Friday, September 25, 2020

Fallout: New Vegas - I Am The Doctor - Part 12

In which we wander the wasteland south of Novac at night looking for the Abandoned Farmstead Willow wanted us to find, only to uncover a town besieged by the Legion, radiation and (now) ghouls. We also raid a Legion camp to rescue some captured Power Gangers, fight some bikers and encounter another one of the creatures meant to keep us on the plot railroad - the blind Deathclaw!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Fallout: New Vegas - I Am The Doctor - Part 11

In which, after confronting our first Legion Assassin Squad (they REALLY do not like me already) we reach the town of Novac and track down the gang that stole Willow's stuff.

   

Monday, September 21, 2020

Fallout: New Vegas - I Am The Doctor - Part 10

In which, after a quick side-trip to get some of that famous Primm Radscorpion casserole, we head out east from Nipton and have our first encounters with a pack of Nightstalkers and a random Legion patrol attacking some traveling merchants. Shame we're faster about responding to the sounds of gunfire than the NCR troops we ran into right before that.

 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Starman Plays The Dungeon Of Naheulbeuk : The Amulet Of Chaos - Part 1

In which we enter into the Dungeon of Naheulbeuk - a new Dungeons and Dragons parody game which plays like Neverwinter Nights but funnier and less buggy - and our party immediately gets split up. (Pro-Tip: Never split the party. It never ends well)

Friday, September 18, 2020

Fallout: New Vegas - I Am The Doctor - Part 9

In which we start trying to clear the road of the giant ant hordes that somehow moved in after we safely passed down them without incident. We also deal with some bandits, a probable seduction turned robbery gone bad and round things off with our first encounter with Ceasar's Legion. Which is promptly followed by our first butt-kicking of a Legion patrol. It won't be the last.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Fallout: New Vegas - I Am The Doctor - Part 8

A busy chapter, in which we pick up a new companion named Willow (courtesy of one of the best mods made for New Vegas), learn of the lost treasure tied to the Sunset Sarsaparilla Star Caps and encounter our first NCR base, where we pick up a few jobs and meet another interesting cowgirl named Cass. (Mythology gag - she's the estranged daughter of Cassidy from Fallout 2!)


 

Monday, September 14, 2020

Fallout: New Vegas - I Am The Doctor - Part 7

In which, having saved Primm from the Powder Gangsters (or whatever they call themselves) we set about tinkering with a broken drone named ED-E and build ourselves a robot friend. It's no Bessie or K-9, but he'll do quite nicely.


Friday, September 11, 2020

Fallout: New Vegas - I Am The Doctor - Part 6

In which we explore Primm, which means a trip to the one casino before going into the other casino to fight some Powder Gangers and try to save the local deputy.... which leads to us taking up the job of finding a new sheriff for the town and seeking an.... unorthodox solution to restoring law to this one-horse town.

 

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Fallout: New Vegas - I Am The Doctor - Part 5

In which we set about preparing to defend Goodpsrings from the Power Gangers, before moving south to Primm and our first encounter with the NCR and a city in turmoil that the military can't save. Sounds like a town in need of a Doctor.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Fallout: New Vegas - I Am The Doctor - Part 4

In which we explore a coyote-infested cave before heading on to the town of Sloan so I can demonstrate how the game keeps you from heading north along the freeway early on by miraculously spawning Deathclaws no matter where you go.


Friday, September 4, 2020

Fallout: New Vegas - I Am The Doctor - Part 3

In which we start exploring the area around Goodsprings some more, clear out the local coyote population and discover it's all but impossible to start the game as an unarmed fighter. We also talk to this other courier who has run afoul of the Powder Gangers and see about helping him, while doing a little gambling.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Fallout: New Vegas - I Am The Doctor - Part 2

In which we take on a mission of mercy to save some poor woman from a horde of geckos only to learn the first lesson of Fallout: Trust No One. We then return to Goodpsrings, just in time to use our Venusian Karate skills to take down a bully, before we meet the local bar owner and check out the general store.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Fallout: New Vegas - I Am The Doctor - Part 1

In which I arrive in Goodsprings and (after a quick demonstration of how impossible it is to leave Goodsprings by heading north)  meet a charming and heavily armed young lady named Sunny Smiles, who guides us through the tutorial.

Fallout: New Vegas - I Am The Doctor - Intro

Because You Demanded It! (You being everyone who voted in my Twitter/Facebook poll.)

In which I explain how I came to make a Doctor Who mod for Fallout: New Vegas based around the Third Doctor winding up in the Mojave Wasteland during the time of the classic story "Inferno" and being mistaken for The Courier and why I'll now be doing a play through for the game based on that idea.

MODS USED FOR PLAY THROUGH

I Am The Doctor - Third Doctor - Doctor Who Save: https://www.nexusmods.com/newvegas/mods/39578/

FOWV - Mark III Classic Sonic Screwdriver:
https://www.nexusmods.com/newvegas/mods/38695


Friday, August 28, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 85

In which, in memory of Cassidy, we close out our Fallout 2 playthrough with a rampage through Vault City, killing the fascists who run the place, starting with First Citizen Lynette.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 84

In which, after discovering my car DOES still need gas once the game is won, we find out I don't have the version of the game where you get a special mod for the car after the game is over. But we do get a special bonus from Miss Kitty before making our way to Vault 13, picking up a talking Deathclaw companion and heading to Vault City to play with the computers and become a god.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 83

In which, having saved the world from the Enclave (but failing to save Cassidy) we start exploring the Wasteland (such as it is) and all the things you can do once you beat the game. This includes making Miss Kitty at the Cat's Paw your new regular Saturday Night Thing, a random encounter the Star Trek fans may find amusing, finally becoming a Porn Star and acquiring a copy of the Fallout 2 Hintbook.


Saturday, August 22, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 82

The SNAFUED Conclusion - In which we make our daring escape from the Enclave base and fight our way through a metric fookton of soldiers.

 Unfortunately, the sound for this is WAY the hell out of synch because of a copyright claim being filed because of the end credits music and the experimental YouTube music remover just cutting the sound completely and rolling it back several seconds.And since I recorded all this on my old computer and didn't save the original video file, I couldn't reformat it. Sorry folks.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 81

In which, rather than race to the surface in the thrilling conclusion of Fallout 2, we take a step back to see what might happen if I try and talk to the President of the Enclave instead of just killing him.


Monday, August 17, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 80

In which we descend into the bowels of the Enclave, in search of a super-computer to blow up. The good news is I'm able to persuade a scientist of the futility of his Nazi ways and get him to help kill his own people. The bad news is that still leaves me with a bunch of robots and jerks in Power Armor to fight.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 79

In which we attempt a stealthy invasion of the Enclave base and discover where our missing tribe has been taken. But before we can start working to get them out of here, we have to deal with an annoying and utterly random button-pushing puzzle.

 

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 78

In which we finally beat the Hubologists, finally make our way across San Francisco, finally meet the Shi Emperor and finally get on the road (or ocean) to the Enclave's secret base.


Monday, August 10, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 77

In which I reveal how to escape from the Hubologist base (in this version of the game, anyway) and set about killing the rest of them before we get trapped by the Lag again.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 76

In which, after some confusion about whether or not the spirits are willing to talk, we set about getting some Hardened Power Armor (giggity!) and killing off the Hubologists. Because seriously - screw those guys!

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 75

In which we rescue Badger's girlfriend and finally clear the hold of aliens and mutants. Shame we get nailed by the Lag Beast once again on the way to finish getting the tanker ready to go.


Monday, August 3, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 74

In which my plans to finish clearing the hold of aliens and mutants is thwarted by my need to resupply my party, sell loot and the freaking game lag!


Friday, July 31, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 73

In which a good deed pays off and we start trying to get the tanker in San Francisco up and running... which requires a trip below decks and a whole lot of alien slaying.

 

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 72

In which we finally get to the bottom level of the military base and get some answers as to why the heck this place exists. But first we must face the magic of Melchior the Magnificent.

No. Really.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 71

In which we try and get the Super Mutants to form a "conga line of death." Shame that they keep refusing to charge all at once and my party refuse to stay in the room and make the enemy come to us.


Friday, July 24, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 70

In which, in my bid to sell off all the excess weapons and such I've picked up, we stumble across the Cafe of Broken Dreams, before returning to Level 3 of the Super Mutant Base.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 69

In which we continue fighting our way through the old Military Base and hordes of Super Mutants.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 68

In which, after a brief lesson on the proper management of explosives, we start exploring the abandoned army base and find another army of Super Mutants. Seriously, who keeps making these things?

