Friday, November 29, 2019

Starman Plays Quest For Glory 1, The Thief Path - Part 10

In which we set about "freeing the child from in the band" and "drive the curser from the land." Easier said than done, as we sneak into the bandit camp to fight the bandit king... er, queen and confront Baba Yaga for the final time. In this game, anyway.

For more fine Let's Play's, go to Centaur Productions.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Black Lightning Episode Guide: Season 3, Episode 7 - The Book of Resistance: Chapter Two: Henderson's Opus

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


Still recovering from Painkiller's poison, Anissa asks Jefferson for help sneaking a group of metahumans (including her girlfriend, Grace) out of Freeland. But will the Resistance accept Black Lightning's help after he inadvertently stopped one of their earlier escape attempts?  Meanwhile, Jennifer tries to get to know Brandon better, as Gambi asks Lynn for access to ASA mainframe in The Pit.


Major Grey is cartoonishly evil and stupid.

The "fake-out" scene with the ASA storming the church as Reverend Hold readies a pistol was cheap drama and unworthy of this show.

Brandon's sudden hatred of Jennifer comes out of left-field.


Cress Williams and Damon Gupton sell the scene where Jefferson and Henderson vent their spleens over every single point of contention between them.


Lynn and Gambi determine that the ASA like completely wiped Khalil's limbic system in upgrading him into the new Painkiller. He has an advanced chip in his brain, similar to the digital prosthetic chips used to help blind people regain their sight.

Dialogue Triumphs

Jefferson: What's up, man? What's wrong with you?
Henderson: Black Lightning is what's wrong with me. And yesterday, he defused a bomb and screwed up a diversion we have for our underground railroad.
Jefferson: What? Wait. Our underground railroad? Plan? So you're involved with planting that bomb?
Henderson: I'm more than involved, Jeff, and I want to bring you in to the fold but I don't know exactly where you stand. Now, one minute, Black Lightning is roughing up the ASA over some damn graffiti, and the next minute, he's saving the ASA from a bomb. Whose side are you on, man?
Jefferson: Wait, you planted a bomb, man, you could've hurt innocent people.
Henderson: I controlled the detonator and made sure no one was in the vicinity.
Jefferson: No, no, you know bombs misfire all the time. The shrapnel could've hit the guard or you. Or one of the children!
Henderson: It was a calculated risk, Jeff, what am I supposed to do. Let the ASA capture more metas?
Jefferson: No, of course not, I'm talking innocent people, you're talking a calculated risk? Are you hearing yourself right now? Hate begets hate, violence begets violence-
Henderson: And toughness begets a greater toughness, yeah, man, I know, you ain't the only one who can quote Dr. King from memory. Now, look, the ASA, ever since they came to Freeland, they have forced me to push their agenda through press conferences, they have taken over my police station. They got one of my officers killed.
Jefferson: Yeah, the ASA locked me up. Poked me like a lab rat, took me away from my family. Beat me down in the street. So I understand you frustrated, you're pissed off. So am I. But I cannot get down with your methods, man.
Henderson: Duly noted for the record. I'm only trying to do what I can to protect this city. Yeah.
Jefferson:  By living a double life. Chief of Police. Member of the resistance. Now you remember how pissed off you were when I didn't tell you I was Black Lightning. Who got the secret now?
Henderson: Are you seriously trying to compare me keeping a secret for 30 days to you keeping a secret for 30 years?
Jefferson: No, look, the point is, we gotta get on the same page.
Henderson: And by same page, you mean doing things the way you would do them. Now, look, this "my way or the highway" mess you run on your daughters, you can't run on me, I know what I'm doing.
Jefferson: All I'm saying is that we gotta communicate our plans with each other.
Henderson: Oh, okay, great, so then next time, Black Lightning goes out on the street, he'll give me a call, right? Huh?
(Jefferson falls silent.)
Henderson: Didn't think so. Since we can't get on the same page, how about you handle the ASA your way, I'll handle it my way


Grace's medication is no longer helping her maintain control of her shape-shifting.

Anissa has a relaxation program installed in her smart home to help Grace regain control of herself.

Grace makes reference to Agent Odell visiting Anissa's apartment in 305.

Anissa's powers still have not returned.

Gambi analyzes the footage he captured of Anissa fighting Painkiller and confirms that it is Khalil, somehow back from the dead.

Gambi asks Lynn for help in hacking the ASA mainframe, saying he needs the information to help protect Anissa and Jefferson.

Major Grey contacts Jennifer using Agent Odell's cell phone.

Major Grey says that Agent Odell is expected to make a full recovery, but she is Acting Director of the ASA operations in Freeland until then.

Jennifer asks Major Grey for all the ASA information on Dr. Jace, lying and saying that she and Agent Odell were working on a project that Major Grey clearly wasn't privy to.

The Resistance attempt to sneak a group of meta kids out through an ASA check-point. Their plan is to lure the guards away by having Two-Bits give them sports drinks laced with a diuretic. Henderson will then set off a bomb to act as a distraction while Reverend Holt drives a hummer with the kids out of town. Unfortunately, this plan falls apart when Black Lightning happens to show up and shorts out the bomb.

Henderson and Jefferson have an explosive meeting. Henderson accuses Jefferson of selling out to the ASA to save himself and his family. Jefferson accuses Henderson of becoming a hypocrite for using bombs that could hurt innocent people.

Reverend Holt believes that Black Lightning is working for the ASA now.

Lynn has a new assistant, Dr. Blair, who kisses up to her furiously on his first day at work.

Lynn had writings published in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

Erica Moran's power is revealed to be that she can convert the kinetic energy she absorbs into super-strength. She can now hold this energy at 100% capacity and be stable. However, any attempt to use the strength immediately saps her energy reserves. Lynn believes she will be able to expend less energy as she increases her stamina, but Major Grey insists that only 100% output will suffice.

Major Grey agrees to give Lynn access to all the Green Light kids data, but nothing more.

Jennifer goes to Brandon and offers him help finding information on Dr. Jace.

The ASA storm Reverend Holt's church. Thankfully, it is revealed that he and the meta-kids are now taking refuge in the back room of Two-Bits bar.

Anissa asks Jefferson to take her place escorting the next group of metas out of Freeland because she still hasn't recovered her powers. Despite having issues with the Resistances apparent violent tactics, Jefferson agrees.

Black Lightning steps in and stops a group of Resistance fighters from shooting ASA commandos. Unfortunately, Major Grey's response is to ignore it when two of her commandos shoot the disarmed and helpless insurgents. She further threatens to call in an air-strike and destroy Freeland if Black Lightning does not let her and her men go.

Painkiller is kept in a stasis state when not active. There is a chip in his brain controlling his functions, but Khalil Payne's memories are still intact.

Lynn and Gambi discover that Painkiller has been sent on four missions so far; kill Nichelle Payne (302), blow up a Markovian safehouse (303), eliminate the drug-lord Sinzell (304) and kill Blackbird (305)

Painkiller is unable to access Khalil Payne's memories. He does recognize Lynn, but only because the names of all ASA personnel were programmed into his memory.

Lynn insists that she can save Khalil. Gambi thinks it would be far kinder to kill him.

Gambi gives Lynn full administrator access to the ASA computers.

Lynn tells Gambi not to tell Jennifer about Khalil.

Jennifer annoys Brandon with her promises to give him Dr. Jace information if she'll let her keep testing her power against his.

Anissa gives Grace her necklace as a remembrance. The necklace also has a tracking device in it.

Black Lightning agrees to escort Grace personally to safety.

The ASA ambush Black Lightning and the metakids. In the confusion, Grace runs off in a panic, eventually changing into a leopard and killing one of the commandos.

Grace figures out that Black Lightning is Jefferson Pierce based on his scent. She can still smell like a leopard as a human and their smells matched.

Grace and the meta kids escape to South Freeland.

Jennifer gets the Dr. Jace files from Major Grey.

Painkiller is seen sparring with Vernon - a metahuman with the strength of five average men. He is able to defeat him easily.

Painkiller is assigned to kill Black Lightning.

The Bottom Line

Another filler episode that drags out all the storylines with forced drama that doesn't work. It feels like the show is just treading water until the Crisis tie-in we know is coming and it's a little hard to care when our main character isn't involved in 80% of the action and it looks like this Earth is just going to be erased, according to the ads for Crisis.

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 8, Episode 5 - Prochnost

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


The search for a weapon to use against The Monitor leads Oliver, Black Siren, Mia and William to Russia, as Diggle seeks out an old friend for help in procuring the plutonium they need for the weapon. But treachery is afoot and a trusted ally will turn upon Team Arrow before their business is concluded.


The flashback sequences of Arrow Season 5 set in Russia.


Diggle says that Thea told Oliver that Roy left her without even saying goodbye, yet two episodes ago Thea said nothing of the kind and indeed said that Roy was off dealing with his demons and that he would be back. (Maybe Oliver knows a BS departure story when he hears it and figured Thea was just justifying Roy's running off?)


As always, David Nykl is a delight as Anatoly and it is good to see the show gave him one last hurrah in the final season.


The arena fights are well choreographed.


