Thursday, April 30, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 50

In which we kill Myron again (because it's so much fun) along with a bunch of gangsters and lowlifes before going on to solve Redding's drug problem.


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 6, Episode 16 - So Long and Goodnight

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



Plot

Joe West is on Black Hole's radar and they hired Ragdoll to kill him. As Chief Singh pressures Joe to go into Witness Protection, Ralph has another encounter with Sue Dibny and discovers her own connection to Joseph Carver's sinister schemes.


Influences

Mission Impossible (the mask Sue uses to become January Galore), The Flash comics of Joshua Williamson (concept of Black Hole) and the Secret Six comics of Gail Simone (character of Rag Doll).


Goofs

Ignoring how free Iris is with revealing her husband's secret identity to a relative stranger, why does she tell Eva that her husband is The Flash and expect her to know who that i? Eva has, as far as Iris knows, been trapped in another dimension for six years and just recently discovered she can refocus her mirror to watch other people?

As quickly as Joe recovers from being shot in the shoulder, you'd think he was the one with accelerated healing instead of Barry.

It's uncharacteristically stupid of Joe to go confronting a suspected crime boss without telling anyone he's doing so. It's even stupider that he tells said crime boss, who employs a small army of metahumans, that he just recorded him confessing to being a crime boss and expect to get out of the building alive and with the evidence intact. This also ignores all issues of whether a secret recording can be considered admissible evidence, particularly as its being recorded by a police officer harassing a citizen, even if Joe DID leave his badge at STAR Labs.

Why is only Joe put into Witness Protection? He knows Carver knows who he is and Carver has threatened his family, so why aren't Cecile and Jenna, at the very least, taken into custody with him?

Cecile's power levels are all over the place and vaguely defined enough that they can do whatever the writers need. Still, it's a bit perplexing that her empathy is so sensitive that she can be shut down from several rooms away sensing Ragdoll's physical pain yet she's unable to sense Eva McCullouch's emotions behind the Mirror World Iris and Kamila or that there's something odd about the two women, given that Wally West and Joe West noticed it without empathy powers.

The CGI for Rag Doll seems to suggest that he's a stretcher now rather than a contortionist.


Performances

Again, the chemistry between Hartley Sawyer and Natalie Dreyfuss is the best aspect of the episode and we're left wishing there was more about them and less about Joe and Barry this time around.


Artistry

The use of music in this episode is fantastic. Strangely enough, the title song isn't in the episode.


Flash Facts


The title of the episode is taken from a My Chemical Romance song.

At one point Ralph makes a reference to the musician Prince. Coincidentally, this episode was aired on the fourth anniversary of Prince's death.


Technobabble

Eva theorizes that a person with a destabilized molecular structure would be able to safely pass through her mirror into Mirror World. This means that Barry could, in theory, pass into the Mirror World and use his speed to take both Eva and Iris back into reality.

Barry determines that the only way someone could cut the brake-lines of a car and cause it to accelerate would be from inside the engine. This could be accomplished by someone capable of compacting their body into tight spaces (i.e. Rag Doll)

Carver has a device on his watch that generates a localized EMP pulse that can erase media in his immediate vicinity without frying the electronics. He uses this to erase the recording Joe made on his phone of Carver's confession to hiring Rag Doll to kill him.

The pressure bomb Rag Doll traps Cecile with is an M112 C4 Block Demolition Charge. Typically pulling the green wire will disarm it, but the version Rag Doll made has four wires and they are all green.


Dialogue Triumphs


Ralph: I need a hacker who can set up a net to help catch her. Somebody who can monitor the security feed. Somebody who speaks bandwidth and knows binary.
Cisco: Mmm - I'm not sure you know how hacking works.
Ralph: Please. I've seen "You've Got Mail" several times.

Ralph: Hello, Sue. Or is it January?
Sue: What can I say? (slipping into a flawless posh British accent) Collateralized loan obligations are deliciously robust. (grinning) Although... not half as delicious as you in a tux.
Ralph: (sighs) Still up to your old tricks, swiping diamonds and pearls?
Sue: Oh, you like Prince? Me too!
Cisco: Yes! Me three!
(Cisco laughs nervously as Ralph slowly turns his neck and gives him a death glare.)
Cisco: I'm Cisco, by the way. We met back when you were... (puts on a falsetto tone and a fake British accent) January Galore? (returns voice to normal) That was an excellent accent, by the way. Do you have any training?
Sue: Oh, thank you. I did my senior year abroad.
Cisco: London, no doubt.
Sue: Oh, Italy, actually.
Cisco: (To Ralph) Oh, she fancy. (To Sue) You fancy!
Sue: (pleased) Yeah, thank you.
Ralph (exasperated, having been doing a slow burn this whole time) Okay!

Carver: Whatever you think I've done, it's a million times worse.

Ralph: You weren't stealing anything in Paris, Shanghai or Central City. You were investigating Carver. And he must have found out their ugly little secret. (mockingly) What, do they lie on their tax returns? Bribe their way into that yacht club?
Sue: (angrily) Enough! Assume whatever you want about me, but don't do it about my parents. They're good people.
(There's a brief pause. Ralph clearly makes a decision.)
Ralph: Then let me help you.
Sue: I barely know you.
Ralph: You know everything that matters.
(Sue pauses as well, clearly coming to a decision of her own.)
Sue:
For the record, I didn't enjoy tricking you.
(Ralph gives her a disbelieving look.)
Sue: Okay, I enjoyed it.
(Ralph nods as if to say "That's better." and Sue chuckles.)
Sue:
But honestly, I felt pretty crappy afterwards. Why is that?
Ralph: Because you are a good person. Just like your parents. You just have some... issues.
Sue: (laughs) You're so decent, it's nauseating.
Ralph: Oh boy. You should have seen me two years ago. I was a ... I was a real crap bag. Actually, you probably would have liked that, though.
Sue: (thoughtful) I don't know. This whole "good guy" thing you've got going on? It's... tolerable.
Ralph: (mock-insulted) Tolerable.
Sue: Which is why I'm giving you this.
(Sue gives Ralph the diamond she stole when they met. He looks at her, honestly stunned.)Sue: Look into that. You might find something interesting. I did.


Dialogue Disasters

Cecile: What do you think? He's going to come after me too? (This line is said to Allegra after she asks why Cecile isn't taking precautions against Carver coming after her.)


Continuity

The events of this episode start one day after 615.

Ir is revealed that Joseph Carver is aware of the police investigation into him and that Joe West is the lead investigator.

So far, Sunshine has refused to talk about who she works for to the CCPD.

Carver has hired a specialist to deal with Joe West. This is later revealed to be Ragdoll, who was last seen in 520.

Chief Singh asks Joe to back off on the case and let someone else take lead on it. Joe refuses and leaves a family game night to question Sunshine personally.

Iris' body is starting to adapt to the Mirror World, as she can now read monitors and screens in the Mirror World with concentration. Before, it gave her headaches to even look at them.

Iris read Eva's notes and suggests that her husband might be able to phase into Mirror World if they can get a message to him.

Iris tells Eva that Barry is The Flash.

Eva tells the duplicate Iris to get Barry to lose the rest of his speed energy. She doesn't really care about The Flash but can't risk him being able to help Joe West in his investigation of Black Hole before she gets a chance to avenge herself upon her husband.

Since his last encounter with Sue Dibny in 612, Ralph has tracked her breaking into five banks in five locations, each time during a high-class event for wealthy patrons.

Ralph asks Cisco to help him with hacking the computers at First National Central City Bank so he can track Sue Dibny, having figured out that is her next likely target.

Cisco agrees to help Ralph, since he's busy running simulations to get an artificial Speed Force made, he doesn't need to be there while the computers run and he feels like he wasn't there for Ralph early on in the case.

Joe nearly dies in a car crash after his breaks suddenly fail. Barry later determines that his break-lines were cut while the car was in motion. For this to have happened, someone would

Cisco is interrupted in his hacking the server by January Galore - the British arms dealer who saw through Ralph and Barry's disguise in 606.  However, she is later revealed to be Sue Dibny in disguise.

Sue escapes from the server room after successfully hacking the bank's computers and gaining access to all their financial records.

Ragdoll enters CCPD headquarters after tucking himself into a box labeled evidence and is left inside the room where Joe is interviewing Sunshine.

Before working for Black Hole, Sunshine was a First Lieutenant in the US Army. She once rescued 14 friendlies from an insurgent work camp and was awarded the Medal of Valor and Legion of Merit.

Ragdoll is able to shoot Joe in the shoulder before escaping, due to Barry not being fast enough to stop all the bullets he fires.

Barry asks Joe to consider going into Witness Protection again. Again, Joe refuses.

Barry asks Joe to at least stay in STAR Labs until he can catch Rag Doll. Joe agrees, but winds up going to confront Carver directly.

The fake Iris nags Barry about not using his powers to keep her father safe and trying to use everything in STAR Labs to find Rag Doll first before just running around the city looking for him.

Rag Doll apparently disappeared after The Young Rogues' attack on McCulloch Technologies.  Apparently he's been working for Dr. Carver ever since.

Joe confronts Carver and tries to trick him into a confession. It works, but Carver has a device that erases the recording Joe made on his phone.

Barry reads Joe the riot act for going after Carver alone. He asks Joe to go into Witness Protection but he once again refuses.