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 67

In which, after looting the local Brotherhood of Steel base, we check out the Hubologists; a totally unique religious order that is not parodying any other sort of religious organization, real or fictional, that is known for employing celebrity spokespeople and being heavily litigious.


Sunday, July 19, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 66

We're in the army now, as we attempt to infiltrate the Enclave base at Navarro and introduce a little anarchy.


Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 65

In which we challenge The Dragon, which somehow leads to us fighting all his followers before challenging him. Then, after we beat him, we reset the game and challenge Lo Pan instead. Because that way the forces of Evil are defeated and it is Lo Pan's followers left wandering the street lamenting and ruing the loss of their master.


Monday, July 13, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 64

In which my best laid plans to further boost my fighting skills and upgrade my sub-dermal armor to become fire-proof are ruined by a random encounter. One of these days I will remember to save after every major side-quest... but it will not be this day!


Sunday, July 12, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 63

In which we talk to the rest of the scabbers on the tanker ship and learn how to make it ship-shape once more before checking out Lo Pan's dojo and beginning the search for a missing spleen. No. Really.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 62

In which, having finally remembered how to gas up the car, we make our way into San Francisco. Sadly, we do not get the chance to put flowers in our hair, though we do get a chance to start endearing ourselves to the Shi, as we explore the city.


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 61

In which, lacking the perks and stats to become a porn star and the inventory to pick up any more guns from the three casinos we shot-up, we bid farewell to New Reno and return to Vault 13 only to find that something happened to the intelligent Deathclaws...


Friday, July 3, 2020

Starman Plays Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don't Dry - Part 19 (NSFW)

In which we play through the Epilogue of Wet Dreams Don't Dry, though it's largely a prequel cut-scene showing how Eve established herself before meeting Larry. Still, we do get to take control of Eve and see what happened to her in a sequence that may set up a sequel...


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Starman Plays Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don't Dry - Part 18 (NSFW)

It all comes down to this. Will Larry save the day and score with the woman of his dreams? Will Bill Jobs get his comeuppance? How many of you just grinned reading the word comeuppance? All of these questions and more will be answered in this, the thrilling conclusion of Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don't Dry.... at least until we play through the Epilogue.


Monday, June 29, 2020

Friday, June 26, 2020

Starman Plays Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don't Dry - Part 16 (NSFW)

In which, after Larry completely fails to create Kelly LeBrock while making himself a sex doll using questionable science, we head south of the border to the village of Cancum and learn of the ancient prophecy of a hero who will drive away the wealthy gringos. But before we become that hero and earn the assistance of the bard El Ray, we must make some guacamole.


Thursday, June 25, 2020

Starman Plays Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don't Dry - Part 15 (NSFW)

In which we try to break into BJ's office with Anu and wind up getting a blast from the past featuring the one man who exemplifies the spirit of the 1980s better than Larry Laffer. So much winning!

Monday, June 22, 2020

Starman Plays Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don't Dry - Part 14 (NSFW)

It's a nice day to start again, so after completing the one puzzle that stumped me in my original play-through of this game, we set about setting up a Big Gay Wedding for Lance and Dick.


Sunday, June 21, 2020

Starman Plays Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don't Dry - Part 13 (NSFW)

In which - having finally noticed I have a gym membership now - we check out the gym, meet the uber-active Amazon Diana and start helping Lance come to terms with his love of Dick. We also finally get to have crazy cosplay sex with Nari, but Larry still gets taken down a peg, before he gets Diana to come back to his place to get physical.


Friday, June 19, 2020

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 5, Episode 15 - Swan Thong

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



Plot

Trapped in a world they never made, the Legends must fight the Fates for the freedom of all that is. But there's no guarantee all of them will survive the battle to come or that the world will return to what they remember...


Influences

1984 (
the aesthetic of Loomworld) and Night At The Museum (the battle with the Encores in the museum)


Goofs

For some reason, the Encores let The Legends leave the room to grab weapons from the Hall of Bad Ideas.

Mona and Gary just disappear from the episode and aren't there for the final part. (Then again, neither of them would fit in at a punk show.)


Performances

The whole cast bring their A-game, but if we have to single out a single MVP, it has to be given to Tala Ashe for playing both Zaris.


Artistry

The mock commercial for the FateWatch looks like a real commercial.

The FX work to get the two Zaris to interact is flawless.


Technobabble/Arcana

Magical power usually passes from mother to daughter. As Natalie Louge was a natural conduit for magic, so too is Astra.

Without Gideon to power the Waverider, the only way to make it able to fly manually is to use a superconductor to transfer a huge surge of energy to the Time Core. In this case, Zari uses Nate in his steel form and a pair of jumper cables. 

When a god dies, any gift they bestowed upon a mortal dies with them. In this case, Sara's sight is restored and her second-sight disappears after Atropos dies.

While trying to repair Gideon, Behrad and Zari 1.0 reroute the navigation system and patch into a secondary hard drive.

John works a sleeping spell on Charlie to knock her out.

Zari 1.0 figues out a way to track the Loom using the FateWatch, but it requires an external computer with GPS and WiFi capabilities. She winds up dissecting Zari 2.0's smartphone to get the parts she needs.

John works a spell that lets him phase through the floor to avoid getting hit.


Dialogue Triumphs

Lachesis: Clotho... I have let you play your childish game long enough. It is time to grow up and face the music. 
Charlie: The Legends are my friends. 
Lachesis: Are they? Time and again they have sown chaos into this world. 
Charlie:Well, sometimes they screw things up for the better. I mean, think about it. Encores, that wasn't their fault, and they've been mopping that up all year. 
Lachesis: That's true. The Encores are not the Legends' fault. They're yours. Ambitious villains are the product of the chaos you birthed.(gesturing to the crowd of worshipers)  Look at these people now! Do you see a future Joseph Stalin amongst these lambs? Of the three of us, you always loved these mortal creatures best. What do you think they would want? More choices or a lifetime of peace?

(Nate is standing by the Waverider controls holding both clips of a pair of jumper-cables.)
Nate: You sure this is going to work?
Zari 1.0: Honestly, I'm 60/40. But I believe in you.

Nate: I don't want to do this.
Zari 1.0: I know. (kisses him)

(The Legends look around and see that everyone is talking into their watches, asking them what to do next. They also see the ads for some device called a FateWatch.)
Ava: Uh, what are the chances that everyone's watches got a weird update over the last four months?
John: I'd say one in a monkey's ass, love. 
Sara: Great. So not only do Charlie and her sister have the Loom back, but now it's wearable.

Zari 1.0: I'm hanging out with myself and myself has the hots for John Constantine.

(Astra has told John about how she abandoned the memory of her mother to survive Hell.)
John: You listen to me, all right? You are still her daughter.
Astra: (chuckles) Whose? Natalie or Lachesis? 

Sara: We were all in our own worlds, but a twist in our stories brought us together and made us a family. 
Charlie: But humanity, they've made so many mistakes. 
Sara: Sometimes a mistake is really just destiny. 
Charlie: What, you learn that being a Paragon? 
Sara: No, I learned that being a person

(Zari 2.0 and John are making out in mid-search for the Loom of Fate. Zari 1.0 comes in over the comms)
Zari 1.0: Guys, I think we found it.
(Zari 2.0 reluctantly pulls away from John.)
Zari 2.0: (sighs) I'm the worst.

Zari 1.0: I'm gonna miss you... so much.
Nate: Me too. 
Zari 1.0: You know I have to do this, right?
Nate: (sighing) Yeah.
Zari 1.0: I just wish... I wish I was leaving you with some... something... 
Nate: You... you are, and you have. I mean... I've lost everything at Heyworld... all of our memories, but you brought those back to me. Now I get to remember the woman I love forever. 
(The two kiss deeply.)
Nate: No regrets. 
Zari 1.0: No regrets. 

(Everyone is watching The Smell perform)
Behrad: Weren't they dead?
Nate: (shrugs) I mean, who hasn't died?


Continuity

The Fates have a temple where people can petition them to change reality on their behalf.

The Legends split up. Nate, Zari 1.0, Ava,and Mick are on one team. Sara, Astra, John, Zari 2.0 and Behrad are on the other.

The first team runs into Gary and Mona, who guess that the Waverider was taken to The Forbidden Dump along with all the other artifacts that conflict with the new reality.

Gary and Mona abandon the Legends at the dump because it will be suspicious if they are gone for too long.