Diggle and Roy go to a facility in the nation of Bialya to get the plutonium they need.  In the DC Comics universe, Bialya is a fictional Middle Eastern nation located on the northern borders of Iran and Saudi Arabia. It is usually depicted as a haven for terrorists and supervillains, having at one point been ruled by the villain Queen Bee.


Oliver trains Mia in the use of his various trick arrows. These include explosive arrows (lighter payload, meant to divert and disable), acidic arrow (meant to breach covertly or weaken structurally) and bolo arrows (to secure and subdue). Oliver notes it is good not to become dependent on the trick arrows, but they can be useful in stopping a fight that needs to be ended quickly or ending one before it truly begins.

Oliver uses variable acceleration to break the pattern of an enemy's attack and get past their guard.

William creates a facial recognition algorithm to track down the general Curtis mentioned.

Before going off the grid, General Alexi Burov was working on a weapon called a pulse wave generator that could replicate the energy effect that destroyed Earth 2.

The pulse weave generator requires plutonium to power it.

Dialogue Triumphs

Anatoly: Now, I have seen some very crazy things in my life, but adult children of Oliver Queen sitting in my bar... (To William) I hope you do not think badly of me. Last time we met, you were little, and I was on wrong side of history.
William: (in Russian) Water under the bridge.
Anatoly: (pointing to William) I like this one already.
Oliver: I was surprised to learn that you were in Russia. I thought the Maldives would be permanent.
Anatoly: Oh, with Diaz dead, so reason to stay away.
Oliver: (smiling) You got bored.
Anatoly: I miss borscht. So I reinvent myself. Bar owner. Heh! But I got inspired, too. I got really good recipe for piña colada. You should try. It's delicious.
William: Who wouldn't want to be reminded of the tropics in these cold Russian winters?
Black Siren: (looking around empty bar) Well, apparently, his customers.
Anatoly: (dryly) Nice to see this one's still charmer.

William: Have you ever hacked a CCTV camera?
Black Siren: No.
William: Well, congratulations. You're about to learn the only upside of a Russian surveillance state.

Diggle: You may have started on Lian Yu, Roy, but that's not where you ended. Felicity sent William to that island to find you because she believed in you. You go back to Star City, man. You work with the kids. You help them save the city, Roy.
Roy: How is that possible?
Diggle: Because you found the way to control your bloodlust. You found that it was by being part of a team. You kept your distance because you believed that you were a danger to everyone around you, but the real danger was believing that you can deal with your past alone.
Roy: It's pretty ballsy thinking you can give me the answer 20 years earlier.
Diggle: Yeah, well, hopefully, this time, you don't have to wait that long.

Anatoly: I don't know about you, but I could handle drink without umbrella.
Oliver: I'm good, thank you.
Anatoly: If by good you mean...How you say moody, yes, you are. Is this because you ruin family vacation?
Oliver: I have to send them home for their protection.
Anatoly: Do you not think they can handle it?
Oliver: They can handle it. I just I want to keep them away from the Bratva.
Anatoly: You mean keep them away from your Bratva past.
Oliver: Dark time for me.
Anatoly: That is understandable. You are ashamed. You have truly done some terrible things.
Oliver: Thank you for the reminder.
Anatoly: But you also have done some good things. It's important that the kids see both.
Oliver: Right, but why would I want to share some of the worst mistakes of my entire life with my children?
Anatoly: That is the thing about teaching. It's not about what you want to say. It's about what they need to hear. Remember first thing I taught you?
Oliver: "Living is not for the weak."
Anatoly: Your children are not weak, Oliver. They're also not children. Whatever it is you have to say, they can handle it. If you do not, they will never learn to be heroes.

Oliver: Thank you. I always seem to end up in your debt.
Anatoly: We are beyond keeping score. We have been friends, we have been enemies. From now on, let us just be brothers.
Oliver: Not the Bratva kind.
Anatoly: No! Real family, like the one you have now. I can be the fun uncle.

Anatoly: Oh, Laurel, uh There's something I want to say.
Black Siren: What? One last hilarious Russian joke for the road?
Anatoly: Sorry to doubt you. I guess leopards really can change spots. Or in your case, bird, feather.
Black Siren: (smiling) I thought you said you weren't sentimental.
Anatoly: Maybe I change, too. Like you.


Oliver trains Mia in archery using the tennis ball test we first saw him utilize in the Pilot. He explains he uses bouncing tennis balls as targets because only a direct, precise hit will pin the ball. If you are off just a little bit, it deflects the arrow.

Mia doesn't cook.

General Alexi Burov is the man in Russia Curtis mentioned in 804 who has plans for a weapon that can replicate the energy blast that destroyed Earth-2.

The pulse weave generator requires plutonium to power it.

Diggle says he knows of a facility in Bialya, where a two-man team should be able to steal some plutonium. Bialya was briefly mentioned in 117.

Connor left to check up on his mother, Sandra, and his past self.

Black Siren figures out that Lyla is working for The Monitor and against Oliver, before Lyla gives her orders on behalf of The Monitor.

Lyla tells Black Siren she needs to get the plans for the pulse wave generator before Oliver.

Diggle finds Roy Harper, who is once again posing as a mechanic - this time using the name Jason.

William apparently tracked Roy down.

Anatoly was last seen in 706. He moved back to Moscow and became a bar owner, having become bored hiding out under the fake identity Felicity made for him and having no reason to stay in hiding with Ricardo Diaz dead.

William can speak Russian.

Oliver asks Anatoly not to use his Bratva contacts in finding information on General Burov.

Diggle's plan is to do a smash-and-grab on a delivery truck going into the facility in Bialya rather than break into the facility itself.

General Burov frequents a Bratva-run club known as Krovavaya Banya - "The Blood Bath"

William tells Oliver that he met Mia in an underground fight club.

Oliver had no idea that Mia was a cage fighter for a while.

Oliver refuses to let Mia or William get involved in this mission. They think it is because he thinks the Bratva is too dangerous. In truth, he doesn't want them to know about his dark past in Russia.

Oliver is still recognized as Kapiushon from his time in Russia.

General Burov agrees to give Oliver the plans for the pulse weave generator if he can win a fight against The Blood Bath's current champion.

Before General Burov can make good on his deal, the Bratva steps in.

Mia is caught trying to sneak around The Blood Bath, leading to her and Oliver being captured.

Oliver tells Mia about how he used to be part of the Bratva and how he was really trying to hide his dark past from her and William.

Mia is put through the "ring the bell" gauntlet which Oliver faced to join the Bratva in 502. Unlike Oliver, she doesn't quite make it.

Diggle tells Roy about the events of the flash-forwards of Season 7 and how Roy went back to Star City to help Oliver's children save the city. He also tells him that he eventually discovered that the secret to controlling his blood lust was to surround himself with friends and fight with them - not close himself off from everyone he loved.

Oliver demonstrates his old trick of dislocating his thumbs to escape from handcuffs. Mia asks him to teach her that trick.

Oliver comes up with a new plan - he and Mia go into the ring as a team with William posing as the rich guy bringing them in. While they are distracting everyone, Anatoly and Black Siren will steal the plans.

Oliver tells Mia about his time in Russia and on Lian Yu, so they know about the mistakes he made and the worst times of his life.

Roy decides to stick around in Star City for a while.

Oliver and Anatloy agree that they consider one another brothers now.

Black Siren tells Oliver and Diggle about the deal Lyla made with her to try and get her to betray the team.

Oliver, Diggle and Black Siren are taken out with tranquilizer darts when they confront Lyla.


Moscow, Russia

The Bottom Line

A worthy tribute to one of the more underrated aspects of Arrow's history and a fantastic swan song for its greatest guest player. More, it finally brings an end to the far-too-stretched out will-she/won't she Black Siren arc and plays off the build up to Crisis beautifully. You almost forget that nothing of importance happens plot-wise until the final scene.

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 6, Episode 6 - License To Elongate

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


Barry tags along with Ralph on a case, hoping to prepare his protege for his new position as Central City's most prominent superhero. Yet it is Barry who will wind up learning a lesson, as he winds up in way over his head trying to go undercover. Meanwhile, Cecile tries to help Chester P. Runk get his life back in order as Nash Wells seeks out some unlikely help in accessing The Monitor's lair.


James Bond movies. (Honestly, the episode hangs so many lampshades on the elements it references, I feel no need to list them all here.)


It should be noted once again that Barry sucks at maintaining his secret identity and anyone who heard him using his real name at the party should be able to figure out he's The Flash now... even if they think his name is Allen Barry.


Hartley Sawyer actually does a credible job playing Ralph as a Bond-type. While the odds of an Elongated Man spin-off are seeming increasingly unlikely, Sawyer proves he can front a story in this episode.


The music and cinematography do a good job of evoking the spirit of the James Bond films.

Flash Facts

Despite being around since the Silver Age of comics, Ralph Dibny has never really had an Elongated Man emblem like The Flash's famous lightning bolt on a white circle. Most of his costumes work an E into the design somewhere.

The Elongated Man emblem introduced in this episode was taken from the Elongated Man costume seen in the animated series Justice League Unlimited.

Ralph and Barry spend most of the episode in Midway City. In the classic DC Comics universe, this was the hometown of Hawkman and Hawkwoman in the Silver Age of comics. Depending on the writer, it is said to be similar to Chicago and located in Illinois or located in Michigan and comparable to Sault Ste. Marie.