Sue Dibny scouts out the Cleary Capital Investment bank under the assumed name Genoa.

Sue speaks Italian.

Ralph tells Sue that he figured out she hasn't been stealing anything from the banks she's been hacking - she's been investigating the man who owns the banks, who has been extorting money from her parents - Joseph Carver.

Sue gives Ralph the diamond she stole in 612 and tells him to look into it to find something interesting.

Cecile sends Jenna to stay with her older daughter, Joanie.

Both Allegra and Ralph offer to protect Cecile if Ragdoll comes after her.

Nash has tried reaching out to Allegra but she refuses to give him the time of day.

Nash saves Allegra from being jumped by Ragdoll.

Allegra tries to blind Rag Doll with a flash but can't quite escape from him.

Cecile becomes paralyzed when she imprints on Rag Doll's physical pain.

Rag Doll hooks Cecile up to a pressure-sensitive bomb.

Joe calls Nash for advice on diffusing the bomb.

Rag Doll reveals that he's not helping Carver for money - only because he's come to enjoy making people suffer and because killing Joe would also give him a way to kill himself in the bombing.

Joe takes Cecile's place on the pressure trigger and asks Barry to run her away from the blast radius.

Joe takes a leap of faith and disarms the bomb by picking a green wire at random.

Rag Doll is taken into custody.

Joe agrees to go into Witness Protection.

Chief Singh is revealed to he a Mirror Double, who has been trying to get Joe off the case and into Witness Protection so as to allow Eva McCulloch to get revenge on her husband on her terms.

Somehow, Eva arranges to have a full-length mirror sent to Carver's office. She talks to him through it. She offers him one more chance to apologize for corrupting her work.

Carver defends his actions, saying that he is protecting mankind, before breaking the mirror.

The Iris clone kicks Barry out of their apartment for not coming to get her so she could say goodbye to her dad before he left.


The Bottom Line

Insufferable on many levels, the best parts involve Ralph and Sue and Cisco. Unfortunately, their plotline is the smallest part of the episode and most of the time is devoted to Joe being much stupider than usual. The irony is that Iris' clone is meant to be horribly out of character, but Iris being unreasonable about Barry not dropping everything to make her happy does seem pretty true to form. Thankfully, the previews show that we'll be seeing this resolved next week.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 49

In which we sneak through the crack security surrounding The Stables by walking through the front door. We also briefly recruit Myron before dragging the creator of Jet out to the middle of the desert and leaving him for the vultures. This isn't a quest. It's just really satisfying.


Friday, April 24, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 48

In which we level up, take on another one of the Morton Brothers and gas up our car in anticipation of cleaning up New Reno.. right after we deal with some claim-jumpers and a cave full of lesser Deathclaws.


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 47

In which we get ambushed by another one of the Morton Brothers on the way to Vault City and have a surprisingly easy time turning in our quests. This leads us to go looking for trouble and finding it in the form of a horde of slavers on one side and a pack of wild dogs on the other, before running into yet another Morton Brother.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 5, Episode 16 - Alex in Wonderland

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


Plot

Unwilling to cope with her feelings in the face of her father's death, Alex retreats into Obsidian Platinum and begins to play out her dream of being her sister. As "Super Alex" gets drawn deeper into the augmented reality, Kelly and William begin to investigate Lex Luthor and Obsidian North's connection to Leviathan.


Influences

1990's VR science fiction, Alice in Wonderland (the title and the idea of losing touch with reality thanks to a fictional world.) the Indiana Jones movies (the character of Treasure Hunter Tilly) and Superman: The Movie ( Hank Henshaw's method of contacting Supergirl in Alex's dream world)


Goofs

William continues to be the biggest creep imaginable, asking Kelly how Kara is doing in the wake of her father's death.

Granting that he's the villain in a VR simulation shaped by a mentally distressed Alex, David Harewood's overacting as Hank Henshaw remains as painful as ever to endure. It's almost as bad as Chyler Leigh's drunk acting.

A new low for William Day's skills as an expert undercover journalist - he has his secret NSA contact saved in his phone as "Arnie - NSA."

Why is Eve Teschmacher being used as an agent to infiltrate Obsidian North? Unless something drastically changed in the rebooted reality, she should be in prison taking the blame for Lena's earlier attempts at world domination. It's unclear if she is working for Lex, Lena or Leviathan but it hardly matters as they should all be smart enough to remember that Eve worked for CatCo Worldwde Media in the same building for several years and stood a good chance of being recognized, even if she weren't a famous criminal at this point.

Why are Brainiac-5 and Dreamer sitting together at Jeremiah's funeral? Ignoring their own personal issues with being in close proximity to one another, neither of them knew Jeremiah and Brainiac-5 isn't the sort to go to a funeral purely to offer emotional support. Especially right now.

For that matter, why is there no other family or friends at the funeral apart from the regular cast? Surely Eliza had friends and work colleagues who would come to her husband's funeral?


Super Trivia

Jeremiah Danvers is said to have suffered a heart attack while working in a refugee camp in Peru. This is believed to be a subtle stab against actor Dean Cain, who played Jeremiah Danvers and acquired some degree of infamy on Twitter after he made several remarks about South American refugees that many found racist and said were unworthy of an actor who once played Superman. Jeremiah's death by cardiac arrest may also be a reference to Dean Cain's apparent lack of a properly functioning heart.

In the VR world, Hank Henshaw delivers a message to Supergirl using an ultra-high frequency. This is the same method used by Lex Luthor to contact Superman in Superman: The Movie and Henshaw's line mimics but desn't quite copy Lex's line from the film about how Supergirl is "the only thing with less than four legs than can hear this transmission.."

Another Superman movie reference comes later, when Alex encounters another Supergirl player in the game and is confused. The NPC Brainiac-5 explains this as being a possible side-effect of Kryptonite poisoning. In Superman III, Superman split into good and evil versions of himself after being exposed to a synthetic form of Kryptonite.

Kara is barely in this episode, partly due to Melissa Beonist spending most of the episode's production time shadowing the director in anticipation of her first time directing the show. It is also expected that her screen time is being limited in light of her recent pregnancy.

Steph Song, the actress who plays the second Supergirl Alex meets in Obsidian Platinum, played the role of Roulette in Smallville.


Technobabble


Obsidian Platinum is run entirely through wi-fi booster towers.

Obsidian Platinum maps outward from the users brain, making the NPCs resemble people from their memories.

NPCs have three stripes on their neck.

Dracokardosian are a species of shape-shifting dragons.

With the right warhead, an short range ballistic missile has the capacity to wipe out everything in a 20 mile radius.

Kelly theorizes that Alex had a mild psychotic break due to her being more susceptible to the Obsidian Platinum AI while she was mourning.


Dialogue Triumphs

Young Alex: (regarding Jeremiah) His life was a result of his choices. Not ours.


Dialogue Disasters

(A chime goes off on Kelly's computer.)
William:
What is it? Did Lex do something?!

Honestly, every single line William has regarding how Lex MUST be responsible for something bad happening at Obsidian North, even though there is no evidence of that. If you do a shot every time William says Lex's name in this episode you'll be dead after the second commercial break.


Continuity

The opening exterior shot reveals that Kara still lives on Hope Street on Earth-Prime, as was revealed in 406.

Jeremiah Danvers is said to have died of cardiac arrest. He had been working in an alien refugee camp in the Peruvian Andes, not too far from where he originally met J'onn.

Alex refuses to go to Jeremiah's funeral, saying that he's been dead to her for years and he did nothing to make amends to her. She also says that Kara's arrival changed everything and he became devoted to keeping Kara safe to the point that it destroyed his relationship with Alex.

William visits Kelly in her office and asks for her help in investigating Lex Luthor.

According to William, Lex has rushed 32 satellite launches by the FAA and put these satellites in orbit over directly over a cities he visited as part of his Obsidian Platinum promotion tour. As far as Kelly knows, this has nothing to do with Obsidian Platinum, which runs entirely off of wireless signals.

Kelly tells William about Richard Bates and how the only problem Obsidian Platinum has faced since Luthor got involved with it was his hacking the system in 515.

Kelly says she is watching the system for signs of Luthor's interference, but so far she doesn't think he's doing anything.

Alex meets another player in Obsidian Platinum  named Bonnie who has taken on the role of Treasure Hunter Tilly.

Bonnie says her sister Jill is a huge Supergirl fan, who was just diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. She says she can't afford the flight to go see her.

Derek is a man whose wife just died who Bonnie thinks spends too much time in VR pretending to be a rock star.

Alex saves the concert crowd from a Dracokardosian - a dragon, like Spike from 509.

Derek seems confused when Alex makes a comment to him about how realistic the VR in Obsidian Platinum is

Derek is revealed to be one of the comatose patients in the ward watched over by Margot.

Kelly discovers that the hack Richard Bates exploited still hasn't been patched. The records show that the order was put in but the work funds hadn't been released yet.

Andrea says she will take care of the patch and that they don't need to issue a public warning.

Alex runs into Bonnie again at a dinner, where Alex is eating blueberry pancakes. These were revealed to be one of Alex's favorite dishes in 502.

Alex makes reference to going back to the real world and Bonnie is confused by what she means. She also doesn't understand when Alex asks her about Jill and insists her name is Tilly.

In Alex's dream world, J'onn is still the director of the DEO.

Margot is seen in the real world, leading a Leviathan team who pick up Bonnie from the trailer where she is in a comatose state.