Behrad is experiencing chest pains, which he blames as acid reflux from too much green mush.

The second team are recognized as the actors from the shows by a group of fans. John agrees to give them an autograph in exchange for their clothes, which are used to infiltrate the Fates' temple and destroy the Loom of Fate.

Atropos and Lachesis figure out the Legends have escaped when they see the man wearing Constantine's clothes in line at the temple and after one woman asks for her shows to be uncancelled.. 

Sara cannot see the Loom, but can feel the energy of it through her foresight. 

Once they find the Waverider, Mick leaves to find Lita.

John plans to use Astra as a magical conduit to juice up his own spell so he can disrupt the Loom of Fate. Unfortunately, the spell fails after Asttra starts having visions of Lachesis instead of thinking of her mother.

Gideon was removed form the Waverider, makig it all but impossible for the ship to function normally.

Zari is able to jump-start the Waverider using Nate in his steel form as a super-conductor.

Sara is able to hold her own in a fight with Atropos, thanks to her power to see the future. 

The Loom is destroyed after Sara cuts Atropos' life thread after Zari 2.0 and Behrad blast her into the Loom with their totem.

The Legends escape in the Waverider but just barely manage a time jump and crash in the Forbdiden Dump again. 

Sara's sight is restored but she can no longer see the future. John says this means Atropos must be dead, since she was the source of Sara's power. 

The Legends find out they jumped four months into the future.  The world has now changed so that everyone is dependent on a new electronic device, the FateWatch, to tell them what to do.

In Loomworld 2.0, the Temple of The Fates is now a history museum devoted to showcasing "the truth about free will and the atrocities that it brought upon humankind."

The museum features a Hall of Bad Ideas, a Hall of Villains and a a Hall of Atrocities.

The Hall of Bad Ideas contains displays devoted to the Flat Earth theory, spring-shoes, the Shake-Weight, energy drinks, glitter, the Flowbee, the pogo-stick, cigarettes (much to Constantine's annoyance) and Sisqo's "Thong Song".

Nate, unsurprisingly, likes the Thong Song.

Behrad has a flashback to his original death at the hands of ARGUS agents in the pre-Crisis timeline while trying to repair Gideon.

The Hall of Villains contains displays devoted to an unnamed caveman, an unidentified figure in gladiator armor, Charles Manson, General Custer, Joseph Stalin (#10), Marie Antoinette (#12), Vlad the Impaler (#14), Caligula and the Legends (#2). 

The Legend display shows Sara, Ava, John, Mick, Behrad and Nate, with Sara and Nate in their superhero suits.

Mick, Lita, Gary and Mona show up at the Waverider. Mick says it has been four months since they vanished.

According to Mona, when the Loom of Fate was destroyed, people panicked as their memories of the old world came flooding back and nobody could remember what was real or not or what to do. 

Charlie is living in the museum as the #1 ranked villain.

Left all alone, Charlie was broken by Lachesis and convinced she was responsible for all the bad things in the world.

According to Charlie, Lachesis rebuilt the Loom and restored order. 

Astra reveals to John that the price of Lachesis protection in Hell was abandoning her humanity.

The Legends cite The Beatles and he musical Mama Mi 2a! as good things that came of free will, trying to cheer up Charlie. Charlie counters with the fact that The Beatles also inspired Charles Manson's cult and ABBA nearly inspired Napoleon to kill The Legends (311). 

Charlie also cites the song "Octopus Garden" as one of humanity's greatest mistakes. Gary considers it one of the best things to come of free will. 

Zari 1.0 builds a device to track the signal of the Loom of Fate.

The Loom is tracked to somewhere inside the former Clotho Studio's building.

The Loom is revealed to be Gideon, who has been reprogrammed to run the FateWatch program and tell everyone what to do.

Zari 2.0 disables the Loom network by unplugging Gideon.

Astra replaces Charlie during the grand opening of the museum and calls Lachesis out, daring her to smite her and pointing out she can't do it.

The villain "displays" in the museum are revealed to be paralyzed Encores.

Lita breaks Charlie out of her funk by pointing out that she's the product of complete and utter chaos and that life may be messy but that makes it beautiful. 

Charlie and Lita deiver the cache of Hell-Weapons to the rest of the Legends so they can finally end the Encores.

Charlie confronts Lachesis and forgives her for everything she did. She doesn't kill her, leaving her to live out her life as an ordinary mortal.

Gideon is rebooted.

Behrad's chest pains are revealed to be the result of his wounds from the original timeline reopening because of the presence of Zari 1.0.

Zari 1.0 goes back inside the Totem to save Behrad's life.

The Legends go to London in 1977 to watch The Smell (who have apparently been resurrected post-Loomworld) perform.

Charlie sings a punk rock cover of the Mister Parker's Cul-De-Sac theme.

The Smell are apparently Lita's favorite punk band.

Mick agrees to take Lita back in time to see the Runaways play next weekend.

John asks Astra what she plans to do now. She says she thinks she'll live in this place in the sticks and that she thinks she has the rent covered. This leads her to gives John his soul coin.

Charlie decides to stay in 1977 with The Smell.

Sara gets abducted by some kind of alien tractor beam which the rest of the team fail to notice.


Location

Loomworld
Loomworld 2.0
London, England - 1977


The Bottom Line

A fun finale, whose only flaw is trying too hard to set up a fight-scene to the Thong Song to justify the punny title. Still, for a show famous for its great cliff-hanger endings at the end of the season, this one may be the best yet. It will be a long wait for Season 6 and the Legends going into space.

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 5, Episode 14 - The One Where We're Trapped on TV

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



Plot

The good news is that Charlie managed to save the other Legends while rebuilding the world with her sisters and placing humanity firmly under The Fates' control. The bad news is she brought them back as characters in the new Loomworld's most popular television series. Can they fight their way out of their new lives and back to reality?


Influences

Stay Tuned (the heroes having to escape a TV world), 1984 (the aesthetic of Loomworld), Friends (The Ultimate Buds segments), Downtown Abbey (The Highcastle Abbey segments), Star Trek (the Star Trip segments) and Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan (Mick's costume is a call-out to the Ricardo Montalban Khan)


Performances

Talented though he is, I never would have imagined Matt Ryan in the role of a butler in a British period drama. Yet he does a fantastic job playing Mister Constantine.

Jess McCallan and Caity Lotz find just the right note in impersonating Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner without going over the top.


Artistry

The production team did a fantastic job of capturing the feeling of each show being parody and creating a nightmarish dystopia for Mona and Gary to escape.

The "Repress" song may be the best musical number in Arrowverse history.


Trivia Of Tomorrow

This episode marked the directorial debut of Marc Guggenheim, who was the co-creator of Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and Vixen.

Instead of the usual intro, this episode opens with a special intro inspired by Russian propaganda posters, featuring The Fates.

The episode title is a nod to the naming convention of Friends episodes.


Technobabble/Arcana

The Loomworld verison of John Constantine reads Tarot cards and can cast a spell to send someone to someone else. This is how the Legends escape Highcastle Abbey and go to Sara Lance.

In Tarot, the Jack of Wands symbolizes daring exploits and dangerous challenges lying in the future.

There are computers in Clotho Productions that automatically spit out scripts for shows, which are connected to the life threads of people trapped within those shows.


Dialogue Triumphs

(Gary runs up to Mona on the street.)
Gary:
Do I know you? You look familiar! Do you recognize me?! My name is Gary, but most people call me Crazy Guy!
Mona: Stay away from me, you weirdo!
Gary: Yeah, they call me that too!

(Zari 1.0 is trying to puzzle out why the world changed.)
Behrad: Sis, what do you think is happening?
Zari 1.0: I think you guys fought The Fates.
Everyone Except Zari: Fates Be Praised!
Zari 1.0: ... and you lost.

Lady Astra: Well? How is he Mr. Constantine? 
Mr. Constantine: Lord Behrad is as advertised, (disdainfully) A foreigner.

(The Waverider is seen flying through space.)
Captain Lance (Voice-Over): Space. The fatal frontier. These are the adventures of the USS Faterider
Ms. Sharpe  (Voice-Over): Its mission; to seek out rebellious life forms.and disobedient civilizations. And blow them up with lasers.  