Ralph makes mention of an exclusive fashion designer named Victoria Veil. This seems to be a bit of a knowing nod to long-time Batman love interest Vicki Vale, though the last name is spelled differently and the famous Vicki Vale was a reporter - not a fashion designer.


Eternium creates an anti-vibrational force field that prevents speedsters from phasing through it.

Violent contact with Eternium, such as a jackhammer, could trigger a catastrophic molecular blast.

One of the tools in Cisco's lab is a sonic wrench.

STAR Labs has a multi-rigged private global satellite surveillance system.

Ralph as a camera built into his bow-tie.

Ralph has an explosive cuff-link.

The EYE-3C9 satellite system (aka Ring of Fire) is equipped with 15 dioptric long-range missiles.

Dialogue Triumphs

Remington Meister: Oh, so gentlemen, I don't think we have been introduced. I'm Remington Meister, your host. And you are?
Ralph: The name's Dibny. Ralph Dibny.
Barry: Allen. Barry
Remington Meister: Well, nice to meet you, Allen Barry and Ralph Dibny.

Remington Meister: I must say, I did not expect Central City's resident superhero to crash my little gathering.
Ralph: And I must say, I'm surprised by all the Bond villain cliches. I mean, you've got the accent, the diabolical scheme, even the silent but deadly henchperson.
(Ultraviolet enters the room.)
The Flash: Ultraviolet? I sent you to Iron Heights.
Remington Meister: Luckily, she has friends in low places.
The Flash: And let me guess, you're gonna add my unmasking to your little auction?
Remington Meister: Oh, I could care less about your secret identity, Flash. My interests are global. And to think, Mr. Dibny, that it was the Flash that set off my meta-activity monitor that then triggered the security protocols that got you caught. Danke schon.
Ralph: Do you expect me to talk?
Remington Meister: No, Mr. Dibny. I expect you to die.
Ralph: Oh, come on! That line is literally from Goldfinger!

Ralph: Look, tonight's job was for Ralph Dibny because both parts of my identity have value. The same is true for you, only tonight I could've used your civilian half. What I'm trying to say is Barry Allen is just as important as the Flash. Try to remember that. I know I will.


Nash Wells claims that he tracked the Monitor to Earth 1 and that the hole in the sewer of Central City he found leads to an inter-dimensional portal that should lead directly to The Monitor.

Cisco does not appear in this episode, presumably being busy with Gypsy's remembrance ceremony on Earth 19.

Chester P. Runk, last seen in 601, fully recovers and is released from the MAC.

Barry designs an official Elongated Man emblem for Ralph to pin to his costume.

Barry and Joe plan to surprise Ralph with a passing-of-the torch ceremony tomorrow. The problem is Ralph plans to leave for Midway City to check on a Sue Dearborn lead that day. Barry decides to tag along to make sure Ralph gets back to Central City in a day.

Ralph thinks Sue Dearbon might be in Midway City because Sue was seen wearing a one-of-a-kind Victoria Veil dress in Milan right before she disappeared. A woman wearing the same dress was spotted at a gala in Midway City three weeks earlier.

The host of the gala Ralph and Barry crash is a German named Remington Meister.

While sneaking in, Ralph and Barry meet a woman named January Galore who immediately sees through their disguise. Ralph later identifies her as an underground weapons dealer.

Nash Wellls runs into Allegra Garcia at the Central City Citizen. He convinces her to use her powers to help him scan for Eternium in the rock wall, in exchange for a world-shattering story.

Cecile helps Chester unfreeze his bank accounts, gets his driver's license reinstated and even manages to get his parking tickets erased.

Jitters has apparently closed their store-front following the Black Hole manifestation in 601, They now run a coffee delivery service called Jitters-To-Go.

Cecile decides to use her powers to help Chester ask out his crush, Natalie.

The dress Ralph identified as a one-of-a-kind turns out to have a duplicate, commissioned by a woman named Idna, as many designers will copy themselves for the right price.

Remington Meister is a master Mahjong player.

Remington Meister says he has not seen Sue Dearborn at one of his galas in six months and confirms that she is not on his guest list. He also realizes that Ralph and Barry are not on the guest list either.

Ralph identifies another of the party guests as Riggs Wellington - a Bratva counterfeiter.

Cecile misreads Natalie's emotions as Chester is talking to her, giving him the absolute worst advice.

Killer Frost says that The Book Of Ralph advises you to be yourself when asking someone else out.

Nash explains the idea of alternate universes and dopplegangers to Allegra.

Nash also accidentally lets it slip to Allegra that Barry Allen is The Flash.

Ultraviolet, last seen in 602, has been broken out of Iron Heights and is now working as muscle for Remington Meister.

Remington Meister is auctioning off a satellite weapon called The Ring of Fire, capable of destroying a city from orbit. He plans to destroy Central City to prove that it works.

Allegra makes reference to Ragdoll (last seen in 520) and how the freakiest thing in the world is watching him eat.

Cecile realizes that she was projecting her own uncertainty over her new job onto Natalie rather than reading her.

Allegra is afraid of using her powers and becoming like her murderous cousin. Nash convinces her that the powers do not make her bad and that she can use them to help people... like him.

Nash says that Allegra reminds him of some one but does not elaborate.

Ralph and Barry are able to stop Remmington Meister from destroying Central City and break up his crime ring.

Chester asks Natalie out. She rejects him but he's feeling more confident in himself thanks to Cecile and convinces her to be more confident in herself as well.

Cecile encourages Chester to look into a job at STAR Labs.

The Flash officially passes the torch to Elongated Man in a ceremony at CCPD HQ.

Elongated Man and Joe West officially recognize Barry Allen for his work as a Cold Case CSI and all the people he has helped.

Ralph shows Iris a photo of a man wearing a familiar looking pin and tells her about how Ultraviolet showed up again in Midway City.

In the final scene, Ramsey Rosso attacks Elongated Man after he meets with Iris.


Midway City

The Bottom Line

A fun filler episode that does a fairly good job of disguising the fact that the regular cast is barely in this episode. I personally could do with a lot less of Cecile's wacky hijinks, but pairing her with Chester somehow manages to ground his character and make you want to see more of him interacting with Frost and the rest of the STAR Labs gang. Ditto Allegra and Nash Wells, who aren't bad but just seem to be distracting away from the characters we've known and loved since Season 1. Still, for the cheesy fun of the Ralph as James Bond stuff, I can forgive a lot.

Starman Plays Quest For Glory 1, The Thief Path - Part 9

In which we start trying to fulfill the counter-curse prophecy on the land of Spielburg and "Free the Man from Form of Beast." Don't worry. We'll still have an opportunity to steal some things and prove our sneaky bona fides before we get a chance to meet Baron Von Spielburg himself... reeking of sweat and horse dung.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Black Lightning Episode Guide: Season 3, Episode 6 - The Book of Resistance: Chapter One: Knocking On Heaven's Door

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


Things come to ahead between Lynn and Jefferson about how to best get the ASA out of Freeland. As Anissa fights against Painkiller's poison, Jennifer decides to look into her new classmate Brandon and find out just why he was able to counter her powers with his own.


There's some great imagery at the end of the first segment, with Jefferson seen in silhouette as he walks away with gospel music playing in the background.


When Instant uses his powers, it generates a neutrino anomaly. The ASA learns how to track this and uses it to determine when Instant and the Markovians have entered into Freeland.

The ASA set up neutrino disruptors around their key assets in Freeland to trap the Markovians.

Dialogue Triumphs

Anissa: I guess if you're seeing this, it means I didn't make it (clears throat) and I'm okay with that. Really, I am. Because I know my sacrifice... it meant something. Jen... Jen, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry for leaving you. (tearing up) Especially with what you're going through. Mom. Dad. (clears throat) Uncle Gambi. I knew what I was doing, and it was worth the risk. (coughs) Now, none of you are gonna take comfort in hearing this, but it's because of you that I was strong enough to do what had to be done. (moans in pain) You all taught me to stand up for what's right even if it's difficult because evil triumphs when good people do nothing, and I damn sure wasn't gonna do nothing.

Jefferson: If I could say anything to Tavon, I'd tell him how proud I am of him. I'd tell him how much he inspired the other students and me to be the best version of ourselves. I would tell him that his death His death will not be in vain.

Tobias: Did someone wake up on the wrong side of the light socket this morning?
Lynn: I'm not here to talk to you, Tobias. I'm just here to check you're healing properly, so I can harvest another round of marrow.
Tobias: So you can cure the Pod Kids.
Lynn: I didn't say anything about the Pod Kids.
Tobias: You didn't have to. Helping them would be the only reason Odell pulled me out of the hole I was in. You know you can't trust him, right? So, whatever he promised...
Lynn: But I suppose I can trust you?
Tobias: I'm a true friend, Dr. Stewart. I'd much rather stab you in the front, whereas Odell...Well, you get the metaphor.

Jefferson: Agent Odell. I can't say I'm surprised to see you.
Agent Odell: Mr. Pierce, I came by to tell you that the ASA has a team of neurologists standing at the ready to give you a thorough examination.
Jefferson: I don't need a neurologist, I'm fine.
Agent Odell: (scoffs) I beg to differ. You must have suffered brain damage to think there'd be no consequences from breaking our deal.

