of Renee Adler seems to be inspired by Irene Adler in the same way that Sherloque Wells is a tribute to Sherlock Holmes. In the classic Sherlock Holmes stories, Irene Adler was a career criminal in the story "A Scandal in Bohemia" who managed to get the better of Holmes. She is often presented as a romantic interest for Holmes in the stories inspired by the original tales of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but many Doyle purists believe that Sherlock only admired her for her wit and there was no romantic intention at all.

Barry goes by the name The Chemist while posing as a criminal in the black market. There was a criminal known as The Chemist in Batman: The Animated Series, who appeared in the episode "Batgirl Returns." An expert on acids, explosives and poisons, he claimed to be able to identify any chemical by appearance or scent.

The maker of the 3-D printer Goldface wants to steal is Ivo Labs. This is the same company that made the Amazo robot from Elseworlds, which was named in honor of Professor Anthony Ivo - a mad scientist who was a frequent enemy of the Justice League.


Technobabble

Unfortunately, the metagene cure that Cisco and Caitlin have developed is not as simply administered as loading a chemical into a tranquilizer dart and shoot someone with a sniper rifle.

Cisco developed his cure by analyzing identical twins - one of whom became a metahuman and the other didn't. The key difference in all cases was the pituitary gland.

It seems that the pituitary gland metabolizes dark matter through the body, which results in the development of metahuman powers. Turning a metahuman into a regular human requires that the the dark matter in the pituitary gland be neutralized.

The cure does not work instantaneously. The subject has to be immobilized for one minute for the cure to take effect.

Van Horn industries created a peaceful anti-riot device called a Neuro-Stasis Field Generator.  Basically, it's a biological EMP that can immobilize any living organism within a confined radius.

Barry makes reference to a museum heist in Star City where atomized lorazepam was used to knock out the guards.

Goldface asks Barry and Ralph to help him steal a cutting-edge 3-D printer that can create artificial organs.


Dialogue Triumphs

Thawne: A man does not wear another man's face unless he understands his mind. Not just through time, but across Infinite Earths. This Sherloque... yes, he's brilliant, but.. to redirect his gaze, one only has to nudge him towards his weakness.  Love.

Ralph: I know what you're thinking.
Barry: We're supposed to pay Goldface and then just let him get away?
Ralph: Come on. You said we need to think outside the box.
Barry: This is making a deal with the devil.
Ralph: No, this is stopping Cicada. Look, I don't like this anymore than you do, but in some cases the ends justify the means. And stopping a psychotic meta-killer who we are literally powerless against? That's one of those cases.

Barry: Dude. if we make the wrong move in here, these cuffs are going to be the least of our worries.
Ralph: New game plan. The antihero of our dynamic duo will find the Field Generator. And you're just going to stay here and try not to look like a cop. Or a superhero.
Barry: Okay.
Ralph: Or really anything you actually are.
Barry: (annoyed) Just go! I'm fine!

Goldface: I'm going to ask once more. Who. Are. You?
Barry: I'm nobody. No arrests. No convictions. Not for the Star City Museum heist where atomized lorazepam knocked the guards out. Or the acid bomb that blew open the Federal Reseve vault last month.
Goldface: That was you?
Barry: Not according to the police reports. Because the only evidence I leave behind are red herrings for idiot cops to chase down. You want to know who I am? You can call me The Chemist. But I really don't care what you call me. Just stop wasting my time.
(There is a long tense moment as Goldface's henchmen look to him. He nods and smiles.)
Goldface: (To Ralph) You should let him do the talking.
Ralph: Yeah. I get that a lot.

(Goldface explains that he wants Barry to steal a 3-D printer that prints artificial organs.)
Barry: You want us to rob a hospital?
Goldface: Of course not! I'm not a monster. I want you to rob the lab before it ever gets to the hospital.

(Four of Sherloque's ex-wives are talking over each other demanding money.)
Sherloque: Ladies -
Ex-Wife #3: We know you had Superman deliver your alimony to your ex on Earth-38.
Sherloque (laughs nervously) What?
Ex-Wife #3: You think we don't all talk?
Sherloque: (To Nora) I was hoping they don't all talk.

(Ralph is struggling on the groundwith one of Goldface's men. Barry is standing there, holding a brick.)
Ralph:
Brick!
Barry (nodding) Ralph!
(Barry throws the brick and hits the henchman in the head. He is out instantly and Ralph gets up.)
Ralph: Well, thank you, but for the record I meant throw the brick to me.
Barry: I was trying to throw it to you.