(Captain Lance and Ms. Sharpe are beamed aboard the Gromulan vessel. Captain Lance immediately draws her phased and points it at Zari.)
Captain Lance : We're taking over this ship!
Zari 1.0: Sure. That works. We're your crew, anyway.
(Captain Lance looks confused.)
Zari 1.0: I know. It's complicated, but we're actually from an alternate timeline where you're our captains.
Ms. Sharpe: You're our crew?
Mr. Constantine: May I interest you in some rare Gromulan tea?
Lady Astra: Oh, it is grand to see lady adventurers in pantaloons! 
Captain Lance: ... what kind of Gromulans are you?
Behrad and Nate: Ultimate buds!
Zari: All right, yeah. I know. It's hard to believe-
Captain Lance: No. It makes perfect sense.
Ms. Sharpe: We encounter this sort of thing all the time. You're probably our crew from an alternate timeline and you've been trapped in some sort of... judging by your mannerisms, late and early 20th Century prison dimension... which calls into question if we ourselves are existing in a prison dimension. It's perfectly logical.
Zari 1.0: (shaking her head) Ava, I love you. 

John: Astra, look at me. What have I got to show for myself? 38 crap years of pain and broken promises. You wanna know what my original sin was? It was you, Astra. I rail against the angels and demons for being arrogant bastards, but I'm worse than the bloody lot of them. You know, I thought I could use your innocent soul as a bargaining chip to save your mother. Bollocks! If you're happy here, then... I will spend an eternity as ruddy Mr. Constantine trying to make it up to you and Natalie.
Astra: Is John Constantine really capable of such a selfless act?
(John steps back and assumes a proper parade-rest position, with his hands resting behind his back. When he speaks, it is with an upper-class British accent.) 
John: Would it be acceptable to dine at half-past seven, Lady Astra? Mrs. Hutchens is running a trifle late.
Astra: (smiling) Perfectly acceptable, Mister. Constantine.

Sara: Ava, life is beautiful and terrible. All at the same time. But if we're only living part of it, we're not living at all.


Continuity

In the new reality, Mona Wu works in the Historical Sanitation Department. As the episode opens, she has just rewritten the history of Spartacus to make him a good worker who never caused trouble instead of the leader of a famous slave revolt.

One of Mona's co-workers, Geoffrey Burch, is killed by Atropos shortly after he asks Mona if she thinks that The Fates running everyone's lives is wrong.

In the new world, Gary is a street protester who is dismissed by most people for his claims that the world is wrong and The Fates are evil. 

Everyone in Loomworld eats mush. Grey mush is the most common color. Other types of mush include green mush, purple mush, sticky mush, slimy mush and blue mush. Blue mush is apparently the best.

Fate-Plus is a streaming service in Loomworld.

Mona watches a sitcom called Ultimate Buds. The main characters are Nate, Behrad and Zari. The show is a lot like Friends, with a similar over-sized loft apartment, Zari working as a chef like Monica and Nate working as an actor like Joey.

Nate is audition for the role of Robin Hood in a new show called Arrow.

The Pre-Crisis Zari emerges from the Totem and takes control of her Post-Crisis self. As revealed in 509, she has no idea what is happening in the real world and is confused by the sitcom world.

Zari 1.0 asks Nate if he remembers the other Legends and starts listing them. When she gets to Mona Wu, Mona (in the real world) wonders why the people on TV are talking about her.

Zari knocks down a door in the apartment. This leads into Constantine's house, which is apparently now the setting of a British period drama called Highcastle Abbey

John Constantine is the butler of the Logue family. Highcastle Abbey is the ancestral home of the Logue family, currently headed by Lady Natalie Logue. It is located in Highcastle, Yorkshire.

Lady Natalie is currently trying to arrange a marriage for her daughter, Lady Astra, to Lord Behrad, who has apparently been written into the show as a Persian nobleman and Nate is his valet.

John is still able to do magic, but he tries not to, treating it as scandalous that he can do such things.

Zari tries to tell John about who he was and mentions his apprentice, Gary. This leads Mona to seek out the "Crazy Guy" in the real world.

Astra tells Behrad she wishes she were a man so she could go out into the world and live a life of adventure. He says there is no reason why she couldn't do that.

Astra jumps in as John is working a ritual to teleport Zari and Nate to Sara, resulting in all of them being sent into the reality of Star Trip as aliens called Gromulans..

Gary and Mona decide they need to break into Clotho Productions - the company that makes all the TV shows now.

In the world of Star Trip, Ava and Sara are co-captains of a space-ship. Sara is the hot-tempered one. Ava is the logic-driven one.

After convincing Ava and Sara that they are all trapped in a prison dimension, Ava mentions that had detected an odd transmission from the planet Kuldezax. The transmission turns out to be Mr. Parker's Cul-De-Sac from 507.

They attempt to make contact with the transmission, resulting in a giant hand pulling the ship out of space. This is revealed to be Mr. Palmer playing with a toy of the ship.

Everyone is brought into Mr. Palmer's house as The Community Helpers. Zari is a doctor, Nate is a road worker, Behrad is a sewer repair worker, Ava is a teacher, John is a handyman, Sara is a police officer, and Astra is a fire-fighter 

Zari pleads for everyone to remember who they are. This prompts Mona to start writing into the script-writing machine, writing that it is at this point that the Legends remember who they are.

Everyone remembers the Pre-Crisis and Post-Crisis timelines, including both versions of Zari. 

It is revealed that Charlie based the new lives she created for the other Legends based on what they all said they wanted most in 513. To wit:

* Nate gets to spend the rest of his life hanging out with his friends and having fun.
* Zari gets to be with her brother.
* Astra gets to grow up with her mother.
* John gets to protect Astra and see she has a good life.
* Sara and Ava get to be together and have adventures where nobody really gets hurt.
* Mick gets to be a lovable criminal and has hair again.  

Charlie starts trying to rewrite the Mr. Parker script so that everyone goes back to the lives she made for them.

John and Astra are the last to be sent back. John is ready to fight, but Astra talks him down because she wants to see her mother and see if she's back to who she was or is just a character in a TV show.

Lady Natalie doesn't remember being part of another world, proving she's not really Astra's mom.

Sara and Ava decide to try and escape, when they get an transmission from their enemy, Dhan. This is revealed to be Mick Rory. 

Lita and her mom are revealed to be alive in Loomworld.

When Sara and Ava decide to intentionally lose the fight with Dhan, Charlie is forced to cancel the show so they don't die in the story. This brings Sara, Ava and Mick back into the real world.

Sara is once again blind in the real world.

In Highcastle Abbey, Lady Natalie gives Astra a train ticket to London so she can see the world.outside of Highcastle. This inspires Astra to ask John to take her out of the show and back to reality, which he manages with a spell.

In Ultimate Buds Zari starts ranting about mush being awful and encourages the people watching to take control of their lives.  Charlie cancels their show as well.

Charlie is able to split Zari's thread in two, so that both Zari 1.0 and Zari 2.0 are alive.

The Legends reject Charlie's offer to write them a better life and walk out to face the real world, as Charlie sadly notes that she can't help them anymore.


Location

Loomworld - 2020


The Bottom Line

Peak Legends. The parodies are funny and well-executed. The ensemble is firing on all eight cylinders. There's some great character moments and the story sets up the end of the season quite well.

Starman Plays Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don't Dry - Part 12 (NSFW)

In which we experiment with the new PiPhone and get one step closer to "nerding out" with Nari. But first we have to prove our nerd cred by finding the rarest video game module in history, as Larry goes back to where it all began and we get a ton of old-school adventure gamer Easter eggs.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 5, Episode 13 - I Am Legends

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



Plot

Stranded in Newcastle after The Fates steal their ship, The Legends must make their way to London and a Time Bureau safe-house where they can open a time corridor onto the Waverider. There's just one thing standing in their way; a night of the living dead, courtesy of Atropos. This leaves Gary fighting a one-man-war to keep the Loom of Fate out of the clutches of the Fates.  


Influences

I Am Legend (title and zombie apocalypse theme) and Shaun of the Dead (zombie apocalypse in British setting)


Performances

Amy Pemberton has a lot of fun playing the hallucinatory Gideon.

Again, the chemistry between Tala Ashe and Matt Ryan as Zari and Constantine is fantastic.


Artistry

The production team do a great job capturing the jump-scares and general aesthetic of a zombie horror movie.

The final fight scene with the zombies overwhelming the Legends is brilliantly executed.


Trivia Of Tomorrow

Zari asks John how he can not own a car given where he lives and John says he always bummed a ride. This is a nod to the comics and how John never learned how to drive, always depending on his pal Chas Chandler (who was a cab driver) to take him where he wanted, free of charge. 


Technobabble/Arcana

The Shadow Stone is an artifact in John Constantine's possession which is accompanied by a disembodied voice crying like a baby.