Lynn: You're a monster, do you know that?
Tobias: You may think I'm a monster, but I'm nothing compared to Odell. You have no clue who he is, do you?
Lynn: You're just trying to get inside my head.
Tobias: Maybe. If only you had a way to make me tell the truth and get the answers you seek. Oh, wait. You do. (smiles sadly) I mean, you did. Poor, poor Issa.
Lynn: (startled) What do you know about Issa?
Tobias: The question isn't what do I know about Issa. The question is... what does Odell know?


Anissa records a video for her family in case she dies from the poison.

Jefferson, Lynn and Anissa attend Tavon's funeral.

Jamilla Olsen confronts Jefferson at the funeral and starts asking him questions. He agrees to answer one question - what he'd say to Tavon right now if he could talk to him one last time.

Lynn gets into a fight with Jeff over his going out as Black Lightning and fighting the ASA commandos.

Gambi says that the poison infecting Anissa is destroying her cells faster than anything he's ever seen. He says that if it weren't for her metahuman healing factor, she'd already be dead. As it is, the poison is repressing her metagene and making her mortal, even as it's making her weaker by the moment.

Gambi thinks the poison is similar to one he encountered before but it is 10 times as potent as the original. He estimates Anissa has no more than two weeks to live if he can't find an antidote.

Gambi is trying to supercharge the anti-venom he created for the original poison, but he can't guarantee that will work.

Gambi agrees to give Anissa a day before he tells Jeff and Lynn about Anissa being poisoned.

Truthteller Johnson was fished out of the river the morning after Tavon's funeral.

Inspector Henderon asks Gina to get her engineering student nephew to build a broadcasting system strong enough to reach all over Freeland.

Somehow, Tobias heard about Black Lightning attacking two ASA commandos depsite being in solitary confinement. He tells Lynn he's willing to keep Jefferson's identity a secret if she can get him a list of ever metahuman in The Pit and what powers they have.

Jefferson goes by Anissa's apartment and tries to apologies for pushing her to bring Tavon back to Freeland. He says it is his fault that he died. Anissa refuses to let him take the blame, says it is her fault for not fighting him harder on it being a bad idea and that Tavon's death is her responsibility.

Grace says she doesn't remember much when she shape-shifts into a leopard, but she does remember the smells and can recognize those smells as a human. She says she can smell death on Anissa.

Jennifer breaks into Brandon's apartment and finds that it is full of coal, miniature greenhouses, diamonds and that his computer has pictures of Lynn on it.

Jennifer is now capable of using her power to bypass the password on computers.

Again, Brandon shows that he is capable of repelling and absorbing Jennifer's electric powers.

Agent Odell confronts Jefferson about his attacking the ASA commandos. He does not react well to Jefferson saying their deal is off.

The teleporting assassin working for the Markovians, last seen in 216 appears again. This time, he kills all the ASA commandos in a truck heading into Freeland and commandeers it for the Markovians. According to Black Lightning Wiki, this metahuman is known as Instant.

Inspector Henderson picks up Jamilla Olsen and threatens her if she doesn't stop reporting on things in Freeland. When she refuses, he recruits her to become the new voice of the Resistance broadcasts.

Lynn prints a selection of data sheets on certain Pod Kid and Green Light Baby metahumans who have manifested superpowers. These include R. James (MAJOR level - sound manipulation), Erica Moran (OMEGA level - energy manipulation) and Wendy Hernandez (OMEGA level - aerokinesis). Lynn shreds the last of these two print outs.

Brandon tells Jennifer that he isn't stalking Lynn - he's trying to find Dr. Jace, who was responsible for killing his mother and he intends to kill her. The last link he had to her was Lynn.

Brandon agrees to keep Jennifer's family out of his business.

Brandon says that his powers let him manipulate the earth and everything that comes from it. This apparently lets him literally stay grounded in the face of Jennifer's electrical energy attacks.

Brandon reveals that his powers let him change coal into diamonds. He give Jennifer one he says that should pay for her college.

Gambi traces the poison infecting Jennifer and determines its a stronger variant of what Painkiller generated when he was first empowered by Tobias.

Lynn gives Tobias five minutes to memorize the printouts she made.

Tobias hints to Lynn that Agent Odell killed Issa because his power to make people tell the truth was too dangerous.

Gambi's anti-venom saves Anissa.

The five main ASA assets in Freeland are The Pit, The Armor, The Detainment Facility, The Perimeter Generator and the Command Center at Club 100.

Colonel Mosin is the leader of the Markovian strike team sneaking into Freeland.

Jefferson intervenes in the fight between the Markovians and the ASA. However, his powers short out the neutrino disruptors, allowing Instant and Colonel Mosin to escape.

Agent Odell is apparently killed in the fight with the Markovians.

Kyrie is another member of the Resistance.

Jamilla makes her first Resistance broadcast.

Instant says he was hired to get in and out of Freeland - not fight Black Lightning - which is why he ran for it after the neutrino disruptors failed.

Gambi scans Khalil Payne's grave and determines it is empty.

Lynn leaves Jefferson, because of his continuing to act out as Black Lightning without consulting her.  It is clear, however, that her perceptions have been altered by the Green Light usage.

Untelevised Adventures

Black Lightning fights two ASA soldiers the night after Tavon's funeral.

The Bottom Line

An odd episode, which barely gives Jennifer anything to do and kills the main villain off in the most unceremonious fashion possible... assuming Agent Odell is killed, which may not be certain given how often people on this show come back from the dead at random.

(UPDATE: Sure enough, Agent Odell is resting in the next episode.)

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 5, Episode 7 - Tremors

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


Kara and Lena have both learned about Leviathan's existence, but will a new common enemy be enough to convince Lena to abandon her plans for revenge? Meanwhile, J'onn has a startling revelation regarding his brother Malefic.


JLA: The Obsidian Age by Joe Kelly.


As always, Carl Lumbly is a delight as M'yrnn.

The scene of Lena revealing all her secrets to Kara is heartbreaking on multiple levels and Melissa Benoist and Katie McGrath sell every second of it.


The scene of J'onn and Kara sparring is well-shot and well-blocked, making effective use of some simple special effects.

Super Trivia

The characters of Rama Khan and Gamemnae originally came from a JLA storyline called The Obsidian Age. Both characters were powerful magicians and part of an order called The League of Ancients, made up of powerful mages from around the world, united in the common cause of protecting the Earth.

Rama Khan was the defender of the nation of Jarhanpur and drew strength from the soil of his nation. He was able to manipulate it, transforming the soil into fire, hard rock or wine. He commanded other magics as well, had a modicum of super strength and was immortal.

Gamemnae was an Atlantean from the days shortly after the magical island had sunk. Banished for having blonde hair, Gamemnae traveled the Earth and learned magics, returning home to raise the island once more and transform the water-breathing Atlanteans into air-breathers again. She went on to found the League of Ancients as a counter to the Justice League, whom she foresaw coming back in time to undo her actions, which were destined to fail.

The Arrowverse versions of Rama Khan and Gamenae are depicted as aliens from the planet Jarhanpur - a sister world of Krypton. They and three other people from their planet were said to have come to Earth thousands of years ago, with their spaceship being the "meteor" that killed the dinosaurs. Their powers are depicted as being alien rather than magical.

The Arrowverse version of Rama Khan is an Earth-Bender who can travel through the earth, change himself into a living dust devil and control the earth around him. He can also sense the presence of any person on Earth.

It is unclear what powers the Arrowverse version of Gamenae has, but she asks Rama Kham to let her use her technology to deal with Lena Luthor rather than making a big show of his powers.

The Leviathan organization in the original comics was recently revealed to have been created by the vigilante Manhunter (aka Mark Shaw). The details of this have yet to be adequately explained.

The security system for the Fortress of Solitude, upon detecting Lena Luthor, plays a prerecorded message warning Lex Luthor to give up his Kryptonite ring and transportal watch. This is a nod to a classic item Lex Luthor had in the post-Crisis era - a ring made of Kryptonite to keep Superman at bay. Ironically, the ring wound up giving Lex Luthor inoperable cancer in the comics, as it turned out Kryptonite radiation was deadly to humans - just not as fast acting as with Kryptonians..

As Brainiac-5's inhibitor fails, he unleashes a string of technobabble regarding the Psions affecting the Czarnians' evolutionary process. In the DC Comics universe, the Psions are a race of reptilian beings from the planet Maltus, who are among the most scientifically advanced beings in existence. The Czarnians are a nearly extinct species, with the bounty hunter Lobo being the last of the Czarnians.

Brainiac-5 also says something about hydrogen molecules being synonymous with Thanagarian atoms. The Thanagarians are a race of war-like bird-people. Some versions of Hawkman and Hawkwoman are Thanagarian.


The word "Leviathan" occurs six times in the Hebrew Bible, according to Brainiac-5 but not once does it appear in any historical scientific literature.

Brainiac-5 attempts to track Rama Khan by his seismic wave signature.

The archive computer for the Fortress of Solitude is powered by a polyphasic quantum processor.

The Fortress of Solitude contains a sonic cannon which sends concentrated blasts of high-frequency ultrasonic waves at whatever it is aimed at.