(Ralph and Barry walk out to see Goldface with their hands up.)
Goldface: Good boys. I was hoping you wouldn't make daddy use his belt. Since you obeyed me, I'm not going to blow your arms off.
(Goldface begins to shrug out of his jacket and turns his back on Barry and Ralph.)
Goldface: I'm going to kill you in a more traditional way. And I promise-
(As he turns back around Barry and Ralph have drawn their stun guns and open fire.)
Ralph: He really should have frisked us first.
(Goldface groans and starts to pull himself up.His skin is cut, revealing gold metal underneath.)
Goldface: See, that's the thing. My gold?  Don't just make me look pretty.


Dialogue Disasters

The whole of the Cicada vs. Iris fight.


Continuity

As the episode opens, Sherloque is still trying to translate the Time Language and wondering who Nora is working with.

Thawne is working with Nora to stop Cicada, though why he's doing so is unclear.

According to Eobard Thawne, there's always a Wells helping Team Flash. He says that every version of Harrison Wells across the multiverse is weakened by love in some form or fashion.

After one week, the Central City Citizen is failing to pick up readers and Iris is feeling depressed after reading a review that says her news site is boring. Worse yet, it is compared unfavorably to Spyn's site from 504.

Caitlin says she and Cisco have almost finished their metagene cure but it requires the subject to be immobilized for one minute to start working.

Caitlin knows that a new technology by Van Horn industries might be able to stop Cicada for that long, but all the prototypes were stolen.

Ralph has a connection who knows something about the stolen technology black market in Central City. This contact, Earl Cox, previously appeared in 413.

Amunet Black (aka Blacksmith) is still said to be at large.

Earl Cox says that the way Goldface's black market works is that he teleports the goods to an abandoned warehouse a day after the sale is arranged. That way nobody knows where his operation is being run from. He tells Barry to tell Goldface's people that Big Raf sent them.

Thawne helps Nora figure out a way to plan a "meet-cute" between Sherloque and a woman named Renee Adler.

Sherloque determines at a glance that Renee Adler is a trained ballet dancer (she says she has studied since she was four), is from the East Coast of the United States, grew up in a small village by a bay, works as a librarian at a university, lives by a train station in a small, split-level pad and that she has an old Corgi dog as a pet. It's about the time that he gets to the train station that Renee becomes creeped out and calls him a stalker.

Nora offers to help Sherloque with wooing Renee.

The password to enter Goldface's market is "The streets are paved with gold,"

When Barry and Ralph enter Goldface's market, they are teleported to somewhere Caitlin's GPS cannot find them.

Everyone who enters Goldface's market is fitted with a power-dampening cuff. It is rigged to explode if a metahuman tries to use their powers anyway.

One of the weapon's dealers in the black market sells an energy weapon he calls a Toastmaster. It fires a bolt of energy that can burn through police-issue body armor in seconds.

Barry gets Goldface's attention after he asks about buying all the Toastmasters.

Brent Osmack is Orlin Dwyer's manager at the plant he used to work at. Iris arranges an interview, nominally about union reform, but starts asking questions about Dwyer. Sheis told that Dwyer had his checks sent to a P.O. Box but he once had to forward it to a cousin's house. The cousin's name was Robbie Byrne.

Barry takes credit for a museum heist in Star City and blowing a vault at the Federal Reserve with an acid bomb.

Goldface agrees to give Ralph and Barry the tech they need in exchange for helping him with a heist that night. Goldface wants to steal a new 3-D printer that is capable of printing artificial organs before it is delivered to the local hospital

Ralph gave Iris some sort of burglar's tool for a birthday persent, which she uses to break into Robbie Byrne's house and confirm that Cicada is there.

The sketch Nora made of Cicada's home in Grace Gibbon's mind looks just like the home Iris breaks into.

All of Sherloque's five ex-wives are revealed to be alternate Earth versions of the same woman - Renee Adler. Four of them answer Nora's request to help Sherloque figure out what attracted them to him... but only so they know what Earth he is on now so that they can demand their alimony.

The one ex-wife we don't see is the one from Earth-38, to whom Superman delivered an alimony check in S409

All of Sherloque's ex-wives talk to each other on a regular basis.