Zombies can sense the souls of the living and actively seek them. 

Damned souls, like John Constantine, are ignored by zombies.

John knows an Ancient Egyptian spell that can temporarily stop a person's heart, making it seem like they are dead. He uses this to temporarily "kill" Zari, so he can carry her past the zombie horde in the scrapyard and get her into the van they are stealing.

Gary knows a simple obfuscation spell that can hide small objects.


Dialogue Triumphs

Sara: (dramatic music swelling) We're going to do it! We're going to go to London! Because we are immortal superheroes!
Zari: (music cutting out) Except me.
Sara: ...except for Zari. (dramatic music swelling again) And nothing is going to stand in our way!
(Cut to: The Legends standing at a bus stop, waiting, with no dramatic music.)

John: Have you ever considered the possibility that your brother's fate is doomed in every timeline? Apparently this bloke Rip Hunter used to say that, you know, certain things are just inevitable. 
Zari: (cooly) Go to Hell, John.
John: You know, I've been there and back, love.

(Ava has just been shot in the head by a trigger-happy soldier. She gasps and sits up, groaning, the bullet popping out of her head as her wound heals and she is perfectly fine.)
Soldier:
My God! These zombies can withstand headshots!
Mick: Since when do zombies talk, you idiot?!
Soldier: These super-zombies have become sentient!

(Ava is running through their assets trying to come up with an escape plan.)
Ava: Look, we've got a guy who turns into steel. We've got a shapeshifter, right? That's freaking amazing! We've got a kickass blind assassin! And a reformed thief turned romance novelist.
Mick: Who are you calling reformed? 

Zari: If I die, I can't believe the last thing I'm going to see is your face.
John: Yeah, well ah,... better than those zombies out there, eh?
Zari: Debatable. 


Continuity

As the episode opens, the Legends have 23 hours and 45 minutes of immortality left. 

Gary went back on board the ship earlier to take care of his bunny.

Gary's pet bunny has Irritable Bowel Syndrome and bad gas.  

Astra is revealed to have let Lachesis and Atropos onto the Waverider. 

The Fates shut Gideon down.

Sara has a bad vision after taking Ava's hand but she denies it, saying she thinks the Chalice is messing with her powers. It is later revealed that she foresaw everyone dying in a bar in London.

Ava suggests they go to a Time Bureau safe-house in London and use a time corridor from there to get on the Waverider.

The Legends are forced to take the bus to London. However, they wind up hijacking the bus after it turns out nobody has any British currency on them.

Mick knows how to drive a bus.

Newcastle is 275.8 miles from London, traveling along the A1(M) and A1.

Astra agrees to help the Fates, but only if they bring back her mother, eliminate prunes from the new world and arrange for dogs to stay puppies forever. 

Sara asks Ava to take charge of the team for this mission.

John starts smoking again, but Zari stops him.

Atropos uses her powers to raise the dead throughout England.

John makes reference to fighting zombies while facing Atropos before in 509.

Gary tries to fix Gideon and electrocutes himself. When he wakes up, he sees Gideon in the same human form she had in 408.

Gideon tells Gary to hide the Loom rings.

The bus breaks down, forcing John and Zari to go look for alternate transpiration.

Nate is not good with mechanical things.

Lachesis shows Astra a vision of her mother dying in the hospital and says that is what will happen if they rewrite history to bring her back to life.

John Constantine never met Rip Hunter, but knows of him.

Atropos practices her knife-throwing with the wanted poster of Jonah Hex hanging in the parlor of the Waverider. 

Gideon seemingly distracts Atropos by bunny-hopping past the parlor.

Gary steals the Loom Rings at the prompting of Gideon.

Ava and Sara both hate free-form jazz music.

Ava survives being shot in the head by trigger-happy soldiers who think the Legends are zombies. 

Ava, Sara, Mick, Charlie and Nate are captured by soldiers who think they are "super-zombies" resistant to head-shots, who learned how to talk. 

Astra figures out that Gary is still on the Waverider, based on the half-eaten carrot he left behind.

Gideon suggests that Gary steal a Time Corridor to get the other Legends.

Joe and Zari go to a scrapyard John knows about to steal a car. Unfortunately, the scrapyard is full of zombies.

After getting briefly cornered, John is able to temporarily kill Zari with a spell and they steal a van.

John knows how to perform CPR and uses it to restore Zari to life.

The rest of the Legends are able to escape from the military transport they are locked in, after Mick remembers being locked in the same type of vehicle and that they have a weak door that Nate is able to break in his steel form. 

After escaping, The Legends are 80 miles from London when John and Zari catch up to them.

Gary is caught by Atropos, but is able to hide the rings with a simple obfuscation spell.

The Time Bureau safe-house in London is built into a pub, but it's been abandoned by the agents that were working there, as they are out dealing with the zombie apocalypse.

Ava is able to access the Time Courier storage unit but finds that none of the Couriers are charged.

Zari and John winding up making out in the backroom of the pub after having an argument.

Gary asks Astra if Lachesis showed her any good memories of her life with her mother before she died.

As they wait for the Corridor to charge up, the Legends talk about what they'd most want out of life once they use the Loom of Fate.

Nate says he wants to end every day like they are now; sitting around with his friends.

Sara and Ava say they're happy the way they are now, flying around in their ship and having adventures together.

Mick says he'd like to be a criminal again, because he misses how simple his life was then.

Zari says she just wants to be with her brother and happy, but would like to do something to make the world more inclusive.

John says he'd throw a multi-continent rager but confesses that before that he'd really want to do right by Astra and make sure she grew up right in a big house and that he could keep an eye on her.

Ava figures out that Sara was lying about not having a vision before and losing her powers and that she didn't want to tell anyone what she saw.

Sara admits that she foresaw the courier wouldn't charge before zombies managed to get in the building and killed her.  Sara says, however, that she's sure Ava will lead the team to victory and they will bring her back once they have the Loom working.

Astra's mom loves strawberries. She recalls one day her mom took her picking strawberries on a farm.

Gary talks Astra into betraying the Fates and trying to save her mother again, only for Atropos to kill her.

Ava gives the charged Courier to Charlie, saying that she trusts her to find a way to outsmart her sisters a second time. 

Charlie escapes to the Waverider.

Atropos kills Gary, after he brings the rings back and gives them to Charlie.

Charlie says she's done running and that it's time for the Fates to get to work.


Location

The roads between Newcastle and London - 2020


Untelevised Adventures

John Constantine was once called in by Old Man Joe of Joe's Scrapyard to deal with a demonically-possessed  '75 Fiat.


The Bottom Line

A brilliant send-up of zombie apocalypse movies with a lot of great character moments that utilize the whole ensemble well.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 5, Episode 19 - Immortal Kombat

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



Plot

Lena and Kara make amends, just in time for Leviathan to declare war on Supergirl and her allies. Alex unveils a new vigilante identity as Brainiac-5 launches his own attack on the alien group in defiance of Lex Luthor's plans for the secretive organization. But will they all be able to stop Obsidian Platinum from triggering an extinction event? 


Influences

The JLA Comics of Joe Kelly.and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Dreamer compares their disguise gambit to the plan to sneak Harry away from the Death Eaters)


Goofs

The green-screen when Alex shows off her new costume isn't blended well.

Eve says that Leviathan is planning to kill 4 million people, but the rest of the episode acts like she said 4 billion. (Probably the later number is accurate, and Eve is a bit panicked, thinking of her mom. Also, she did just wake up with Supergirl over her and is probably wondering if she knows that Eve killed her stepfather.)

J'onn is able to send a message to Rama Khan telepathically, but hasn't been able to track him down?

Jesse Rath is capable of some stupendous, subtle acting. This is the total opposite of what he delivers as he struggles through keeping his hand on a touch-pad.


Artistry

The visual of all the people forming a circle around the Earth is a strong one.


Super Trivia

The two other Leviathan members who fight along with Rama Khan are identified in the credits as Tezumak and Sela. While these are also names of the League of Ancients who were adapted into Supergirl's version of Leviathan, the comic book characters are quite different.

In the comics, Sela was an African warrior woman who was a master tracker and swordswoman. The Arrowverse version is a Caucasian woman with red-hair who has vague air-based powers that includ creating lightning.. 

In the comics, Tezumak was a Mesoamerican warrior who gained enhanced strength and fighting prowess from an enchanted suit of bronze armor as well as telepathy strong enough to blunt Martian Manhunter's powers. In the Arrowverse, Tezumak is a man with African features, who has fire powers as well as some kind of telepathic ability that allowed him to daze Dreamer long enough to attack Martian Manhunter..