There is a particular coffee shop in National City which Brainiac-5 frequents because it is close to National City's tar pits, which emit an energy that enhances his brain functionality. He believes Leviathan have a base close by for the same reason.

The dust from the tar pits emits Veridian radiation. Brainiac-5 is able to use this to thwart the cloaking technology inside the elevator to Leviathan's headquarters and reveal the button to make the elevator work.

Dialogue Triumphs

J'onn: Father, I need your counsel. Malefic came after my family, and history repeated itself. To protect them, I had to send Mal back to the Phantom Zone. I have tried to move on, but it's like I can feel him nearby.
M'yrnn: That's because he is nearby.
J'onn: What?
M'yrnn: Your brother is here.
J'onn: You mean here in my mind?
M'yrnn: No. I mean, he's across town.

M'yrnn: The only chance of saving your brother is to let down your psychic shield entirely. Open your mind to him like a flower. Complete vulnerability. Allow him access to your memories and innermost thoughts, so he can see your truth.
J'onn: If I bond with Malefic... he can choose to poison my mind. How can I make that choice knowing that he will most likely murder me and kill everyone I love?
M'yrnn: Then retrieve the Phantom Zone projector, send him back to isolation.
J'onn: And punish him again?
M'yrnn: I'm sorry, my son. In my lifetime, I faced this test. Should I attempt to reach Malefic and risk the utter decimation of my people, my family, and myself by his destructive power? Or should I lock him away where he cannot harm others? I made my impossible choice. There is no such thing as right or wrong. There is only peace in one's heart, something I never found. The sins of the father are visited on the son. You must make your own choice, J'onn. Then ask H'ronmeer to guide you to your brother. No matter what you decide, I will love you for it. Just as I loved both you and Malefic long ago.

Rama Khan: (speaking as he shapes a giant bolder from the earth under him) You thought you could hide her from me? I am ancient. I am the earth. What are you?!
(He throws the rock at Supergirl, who punches it into dust easily.)
Supergirl: Me? I'm just peeved you didn't knock.

Kara: Lena, you have to believe me, I never meant to humiliate you.
Lena: No. When I came to this city, I promised myself that I would never trust anyone again... And then I met you. You chipped away at my armor with your warmth and your earnestness, and you convinced me to trust in people and friendship again. And against my better judgment, I did!  All the while telling you about my Achilles heel - betrayal. (sobbing) I confided in you that everyone in my past had betrayed me. About how much it hurt to have someone you love lie to you and betray you. I spelled it out to you over and over again, essentially begging you not to violate my trust, begging you not to prove that, once again, I was a fool! You reassured me ad nauseam that you would never lie to me, that you'd never hurt me. And all the while, there wasn't a single honest moment in our friendship.
Kara: No! No, that is not true
Lena: No! I killed my brother for you, for our friends! Don't you understand what you've done?!
(Kara starts crying)
Kara: When you found out, why didn't you come to me right away, so I could explain?
Lena: "Explain"?
Kara: Yeah? If you hate me so much, why... Why not out me at the Pulitzer party? Why pretend to still be my friend this long?
Lena: Because I wanted you to experience what you did to me. Feel what I felt
Kara:.(sighs) I understand your pain and your fury and... And you're right. I made a big mistake, maybe the biggest mistake of my life, but please Lena, please don't leave the Fortress with Myriad. Please don't let my mistake push you to do something terrible.You are a good person-
Lena: No! No, you don't ever get to tell me who or what I am again!
Securty Drone: Intruder alert! Intruder alert!
(The binding crystals instantly form over Kara's body.)
Kara: Did you reprogram the Fortress defenses to attack me?
Lena: Yes. And I rigged it to answer to this little button I have in my hand.
Kara: Are you going to try to kill me?
Lena: (scoffs) No. Supergirl, I'm not gonna kill you. I'm not a villain. (pauses as she activates her transportal watch) You shouldn't have treated me like one.


This episode opens one day after the events of 506.

The old woman from Leviathan tries to kill Lena in her home.

Lena's apartment has the most sophisticated security system in the world, according to Lena.

Lex Luthor once theorized that Superman had a fortress where he kept all the advanced or alien weaponry used against him. Lena believes he was right and that this fortress has the dispersal system she needs for Project Non Nocere.

J'onn has been having visions of Malefic as if he were nearby for two days. He thinks they are guilt pangs over how he treated his brother in the past.

The old woman from Leviathan is revealed to be a woman named Margot. She is also a servant of Leviathan, albeit one in contact with its leaders.

Leviathan is said to have been on Earth since the dinosaurs were wiped out and they have been keeping humanity from destroying the planet ever since.

Two of the leaders of Leviathan are Rama Khan and Gamemnae.

Rama Khan was placed in charge of the Earth by an Elder of some sort.

Kara saves Lena from an assassination attempt by Rama Khan.

According to Brainiac-5, Rama Khan was said to have been responsible for the Antioch Earthquake of 526 AD (the 8th largest natural disaster in recorded history), the volcanic explosion of {ompeii, the Yellow River flood of 1887, the Bhola Cyclone and the Biblical flood.

J'onn communes with the spirit of his father seeking guidance. The projection of M'yrnn tells him that Malefic is being held prisoner in National City rather than the Phantom Zone.

Lena suggests that one of Lex's weapons might be able to neutralize Rama Khan, but says Superman destroyed all the really bad ones. This leads Kara to confirm the existence of the Fortress of Solitude to Lena and suggest maybe they can find an appropriate weapon there.

Alex and Brainiac-5 are caught in an explosion when they investigate Rip Roar's booby-trapped body. One of Brainiac-5's inhibitors is damaged in the blast. Alex develops a mild concussion.

Rip Roar's armor is intact after the explosion.

Superman programmed the Fortress of Solitude to react violently if Luthor family DNA was detected. This is known as the L-Protocol.

M'yrnn tells J'onn he must decide if he will truly banish Malefic for good or try once again to save his soul. The only way to do this is to drop all his psychic defenses and open himself up to Malefic completely.

Lena makes reference to the events of 420 and how she and Kara traveled to Kaznia together.

Rama Khan determines that Lena must be in the Fortress of Solitude since he cannot sense her on Earth. Apparently the Fortress is the one place on Earth that is not of Earth.

According to the Fortress computer, five aliens from a sister planet of Krypton, Jarhanpur, came to Earth to escape years of civil wars, which eventually destroyed their planet. One of them, Rama Khan, had the extraordinary power to bend the earth to his will.

Lex Luthor designed a number of tiny but powerful guns that could be hidden under a wig, back when he was still trying to hide his baldness.

According to Lena, Lex only wore real human hair wigs.

The Fortress armory holds Myraid - the device used by Astra to turn the people of Earth into obedient drones in Supergirl's first season.

Brainiac-5 discovers a symbol in Rip Roar's technology which he traces to numerous disasters throughout history. This knowledge leads him to what he thinks is an entrance to Leviathan's secret hideout.

Kelly dumps Alex, saying can't cope being with someone who risks her life on a daily basis.

Rama Khan attacks Kara in the Fortress of Solitude.

Gamemnae's security measures take Braniac-5 and Alex into a strange cavern underground rather than Leviathan's headquarters in National City.

Kara uses the same acrobatic flip maneuver she used while fighting J'onn earlier in the episode to beat Rama Khan.

Kara discovers Lena taking Myriad.

Lena tells Kara about how she killed Lex in 422 and that Lex's last action was to reveal how all her friends had been lying to her about Kara being Supergirl.

Lena turns the Fortress security measures against Kara and makes her escape.

J'onn finds Malefic in Lena's secret lab and opens his mind and heart to Malefic.  This changes Malefic's mind and destroys his hatred of J'onn.

Alex goes to Kelly and promises to help her work through her grief over her fiancee.


The Fortress of Solitude

The Bottom Line

Enrapturing, despite its flaws. The biggest issue is that Leviathan, built up as this big deal all season, appears to be just two aliens sitting in a bar underground arguing with each other. (Depressingly, this is STILL a better use of the concept than what Leviathan turned out to be in the comics, but I digress.) Leviathan should be epic but its utterly goofy and far too much time is spent on the Alex/Kelly romance which was rushed to completion and is nowhere near as interesting as the writers seem to think it is.

That being said, the scenes with Lena and Kara are some of the best acting we've ever seen from Katie McGrath and Melissa Benoist and the real emotional resonance of the season is there. Ditto the scenes involving the J'onzz family and Malefic and J'onn finally coming to an accord, though part of me wonders how much of that may have been prompted by Lena's control of Malefic. Time will tell, I suppose, but all in all this is the best episode of the season.

Batwoman Episode Guide: Season 1, Episode 7 - Tell Me The Truth

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


Faced with the knowledge that Sophie is certain she is Batwoman and is certain to tell her father, Kate must decide how much she trusts her first love. Meanwhile, Alfred's daughter Julia Pennyworth - now a super-spy for a secret agency - returns to Gotham in search of a mysterious assassin with a connection to Alice and the Wonderland gang.


Batwoman: Elegy
by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams.


Ruby Rose gets a powerful moment confronting the bigoted restaurant owner on his own territory.

Christina Wolfe is an immediately charming presence as Julia Pennyworth - one I hope we see more often in the future.