One of Sherloque's ex-wives claims he released fruit bats at their wedding instead of doves because he thought it was romantic. (Sherloque knew she loved endangered animals and thought it would be a unique gesture.)

Another of Sherloque's ex-wives is allergic to dogs. He got her a puppy as an anniversary gift thinking she could slowly build up an immunity.

Sherloque attempted to fake his death to get away from one ex-wife. Twice. She fell for it both times.

Iris becomes stuck in Cicada's home while he is there. She is able to get to the front door and pretend that she was coming in when the door squeaks. She asks if he is Robbie Byrne and he says he is.

Iris claims she is writing a story about lead leaking into the water through old pipes in Cicada's neighborhood.

Iris asks if he has a daughter, looking at the dollhouse Nora saw in her time in Grace Gibbon's head. He says he used to.

Nora suggests that Sherloque's problem is he treats love like a mystery to be solved rather than something to be savored.

Ralph locks Barry up in one of Goldface's trucks so that he doesn't have to get his hands dirty with the robbery.

Barry is able to get out of the truck by using a slither of metal as a screwdriver to disassemble the grating on the window on the truck door.

Ralph decides to fight Goldface's men after finding a list of children approved for the donor organs the 3-D printer can me on top of the box containing the printer.

Goldface is beaten after Barry tricks him into whipping a power box with his gold chain.

Cicada notices Iris' purse that she left in his living room when she broke in. This leads to Iris desperately having to fight her way out of his house, stabbing him in the chest.

Barry says he and Ralph can be proud that they took down a metahuman with no powers.

Iris says she thinks she figured out Cicada's weakness.

Sherloque approaches Renee Adler and apologizes for creeping her out. He proves he is a detective and not a talker by observing that a random man at the coffee shop is lactose intolerant and predicting when he's about to react badly to his latte.

Sherloque realizes the Earth-One version of Renee Adler is a metahuman when a door opens for her as she is leaving the coffee shop.

With Sherloque realizing his new love is a metahuman, he throws himself back into the Cicada case instead of working on translating Nora's time language.


Location


Iron Heights - 2049


The Bottom Line


An episode so that is so fun you won't mind that it's all a gigantic shaggy dog story.

Starman Plays Batman: The Telltale Series - Part 3

In which we meet Harvey's new girlfriend Selina and poke the pretty kitty a bit before going on to investigate our first crime scene and question our first suspect.


Black Lightning Episode Guide: Season 2, Episode 12 - The Book of Secrets: Chapter Two: Just and Unjust

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




Plot

In the wake of Khalil's deathl, Jennifer struggles with her anger and desire for revenge against Tobias. Anissa returns to work at the clinic, only to be inspired to an act of vigilantism outside of her Thunder suit when she treats a survivor of domestic abuse. Meanwhile, Gambi makes a starting discovery, after a group of men try to abduct Lynn.


Influences

Batman and the Outsiders (mention of Markovia, character of Dr. Helga Jace)


Performances

P.J. Byrne perfectly plays Principal Lowry as the kind of clueless, casually racist idiot you can't help but want to see smacked around even if you wouldn't punch him yourself on general principal.


Artistry

The funeral sequence is beautifully shot with fantastic music and blocking.


Trivia

Most of the comics in Grace's apartment are real world DC Comics titles. We can even see an advertisement for the 1984 Supergirl movie on Blu-Ray on the back of the issue that Grace is holding while asleep. The Black Lightning and Thunder comics we see, however, are not real.


Dialogue Triumphs

(Anissa and Lynn are arguing about the best way to handle Jennifer right now.)
Anissa: 
I think she wants time to be alone, to be alone.
Lynn: Well, alone is good until it's not good. Isolation feeds depression and addiction. I just think she needs her family right now.
Anissa: 
You and Dad always think you know what's best for us. But what if it's not true? What if, every once in a while, we know what's best for us?

Anissa: How you doing?
Jennifer: (scoffs) How am I doing? I don't know how I can be in so much pain and not bleed.

Jefferson: Jennifer, the power to do amazing things comes with the responsibility to do the right thing. Revenge is not the right thing, justice is.