While Dreamer is standing before a vending machine, Miss Martian says that she recommends the Chocos. This is a nod to the love that all Martians seem to have for Chocos cookies in the comics.


Technobabble

Leviathan's base makes use of a proto-focused radiation shield, which slowly kills anyone who enters their base without wearing a special pin.

J'onn made Alex a costume that transforms whatever she is wearing into her new hooded super-suit. It also somehow gives her smokey eye make-up. 

Braniac-5 estimates that he will survive for 12 minutes after being exposed to Leviathan's radiation shield. 


Dialogue Triumphs

Lex: (upon seeing the Leviathan base) You know... I pride myself on seeing things. Connections where others see only coincidence. Pathways where others see only walls. I anticipate everything. But I must admit, I didn't not except you to live in a casino. 

Brainiac-5: You think I'm just gonna sit back while Leviathan murders my friends? 
Lex: Former friends. And yes, I think you will. Because if you get on that ship any sooner, you'll die with them.
Brainiac-5: Leviathan is the enemy, Lex. Not Supergirl, not J'onn J'onzz. Not Dreamer. 
Lex: You're right. They're heroes. They would happily sacrifice themselves to save the world. (smiling) Maybe they'll even thank us. 

Brainiac-5: I pushed away everyone I loved because you told me I must. You were right. This planet... my friends... It's worth it. I called you here simply because... I don't want to die alone. 

Lena: I have done terrible things to protect myself and the people I love. But it has never kept me safe from pain. It's just brought me a new kind of misery. And I moved further and further away from the person I was, until one day I woke up and I was utterly alone. 


Dialogue Disasters

J'onn: Oh, it was a scream of delight. Thank H'ronmeer. (Some detective, not being able to tell a happy scream from a scared one from 10 feet away.)


Continuity

Lex is finally allowed into the Leviathan base and meets Rama Khan along with Gamemnae. 

The Leviathan base is protected by a shield that slow irradiates anyone who enters it without protection. 

It is revealed that in addition to the Staff of the Shadow Realm, Lex also recovered several rings that increase the powers of Leviathan's other members. This, coupled with the Kryptonite taken from the DEO, should allow Leviathan to destroy Supergirl.

Miss Martian and Martian Manhunter agree to impersonate Supergirl, to draw Leviathan's fire while Kara and Lena go to Lena's lab, so Lena can build her a Kryptonite--Proof Armored Costume.

Alex reveals the new costume J'onn made her to the rest of the team.

Gamemnae admits that there is one above her, a her, who rules Leviathan.

Gamemnae allows Lex to keep her pin, saying he's now one of Leviathan.

Lex refuses to give his pin to Brainiac-5, saying they need to wait until after Supergirl and her friends are dead to strike at Leviathan. 

Alex and M'Gann face the lightning-wielding member of Leviathan, Sela. 

J'onn is burned by Tezzumak, as he and Dreamer face Rama Khan.

Kelly calls Alex and tells her she hasn't heard from William since he followed after Eve Tescmacher.

Alex says she and Kelly will look for William, while Kara waits to get her new suit.

Brainiac-5 summons his female doppelganger and explains to her his plan to enter Leviathan's base on his own and trap them in a bottle, as his ancestors used to trap planets. This will kill him but ultimately save his friends.

Kelly and Alex break into Obsidian North and acquire Eve's encrypted IP address.

Lena makes reference to her trip to Kaznia with Kara in 420.

Kara expresses her anger with Lena not realizing she only lied to her to protect her and Lena manipulating her for much more selfish reasons. 

Lena and Kara go to save William once they track down where Eve is.

Eve shoots William, but Kara cauterizes the wound with her heat vision.

Miss Martian, Dreamer and Supergirl briefly fight with Leviathan as Lena helps Eve and William escape.

Lena helps to cover Kara's secret identity unprompted when William asks about warning her.

Eve tells Supergirl about how Gemma Cooper is Gamemnae and part of Leviathan and that they plan to attack the Obsidian North Unity Festival.

4 million people are expected to be part of the festival, according to Eve. 

M'Gann talks with Nia about how she clearly had a vision that troubled her. Nia tells her about how she keeps seeing Braniiac-5, but how she's sure it's just her missing him and not truly part of her dreams.

It will take 10 minutes for Brainiac-5 to upload his shrinking code into Leviathan's systems. 

Kara is signed into Obsidian Platinum through a back door to get people to sign out.

Gamemnae decides to send Acrata to attack Supergirl while she's logged into Obsidian Platinum trying to convince people to log out. 

Lena talks Acrata out of killing Supergirl. 

Brainiac-5 successfully traps Leviathan, only for Luthor to steal the bottle holding them.

Supergirl keeps her promise and recovers Eve Teschmacher's mother and brings her to Lena's lab.

Dreamer finally realizes her visions were warning her that Brainiac-5 was in danger.

Kara and Lena reconcile.

The episode ends with Lex giving the bottle holding Leviathan to Lillian Luthor.


The Bottom Line

An uneven mess, much like Season 5 itself, even allowing for the rushed finale because of the COVID-19 crisis. The action sequences feel like filler meant to occupy the supporting cast and the new villains are poorly defined. Also, for all the series has tried to hang a lampshade on how there are some crises that Supergirl can't face by giving a heroic speech, she literally saves the world by giving a heroic speech. Meanwhile, everything else done to stop the villains comes about because of... uh, Braniac-5 and William Day. That being said, Jon Cryer is still a magnificent villain for what little time he has on screen and the scenes involving Kara and Lena making up are as good as we could have hoped for. 

Starman Plays Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don't Dry - Part 11 (NSFW)

In which we explore the tunnels under New Lost Wages and find a new way to die that nets us an achievement. We also go undercover at Prune and meet-up with Navi, the cosplaying, computer-programming manic pixie girl of our dreams.

 (Please forgive the rather abrupt ending, but while re-recording this I wound up covering a bit of the same material that went into Part 12, and I decided not to make you sit through it twice. I'm lucky to get you to sit through it once.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Batwoman Episode Guide: Season 1, Episode 20 - O, Mouse!

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


Plot

Jacob Kane forms an uneasy alliance with Batwoman to catch an Arkham Asylum escapee on a rampage. Meanwhile, things come to a head between Alice, Mouse and Hush, as Alice attempts to put her house in order while plotting how to best bring Batwoman down. 


Influences

Batwoman: Elegy
by Greg Rucka & J.H. Williams and the Heart of Hush storyline.


Goofs

It beggars belief that a big guy like Tim "The Titan" Teslow can walk around Gotham City in an orange jumpsuit wielding twin machetes and go unnoticed, particularly since he's making no attempt to stay hidden.

Perhaps the most ludicrous conceit of the episode is that he manages to get into Gotham University's stadium undetected, despite it being surrounded by The Crows, and that he shuts down the power before taking down several men in body armor.

Why don't The Crows shoot at Teslow while he is charging Batwoman on the field? Why do they wait until after Batwoman spends a minute talking him down, apart from it making it clear just how evil The Crows are? Most annoyingly, why don't they try shooting her uncovered face rather than her well-armored chest?


Performances

Rachel Skarsten absolutely nails Alice's monologue as Mouse dies.


Artistry

The opening action sequence on the train is one of the best in the show's history.


Bat Trivia

It is confirmed in this episode that Batman was given a piece of Kryptonite by Superman in case it was ever necessary to end his life. Superman also did this in the comics.

The episode ends with Alice having given Hush the face of Bruce Wayne. The same thing happened in the comics, in the storyline Heart of Hush.


Technobabble

The Crows release an app to the general public that can be used to summon them in the event of an emergency relating to Alice or the other Arkham escapees. 

Kryptonite is described as a mineral with a natural green luminescence and strong covalent bonds.

Kryptonite is nonreactive to acetic, hydrochloric and sulfuric acid. 

Mary says that Tim Teslow's Dorsal Posterior Insular (the part of the brain that regulates pain) shriveled down to next to nothing after years of traumatic head injuries. This explains why he felt nothing when he fought Kate.

A trauma-bond exercise is a psychological event where you destroy something that connects you to your pain as a way of moving on. In this case, Alice suggests destroying her copy of Alice in Wonderland with Mouse so they can move on to a new life.

Luke was finally able to destroy the Kryptonite using a hydraulic press generating 40,000 pounds of compressive force.