Hank Henshaw appears in Alex's dream, having kidnapped Kara. He threatens to kill her and expose her secret identity unless Supergirl brings him a nuclear warhead for the missile he stole.

Kelly determines that Lex Luthor is now a member of the Board of Directors of Obsidian North.

Kelly gives William a list of almost 500 Obsidian Platinum users who have been playing the game for 48 hours straight or longer who nobody has called about.

William calls 100 of the people on the list and none of them are stuck in the game.

Kelly leaves to go check on Alex when she isn't answering her phone.

Another Supergirl player encounters Alex in the game. This time, it is Alex who is confused by her presence and the references to reality.

According to the other Supergirl player, Obsidian Platinum can't make alcoholic drinks cold enough without her using her her freezing breath.

When Alex asks about the second Supergirl, Brainiac-5 says it might be a side effect of Kryptonite poisoning.

Alex tries to leave the game and seems successful... until she gets a call from the NPC J'onn telling her that Psi is attacking the city and making everyone doubt that reality is real.

Kelly finds Alex trapped in Obsidian Platinum with her eyes glowing red instead of blue.

Alex is not responsive, even when injected with an Epi-Pen.

Kelly enters into Alex's dream. The game begins acting like she's a victim of Psi's attack and keeps throwing up random villain attacks to keep Alex distracted.

Kelly is able to shock Alex out of the game by adding a teenage version of Alex into the game who tells her that nothing they are seeing is real.

Alex tells Kelly about Bonnie and Derek and how they were stuck in the game too.

Lex Luthor is currently in Madrid, Spain.

There are so many pre-orders for Obsidian Platinum in Madrid that the phone lines were shut down.

William has an NSA contact who tells him that of the 402 names from Kelly's list he checked out, 337 were VR geeks with no connection to Lex Luthor. The rest are all pinging from the same IP address, which is traced to 5532 3rd Street in National City.

Andrea tells one Obsidian North technician to start work on a patch for the fail safe error code immediately. The technician is revealed to be Eve Teschmacher.

William goes to 5532 3rd Street and finds nothing. This is due to Margot using some kind of camouflage technology that makes the room with the trapped Obsidian Platinum users look empty. She stands five feet in front of William and he does not see her.

Bonnie is confirmed to be among the victims in the ward.

The only thing William finds is a paper bracelet belonging to a hospital patient.

Alex and Kelly drive to Midvale in time for Jeremiah's funeral.


Location

Midvale.


Untelevised Adventures

Jeremiah Danvers apparently spent the last three years working at a camp for alien refugees in South America.

We don't get to see Super Alex battle Psi in the dream world.


The Fridge Factor

The usually strong-willed Alex has her IQ lowered by about 50 points to render her susceptible to video game addiction.

William tells Kelly - the psychiatrist who specializes in handling PTSD patients - how she should handle her grief-stricken girlfriend. For he is Captain Mansplaining!


The Bottom Line

A painful bit of filler that serves no real purpose other then ensuring that we'll never have any reason to expect to see Dean Cain guest star on this show ever again. Alex is turned into a drunken jackass for the sake of a plot point and most of the cast is sidelined playing augmented reality versions of themselves for most of the episode so that we can watch William and Kelly - easily the two most annoying characters on the show - be big damn heroes by making phone calls. An immediate contender for the worst Supergirl episode ever.

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 46

In which, having cleared my mine of aliens and rats, I head back to Redding and take on a mission to deal withe Frog Morton - the most pun-ishment worthy bandit around. Why? Ask him why they call him Frog Morton and get ready to start shooting.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 45

In which we kill aliens, aliens and more aliens. It's a bug hunt, man! A bug hunt!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 44

In which we become deputized, start cleaning up this one horse town and start cleaning up our brand new (to us) mine of alien creatures.


Monday, April 13, 2020

Batwoman Episode Guide: Season 1, Episode 16 - Through The Looking Glass

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



Plot

Dr. August Cartwright is dead, but the nightmare for the Kane family is far from over. As Kate struggles with having broken her vow to never kill, she wonders if she really is all that different from Alice, agreeing to help her sister break into Arkham Asylum as part of her plan to free Mouse. Meanwhile, as the man convicted of  killing his father is set free pending a retrial, Luke struggles to keep it together when he uncovers evidence of a conspiracy around Lucius Fox's death.


Influences

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


Goofs

How does Mouse find the home of Nurse Tammy in a drugged stupor?


Performances

The interplay between Ruby Rose and Rachel Skarsten in this episode is fantastic.


Artistry

The fights in the halls of Arkham are well-shot and well choreographed.


Bat Trivia

Alice is anxious to leave Gotham because of a "friend from Coryana." This is probably Safiyah Sohail - a former lover of Kate Kane's from her days traveling the Earth in the comics, who ruled the pirate nation of Coryana - who was name dropped in an earlier episode by The Rifle. It is believed that she may wind up being the chief villain of Batwoman Season 2.


Technobabble


Protocol at Arkham Asylum demands that high-risk escapees be confined to the basement, away from the other inmates. Access to these cells requires two keys; one is held by the head of security for Arkham Asylum and the other is held by Dr. Butler. 


Dialogue Triumphs

(Alice and Kate watch as Jacob continues filling in the grave they dug for Cartwright.)
Alice: (wistful) So the monster who ripped this family apart all those years ago has brought us all back together. (sighs) Ah, Irony! You are one sick bitch!

Kate: Let me guess - you need help finding the guy who put Dad in jail and killed Catherine?
Alice: Both done at my request.
Kate: Didn't he also try to kill you?
Alice: And yet I still forgive him, choosing to see the best in him. Ever try that?
Kate: All the time. Never works out.

(Alice promises to leave Gotham forever if Kate helps her find Mouse.)
Kate: Fine. But on one condition. We do it my way.
(Alice sighs as she thinks about this.)
Alice: (quietly) Considering your way involves strangling a man until he choked to death on his own blood... (suddenly manic) I would love absolutely nothing more!

Kate: Have to draw the line somewhere.
Alice: Yeah, but who arbitrarily decides when and where those lines are drawn? You?
Kate: Mouse is in custody. If I were to help you break him out of there, then how am I any better?
Alice: Don't you get it by now? You're not!
Kate: I'm not a criminal.
Alice: (laughs) And they say I'm the delusional one.

(Kate and Alice are lying on the bar floor, looking at the ceiling, catching their breath.)
Kate:"Battle not with monsters, lest you become a monster."
Alice: I'm afraid that passage wasn't in the one book I was allowed to read.
Kate: Someone once said that to me.
Alice: How did that work out?
Kate: I became a monster.
(There's a long pause. Alice turns her head and looks at Kate.)
Alice: (softly, almost sobbing) I know I've made light of things, but I owe you a thank you. Thank you for killing the man who destroyed my life. Destroyed our family. (firmly) Do not feel guilty for what you did.
Kate: I... I don't. The only thing I feel guilty about.... is I don't feel guilty.
Alice: (looking to the ceiling) So now you're scared you're becoming me.
Kate: (turning her head to look at Alice) Isn't that what you wanted?
Alice: (turning her head to look at Kate) Would that really be so awful?
(There is another long pause as the sisters stare at each other. Finally, Kate begins to sit up.)
Kate: I'll do it.  I'll do it.  I'll reunite you with Mouse.
(Alice sits up and regards Kate seriously.)
Kate: But I... I need to be able to trust you.
Alice: (nodding) Ok.
Kate: Say it.
Alice: You can trust me Kate.
Kate: (firmly) No one dies in the process.
Alice: (sighing and rolls her eyes) Kate... have I ever lied to you?
Kate: Literally dozens of times.
(Alice thinks on this.)
Alice: Yeah, okay.  (sighs) I promise. (hesitating with each word) No. One. Will die. (smiling softly) You can trust me.
(Alice gets up, leaving Kate along with her thoughts. She returns seconds alter and drops a White Rabbit mask into Kate's lap.)
Kate: What's this?
Alice: Well, we're breaking a killer out of Arkham. So you can't exactly go in dressed as a flying rodent.

(Alice is trying to undo all the restraints on Mouse's chair.)
Alice: Why are there so many straps? Kate? Help me.
(There is a loud metallic clank from behind her. A look of terror passes over Alice's face as she looks up and confirms that Kate has indeed locked her in the cell with Mouse.)
Alice: What are you doing?! Open the door! (softer) Open the door.
Kate: I can't do that, Alice.
(Alice puts her hand on the glass. Kate mirrors the gesture.)
Alice: (sadly) You... you promised.
Kate: I promised to reunite you with Mouse. You wanted to be with your brother. Now you are.
Mouse: (weakly) Why did you trust her?
(Jacob Kane enters the cell block from behind Kate.)
Jacob: It's over Alice. You can't hurt anyone anymore.
Alice: (incredulous) Me?! You are no better than me! (looking to Kate) And you? You and I are the same person! We are no different!
Jacob: Let's get out of here.
(Jacob turns around and leaves as Alice begins to say the word "no" over and over. Kate stands there and watches for a moment as Alice turns her attention to her.
Alice: No!  Kate, don't leave me!  Don't leave me! No, Kate! No! No! No!
(Kate takes the keys and leaves Alice behind, as Alice screams for her father and sister and pounds on the glass door, like a girl trapped in a mirror, her worst nightmare come true again.)