(Principal Lowry has threatened to have Jennifer taken away if she doesn't destroy the Khalil memorial.)
Jennifer: You can't remove him from us. You can't make us not remember him. Every single person standing here is just one bad break away from becoming somebody they never meant to be.
(The other students mutter agreement.) 
Principal Lowry:  This is your last chance!
Jennifer: Can anyone here say that if they were crippled and you had the opportunity to walk again, you wouldn't take it?
(The other students say "No." and similar.)
Jennifer: We're all in pods. You know that, right? Just like the kids on the news, right? Trapped by a system that doesn't give a damn about us, run by people like you.
(The students cheer.)
Principal Lowry: Take her. All right, come on. Clear a path. Let's go.
(The security guards grab Jennifer and take her away through the crowd of students.)
Jennifer: No, it's okay. Stay strong, everyone.
(In unison, the students all kneel down. Those who have their smart phones filming the display aim their phones directly at Principal Lowery. Others begin raising their fists as Lowry begins to break down at this organized display of non-violent rebellion.)
Principal Lowry: No, no, no, no, no. No kneeling down. And let's put the cell phones away. Put the phones away. You know this is an illegal assembly, right? You are in violation of your student handbook!
(In the middle of all this, Jefferson walks up. Lowry turns to him, desperate for an ally.)
Principal Lowry: Will you tell them to get off their butts and back to class?
Jefferson: Sounds like the principal's job.
(Jefferson quietly raises his fist in imitation of the students.)


Continuity

Lynn knows that Jennifer smokes. Anissa says she's cut back since starting therapy.

Anissa warns Lynn against smothering Jennifer and suggests they give her space as she copes with Khalil's death.

Anissa is shot and Lynn nearly abducted by a group of men in the grocery store parking lot. The agents are scared off by ASA Agent Odell.

Khalil's mother can't afford to bury him.

Gambi thinks that Odell is having Lynn tailed as that's the only way he could have been there to save her. He doesn't think this means that Odell knows Jefferson is Black Lightning.

Gambi is also uncertain if someone honestly was trying to abduct Lynn or if Odell was just trying to make Lynn feel gratified to him by his thwarting the abduction attempt.

Gambi doesn't find any bugs in the Pierce house, suggesting that Lynn is being followed by the ASA.

When confronted about why Odell is having her followed, Odell repeats his line about how he doesn't have time for Lynn not to be honest with him after she lies about Anissa not being shot.

Todd reports that the metas they recovered from the clinic are stable and that the crew which moved them "took a one-way trip with Cutter." Tobias is pleased by this news.

Lynn and Jefferson discuss the possibility of Jennifer returning to regular high school, since she was able to control her powers well enough to hide from them and Tobias.

Jennifer asks Jefferson to start training her so they can take out Tobias. Jefferson tells her that justice, not revenge, is why he does what he does.

Odell identifies the men who tried to abduct Lynn as Markovians. He believes they wanted her for her expertise in dealing with metahumans.

Odell offers to let Dr. Jace go free if she can move the Green Light Babies safely to a new location and keep them alive. Dr. Jace says she'll need Lynn's help to do it.

Anissa treats a woman named Monique at the free clinic who looks like she was beaten. When Anissa asks how she was injured, she says she probably fell down the stairs or blacked out but she insists that nobody hurt her. A nurse later tells Anissa that the woman's boyfriend is a capo in The 100 named Rayvon and that so long as they look the other way and don't log her treatment, they all get to live.

The Markovians try to abduct Perrena. She forces them to let go of her by psychically making them imagine they are freezing to death.

Jennifer returns to school at Freeland High.

Grace is now working in a comic book store.

There are comics based on Black Lighting and Thunder.

Anissa's black-clad persona who robs criminals and gives to the poor has become known as The Black Bird on the street.

Anissa attacks Rayvon. She barely gets away, however, as she once again has the wind knocked out of her, which stops her from using her powers.

Jennifer almost loses control of her powers when she finds the janitors tearing down a student made memorial to Khalil.

Jennifer rebuilds the memorial to Khalil and leads a student protest when Principal Lowry tries to have it torn down. Jefferson backs the students when Lowry demands he tell them to get back to class.

Anissa gives the last bit of money she stole to a funeral home to pay for Khalil's funeral.

Dr. Jace is brought in to help facilitate the Pod Kids being moved, over Lynn's objections.

Yuri Bakonov is a Markovian Intelligence Service agent who was the driver of the team that tried to kidnap Lynn.

Jefferson attacks the Markovian agents and reports them to Deputy Chief Handerson.