Dialogue Triumphs

Mary: You told me that The Crows wanted to make over their image. Why not start by allying yourself with someone the city actually roots for?
Jacob: You did this?
Mary: I knew I'm one of the only people who could get through to you! (sighs) I believe in her Dad!
Jacob: Mary - I said anyone affiliated with her will be brought to justice.
Mary: Then arrest me! Arrest me for believing in someone who saves lives and who stops criminals and who inspires hope without charging a penny for it! I'm your daughter and if I don't believe in what you're doing , how can you expect a city of strangers to?!

(Alice and Mouse are burning their copy of Alice In Wonderland.)
Mouse: What happened to us should never happen to anyone. But there's no one in the world I would rather have gone through it with than you.
Alice: (sniffling) Nor I without you. And I mean this - with all of my heart. (pauses) I still want to join you in the beautiful garden, and smell the seasons in bright flower beds, and make a wish in cool fountains. I want to meet a man with many hats and smile back at the Cheshire Cat. And run... with you forever.... through our Wonderland.
(Mouse reaches up to his nose. Blood has begun to run from it.)
Mouse: Alice? 
(Alice shakes her head, holding back the sobs and trying to avoid Mouse's gaze.)
Mouse: What did you do?!
Alice: (suddenly bitter, intense) You made me choose. 
Mouse: You poisoned me?!  Why did you do that?!
Alice: (softly, stammering) Be-Because I couldn't let you leave me! Not you too!
Mouse: This...this wasn't even real?
(Mouse moans and pitches forward. Alice takes his head into her lap and begins stroking his hair. She begins crying freely.)
Alice: If only pain could turn to ash, with the strike of a match. (intensely, hissing the words) But my pain is a part of me, the way my family is a part of me.And you could never understand why I need to enact my revenge. Because you have never experienced true betrayal. (sadly) At least not until now.
(Alice bursts out crying again.)
Alice: Goodbye, my sweet Mouse. My brother. My everything.  I'll see you again in Wonderland.


Continuity

Kate saves Jacob from a psychotic man on the subway, in her civilian identity. The man beheads another man before making his escape.

Vesper Fairchild identifies the psychotic man as former college football star Tim "The Titan" Teslow.

Tim Teslow was a Tight-End for the Gotham Goliaths before he was committed. He was the best in the team's history, scoring at least one touchdown in every game he played, making 100 catches and rushing 1000 yards each season.

Mouse wants to leave Gotham and start a new life with Alice somewhere else.

Alice is insistent she needs to kill Kate before she can leave Gotham, which means finding the Kryptonite mentioned in Lucius Fox's journal.

Hush insists that Alice keep up her end of the bargain and get him a new face, which she promised in exchange for Lucius Fox's journal and help translating it.

Luke says that the shard of Kryptonite Superman left in Bruce Wayne's possession is the only Kryptonite left on Earth. We know this isn't true, however, as Kate acquired a piece of it from the Bruce Wayne of Earth-99 during 109.
.
Luke sets about trying to figure out how to destroy the Kryptonite.

Kate does not follow sports at all.

Mary knows a shocking amount about football and the career of Tim Teslow, largely because Tim Teslow's brother Apollo was dating her friend Selu Corova.

Apollo Teslow is the Goliaths' Running Back. 

Tim Teslow used to be the kind of man who would walk the neighborhood kids to school to make sure they felt save.

Tim Teslow was committed after he killed a referee on the field after a referee made a call against him. After that, it came out that he was abusing steroids.

Mary warns Kate against getting involved as Batwoman, but Kate insists she knows how to work around her father.  

Mary recalls that Kate, as a teenager, stole a Crow's SUV and was arrested for joy-riding in it.

Mary also recalls that Kate threw a party in Jacob's penthouse without asking and Jacob let the police land a helicopter on the roof to arrest Kate.

Kate wants to come clean to her father about being Batwoman.

Alice approaches Professor Darby, the head of the geology department at Gotham University, regarding Kryptonite, as his name was mentioned in Lucius Fox's journal.

Alice kills Professor Darby after learning that he sent the Kryptonite sample he was given to analyze back to Wayne Enterprises.

Apollo Teslow testified against his brother at his trial.

Apollo blames years of untreated head injuries coupled with steroid abuse for turning his brother into a psychotic maniac. 

Tim Teslow shows up at the stadium where Apollo is training and gets past Batwoman to stab him in the back, paralyzing him permanently. 

Kate suffers a couple of cracked ribs and a dislocated shoulder during her fight with Tim Teslow.

Luke determines that the man Tim Teslow killed on the subway was an administrator at Gotham University, who was fired from the college's neuro clinic for falsifying the brains scans of student athletes. This caused the players to keep playing even when it wasn't safe and likely aggravated Tim Teslow's condition. 

Wayne Tower is 45 stories high.

Mouse asks why Alice is making Hush a face whens he promised him they would kill him, before he threatens to leave Gotham without Alice. 

Mouse is still bitter that Alice didn't visit him for the 5 years he was trapped in Arkham Asylum.

Alice finally agrees to leave Gotham City with Mouse, but says they have to throw a party first.

Coach Kurt Donahue of GU's football team took early retirement just before the scandal with the college manipulating the players' brain scan records broke. While nothing could be proven legally, there was no way he could be ignorant of what was being done to keep his players on the field.

Mary lights the Bat-Signal and is taken into custody by The Crows. This leads her to approach Jacob with an offer to work with Batwoman to bring in Tim Teslow. 

Jacob agrees to the truce.

Coach Donahue gives a press conference, asking to meet Tim Teslow on the field at Gotham University's stadium so he can apologize to him in person for putting the game before his health.

Alice poisons Mouse to prevent him from leaving her.

Sophie and Julia are not informed about the partnership between The Crows and Batwoman. This leads them to conclude that Jacob is setting a trap for Batwoman, since Jacob knew they had contact with her before.

The Crows gun down Tim Teslow after Batwoman has talked him down.

Batwoman escapes after The Crows try to shoot her.

Sophie criticizes Jacob for putting her in charge of managing the Crows App, suggesting he did so to keep her out of the way while he went after Batwoman. 

Julia confesses to Sophie that she was involved with a woman named Safiyah who put a price on her head. She shows Sophie pictures of them together, which were left at her hotel room - a sign that the are being watched and that Sophie is now a target as well.

Kate admits that Mary was right about her not being able to come out as Batwoman to Jacob.

Luke successfully destroys the Kryptonite Bruce had.

Kate reveals the existence of the Kryptonite she got during Crisis on Infinite Earths to Luke and Mary.

Kate declares there should be no more secrets between the three of them. 

The Crows recover some of the expended bullets that failed to penetrate the Bat-Suit. This leads Jacob to declare they need to find something stronger than a Desert Eagle.

Alice is revealed to have given Hush the face of Bruce Wayne. He asks him to walk into Wayne Enterprises and get the Kryptonite from Kate.


The Killing Jokes

The Crows and Batwoman look horribly incompetent in this episode, given they have trouble taking down a single psychotic ex-athlete with brain damage. 


The Bottom Line

Had this been a regular episode, it might have been okay. As a season finale, it's a bitter disappointment, due to a villain who has to be made into something far bigger than he should be to justify the conflict with The Crows and Batwoman. As per usual, the best bits of the episode involve Alice and even with her killing Mouse its increasingly difficult not to see her as the least of all evils out of all the characters in this show. Still, the cliffhanger is an awesome one and a great lead into Season 2.

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 5, Episode 12 - Freaks and Greeks

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



Plot

To use the Loom of Fate, the Legends determine that at least two of them have to become gods to help Charlie reweave destiny. The Chalice of Dionysus holds the power they need, but before they can gain it they have to win the favor of Dionysus by forming a sorority and winning the Greek Games at Hudson University.


Influences

The whole Fraternity Comedy genre, particularly National Lampoon's Animal House and National Lampoon Van Wilder. Also Marvel Comics' Thor (the Chalice of Dionysus can only be picked up the worthy, like Thor's hammer)


Goofs

Nate's past as an aspiring frat bro seems at odds with what we know of his academic life, where he was sheltered well until adult-hood because of his hemophilia. (Possibly he never had hemophilia Post-Crisis?)


Performances

Drew Ray Tanner (best known to CW fans as Fangs on Riverdale) has a fun turn here as Dionysus, playing the Greek god of revelry like Ryan Reynolds in Van Wilder. Which is not a bad choice.


Artistry

The production team did a great job capturing the feeling of a 1980's college sex comedy.