Continuity

Kate, Jacob and Alice bury Dr. Cartwright under a bridge.

Alice steals Jacob's gun and goes off to look for Mouse on her own.

Kate nearly loses control as Batwoman and nearly chokes a criminal to death and has a panic attack afterward.

Kate lies to Luke about not having any idea where Dr. Cartwright is.

Reggie Harris' reconsideration trial was bumped up. Luke leaves Kate to her own devices to attend the trial.

Reggie Harris was found on the scene of Lucius Fox's murder holding the murder weapon and soaked in his blood. Luke is certain there's no way he'll earn a retrial.

Alice returns to her base to find that her henchmen are all dead. The only clue to who is responsible is a note, written in blood, which reads "DO YOU THINK I WOULD FORGET? YOUR FRIEND FROM CORYANA" This is likely a reference to Safiyah, who was first mentioned in 108.

Jacob asks Sophie to investigate the rest of the Crows and see if someone was taking bribes in relation to Lucius Fox's murder.

Alia Nazari was the Slip N' Dash owner paid $50,000 for damages. Jacob thinks Nazari might have been paid to lose the security footage of Fox's death.

Kate seems to be having PTSD flashbacks of her killing Dr. Cartwright.

Alice says she plans to leave Gotham forever once she finds Mouse.

Alice says she wronged someone in the past who killed The Wonderland Gang and she wants to get out of Gotham.

Kate agrees to help Alice find Mouse but only if they conduct the search on her terms.

Jacob tells Kate that Mouse attacked a nurse outside Arkham Asylum the night before.

According to Alice, Dr. Butler, the current head of Arkham Asylum, used Mouse as a test subject to gauge the effects of Scarecrow's fear toxin as part of an experiment to see if it might be used to control the more unmanageable inmates.He tortured mouse for hours before a nurse brought him out of his fear fugue state.

Alice and Kate go to the home of Tammy, a retired Arkham nurse, claiming to be Crows Agents who suspect Mouse may be coming after her.

Mary attends Reggie Harris' trial and sits with Luke to offer him moral support.

Judge Wellington is the judge presiding over the Reggie Harris trial.

Sophie goes to interview Alia Nazari at her apartment and discovers her dead body. She is almost killed by a sniper, but Julia Pennyworth saves her.

Julia tells Sophie that there is a bounty on her head and that she's also Kate Kane's ex.

Mouse, as Alice predicted, shows up at Nurse Tammy's house.

The Crows capture Mouse after Nurse Tammy calls them, having guessed Alice and Kate were not real Crows agents. They just barely escape before Jacob leads a team into the house.

Alice tells Kate that her worst fear is being locked up in a cell and abandoned by Kate.

When Mouse escaped from Arkham Asylum, he showed Alice every way in and out of the facility.

Alice tells Kate that she could have easily killed Cartwright but she left him for Kate so that she'd hear her story and do it for her, proving they aren't that different.

Reggie Fields is released, pending a new trial, thanks to the revelation that his confession was coerced and the judge on his trial was on the take - revelations that came to light in 106.

Kate agrees to reunite Alice and Mouse.

Alice uses a dummy bomb strapped to a laundry truck to distract the guards at Arkham while she and Kate sneak into the building through a service tunnel.

Sophie takes Julia to Mary's clinic and tends to her bullet wound there.

Mary recognizes Julia as one of Kate's assistants from 107. Julia tells her that she also used to date Kate.

Luke confronts Reggie Fields as he's walking home with his grandmother after doing some grocery shopping.

Reggie recognizes Luke and says Lucius was bragging on him to anyone who would listen the night he died.

Reggie claims to be innocent, saying that someone figured he'd be an ideal patsy as an ex-con with dreadlocks and tatoos.

Reggie is shot by a sniper. Luke tries to perform CPR on him, but can't get him to wake up.

Alice goes after Dr. Butler.

Kate goes after the head security guard at Arkham.

Kate is as good as using a butterfly knife as Alice.

Kate locks Alice in the cell with Mouse, saying she only promised to reunite them - not let them escape.

Alice is placed in isolation with a 24-hour watch.

Jacob took care of moving Dr. Cartwright's body while Kate kept Alice distracted, so there would be no way Alice could use that against them.

Luke goes to Mary, still soaked in Reggie's blood. He says the GCPD think it was a professional hit.

Mary tells Luke that Alia Nazari was killed under similar circumstances. She also thinks Reggie Harris might be innocent.

Luke isn't sure what to believe, but given everything that's happened, he admits it is a possibility that Reggie was innocent.

Julia sets Sophie up in a safe hotel room.

Lucius Fox was Julia Pennyworth's godfather.

The sniper tries to kill Jacob. He is able to wound the sniper, who dies of his wounds before Jacob can ask who hired him.

Julia and Kate wind up making out on the balcony of Kate's office.

Alice declares in her cell that she doesn't want to be a prisoner - she wants to be a queen.


The Bottom Line

A powerful episode but at this point I'm rooting for Alice over Kate and hoping the show takes the daring step of killing off Jacob next, in defiance of the comic book continuity. While I can believe that Kate would trick Alice into Arkham, I cannot believe that she would not act on the information that the head doctor was conducting experiments with fear gas on Mouse or that she wouldn't get Alice into any facility other than Arkham. Kate has lost all the moral high ground she had, but that has nothing to do with her killing Dr. Cartwright. Then again, Kate doing questionable things for her father's approval is part and parcel of the comics, so I can't say this is horribly out of character. That still doesn't mean I find Alice to be the lesser of two evils compared to her sister or father.

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 43

In which we finish up our business in Broken Hills before moving on to Redding - the OTHER piss-ant mining town with a whole lot of troubles that only we can solve.


Saturday, April 11, 2020

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 5, Episode 8 - Romeo V. Juliet: Dawn of Justness

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



Plot

Ray and Nora prepare to say goodbye to the Waverider, but their friends won't let them go without one final mission or an appropriate post-wedding celebration. Unfortunately, when the male Legends and Charlie throw Ray a belated bachelor party after finding the first piece of the Loom of Fate in Elizabethan England, they accidentally get into a bar brawl where they show off their powers and set William Shakespeare to writing superhero stories instead of the classic plays he was meant to produce. Now the Legends have to put on a show to fix the timeline!


Influences

The complete works of William Shakespare (particularly Romeo and Juliet), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (the exspiravit ritual resembles Harry and Dumbledore using the Pensieve) and big-budget superhero movies.


Goofs

The general premise of this episode and the tone don't work. Everyone acts like they'll never see Ray and Nora again after this, when there's no logical reason why they can't come back to visit. (Hell, Mona comes back for a visit this episode, so why can't Nora keep popping in for book club?) This is particularly erroneous since Ray refers to the Legends as his family.

The subplot with Ray not being able to tell Nate how he's leaving is particularly idiotic since he and Ray went through this exact same business last year when Nate left the Legends to get a desk job with the Time Bureau so he could impress his dad.

The most foolish thing of all, however, is that Ray and Nora were written out of the show because the writers said their story was over, but neither Courtney Ford nor Brandon Routh wanted to leave the series. Both actors are fantastic and love the show and if they were worried about Nora being too big a deus ex machina to remain (a legit concern given her power)  then they could depower her. Or cast Routh and Ford in other roles, like how Ford was cast as Marie Antoinette earlier this season! There's no good reason for getting rid of two actors who are beloved by the cast and clearly love being a part of this series.

John and Zari kiss at the end of the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet. This kiss is not in the script of the original play. (The again, Zari said she was going to do the role her way and John certainly wouldn't say no to a snog.)


Performances

It must be said the cast do a good job with acting broadly in a Shakespearean manner, but the best performance has to be Matt Ryan as John Constantine as Romeo, who adds pelvic rolling to Romeo's line "O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?" that is truly in the spirit of Shakespeare's innuendo-laden lines and almost certainly how it was intended to be said. (Seriously. Shakespeare is dirty stuff.)

Whatever dissatisfaction Brandon Routh felt with the script for this episode and whatever anger he felt about being forced off the show (he was vocal about both points immediately before and after the episode aired.) you'd never tell from his performance. Routh is a consummate professional to the end and I dare anyone to have a dry eye when the Time Bros part ways... even if there's no damned good reason for it. Routh even sells the "insult to injury" speech he's given, where the writers preemptively try to cut off all fan complains about his departure by calling them childish and not wanting the characters to grow. (See Dialogue Disasters) 


Artistry

The costume design and sets truly capture the feel of the era.


Trivia Of Tomorrow

The title of the episode is a play on the movie Superman V. Batman: Dawn of Justice.

This episode depicts William Shakespeare writing Romeo and Juliet in 1594. The first published edition of the play came out in 1597, but is to believed to have been performed at some earlier point in time. Unfortunately, there is no record of when the first performance took place. Shakespearean experts place the date of the first performance anywhere between 1593 to 1597, though some believe he continued to rewrite the play (as also seen in this episode) and may have drafted new versions of it up until 1599.

The plot of the episode has William Shakespeare indebted to theater producer Philip Henslowe. While Henslow was a prolific figure in London theatre at the time, there is no historical evidence of Shakespeare having been commissioned to write plays for him in 1594. Indeed, Henslowe kept a detailed diary of his business dealings and Shakespeare is not mentioned once in it. However, Henslow didn't note author names in relations to the plays he was producing until 1597. Additionally, Henslow's troupe - The Admiral's Men - did briefly join forces with Shakespeare's troupe - The Lord Chamberlain's Men - in the summer of 1594, during which time the theaters of London were closed due to the plague. So there is a minute chance this episode might have some basis in reality.