We are told that Monique has left Rayvon and is trying to rebuild her life.

Principal Lowry complains to Jefferson that the real racism in America is everyone assuming he has it easy because he's white. He says that his parents were heroin addicts and that his mom overdosed while his dad watched, and that he was homeless and ate dog food to survive.

Grace does not like action movies.

Anissa loves action movies, particularly ones with a woman in the lead.

Grace says she loves Anissa's lust for life and spontaneous nature.

Grace's eyes suddenly change color while she's talking with Anissa on a walk through the park.

Grace runs off as her tattoos shift again, like they did before in 205.

Todd determines that a metahuman research program at Leavenworth occurred at the same time as the ASA Green Light Vaccine experiment. The ASA took the Leavenworth successes and turned them into black-out operatives for a time but they committed atrocities which were covered up.Todd confirms these covert agents are the same people they book out of the secret room in the Freeland Free Clinic.

Yuri Bakonov had diplomatic immunity and was sent back to Markovia.

Anissa goes to Grace's apartment after the funal, but she isn't there.

Todd says the technology used to keep the metahuman black-out operatives on ice is so ancient he has no idea what to do with it. Tobias tells him to cancel the kill order on Dr. Jace and make arrangements for her to be employed in a more permanent capacity.

Jennifer promises as Khalil is lowered into the ground that Tobias will be joining him there soon.

Agent Odell is watching Jennifer as she leaves the funeral.


The Bottom Line

A solid episode which revives a lot of subplots long dead. (Seriously, when was the last time we saw Jefferson in the school?) We still have no idea what is going on with Grace but at least this week gave the whole cast something to do even if it was light on action.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 7, Episode 12 - Emerald Archer

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




Plot

A documentary film crew begins following Oliver while making a short movie about the rise of vigilantism in Star City. As Oliver and the former Team Arrow members try to do their jobs as the camera crew get in their way, they have to contend with a new threat - a vigilante hunter - as Oliver also prepares for William's homecoming.


Influences

True Crime reality TV shows like COPS.


Goofs

It's unclear just how the immunity Team Arrow earned works in the face of the anti-vigilante law. Reference is made to the FBI making Rene's immunity from prosecution permanent. Is that just for him or is the FBI ignoring everything Team Arrow does from now on, leaving them to contend with the local laws?


Artistry

The use of shaky-cam during the action sequences where the camera crew is following Oliver is fantastic.

The five-way fight scene between Chimera and Ollie, Dinah, Curtis, John and Rene is fantastic.


Trivia

The episode title comes from the Green Arrow's alliterative nickname from the comics, much like how The Flash is known as The Scarlet Speedster.

This is the 150th episode of Arrow.

The episode opens with the WB Shield and the music that usually appears before a Warner Bros. film rather than a TV show.

Kelsey Grammar, perhaps best known for playing the role of Frasier Crane on Cheers and Frasier, is the narrator of the documentary sequences.

Sin's real name is revealed as Cindy Simone. This last name is doubtlessly a tribute to writer Gail Simone, who created the character of Sin for her run on Birds of Prey.

The clapper used by the documentary makers contains the names of M. Pedowitz and J.D. Davison. The former is a nod to Mark Pedowitz - the President of The CW. The later is a camera operator, who shot this episode as well as Arrow's pilot.

Chimera is revealed to be a man named Kevin Meltzer. This is likely a tribute to Green Arrow comics writers Kevin Smith and Brad Meltzer.

The name Chimera has been used by several DC Comics villains in the past, but none of them have any connection to the Arrowverse version of Chimera. One was a Batman villain who was a master of disguise. Eve "Nightshade" Eden used the name Chimera as an alias while going undercover in the terrorist supergroup called The Jihad in Suicide Squad. A later villain with teleporting powers later took on Eden's costume and alias to become a second Chimera. The name was also used by Sanjeet Bhatia - a reality-warping hero who was an ally of the Teen Titans. Checkmate Agent Adam Sharp used Chimera as a codename. King Chimera was the alias of a magic-wielding member of the Justice Society. Finally, in the reality of the New 52, Chimera was used as an alias by the Durlan Ra'ut L'lwer, who was another ally of the Teen Titans that possessed shape-shifting powers.