Trivia Of Tomorrow

Most of the action of this episode takes place at Hudson University. This was the college which Dick "Nightwing" Grayson attended in the Batman and Teen Titans comics.

The sorority that the Legends women join is Delta Chi Sigma or DCS.


Technobabble/Arcana

The Philosopher's Stone is a magical artifact used by Merlin to convey immortality, according to ancient legend. However, according to Charlie, the Philosopher's Stone is not real and neither is Santa Claus.

The Chalice of Dionysus was a gift from Zeus to Dionysus. Whoever drinks of the Chalice gains the immortality of a Greek god for a day. However, only a member of a fraternity or a sorority can pick up the Chalice and they have to be deemed worthy by Dionysus himself. (The first requirement can be waved, however, if Dionysus wills it.) 

The Olympian gods fed off the devotion of their followers. According to Charlie, they lost power as less people began worshiping them and their artifacts lost power as they slowly died off.

The gargoyles in John Constantine's house bite intruders. 

Dionysus brews his own beer which causes any mortal who drinks it to stop caring about anything but having fun. 


Dialogue Triumphs

(Lita and Mick are touring the Hudson University campus with a snooty family who keep not-so-subtly trying to show off.)
Snooty Father: I'm an alumnus. Yo probably noticed the scarf. 
Mick: Yeah. (muttered) I'd like to wring your neck with it.
Snooty Mother: What was that?
Mick: (growls) I said-
(Lita coughs and Mick takes the hint.)
Mick:
I said it's a great building!  Good brick structure. Fire resistant. 
Snooty Father: Oh, you really know your architecture. Where did you study?
Mick: (cheerfully) Iron Heights.
Snooty Mother: Haven''t heard of it.
Lita: It's a super prestigious art school.

(Charlie and Dionysus catch up.)
Charlie: You're... in college.
Dion: (shrugs) I know. I'm a lifer. Found a place where the party doesn't stop and I haven't left since. But honestly? They worship me here. And they don't even know that I'm THE party god!

(Charlie and Astra almost start fighting again. Sara takes Astra's hand as Ava stands to stop them, as Zari keeps eating.)
Ava: Oh, okay. Whoa! Whoa! Stop! Nobody is killing anybody.
Sara: (still holding Astra's hand, clearly having a vision of the future) Wooh!  Astra was definitely going to go for it. Zari? Hide that fork.
(Zari stops in mid-bite, fork held to her lips.)
Ava: Charlie?  Just chill. Please sit down. Just take a breath, yeah?
(Without saying a word, Zari tucks the fork into her blouse.)


Continuity

The team researches different means of making a person godlike or powerful enough to survive using the Loom of Fate. 

John discovers a reference to a magic cup called the Chalice of Dionysus that is said to make mortals who drink of it immortal for a day.

Nate recognizes the Chalice of Dionysus as "The Chug Cup" - an artifact passed around the fraternities and sororities of Hudson University which was said do make whoever drank from it invincible for a day.

Nate went to Brixton - the rival college of Hudson University.

The Chalice is currently in the possession of the Sigma Psi Phi fraternity.

The Chug Cup is awarded to whichever fraternity or sorority wins am annual contest called the Chug Challenge, which is held in conjunction with Rush Week and the student activities fair. 

Lita calls Ava "Aunt Ava," apparently having grown close to her during her and Mick's trips to visit her as a child.

Lita's guidance counselor told her to apply to Hudson University.

Mick says he can pay for Lita to go to college wherever she wants.

Mick and Lita decide to take a tour of the Hudson University campus.

The moose is the animal mascot of Hudson University.

Astra wants to just take the Chalice by force, while the rest of the team is trying to figure out a way to find it and finesse it.

The economics building at Hudson University is in Quincy Hall. 

Nate claims that he was known as Shotgun Nate when he was in college, because of his ability to chug a beer in a single gulping (aka Shotgunning) 

The president of Sigma Psi Phi is a student named Dion, who is carried into the student fair on a litter.

Zari says she entered the 2044 VMAs the same way.

Nate recognizes Dion and says he was the President of the Sigmas when he was in college.

Dion is revealed to be Dionysus, who has found a way to retain some of his former power by posing as a "lifer" college student and feeding on the admiration of his fellow Greeks.

Charlie was friends with Dionysus in the Ancient Greek days and describes him as "a riot."

Dion says the first of the Chug Challenges will be formally announced that night at a party being thrown by Sigma Psi Phi.

Dion remembers Charlie fondly, saying that the other Greek gods were always reigning in the party before people got free will. He's agreeable to doing Charlie a favor, up until Astra tries stealing the Chalice of Dionysus.

Dion says the only way Charlie and the Legends can sample the cup is to join a sorority or fraternity and win the Chug Challenge.
 
Charlie and Astra attempt to join Theta Lambda Ro - a sorority that is accepting new pledges and having a luncheon that afternoon. They wind up getting kicked out, along with the three other women at their table.

Lita was in a band for a while, but quit because nobody wanted to play The Replacements.

Lita also works a part-time job.

Neuman Hall is a prominent building on the Hudson University campus. It is named for Henry Neuman, who is the grandfather of the snooty kid on the tour with Mick and Lita.

Mick asks Nate to accompany Lita on the tour and pretend to be her dad while he tends to some business. This business is later revealed to be going back in time and donating money to the school. This changes the timeline so that Neuman Hall becomes Rory Hall.

Zari suggests they start their own sorority, using the Waverider to go back in time and take care of everything they'd need to do to have a sorority recruitment party that night. 

Nate and Lita go into Sigma House so they can scout for where the Chalice is kept. 

The sorority the Legends women sign up with is Delta Chi Sigma.

The Legends acquire a run-down house on Greek Row and set up a time corridor to John Constantine's house, which he agrees to let them use for the party.

To be recognized, a sorority chapter needs eight members. This leads the Legends to recruit the three women cut from the Theta table. These women include Inez Martin, a cheerleader who was voted off the pep squad for being too enthusiastic; Lisa Lindhome, an aspiring social media influencer who was shunned after becoming the star of a viral video "Girl Snarts At Party" and Silvia Hines, an artist who created her own major program in Performance Art. 

Nate now has enough fine control over his powers he can turn individual parts of his body into steel. he does this to wow the Sigma Bros by withstanding their paddling by turning his butt to steel and breaking their paddle.

Nate confesses to Dionysus why the Legends were looking for the Chalice of Dionysus, after chugging from a keg of Dionysus' special IPA.

Behrad had a special nacho recipe.

Dionysus disqualifies the Deltas from the Chug Challenge on the grounds that he doesn't want the Loom of Fate being used again, even by Charlie.

Lita tells Mick that she doesn't really care about going to college, much as she appreciates the effort he went through changing time and donating money to try and make her into a legacy recruit. She says she only survived high school thinking about finding a life outside of it.

Nate tells Charlie and Astra that Dion only has power so long as he has followers. This leads them to the idea of throwing a better party than the Sigmas to take away his power so they can take the Chalice.

Zari hacks Dion's DJ set-up and switches his party mix to a selection of yodeling songs. 

Charlie disguises herself as Nate and gets access to Dion's keg storage, allowing Mick to set the whole micro-brewery on fire.

With no beer and no music, the party migrates to Delta House.  Despite this, Mick still can't pick up the Chalice. This is because Dion's followers are his fraternity brothers - not just the people he parties with.

Sara challenges Dion to a game of beer pong for the Chalice before all his bros and uses her precognitive powers to see what moves to make.

Inez, Lisa and Silvia decide to keep Delta House going at Hudson University after the Legends leave.

Dionysus is true to his word and lets everyone drink wine from the Chalice. This makes all of the Legends immortal for a day, save Zari, who refuses to drink because of her religious beliefs. He does request, however, they don't change anything that might ruin his party. 

Lachesis approaches Astra and tells her she's calling in the debt she's owed for agreeing to help Astra kill John Constantine.  


Location

Hudson University - 2020


The Crisis Factor

Astra, who spent a relative eternity in Hell learning how to play the game and manipulate people, suddenly lacks that patience to wait five minutes for the Legends to try and talk Dion into letting them borrow the Chalice and forces them to play his games by trying to steal it.


The Bottom Line

Amusing enough, though the Astra/Charlie conflict seems largely forced. Still, it serves as a fun tribute to a genre of comedy that is rarely executed in the modern day except as a form of self-parody. Which makes it all the more fitting as a target for the Legends to lampoon. The subplot with Mick and Lita is also pretty sweet.