It should be noted, however, that the real life Henslow did have a reputation for ruthlessness as a landlord, even by the standards of Elizabethan London and his threatening to cut the hands off a writer who missed a deadline (as he does here) would be in character with reports of his behavior.

One detail the episode does get right: Shakespearean actors would perform in taverns and inns when the theaters were closed.

Another detail the episode gets right is that boys and young men played the female characters in London theater at the time, due to bans on women on stage. Nate's playing Juliet is thus true to form and not just a cheap joke.

Nate gets rid of the actors playing the first production of Romeo and Juliet, telling them they've been replaced by Riverdale. This is likely a reference to how Legends of Tomorrow was bumped from its original Thursday night time-slot by Riverdale.

Ray and Nate's tears when they have their final bro-hug were unscripted, as was their telling each other they loved each other. The lines were improvised by Nick Zano and Brandon Routh and the tears are genuine.


Technobabble/Arcana

Charlie disguised the pieces of the Loom of Fate as rings.

An exspiravit ritual allows a demon to view events occurring on Earth as if they were a ghost. This requires an external focus, like some sort of bowl or cauldron with a liquid that can be gazed into.

John can banish Hell-bound spirits that are spying on him remotely with a single word (Fuge!)

Code X-94 is the emergency verbal command to make the ATOM suit shrink.

A tachyon scrubber is part of the Waverider's engine.

Charlie says that one piece of the Loom of Fate can be used to locate the others.


Dialogue Triumphs

(Ray and Nora have been trying to announce their moving out of the Waverider, but keep getting interrupted. Finally, with most of the team present, Ray tries to spit it out.)
Ray: Okay, well, uh, this is the perfect time, now that we're all here, to let you know that Nora and I-
Mick: You're moving out.
(Everyone looks at Mick in confusion.)
Nora: How did you know that?
Mick: Well, you're married. Next logical step in a relationship. And by the way? I heard you two going at it like jackrabbits last night.
(The rest of the team hmms as Nora squeezes her eyes shut in embarrassment.)

(Ray has asked Sara to give one of her period-specific send-off lines, to cover for him.)
Sara: (in a truly awful British accent) Enjoy the jolly old London, you blokes!
(John gives Sara a truly withering glare. Charlie tries to avoid looking at her.)
Nate: That was... that was bad.
John: And frankly offensive.

Ray: Well, according to the iron monger at the bar, for 20 shillings I can get a bottle of wine and a strumpet. Also, Henslow and his goons just arrived (whispering as he points in their direction) and they're right over there.
Charlie: Yeah. I can see the ring on his hand. I doubt he's going to give it up so easy.
Mick: Bah! It's simple. You distract the goons and I'll punch the producer in the face.
(Mick spies a serving wench making eyes at him. She smiles coyly and waves.)
Mick:
Anybody got 20 shillings?

(The lady Legends are noticing the effects of the boy Legends' trip to the past.)
Mona: Shakespeare is writing superhero plays?!
(The fireman pokes his head up from between Sara and Ava.)
Stripper: Oh, that's going to be a problem.
(Sara and Ava just turn to look at him in disbelief.)

(Sara has just finished dressing down the team for being irresponsible.)
Sara: (grabbing the Romeo and Juliet book from Nate) This is the least of our worries! We need to get out there and fix hiss-ory!
Nate: What's that?
Sara: (slurring her S's) His-story! Hiztory! (pauses) Time! We've gotta fix time!
Charlie: Une question, le Capitaine?
Sara: What?!
Charlie: (grinning) Are you sloshed?
(Sara laughs nevously.)
Nate: Follow up question: why is there glitter on your face?
(There is a loud clang as the fire-fighter stripper enters the room, carrying what turns out to be a real fire axe. He walks up to Sara.)
Stripper: Uh, looks like your tachyon scrubber needs to be replaced. Whatever that means.
(Sara looks at her teammates. She slowly realizes there is no way she can get out of this and save face but it takes her a few seconds to reassert her authority and start giving orders.)
Sara: It's uh- just see this fine gentleman out, thank you.

Actor 1: Behold! What worthy hero faces me?
Actor 2: My face is silver! Fists like thunderstrikes!
Actor 3: We must collect the gems to save the world!
Actor 2: While learning how to work more as a team!
Actor 1: (breaking character) Come hither. We have much to discuss.
Ray: Wow! And its still in iambic pentameter!

(Mona walks into Mick's room. He's reading King Lear.)
Mona: On a Shakespeare kick?
Mick: Didn't care much for those Italian kids. But this guy? He's a hero.
Mona: You know King Lear is a tragic figure, whose stubbornness and fear of the future leads to his own misery?
Mick: Sounds like someone I can get behind.


Dialogue Disasters

Shakespeare: I have always known how to finish their story. If I let them go, I'm unsure what happens next.
Ray: I understand, but... endings are necessary for growth. No matter how painful they may be.


Continuity

The mementos on Ray's bunk shelves include two VHS copies of Singin' In The Rain (a fact revealed in 403), a copy of Rock n' Roll Rag magazine with a cover story on The Smell (again, a nod to 403) and a framed picture of Nate and Ray.

Ray says he thinks he and Nora need to get off the Waverider and start building their life together somewhere else. Nora says she wants to be where Ray is but he says she can't do her job on a time ship and he can't be with her if he literally has one foot in the past.

Ray set up a schedule for using the one bathroom in the Waverider in the morning. Mick burned it recently in frustration after Zari's Korean sheet mask day.

One of the team rules is that nobody discusses team business until after Sara has had her coffee.

Ray and Nora tell everyone on the team they are moving out except for Nate, who was the one person not in line for the bathroom.

Mona returns to the Waverider for the meeting of the team book club meeting.

The jars of Rasputin are now empty and Marie Antoinette has disappeared from the lab. Sara suspects, based on what Damien Darhk said about eternal torture awaiting him in Hell if he violated his parole in 507, that they were brought back to Hell by Astra

Ray refers to his trip to the moon in 214.

The only piece of the Loom of Fate Charlie is certain as to the location is London in 1594, where she left it with an old friend called Will The Quill.

Will the Quill is revealed to be William Shakespeare.

Will says he sold the ring to his producer in exchange for more time to finish his new play, Romeo and Juliet.

The lady Legends' book club is more an excuse for them to drink and hang out. They rarely get around to discussing the book in question. Their book this month is Romeo and Juliet.

Charlie slips the ring off of Philip Henslowe's hand while the rest of the Legends are discussing their plan of action.

Mick tells the rest of the men on the team about his daughter Lita.

Nate decides to throw Ray an impromptu bachelor party at the Elizabethan pub after Ray lies and says he's going to Bermuda on his honeymoon with Nora.

Zari is invited to join the book club, but rather than discuss her issues, she distracts everyone by suggesting they throw Nora an impromptu bachelorette party.

Nate calls into Sara and lies, saying that the queen's dog stole the ring. This occurs as the ladies are in the middle of planning Nora's party.

Astra is confirmed to have brought the Encores back to Hell as part of her bargain with John, not letting them roam free while he's recovering the Loom of Fate.

The Coin-Maker is revealed to be the demon who raised Astra after she wound up in Hell.

Nora's party winds up involving scooter races around the Waverider, a petting zoo (with pony) and hiring a fire-fighter themed male stripper. (This would seemingly confirm that Ava is bisexual, like Sara, as she appears to be enjoying his performance as much as everyone else.)

Nate makes reference to finding the Spear of Destiny (the MacGuffin of Season 2) and meeting Elvis. (314)

Astra learns that John is looking for the Loom of Fate while spying on John.

A bar fight breaks out when John bumps into a man while looking for Astra's presence spying on him. Over the course of the fight, Nate changes into his Steel form, Ray pulls out his ATOM suit only for it to grow to regular size and fly around on its own, Behrad knocks some people over with a wind blast and Mick pulls out his flame-thrower.

Nate drunkenly tries to erase the minds of Will Shakespeare and the crowd, but has the mind-erasing device turned around. He winds up erasing the memories of all the Legends as to what they just did.

The covers of the women's copies of Romeo and Juliet change so that Mick with his flame thrower is now prominently featured on the cover, with Ray as The Atom flying in the background.

The new version of Romeo and Juliet is called Romeo V. Juliet: Dawn of Justness. In it, Mercutio has the power to turn to steel, but he is still killed by Tybalt.

Sara and Ray say their goodbyes in the Waverider study.

Ray convinces Will Shakespeare to go back to his original plan for Romeo and Juliet after speaking to him about how endings are necessary to bring about growth. Nate overhears this speech and finally learns about Ray's plan.

In the new timeline, Shakespeare never publishes Romeo and Juliet at all. This leads the team to to back one more time to stage the play themselves, after Henslow pulls the funding for the show thinking that Will stole the ring back for himself. This caused Shakespeare to stop writing for good.

Nate tells Ray off for not having the courage to tell him he was moving out.

Ray leaves the picture of himself and Ray in his room as he finishes packing and gets ready to leave.

Ray says goodbye to Gideon, saying that he hopes he sees her again someday.

Mick reads the Prologue's speech. He also plays the First Citizen.