The final scene reveals that Darkstar's first name is Mia. This seems to suggest that her full name is Mia Dearden. In the comics, Mia Dearden was a teen prostitute, first appearing in Green Arrow #2,  after Green Arrow rescued her from being raped by a councilman. This inspired her to fight back against her pimp and led to her accepting Oliver Queen's offer of a job at the Star City Youth Center and a place to stay. She later became the second Speedy and the chief inspiration for the character of Thea Queen on Arrow.

Darkstar is accompanied in the final scene by a man she calls Connor. Connor is played by actor Joseph David-Jones, who played John Diggle Jr./Connor Hawke in the Legends of Tomorrow episode "Star City 2046". He seems to be recreating the role here. In the original Green Arrow comics, Connor Hawke was Oliver Queen's illegitimate son from an affair he had in college. His backstory largely inspired the character of William Clayton on Arrow.


Technobabble

Felicity created a virus that infects anything that tries to log in to the WiFi at her and Oliver's new apartment. William detects it after finding a firewall breech and a Bluetooth incursion.

Felicity is having trouble finding Emiko using surveillance and keyhole satellite technology.This leads Ollie to ask John if he can use ARGUS.

Felicity set up an encryption scheme so that Will could keep texting Zoe Ramirez while he was away.

Chimera's armor is military grade and Wayne Enterprise's design. It is powered by an exolithium power cell. Without that, whoever is wearing the armor can't even move. Unfortunately, the cell is electromagnetically shielded so it can't be hacked remotely.


Dialogue Triumphs

Quentin Lance: Well, I'm - I'm conflicted about this. I'm not going to lie to you. I'm a police officer. Duly sworn. I don't condone vigilantes of vigilantism. Once people start taking the law into their own hands, you're on the road to anarchy. But there's worse things out there than anarchy. And sometimes, as much as I hate to admit it... the police aren't enough to deal with it all.   

Sin: I knew them back in the day. Canary. The Arrow. The whole crew. Honestly, I don't know where I'd be right now without them. They helped me out of  a couple of pretty tight spots. I owe them a lot. But I- I saw the toll it took on them. Like, people like to debate about the legalities. But for the people wearing the masks - it's, it's not philosophical. It's real. And it takes everything from them.

(In a piece of video footage from seven years ago, John Diggle is asked about his boss being a superhero.)
John: No, look. You don't become successful in my line of work without becoming really good at sizing people up, Trust me. Oliver Queen is no one's hero.
(Cut To: John Diggle in the present day, in his ARGUS uniform. He is looking off-screen, having apparently just watched the same clip. For a moment, his stoic expression breaks and he looks embarrassed and has a nervous smile. He steels himself before speaking.)
John: Obviously this particular comment didn't age too well.

Oliver: What do you think you were doing out there?
Rene: Same thing you do. I'm doing good, by the way. Thank you for asking.
Oliver: I'm glad you're okay. I'm glad the FBI made your immunity permanent. But being a vigilante is illegal in Star City.
Rene: Well, that's easy for you to say. I mean, you have a cute, shiny new badge.
(Rene turns to Dinah.)
Rene: Thought about giving one to anyone else?
Dinah: First step would probably be not being so reckless.
Rene: You or me?
Dinah: Try to guess.

John: Oliver needs access to the Black Watch Satellites.
Curtis: Is he supposed to know about thiso? (To Oliver) You know about those?
(There is a long pause as if Oliver is debating saying the obvious. He finally does so.)
Oliver: (sarcastically) You've met my wife, right Curtis?
Curtis: Good point.

Wild Dog: Yeah, the mayor, the politicians - they might care about the city. But they don't seem to give a crap about the people in it. So are you really so surprised when people decide to do something about it?

(John is trying to convince Oliver to let him, Curtis and Rene help him in their costumed identities.)
John: We may not have been Team Arrow when you were in Slabside but we had each other's backs Just give us a chance, man, to have yours..
Oliver: You could go to prison. 
John: So? You did it for us. Which never really sat right with me. And the reason why is that it wasn't right, Oliver. We have fights, disagreements, recriminations, but it doesn't matter because we are a team. And nothing's going to change that.
Oliver: John, I made a lot of mistakes.
John: We all did. That's why they're called mistakes, Oliver. You learn from them. You move forward. We... we get better.
(John offers Oliver his hand. Oliver takes it and they shake.)