The opening sequence with Batwoman stopping The Rifle from killing a man at Alessandro's is wonderfully composed and balanced against the music.

Bat Trivia

Julia Pennyworth first appeared in Detective Comics #501, though at that time she used the name
Julia Remarque. Julia was the product of a brief romance between Alfred Pennyworth and Mademoiselle Marie - a French resistance fighter and one of DC Comics' war comic heroines, who appeared in various titles over the years. Julia was raised by a friend of her mother's, Jaques Remarque, who finally told Julia the truth about her mother and how her final words were the name of Alfred Pennyworth. Julia went after Alfred thinking he was her mother's murderer. Thankfully, Batman was able to learn the truth and father and daughter were happily reunited. Julia would go on to become a permanent guest at Wayne Manor through the end of the pre-Crisis Bronze Age of comics.

Julia Pennyworth was revamped for the New 52 era of comics in the pages of Batman: Eternal. This Julia Pennyworth was of mixed racial heritage, having darker skin than her father and an unspecified mother. A member of the British Army's Special Recognizance Regiment, Julia was a master spy who briefly worked for Team Batman as mission control, using the codename Penny-Two. She would later go on to team up with Batwoman in the pages of her Rebirth solo title and harbored a clear attraction to Kate Kane.

The Arrowverse version of Julia Pennyworth splits the difference between both versions. Like the modern version, Julia is a master spy with an organization she refers to only as "The Agency." She is, however, a Caucasian woman with blonde hair. (The first Julia Pennyworth was a Caucasian brunette.) She also has a prior romantic relationship with Kate Kane, having posed as a martial arts instructor to check up on her, as she traveled the world, at Bruce Wayne's request. The romance ended with an old enemy tried to kill Julia and called her by her real name before Julia could tell Kate the truth about who she was and why she'd sought her out.

There is a dinosaur toy that Kate keeps in the Batcave which Julia Pennyworth recognizes. This may be a nod to the giant dinosaur which is routinely seen in the background of the Batcave in the comics.

The trope of the superhero and their alter ego appearing in the same place is evoked here, with Julia Pennyworth impersonating Batwoman to make Sophie doubt her belief that Kate Kane is Batwoman. While this was done repeatedly throughout the Silver Age of comics, the most famous example of it in the modern day is probably Alfred the Butler donning the Bat-Suit to impersonate Batman at events where he had to appear with Bruce Wayne in the 1966 Batman show starring Adam West.

Mention is made of a Grant Street at one point. This could be a nod to either Alan Grant or Grant Morrison - two prominent Batman writers.

At one point The Rifle makes mention of a woman named Safiyah who will be angry about being double crossed and whose name sparks a rage in Alice. This may be a reference to Safiyah Sohail - a pirate queen turned terrorist from the Batwoman Rebirth comics who was one Kate Kane's lover and who once abducted Beth Kane in an effort to reawaken her Alice persona.


A microspectrometer can track the unique electromagnetic radiation signature of the rail gun that can penetrate the Bat-Suit. The Crows have been loaned such a microspecrometer by ARGUS.

Dialogue Triumphs

Kate: So you lied and pretended that you had a thing for me.
Julia: Love, the only thing I lied about was why I was there.

Sophie: Was that necessary?!
Kate: Standing up for myself? Yeah. That's what it looks like when it comes out naturally.
Sophie: Don't even go there, Kate.
Kate: I have no intention of going there. There is some sad and lonely closet that I want nothing to do with.

(Kate is opening the entrance to the Batcave. Luke and Julia are about to follow after, when suddenly they hear a voice behind them. It is Mary.)
Mary: Oh, my God. You have a safe room?!
Kate: (awkwardly) Um, Mary.
Luke: How did you get past security?!
Mary: Carl at the front desk loves double-whipped frappuccinos.
Kate: Good. He'll be making them soon.

Julia: (To Kate) You know, apart from my father and Lucius of course, Bruce Wayne never trusted a soul. Now I'm not judging his choices. I wasn't in his shoes, but When you don't trust anyone, it means that you can disappear for 4 years without a single person on the planet having any idea where you are. Now, call me sentimental, but I don't think that's a good thing.

Kate: (voice-over) Batman was praised and revered, but Bruce Wayne not so much. No one knew the man beneath the cowl. You didn't let them in, Bruce, for good reason. Because even the people we love are still people at the end of the day...They act out of fear, pride, hope, pain, and sometimes, they let us down. But you know better than I do that no one can be a lone wolf forever.

Dialogue Disasters

Sophie: She did more for this school than anyone who's ever gone here, so you can scrub her name from every plaque and banner and roster, but you will never erase her or the effect she's had on the people here.


Batwoman stops an assassination attempt by a gunman called The Rifle.

Sophie confronts Batwoman as she is leaving the crime scene. Again, Batwoman denies being Kate, but she says she will find Sophie later.

Sophie outright tells Batwoman that if she doesn't tell Jacob who she is, that she will.

Julia Pennyworth's Codename is Tuxedo-One.

According to Vesper Fairchild, The Rifle has already killed two people in Gotham City earlier that week.

Jacob Kane has filed for divorce from Catherine Hamilton.

Luke determines that both of the previous victims of The Rifle worked for Catherine Hamilton. One of the people at Alessandro's the night before, Derek Holcomb, also worked for Pyra Electrics - the company that makes all of Hamilton Dynamics' conductors.

Jacob Kane is apparently traveling upstate.

Tyler shows Sophie the video footage the Crows caught of Sophie talking to Batwoman. She lies to him about knowing who Batwoman is.

A coil accelerator at Hamilton Dynamics went missing, despite being under a Level 5 Security Protocol.

Dean Devereaux, whom Mouse impersonated in 106, has been found dead.

Batwoman goes to confront Derek Holcomb. She manages to save him from The Rifle, but is blocked by Julia Pennyworth, who was tracking The Rifle to capture him.

Julia Pennyworth recognizes Batwoman as Kate Kane after she uses a hammer strike that she taught her.

Mouse kills Derek Holcomb

It is revealed that Alice hired The Rifle to kill three scientists at Hamilton Dynamics, whose deaths would insure that no one could replicate the rail gun that can penetrate the Bat-Suit.

Alice has a bargain with The Rifle's employer to hand over the gun in exchange for an unspecified price.

Julia Pennyworth has been tracking The Rifle for 8 months on behalf of her agency.

Julia and Luke know each other.

When Julia and Kate first met, Kate had just left on her journey of self-discovery. Bruce asked Julia to check up on Kate and Julia did so posing as a Krav Maga teacher. The two honestly fell for each other, but Julia's cover was blown by an old enemy before she could tell Kate the truth. Kate has been holding a grudge ever since.

In the past, Kate tried to convince Sophie to refuse to lie about their relationship, saying that there was no way they'd expel the top two cadets a week before graduation.

Sophie broke Sean Azadi's obstacle course record by one second.

Kate broke the record for sharp-shooting. She was reportedly hungover when she did it.

Sophie ultimately betrayed Kate, despite saying she'd stand by her, fearful of her homophobic parents' reaction and her ability to move on afterward.

Kate asks to meet Sophie at Alessandro's.

Alessandro had the bullet from the assassination attempt at his restaurant framed.

Alessandro tries to kick Kate and Sophie out of the restaurant after he sees them holding hands. Kate makes a scene about it, much to Sophie's embarrassment.

Sophie tells Kate that she had planned to stand with her, until she talked with Jacob Kane. He convinced her to save herself, because he knew there was no way he could talk Kate out of standing up and honoring her oath to tell the truth.

Sophie finally tells Tyler about her relationship with Kate Kane and how she broke it off to avoid getting expelled.

Kate and Sophie were secretly involved for three years. This is longer than any relationship Tyler had apart from Sophie.

Sophie doesn't answer Tyler when he asks if she still has a thing for Kate.

Mary now knows about the Bat-cave entrance in Bruce Wayne's office, but she thinks it leads to a safe room.

Kate lies and says Julia is her new assistant. Mary asks why she has two assistants for a real estate company with no real estate.

Catherine Hamilton approaches Jacob Kane about her belief that The Rifle is targeting her employees that are responsible for designing an anti-Batwoman gun.

A microspectrometer can track the unique electromagnetic radiation signature of the rail gun that can penetrate the Bat-Suit. The Crows have been loaned such a microspecrometer by ARGUS.

Sophie tells Jacob Kane that Batwoman is Kate Kane.

The Rifle delivers what Alice wanted in exchange for the rail gun. It is contained in a small box.

When Kate was expelled, Sophie recovered her Sharpshooting record medal before it was thrown out.

Jacob does not tell Catherine Hamilton about Kate being Batwoman, even after she askes why Sophie wanted to meet with her.

Julia poses as Batwoman so that she and Kate Kane can appear in the same place at the same time in front of Sophie.

The Rifle shoots "Batwoman" but she survives the shot, thanks to Alice having sabotaged the gun.

Luke tracks the vehicle holding Julia to 5th and Grant in the Bowery.

The Rifle was hired to retrieve the rail gun for a woman named Safiyah, whose name Alice doesn't want to hear.

Kate and Julia make peace with their past.

Luke gets the police report on Derek Holcomb's murder. He was stabbed with a butterfly knife - Alice's preferred weapon.