Charlie sits with Shakespeare during the play to keep him calm while the play is being staged.

Ava plays Lord Capulet and Sara plays Lady Capulet.

Behrad plays Lord Montague and Mona plays Lady Montague.

John plays Romeo and Nate, in drag, is Juliet. He is later replaced by Zari, as he runs off to say goodbye to Ray.

Zari is a classically trained actor and she knows Romeo and Juliet by heart.

Sara offers to give Nate a bro-hug whenever he needs it in the future.

Mick starts reading the works of Shakespeare. He doesn't care for Romeo and Juliet, but he admires King Lear - both the play and the character.

Mona learned about Lita and encourages Mick to go and become a part of her life, saying she's better off because Mick was in her life.  Mick insists, however, that he's protecting Lita by not getting involved in her life.

Sara says that she'll be keeping a hold of the pieces of the Loom of Fate.

Astra tells the Coin Maker that John is looking for the Loom of Fate.

The Coin Maker knows of the Loom of Fate.

All the team except John get together and toast Ray with his green juice. The taste of it leaves everyone except Zari running for the bathroom.


Location

London, UK - 1594
Hell


Untelevised Adventures

We have no idea where or when Ray and Nora depart the Waverider and where they are going.


The Fridge Factor

Granting that Ray has been part of the team since the very beginning, it's still odd that this final episode basically has Nora off-stage for most of it when her leaving the only home she's ever known apart from the cultists who raised her should be an even bigger deal for her than Ray.


The Bottom Line

A bittersweet episode, anyway you slice it. The central premise is forced,and at times idiotic, but the cast give it their all and it's probably the best departure we could hope for Ray and Nora to receive. At least the door is left open for their return someday, but we're still left wondering why it had to happen at all. Whatever the reason, this show will be much poorer for Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford's absence.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 42

In which we solve the mystery of the missing townsfolk and clean up the mine in Broken Hills. We also recover a lost treasure, but I can't help but shake the feeling there was something else we forgot...

 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 41

In which we head for the hills - Broken Hills, that is! It is here that we begin looking for some missing townsfolk, help a ghoul with hygiene issues, help another ghoul with personal issues and enter into a battle of wits with a Radscorpion. Will we win? You'll have to watch and see!


Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 6, Episode 15 - The Exorcism of Nash Wells

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




Plot

As The Flash contends with a dangerous new Black Hole assassin called Sunshine while trying to conserve the last of the Speed Force energy, Cisco and Cecile try to find a way to force Eobard Thawne's mind out of Nash Wells' body.


Influences

The Indiana Jones movies (Nash and his world's version of Allegra having a relationship like Indy and Short Round, Nash having a signature hat), Fight Club (Cisco compares Nash's seeing the other Harrison Wells to Tyler Durden in this movie) and The Exorcism of Emily Rose (title, exorcism theme).


Goofs

Granting that Cecile has often been a source of well-meaning comic-relief on the show, her bringing vampire-fighting gear to help with a scientific inquiry is just idiotic.

Iris evokes the name of the Ringmaster and Cicada in talking about how metahumans have limits. Strictly speaking, Cicada was a wielder of meta-tech rather than a true meta and the classic Ringmaster in the comics used technology, not metahuman powers. (Of course given that this is the fake Iris, this may be meant to be another hint that she isn't who she says she is.)


Performances

It is a credit to Tom Cavanagh's skill as an actor that he can wring so much drama out of a scene where he talks to himself and says nothing more than "It's not my fault" and "It's all your fault" over and over.


Artistry

The fight scene between Sunshine and the CCPD is well blocked and thrilling.


Flash Facts

Thawne, posing as Nash, talks about having once stopped a swarm of psychic starfish on Earth-26. This is a reference to the classic Justice League villain Starro The Conqueror.

Sunshine is an original villain to the Arrowverse, but her powers - teleportation, invisibility and melting things - are exhibited by the classic Dr. Light in the comics. Unlike Dr. Light, however, Sunlight is dependent on ambient sunlight and does not generate energy on her own.

Iris makes reference to a villain called the Ringmaster who is nothing without his rings.This is a nod to an obscure Pre-Crisis Flash villain called The Ringmaster, who was an author named Beau Baer that had been hypnotized by the Golden Glider and outfitted with special ring-based gadgetry and made to become a rival superhero to The Flash. The Glider also abducted Iris West-Allen and tried to make her love the Ringmaster, before killing her and framing Flash for the crime. Once Baer was freed from Glider's control, he retired The Ringmaster and he was never seen again.


Technobabble

Eva McCulloch created a device she calls the Prismatic Refractor, which is capable of converting ambient light into energy.

Cisco hacked every Quantum Kinematic database on Earth-Prime and nobody knows anything about building an artificial Speed Force apart from the fact that The Reverse-Flash managed to do it in the future.

Cisco designs a Speed Gauge which measures the intensity of the velocity Barry generates whenever he uses his powers. The Speed Gauge lights up one of several colored lights based on how much energy Barry is using. Black is neutral, green is a small amount of energy, going through yellow and orange to red for maximum output.

Caitlin says that Nash's brainwaves appear to be multiple brainwaves woven together intricately when viewed as a three-dimensional pattern.

It is never explained just why Thawne was able to appear to Nash despite not being a true Wells. The most likely explanation is that Thawne was dragged along for the ride along with everyone else in a body that scanned as a genetic match for Nash Wells, given that Thawne did

Thawne, posing as Nash, claims to have a neuro-splicer in his belongings. He says that he doesn't think it could be used to separate thousands of brainwaves but Cisco thinks it could if it were super-charged using the EMP in Nash' gauntlet at 1500 volts per meter.

Whatever the device in Nash's belongings actually is, it knocks Barry, Caitlin and Cisco out long enough for Thawne, in Nash's body, to get to the STARchives and Rip Hunter's Time Bubble. Cisco later identifies this effect as a recoil loop.

Caitlin says there's no way to know what effect Velocity-X would have on Barry now, given how his powers have evolved in the past few years.

Cisco says that Thawne is just a series of negative tachyons that have gotten into Nash's body. Hitting Nash with positive tachyons should drive Thawne out, which leads Cisco to build a PTD (Positive Tachyon Device) capable of doing the job.

Cisco uses Cecile's empathy powers as a Thawne-detector, sense all she can read from Nash is pure hatred when Thawne is controlling him.

Without a physical body of his own, Thawne has to inspire negative emotions in his host to draw upon the Negative Speed Force.

Thawne's negative tachyons proliferate at a rate far faster than the output capabilities of the PTD. This means that it will only be a matter of time before he takes over Nash's body, according to Cisco, unless they find a way to help Nash fight back and stop feeding Thawne negative emotions to feed off of.

Cisco can't find any trace of Thawne's negative tachyons inside any organic matter on Earth, but he and Barry think he's just been dissipated - not destroyed.  Cisco compares him to a "red-eyed, pissed-off Voldemort.

Nash describes being possessed by Thawne as like being underwater - you can see and hear what's going on at a distance, but you aren't really in control of anything.


Dialogue Triumphs

(Barry runs into his lab at the CCPD, with Sunshine in hot pursuit. She easily cuts through the lock on the sliding metal security door and walks inside.)
Sunshine: Come out, come out wherever you are.
(Sunshine chuckles as the steel security shutters slam down over the windows. At the same time, Joe comes in behind her, closing the door as he draws his gun. Sunshine shrugs and raises her hands, getting ready to draw on her powers as the last of the shutters slide into place over the skylight, plunging the room into darkness. Our point of view shifts as everything goes green and several officers armed with laser-sighted rifles emerge from the corners of the room, with their sights set on Sunshine. They are wearing night-vision goggles, as is Barry, who grins as he emerges from behind a support column.)
Barry: Yep. You're helio-kinetic. So without access to sunlight, you're just an ordinary thief.
(Sunshine looks around, knowing she's beaten as four laser sights move around her chest as Barry holds up a pair of meta-dampener cuffs.)
Barry: Limits suck, don't they?


Dialogue Disasters

Caitlin: Nash needs help. Not maiming.

Iris: Metas are the ones with limits: not people.


Continuity


The opening scene reveals that Kamilla has been replaced with a mirror duplicate like Iris was.

Eva McCulloch is apparently capable of creating duplicates of items in the mirror universe, but to finish her R-CEM machine she believes she needs the original Prismatic Refractor. She tasks the mirror duplicates with retrieving the original and bringing it to her.

The R-CEM is central to Eva McCulloch's long term plans.

The original Prismatic Refractor was sold to Mercury Labs several months earlier.

Joe and Chief Singh meet at C.C. Jitters to discuss Joe's RICO investigation into Dr. Carver. 

Joe and Chief Singh agree they have to investigate the possibility of a mole in the CCPD working for Carver independent of Internal Affairs.  

Joe tells Chief Singh that The Flash is aware of the investigation as well and thinks there's a dirty copy at work in the CCPD as well. 

Nash says that he's been seeing other versions of Harrison wells from the Pre-Crisis Earths and they've been talking to him. He mentions the Wizard Wells (Earth-13), the French Wells, the New York Wells (who he likes) and Harry Wells of Earth-2.

Thawne poses as Nash as part of a plan to escape. Barry catches him before he can steal Rip Hunters' time bubble. 

Barry nearly looses his temper and vibrates his hand through Nash's chest as Thawne taunts him about how he failed to save his daughter the last time they fought in 522.