(Oliver is showing the film crew the ruins of The Bunker.)
Director: What happened here?
Oliver: Ricardo Diaz and his crew happened here. They couldn't stop us. We're coming back here. We'll rebuild. Gonna do it better this time.
(As Oliver says this, the view of the screen changes. Oliver near appears black and white and transluescent. We gradually pull back to see a hologram of Oliver being watched by Blackstar.)
Director: Sounds like you have regrets about how you did it before.
Oliver: Too many to name. A friend of mine recently told me that's why they're called mistakes. You learn from them. Move forward. Be better.
(Blackstar turns off the projector. A man walks up behind her. We see they are in Blackstar's office.)
Connor Hawke: Where did you get that?
Blackstar: I stole it.
Connor Hawke: Yeah, Mia. That much I figured. But wasn't this documentary banned? I thought every copy was destroyed years ago.
Blackstar: Not this one. It's total pro-vigilante garbage. But even garbage can be useful.
Connor Hawke: Useful for what? Break-ins? You know what? Actually, the less I know about that, the better.
Blackstar: Trust me, Connor. You are going to want to come with.


Continuity

The episode is presented as a real documentary in the world of Arrow, titled Emerald Archer: The Hood And The Rise of Vigilantism.

Quentin Lance's comments on vigilantes are presented from archival footage from 2014.

Thea Queen is interviewed about how her mother and brother, Tommy Merlyn, were killed by supervillains who were only brought to justice by vigilantes.

Ricardo Diaz, interviewed in prison, says that vigilantes are hypocrites and the only difference between them and him is that he's smart enough to only worry about himself.

Sara Lance is interviewed about her father's death and states her belief that people need to help people, whether they are wearing a mask or not.

The documentary recalls how Oliver was officially deputized and shows footage of his capturing Max in 708.

Sin, last seen in 312, is interviewed about how she knew all of Star City's vigilantes back in the day.

William has gotten taller since Ollie and Felicity last saw him. He says he has outgrown the nickname "kiddo."

M. Pedowitz has been making a documentary on vigilantes for years but couldn't get the funding to finish it until after Oliver Queen went public and became the world's first openly-operating superhero.

Oliver asks for William to be left out of the film.

The documentary shows footage of John Diggle being asked about Oliver being a vigilante from before he learned about Ollie's secret identity in 103. We then see the modern day John Diggle looking embarrassed about his past self saying there's no way Oliver Queen is a hero.

Dinah Drake is interviewed about Ollie's current job. She says she doesn't see him as being different than any other cop, even if he wears a different uniform and carries a different weapon.

Oliver freely admits that he never meant to wind up leading a team of heroes and he isn't sure he is a good leader.

Dinah brings Oliver in on two strange murders where the victims had their throats cut.

Dinah and Oliver respond to a report of shots being fired and possible vigilante activity. They find an unmasked Rene Ramirez in his Wild Dog costume. He tells them that the new Green Arrow was kidnapped.

The FBI apparently made Rene's immunity from being prosecuted on vigilante charges permanent. This does not, however, (as Oliver points out) protect him from local anti-vigilante laws.

Rene points out that crime went up after the vigilantes retired and Ollie went to prison but the crime in The Glades dropped after the new Green Arrow appeared.

Rene says the kidnapper was wearing an exo-suit that looked like it was of military design.

Mayor Pollard intends to hold a town hall meeting on vigilantism and force Oliver Queen to face the public and justify his job.

William is bitter about being sent to boarding school and not being allowed to come home for Christmas. He was the only kid at the school who had to stay there.

Oliver asks John to use ARGUS' Black Watch satellites to try and find Emiko.

Oliver tells John that the new Green Arrow is his sister.

Oliver has known about Emiko for a month. He apologizes for not telling John sooner but says they haven't exactly been running in the same circles for a while. Diggle says it has been almost a year but agrees. He is about to tell Oliver something (likely that he's recruited Diaz for the Suicide Squad) when Curtis enters.

ARGUS tracks the new Green Arrow to the abandoned Starling City Athletic Club.

Oliver keeps a digital lock-pick in a shoulder pouch in his costume.

The mask-hunter has the masks of Rory Regan (Ragman), Rene Ramirez (Wild Dog), Helena Bertinelli (Huntress) and Emiko Queen (Green Arrow II) in his lair.

Black Siren is interviewed. She says it's her opinion that vigilantes should not be allowed to operate because if they could do what they did lawfully, they wouldn't hide who they are.