Julia has to hit the road and track down the Rifle in Santorini, but she says she'll come back to Gotham to socialize someday.

Kate decides to call her new real estate company Gotham Pride Real Estate. Her first acquisition is an abandoned building across the street from Alessandro's, which she is thinking of turning into a gay bar.

Kate and Sophie agree to keep their distance from one another from now on.

Sophie gives Kate her sharpshooting medal.

Sophie tells Tyler that anything she felt for Kate went away the day she chose her future over Kate.

Kate invites Mary to help her with getting her first acquisition fixed up and promoted.

It is revealed that Jacob Kane is still upstate and that the "Jacob Kane" to whom Sophie revealed Batwoman's secret identity was Mouse in disguise.

The Bottom Line

A fantastic episode all around, even with the heavy emphasis on Sophie, who has somehow become the most annoying, least sympathetic love interest in Arrowverse history and I say that as someone who cheered when Laurel Lance was killed off in Arrow Season 4. Julia Pennyworth is a fantastic introduction to the guest cast and the Alice scenes are slowly building to something big. Save me a seat at the Mad Tea Party. This show is getting better with every passing episode.

Black Lightning Episode Guide: Season 3, Episode 5 - The Book of the Occupation: Chapter Five: Requiem For Tavon

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


The hunt for Blackbird intensifies, as Jefferson takes it upon himself to bring Tavon home to Freeland. Meanwhile, Lynn has a major breakthrough in her search for a way to stabilize the metagene but it requires her dealing with the last person in the world she wants to see - Tobias Whale!


The Outsiders comics of Judd Winick (Grace and Anissa's romance)


The scene of Erica dying, leaving behind nothing but smoking shoes is cartoonish.


Marvin "Krondon" Jones III saves this episode, conveying the menace of Tobias Whale's character even as he's helplessly strapped to a gurney.


Lynn sais that Dr. Jace created the metahuman virus as a means of sending Lynn her research, which was sliced into the DNA of the virus, which she had already developed her  own vaccine.

On closer examination of the virus' RNA, Lynn determines that Dr. Jace used a gene-editing tool to send her a specific amino acid chain.

Twenty amino acids make up a protein chain. The protein created by the specific chain Dr. Jace discovered was a byproduct of a serum that was the predecessor to the metagene-triggering vaccine in Green Light. Once it's metabolized in a human host, it strengthens the mitochondrial membrane potential of meta cells significantly. In theory, Lynn can use this to stabilize the metagene. The only problem is the chain can't be synthesized - it has to be taken from the host who developed the chain naturally.

Robot comes from the Czech word robota, which means "forced labor."

Replenishing electrolytes is the best way to beat a hangover.

Dialogue Triumphs

Painkiller: (To the ASA sergeant that insulted him that is now choking on his poison) Do you have kids, Sergeant? A religious man, perhaps? You see, I often ponder my victims' last thoughts before they die. And the truth is it's fascinating to me.

(Henderson is questioning Two-Bits about stolen ASA property he's been reselling.)
Two-Bits: Why are you hounding me anyway?
(Henderson holds up an evidence bag. In it is the tomato that Two-Bits threw at him earlier.)
Two-Bits: Hey, I did miss.

Henderson: You haven't seen anything out of sorts lately, have you?
Rev. Holt: If I saw something, I'd have said something.
(Rev. Holt chuckles nervously.)
Henderson: Mmm-hmm. The trouble is, all my leads end right here in this church. You care to explain?
Rev. Holt: I have no earthly idea. I suppose those with the most sin cast the first stone.
Henderson: Well, I'm not the one smuggling the metas outside of Freeland. (smirks cutely) All aboard! Choo-choo!
(Rev. Holt's face freezes up in realization.)
Henderson: Yeah, I thought that might ring a bell.
Rev. Holt: Now, now, come on, Chief. Listen You don't think I'm human trafficking? Huh?
(Rev. Holt laughs. Chief Henderson clearly isn't buying it. Suddenly, Holt goes all fire and brimstone.)
Rev. Holt: I am down here saving these poor souls. These people have rights. Chief Henderson, they have rights!
Henderson: Reverend Holt, you have the right to remain silent. A right that I know that you will waive.
Rev. Holt: Now, you hear me, Chief Henderson. You cannot arrest me here. We are in the house of the Lord. And He sees all!
Henderson: Yeah. Between me and you, Reverend, He's seen worse.

Tobias Whale: I recently found myself with a lot of time to contemplate what got me in this godforsaken pit. And all I can come up with is Black Lightning always showing up whenever your daughters are in trouble. Once is chance. Second time is coincidence, but a third? Now, that's a pattern.
Lynn: Black Lightning saves a lot of lives in Freeland.
Tobias Whale: This is true. But after that boy your daughter was dating got his spine ripped out, some new female firecracker-type superhero appeared and lit my ass up. With Black Lightning's help, of course. Do you see the pattern?
Lynn: Only the musings of a lunatic.
Tobias Whale: Humor me. Answer this lunatic's one question. (smiling wickedly) What's your super suit look like, Dr. Stewart?

(Henderson pulls out his phone and shows Two-Bits and Rev. Holt a video a student shot of Jefferson Pierce being beaten by the ASA.)
Henderson: Tavon Singley and Jefferson Pierce are the spark we needed.
Two-Bits: "We"?
Rev. Holt: What exactly are you saying?
Henderson: The people of Freeland are ready to fight now. We've all been working independently, nickel-and-diming these bastards, but it's time to join forces, run the ASA out of here, take our freedom back.
(The rest of the Resistance leadership come out of the shadows behind Henderson) 
Two-Bits: So, you've been leading the insurgents this whole time?
Henderson: I'm just a man trying to do what's right. Join us.
Rev. Holt: We'll be crucified if we try to take the ASA on by ourselves.
Henderson: But who said we by ourselves?
(Blackbird emerges from behind Rev. Holt and nods to him.)
Rev. Holt: "And the scales fell from his eyes, turning Saul to Paul."
(Rev. Holt extends his hand to Henderson, who shakes it.) 
Two-Bits: (chuckling) My man.


Tavon films a video for his parents from the commune he's working on in South Freeland. He notes that he'd never seen the stars before now and how the metahumans and ordinary people in South Freeland are working together.

Agent Odell uses facial recognition software to try and identify Blackbird. He seems to have figured out that she is Anissa Pierce.

Painkiller nearly kills an ASA Sergeant who insulted him while sparring.

Agent Odell sends Painkiller after Blackbird.

Lynn has a dream that she was running experiments on a girl named Erica who had the power to absorb kinetic energy, effectively making her bullet-proof. She told Erica to release the energy and Erica made herself explode, leaving behind only a pair of smoking shoes. It's unclear if this was a nightmare of something that did happen or something Lynn feared would happen.

Truthteller Johnson delivers a broadcast, describing how the assault on the Freeland PDHQ in 304 was not the work of Markovian terrorists, as the ASA is now claiming, but Blackbird leading a raid to free non-metahuman citizens that were being illegally held.

Jennifer is feeling sick, her perception of things being slowed down. She wants to take a sick day, but Jefferson feels her forehead and cheek and says she feels fine.

Lynn says that she's been having recurring dreams of severed feet. She eventually realizes this is her subconscious trying to tell her that Dr. Jace left a message for her in the DNA of the metahuman virus.

Lynn determines that Tobias Whale (ASA Patient 49) has an amino acid chain in his DNA that could be used to stabilize the metagene in other people.

Acting Police Chief Henderson announces that Blackbird is now wanted in connection with the attack on Freeland PDHQ. The ASA is now offering a $50,000 reward for her. Two-Bits throws a tomato in his general direction once the press conference is done.

Tavon's parents meet with Jefferson. They believe that the ASA killed Tavon and are covering it up. Jefferson promises he'll see what he can do

Anissa gives Grace the vaccine for the metaplague.

Gambi has been watching over Grace to make sure she doesn't lose control of her shape-shifting when Anissa isn't around.

Jennifer is feeling chills and accidentally triggers a power surge in the computer lab at school. When asked about why she looks bad, she tells her friends that "I was flying high on pure energy last night, and now I feel like gravity's crushing me." They don't realize she's being literal.

Acting Chief Henderson arrests Two-Bits after determining he's been stealing supplies from the ASA and reselling them.

Blackbird delivers more of the meta vaccine to Reverend Holt. She tells him to inoculate all the metas they're going to sneak out of Freeland that night and tells him to make sure everyone is wearing black.

Jefferson asks Anissa to bring Tavon back to Freeland. She says its a bad idea, but she'll see what she can do.

Blackbird delivers the meta vaccine to South Freeland and asks Tavon if he wants to go back home  to Freeland with her.

14 of the Pod Kids died under Lynn's care.

MB4 is the official ASA designation for the serum that gave Tobias Whale eternal youth and super-strength. Lynn gives him a dose of it to save his life so

Painkiller attacks Tavon and Blackbird as they are coming through the ASA perimeter into Freeland. They are able to escape, but not without both being poisoned.

Agent Odell calls upon Anissa's apartment hoping to find her sick with Painkiller's toxin. He is instead greeted by a perfectly healthy Anissa. This is really Grace shapeshifted to look like Anissa.