Caitlin sends Barry away since they can't trust him to maintain his cool around Thawne and that is draining his powers faster in his current condition.

Cecile brings holy water, garlic, a wooden stake, salt and a Ouija board when Cisco asks for help getting Thawne's mind out of Nash's body.

The alternate universe version of Allegra Garcia whom Nash Wells raised like a daughter was named Maya. Nash began teaching her everything he knew after finding her rooting through his tent looking for food and she found a secret hidden inside the Blood Bloom - an idol he had just stolen from the mouth of something called The Wollip..

The Blood Bloom contains a gem worth three-times more than the crystals on the surface.

Nash's first rule is that the prize is everything. Another one of Nash's rules is you don't give anyone anything for free. He gives Maya his hat as thanks for her finding the gem for him.

Thawne is somehow able to access Nash's memories and traps him inside his worst one, which involves being in a cave where he can see blinding daylight outside. This causes Nash to suffer, which Thawne can draw upon to tap the Negative Speed Force.

A new metahuman with light powers robs Mercury Labs while the Iris and Kamilla clones are trying to steal the Prismatic Refraactor.

Frost goes to fight the robber, who introduces herself as Sunshine.

The Velocity-X samples are kept inside a vault hidden inside a fake pinball machine in the main room of STAR Labs. It is unlocked by pressing your thumb against a hidden fingerprint scanner inside the change slot.

Sunshine has the power to teleport across short distances, can seemingly become invisible and has the ability to melt steel with her bare hands. She also reopens the wound Frost got from the Dr. Light in 610.

Barry's body rejects the Velocity-X outright.

Sunshine's real name is Millie Rawlins. She's a former US Army soldier, who was transferred to covert ops after she developed the metahuman ability to bend sunlight in her immediate vicinity following the STAR Labs particle accelerator explosion. Sunshine was her call-sign.

Joe recovered the Prismatic Refractor and refuses to let it out of his sight until ARGUS picks it up. The Iris clone tries to get it stored at STAR Labs but Barry says that he can't stop Sunlight so there's no point in trying to hide it at STAR Labs.

Joe tells the Iris clone twice that she should check on Barry as she keeps asking him about the Prismatic refractor.

The Iris clone tells Barry that maybe The Flash can't fight Sunshine, but maybe Barry Allen can out-think her.

Cecile says she can barely feel Nash through all the shame and guilt after Thawne traps him in his worst memory.

Thawne is able to connect to his Negative Speed Force and nearly escapes his bonds before Cisco puts a pair of meta-dampener cuffs on him and Cecile knocks him unconscious with her Ouija board.

Chief Singh shows up to oversee the transfer of the Prismatic Refractor to ARGUS personally, saying he now agrees with Joe's assessment that there is a mole in the CCPD.

Sunshine is revealed to have been in Joe's office the whole time he and Chief Singh were talking.

Barry sets a trap for Sunshine, luring her into his lab at the CCPD, which has steel shutters that can be locked over the windows and skylight. Once the windows are closed, she has no source of power.

Chief Singh suggests that Sunshine may have been spying on the CCPD all this time and altering the records for Carver instead of there being a mole.

Cecile's mother died in 1995.

Cecile describes the feeling she reads from Nash as being paternal, like how she feels about her daughters, but also being tinged with her feelings for her dead mother. This leads her to conclude that the alternate Allegra was Nash's daughter (or something close) and Thawne is feeding on Nash's feelings of loss regarding her death.

Barry suggests they use the MAD 2.0 to access Nash's mind and help him drive Thawne out, similar to how they used it in conjunction with Cecile's powers to access The Thinker's mind in 423.

Maya died trying to grab a memory cell from a sonic emitter from the highest peak of Corto Maltese on Earth-13. Rather than lose hold of the cell and pull herself up off a ledge, she lost her grip and fell off the mountain while Nash was helpless to do anything but watch.

When Nash admits that Maya's death was his fault, it cuts off the pain that Thawne was feeding on, causing his energy to erupt from Nash's body as a red lightning storm.

Cisco says there's nothing he can do to stop Nash from seeing and hearing the other Wells doppelgangers. He says that he'll be able to draw off their knowledge, however.

Cisco gives Harry back his picture of himself and Maya.

Harry goes off to explore and find some new adventure on Earth-Prime.

Cisco suggests that Nash should try and reach out to Allegra, noting that he never got along with any version of Harrison Wells at first but eventually he became good friends with every incarnation of them he worked with.

Harry Wells appears to Nash and tells him that what Cisco said was what he was trying to tell him.

Barry apologizes to Caitlin for not following her orders.

Barry says that the start for building their Speed Force is in Nora's journal, thinking that Thawne must have taught her how to make her own Speed Force.

The Iris and Kamilla doppelgangers stole the Prismatic Refractor while the CCPD was distracted fighting Sunshine and replaced it with the copy.

Eva McCulloch says her ultimate goal is liberation.


Location

Earth-719, 8 Years Ago.
Earth-13, 1 Year Ago.


Untelevised Adventures

The flashbacks reveal Nash Wells' history with an alternate universe version of Allegra Garcia, who is confirmed to have been his protege and basically his daughter and to have died because she couldn't let go of a prize.

Iris mentions a never-before seen villain called The Ringmaster.


The Bottom Line

A weak script that is salvaged only by the performances of the strongest actors in the show and the fact that most of the extraneous characters from this season aren't included in the story. It is somewhat saddening, however, that the return of the Reverse Flash is more of an annoyance than a major event but that's Season 6 of The Flash in a nutshell - everything is a distraction from the main plot and it's almost impossible to single out the main plot.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Starman Plays Fallout 2 - Part 40

In which we finally find that damned voice modulator, return to Vault 13 a hero and then head back to New Reno and become the prize-fighting champion of the world! Or at least, what's left the world that cares about prize-fighting.


Sunday, April 5, 2020

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 5, Episode 15 - Reality Bytes

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


Plot

A transphobic troll begins attacking trans women through a dating app (including Nia's roommate) and threatens to keep doing it unless Dreamer quits being a superhero. As Kara tries to stop Nia from going over the edge in dealing with the wannabe super-villain, J'onn, Alex and Kelly search for a missing man who may have been abducted and is being held hostage in a virtual world in Obsidian Platinum.


Influences

Various 1990s horror stories built around virtual reality. The title is taken from the 1994 drama Reality Bites.

Goofs

Despite fretting over whether to wear a blue or purple shirt on her date with William, Kara winds up wearing the purple shirt after Alex told her to wear the blue and that blue is her best color.

Yvette is written as the stupidest woman on the planet, not thinking anything is weird about some strange man knowing her virtual boyfriend's name when he approaches her in a bar or when he later approaches her in an alley.

In fact, the only person stupider than Yvette in this episode is the bigot himself, who doesn't really think through the logistical problems of calling out a superhero with actual powers and attacking people who claim to know her on-line. He seems honestly stunned with Dreamer finds him and is able to overpower him easily.

Ignoring the reasons outlined in the episode, it seems incredibly stupid for Obsidian Platinum to operate without rules or without some kind of virtual sysop inside the game to monitor for things like, say, a serial killer/rapist attempting to make his fantasies a reality and targeting other players.

It seems unlikely that there are only 200 anti-trans message boards and social media groups on the entire Internet or that the sum total of their postings could be fit onto a single portable flash drive. Even allowing that the DEO and Brainiac-5 may have some wonderfully huge portable drives.

Yvette's decision to delete all her social media seems to be a bad lesson for this fable. As written, it seems like the episode is saying that dating apps are evil; not bigots, trolls and stalkers who use dating apps as a means of locating potential victims.

The closing montage set to "Everybody Hurts" would be a bit more powerful had the episode ended with Alex and Kara learning of Jerimaih's death rather than most of the song being played over Margot wheeling away Richard Bates.


Performances

Nicole Maines gives a powerful performance in the early scenes and you really feel Nia's rage at the bigot trying to stop her from being a hero and her frustration with Kara's well-meaning but misplaced efforts at empathy and her trying to give a "there's nothing we can't overcome together" speech at the worst possible time to be a clueless but well-meaning ally.

At the same time, Melissa Benoist does a great job in the early scenes trying to convey earnest empathy while realizing that she's not in a place where she can offer moral judgement, as much as it kills her that there are some things she can't solve with a speech about hope and some villains who can't be redeemed.


Super Trivia

Reference is made to the nation of Quarac, which is ruled by a royal family on Earth-Prime. In the DC Comics universe, Quarac is a fictional nation in the Middle East.

J'onn travels to Opal City following the psychic trail attached to Trevor Crane. In the DC Comics universe, Opal City is the home town of the first superhero to use the name Starman, Ted Knight. It was the main setting of the 1994 Starman series.

Jennifer Bates is played by actress Anna Van Hooft, who appeared in a season 1 episode of Arrow as a woman named Jenn who was mistaken for Sara Lance in a photo Dinah Lance believed proved her daughter was alive. Jenn was said to be engaged to be married, suggesting that maybe Jenn is Jennifer eight years later.on Earth-Prime.


Technobabble

There is a fail-safe tied to the bio-metrics of the user of Obsidian Platinum's lenses, that is meant to manifest a button the user can push to end the simulation when they are feeling unduly stressed.