Rory Regan's identity is publicly known. He says he stopped wearing a mask but didn't stop doing good. Rory was last seen in 512. Apparently Oliver has some means of contacting him, but he does not respond when Oliver tries to call him over the course of the episode.

Oliver also has some way of being able to contact The Huntress (last seen in 217) but he is not able to get a hold of her either.

Rene Ramirez's identity as Wild Dog is publicly known.

Curtis' identity as Mister Terrific is still secret.

Barry Allen is interviewed about Oliver. He says he had no idea Oliver was Green Arrow until he turned himself in.

Curtis gives the mask-hunter the name of Chimera.

Using security footage from the abandoned club, Curtis is able to track Chimera to an abandoned building at 101 Federal Street in Star City.

Oliver says that 101 Federal Street used to belong to Adam Hunt. Adam Hunt was the first person on his father's list whom Oliver went after in 101.

Dinah is able to rescue Emiko while Oliver fights Chimera.

Emiko says that Chimera is coming for Oliver.

Will goes to Rene and Zoe's apartment, nominally to help Zoe with her geography homework. 

Will says there's something wrong but he doesn't want to talk about it. Zoe says he can just hang out with her if he doesn't want to go home.

Zoe and Will promise never to fight when they can talk.

Zoe says that her father and Dinah only fight now.

Zoe calls Dinah Aunt Dinah.

Emiko escapes from her hospital room.

Emiko tells Rene that Oliver is her half-brother. She says she didn't tell Rene because she was afraid it would change their partnership. Rene asks why it would and confirms they are cool.

Oliver tells Dinah that Emiko is his half-sister.

Mayor Pollard thinks that Oliver and Dinah are making up Chimera to get him out of the town hall. Oliver refuses to appear as it will put people in jeopardy.

John tells Oliver he thinks they can safely use the town hall to lure Chimera out and that he has a plan to handle him safely.

Oliver says he can't risk John going to prison for breaking the anti-vigilante laws. John doesn't care, saying that Oliver risked prison for them and they need to return the favor.

Dinah uses her Canary Cry in front of Mayor Pollard to stop a wall from collapsing on a fleeing crowd.

Once Chimera is down, Mayor Pollard has Spartan, Wild Dog and Mr. Terrific arrested.

Chimera is revealed as a man named Kevin Meltzer. Recently released from Roth Psychiatric Hospital, he was apparently obsessed with superheroes ever since The Hood saved his life seven years earlier. He just collected their masks as a weird form of tribute.

Black Siren says she can decline to press charges against John, Curtis and Rene but the anti-vigilante laws will still stand.

Dinah tries to resign from her job.  Oliver also turns himself in, saying that if his team is going to jail, he should be with them.

Mayor Pollard refuses to do anything to try and strike down the anti-vigilante laws but does allow Black Siren not to press charges. She then arranges for Spartan, Mister Terrific and Wild Dog to be sworn in as special deputies in the same way Oliver Queen was.

William reveals that he was expelled from his private school. Felicity discovered he was lying about something after having made a fake mock-up of the school's website with fake mid-term results.

Oliver Queen takes the documentary crew to the remains of The Bunker. He declares his intent to rebuild it and make the team work better this time.

In the final scene of the episode, we see the documentary being watched by Blackstar from the flash-forwards in 708. She is addressed by the first name Mia.

A dark-skinned named Connor is working with Mia. This character seems to be Connor Hawke (aka John Diggle Jr.), who was seen acting as the new Green Arrow in Star City in the year 2046 in L106.

We are told the Emerald Archer documentary was banned as pro-vigilante propaganda years earlier and all the copies were thought to have been destroyed.

Mia and Connor find the rebuilt bunker, which seems to have been built into a literal cave.

Mia says that Star City's vigilantes got what was coming to them and that they were the death of Star City.


Untelevised Adventures

Apparently Ragman and Huntress fought Chimera at some point in the past and had their own masks taken as trophies.


The Bottom Line

A powerful anniversary episode that looks back at the past as it sets the stage for the show's future. While I wish we'd gotten more than a glimpse of certain things (i.e. what exactly happened to Sin, Ragman and Huntress) nearly everything here works perfectly. The one sour note is the reintroduction of William Clayton in the modern day, whose story is nowhere near as interesting as the show runners seem to think. Hopefully he'll be shipped off to another boarding school and never return to Star City in the future, as promised, in the near future.