Acting Chief Henderson arrests Reverend Holt for smuggling metahumans out of Freeland.

Tobias tells Lynn that he's figured out that Jefferson is Black Lightning.

Tavon succumbs to the poison and dies in Black Lightning's arms.

Anissa firmly puts Tavon's death on Jefferson's hands.

Lynn asks Agent Odell to "disappear" Tobias after she is done with him.

The rumor going around Garfield High is that Tavon was shot by the ASA trying to escape Freeland.

Jefferson intervenes after a group of students confront the ASA soldiers over Tavon's death and one of the soldiers hits a boy in the face with the butt of her rifle.

Brandon has something to ask Jennifer, but the question is forgotten as a fight breaks out between Jefferson and the ASA soldiers.

Shots are fired into the air and the soldiers begin beating Jefferson as the students look on in horror.

Brandon holds Jennifer back from getting involved as her powers spark. Somehow, he absorbs the energy she's generating into himself.

Agent Odell says that he marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he was younger.

Agent Odell allows Jennifer to attack the soldiers who beat up her father.

Inspector Henderson takes Two-Bits and Reverend Holt to a meeting of Freeland's Resistance, revealing himself to be its leader. They agree to all work together, using Tavon's death and Jefferson's beating as a rallying point for the people of Freeland.


South Freeland

The Bottom Line

A complete game-changer that salvages the season so far, by putting the show's best supporting cast front and center and looking at the big picture instead of all the smaller subplots that had been all but forgotten over season 2. We have gone through the tunnel and there is light at the end!

Friday, November 22, 2019

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 5, Episode 6 - Confidence Women

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


With Rip Roar in custody, Kara and Alex start trying to find a way to figure out who is employing the cyborg assassin and how Russell Rogers came to be transformed into him. Meanwhile, Andrea approaches Lena to ask for a favor, as the tortured history between the two former friends is revealed.


The Indiana Jones movies (general feel of temple sequence) and Superman Annual #12.


Katie McGrath has an excellent turn here as Lena, managing to seem sympathetic as her heart is broken over and over, even as she does some truly awful things in response.

Super Trivia

Andrea Rojas is loosely based on a Mexican superhero from the Superman comics. First appearing in Superman Annual #12, Andrea Rojas was Acrata and had the power to teleport through shadows thanks to her possession of an ancient Mayan symbol. She was also a talented martial artist and detective, who was said to be the Batman of Mexico City, though she did not work with the local authorities and indeed had a deep disrespect for them. She was also the daughter of a former politician, who became a professor of pre-Hispanic cultures at the University of Metropolis campus in Mexico City.

The Arrowverse version of Andrea Rojas also possess the power to teleport through shadows. This ability was apparently triggered by a medallion that was given to her by Leviathan, but the ability was apparently within Andrea the whole time and draws upon her own inner darkness.


The biotech that transformed Russell Rogers into Rip Roar is capable of overriding the powers of a Truth Seeker. The technology is so well-ingrained into his body that removing it could kill him.

Five years ago, Lord Industries developed a T-Pixel 8 phone with a chip four-times faster than Obsidian Worldwide's new phone.

Lex Luthor plans to kill Superman by seeding Earth's atmosphere with Kryptonite. He can't do it yet, however, because he has yet to find a to sublimate the element into vapor.

Dialogue Triumphs

Andrea: Every time I look at you, I'm reminded of all the horrible things I've done. 
Lena: Honey, every time I look at you, all I remember is pain. 
Andrea: Lena, for so long I wanted to tell you the truth, but I was scared.
Lena: That medallion was the only thing that could've stopped my brother - and you knew that. Andrea: Everything I did, every decision was to save my father's life.
Lena: My brother was a homicidal maniac. A lot of innocent people are dead because of him, because of you.
Andrea: I am well aware of how much blood there is on my hands. And I'm so sorry.
Lena: Because you say you're sorry, it doesn't make everything better.


Rip Roar is said to have killed 18 people, before arranging an act of eco-terrorism.

Andrea Rojas is revealed to be the shadow assassin from 503.

Andrea tries and fails to break into the DEO base to get to Rip Roar.

Andrea goes to Lena and asks her for help.

Andrea and Lena became friends 15 years earlier at boarding school.

Titanic was Andrea and Lena's favorite movie. Andrea saw it eight times in the theater. Lena saw it six times, though Lex mocked her endlessly for it.

Lena was told about the Medallion of the Acrata by her mother. The medallion was part of a legend about a girl whose village was being ravaged by darkness, so she went into the wild in search of magic that could help. She found the Medallion of Acrata and was bestowed great gifts so that she alone had the strength to bend shadow to her will. Lena has dreamed of finding the Medallion ever since.

Lena's mom wanted to find the Medallion of the Acrata and kept drawing the symbol everywhere - a tic Lena adopted.

Andrea promises to help Lena find the Medallion, if it is real.

Five years later, Lex is becoming obsessed with killing Superman at any cost and tells Lena from now on their LuthorCorps is focusing on finding a way to do that. If she doesn't like it, she can quit.

Five years ago, Obsidian Worldwide is in trouble, due to their company being heavily invested in a new phone that is doomed to be obsolete upon launch, thanks to a high tech phone launched by Max Lord's company. Andrea's father fears they will lose 70% of the company if he wants to stay afloat after.

Lex Luthor plans to kill Superman by seeding Earth's atmosphere with Kryptonite. He can't do it yet, however, because he has yet to find a to sublimate the element into vapor. This plan would later be used successfully against Supergirl in 402.

Lena discovers the symbol of Acrata while looking at satellite scans of Costa Rica which Lex was using to search for Kryponite. She thinks the site she found has the Medallion and asks Andrea to explore it with her.

Andrea accidentally falls into the temple and meets a man from Leviathan. He gives her the Medallion of Acrata and says that his group can save her father and his company, but she must keep it on her at all times, let no one know she has it, tell no one about his being there and someday in the future they will call upon her to do them a service.

Andrea lies to Lena about not seeing the Medallion once she gets into the cavern.

By an extraordinary coincidence, some undetected flaw becomes apparent in the new Lord Technologies smart phone, which causes it to explode. This saves Obsidian Worldwide's new phone line.

Four years ago, Lex Luthor is arrested for turning the sun red as part of a plot to kill Superman.

Jack Spheer, Lena's ex-boyfriend from 218, is briefly seen. In the flashback they are still together, and Jack takes her to London to get away from the scandal of what Lex did. It is here that Lena unexpectedly runs into Andrea, who is openly wearing the Medallion of Acrata.

Declaring her friendship with Andrea over, Lena breaks up with Jack so that she can take over LuthorCorp and try to redeem the family name, planning to move to National City and run the new LCorp from there. This sets up Lena's first appearance in Supergirl Season 2.

Shortly after her falling out with Lena, Andrea meets Russell Rogers. The two start to fall for each other.

Three years ago, around the time of the events of 204 (Kara just broke a story about the illegal alien fight club) Kara delivers some hacked L-Corp data to Lena and invites her to her game night.  Lena declines, still afraid to make new friends.

Three years ago, Russell and Andrea are celebrating their six month anniversary. They are both omnivores who love meat and hate vegan cooking.

The Leviathan woman confronts Andrea and tells her they need her to kill a man. If she doesn't do it, her father will be found guilty of insider trading and later be found dead of an apparent suicide in his cell. Andrea kills the man - a Governor Harper.

Two years ago, just after Cat Grant joined the Marsden administration, Kara runs into Lena at a cafe and again offers her friendship. This time, Lena agrees to have lunch with Kara.

Two years ago, Russell Rogers discovers the Medallion of Acrata on Andrea's dresser. Somehow, Leviathan instantly knows about this and threatens to kill him, until she convinces them he can be of use to them. This leads to Russell being changed into Rip Roar.

Lex Luthor was murdered by Lena 12 weeks ago.

Andrea opened Obsidian North 10 weeks ago.

The book containing the Legend of Acrata which Lena read as a girl is Stories of Adventure.

Lena made seemingly made amends with Andrea 8 weeks earlier, selling her CatCo as part of her plan to get revenge on Supergirl.

Rip Roar gives Supergirl the name Leviathan, before Andrea spirits him away.

J'onn feels Lena's psychic blocker from across town and says it feels like Malefic.

Lena takes the Medallion of Acrata from Andrea and allows her to leave with Russell.

Lena analyzes the Medallion of Acrata and finds the name Leviathan worked into the text of it. She then asks Hope to tell her everything Eve Teschmacher knew about Leviathan.


Mount Helena Boarding School - 15 Years Ago
Metropolis - 5 Years Ago
Costa Rica - 5 Years Ago
Metropolis - 4 Years Ago
London - 4 Years Ago
Metropolis - 3 Years, 10 Months Ago
National City - 3 Years Ago
National City - 2 years Ago
National City - 12 Weeks Ago
National City - 10 Weeks Ago
National City - 8 Weeks Ago

The Bottom Line

A lackluster episode that reveals the secrets of a mediocre villain as a means towards setting up the season's real bad guy. Dense and plodding as it keeps throwing out references to make sure we know when all these scenes take place (though it's never clear where Andrea is after running into Lena in London) there had to be a better way to deliver all this exposition.