The Hand of the Soldier is apparently capable of generating an electrical shock strong enough for a Kryptonian on Earth to feel it, as Alex is apparently able to teasingly shock Kara with it.

The Martian DNA inside the Hand of the Soldier should code itself to Alex's bio-electric impulses, allowing her to morph it with a single thought once she allows it into her.

Obsidian Platinum connects to a person's biology rather than acting through a link to their brain. It causes everything they experience to feel real.

Advanced Obsidian Platinum users can customize the virtual world but it takes time for the additions to be cataloged by the games' manager.  As such, there are some places (like The Escape Palace) where the people running the game have no clue what is going on.

Kelly says the Escape Palace draws upon a user's worst fears, making everyone perceive if differently. In Alex's case, she sees it as a series of tanks like the one she nearly drowned in.

One DEO agent reports to Brainiac-5 that she found over 200 anti-trans social media groups and message boards on the Internet and fit them onto a single portable drive.

Richard Bates is somehow able to customize his rooms in Obsidian Platinum to block remote monitoring.

According to Kelly, Alex should not have been able to blast Richard out of Obsidian Platinum.


Dialogue Triumphs


(Regarding the Martian Hand of the Soldier weapon J'onn gave Alex.)
Alex: This thing is supposed to know what I'm thinking, but it's being very stubborn.
Kara: (grinning) Well, like soldier, like hand.
(Alex raises her wrist at Kara and makes a buzzing noise. Kara jumps back as if shocked as Alex laughs.)

Nia: He wants me to stop being a superhero. He's going after my community to bully me into it.
Kara: Listen to me, Nia, listen. We will find this guy
Nia: Yeah, we will. And when we do, I'll bury him.
Kara: (shocked) Nia! Look, I... I... (sighs) I know this is a personal attack, but you have to trust that when we find this guy the cops are going to put him behind bars.
Nia: (exasperated) Kara, I love you, but do not tell me what I can and can't do right now. There is no catching this guy and redeeming him. There is no "hope speech" that can make this better!
Kara: Nia -
Nia: (firmly) No. Look, my community is vulnerable. This happens more than you could possibly know. And there are guys, just like this jerk out there, who want to hurt us. They want us to hide and to be afraid to be who we are. They want us to disappear and it happens. Every. Day.
Kara: I know. And what this guy did was horrible-
Nia: He's not the first and he won't be the last. We haven't exactly been a priority for the cops. So, just trust me when I say that I am the one protecting this community. And now this bastard is going after my community trying to erase me? No. No, this guy is over!
Kara: (shaken) Look, I know that you're hurting right now. And I know I'll never fully understand. But between us and the cops, we will make sure justice is served. Nia? Just give us a chance?
Nia: Fine. A few hours. Then I'm doing this my way.

Kara: I know sometimes being the good guy sucks. Especially when you know how easy it would be to get rid of someone so vile and full of hate. But, hey not doing that? That is what makes us different from them.


Dialogue Disasters

(Kara and William write a story together and we get the clunkiest message delivery ever.)
Kara: (reading) "Over 24 trans people have been murdered in this country in the past year."
William: The true number's likely much higher. Many of these attacks are misreported because victims are misgendered in police reports.

Dreamer: You make me sick.
Bigot: No, you make me sick you twisted freak! You show up on the scene one day tricking dudes into thinking you're this hot new superhero! The girl next door! But heroes are supposed to be virtuous and honest! And here you are - lying!


Continuity


Two months earlier, a man named Richard Bates testing  a virtual ski vacation in Obsidian Platinum's beta became trapped inside the game when the End Simulation button failed to manifest.

Kelly Olsen was overseeing Bates' experience. She promised to report the error, before Bates was led away by Margot, the woman with Leviathan.

Supergirl and Dreamer fight a Dominator together, just before Kara's first date with William Day.

Brainiac-5 is distant yet formal to Dreamer when the DEO shows up to secure the scene after the fight.

Kara hasn't had a date in two and a half years.

According to the news, Lex Luthor just had dinner with Crown Prince Raakaan el-Farah of Qurac and, per his advice, Obsidian Platinum will soon be available in that nation.

Alex is still having issues training with the Martian Hand of the Soldier weapon.

Nia's roommate Yvette has a profile on a dating app called Upswipz. This was the same dating app made by the tech company Ray Palmer briefly worked for in L301.

Yvette has been seeing a man she met on-line exclusively for three weeks. She's going to meet him in person for the first time at a club that night and she wants Nia to go with her.

Yvette does not know that Nia is Dreamer or that Nia's ex "Barney" is a DEO agent and an alien from the future.

Yvette describes herself on her Upswipz's profile as Dreamer's best friend.

Kara and William go to a pool hall on their date. Kara claims she's only played 8-Ball one time in her life, but manages a near perfect shot.

Nia has a flash at the bar of blood being on her hands.

Yvette is approached by a man who somehow knows about Angus and doesn't take the hint when she asks about her being spoken for just before she gets a message from Angus telling her to meet her outside. She still seems to have no idea what is going on when the same man approaches her and talks about Angus standing her up.

Nia has another vision in the bathroom of Yvette being attacked.

The bigot leaves a note with Yvette that is addressed to Dreamer, saying the world doesn't want a trans superhero and that unless she quits he'll keep attacking trans women.

The police put together a sketch of what the bigot looks like.

Nia agrees to wait a few hours to give Kara and the police a chance to find the bigot before she goes off on her own.

Al, who runs Al's Dive Bar, comes to J'onn and asks for his help in finding his brother, Trevor, who has been missing for a week.

Trevor lives in Al's basement and spends a lot of time on-line.

Trevor's given name is Trevor Crane.

Al called the police but the only lead they found was an invitation on Trevor's computer to go to a weekend escape experience in the Virtual Las Vegas inside Obsidian Platinum. The police think Trevor is a hotel room somewhere on a VR party binge.

Trevor  apparently just started using Obsidian Platinum and apparently had met some friends somewhere called The Escape Palace.

Alex determines that Trevor must have paid cash for his hotel room since there's no credit card records of him checking in somewhere.

Kara asks Brainiac-5 to use the DEO's facial-recognition software to identity the bigot that is looking for Dreamer.

Kelly sets Alex up with a set of Obsidian Platinum lenses.

According to Kelly, Obsidian Platinum sets up a number of potential scenarios based on your own thoughts and desires before you enter the game world proper. In Alex's case, it appears that three of her scenarios involve being Supergirl, working as a doctor or having a baby.

There are no rules inside the Obsidian Platinum world.

The virtual Vegas experience has a virtual Siegfried and Roy show.

NPCs in Obsidian Platinum can be identified by the three lines on their neck. The NPCs are AIs run by the

Al says Trevor has spent that last few months in VR instead of spending time with him.

Al gives J'onn a watch that he gave him as a gift to mark their first year on Earth together. Trevor wore it every day until he got a smart watch, hoping J'onn can use it to psychically track him.

J'onn finds the names of two of Trevor's friends avatars on Obsidian Platinum.

One of the Obsidian Platinum users identifies The Escape Palace as a creepy haunted house located in the hills just outside Virtual Vegas.

Alice finds two of Trevor's friends trapped inside a flooding magician's tank, similar to the one she was stuck inside in 219.

Trevor's friends claim they were stuck inside the room for days. They say they last saw Trevor escape from their room with a new player named Richard, who had started hanging out with them.

Richard was the one who suggested everyone try the Escape Palace experience.

J'onn travels to Opal City, to a house he feels is connected to Trevor somehow.

The house belongs to Jennifer Bates, Richard Bate's wife, who was having a virtual affair with Trevor Crane.

Nia calls the detective working Yvette's case, but he hasn't made any progress.

Nia creates a profile on Upswpiez to get the bigot's attention.

Richard Bates is revealed to be a computer engineer who began exploring the technical specifics of how Obsidian Platinum worked.

Brainiac-5 is searching everything on the Internet relating to Dreamer and finds Nia's dating profile.

Alex breaks into one room in the virtual world and is cut off from Kelly in the real world.

Kara and William work on the story of Yvette's attack together.

Brainiac-5 calls Kara and tells her that he thinks Nia is trying to use herself as bait to attract the bigot.

The bigot's ID on Upswipez is GoodTimes1995.

The room Trevor is trapped in causes his virtual avatar to blow up like he was standing on a land mine and be reformed in a painful fashion, over and over. He says Richard Bates keeps coming back to the room to watch him explode over and over.

Alex is able to force Richard Bates out of the virtual world by shooting him with an imaginary taser.

J'onn tracks down Richard Bates in the real world, in Room 10 of the Coastline Motel.

After Bates tries attacking J'onn, his eyes become red-rimmed and he seems to hallucinate the world changing around J'onn.

Alex talks Trevor down and gets him to retake control of his body.

Trevor is at the National City Grand, Room 315.

According to Kelly, Alex should not have been able to blast Richard out of Obsidian Platinum. Alex says they can figure it out later.

Nia ambushes the bigot, who seems stunned that Dreamer came looking for him.

The bigot's name is Gregory Bauer.

Nia confesses to Kara that she's hurting far worse than she let on because of Brainiac-5 dumping her and like she's lost control of her life and going after the bigot was something she could do.

Kelly and Alex agree that virutal cheating counts as cheating and that virtual torture is real attempted murder.

Kelly says she believes her work can help people but agrees with Alex that VR technology should be regulated and the people allowed to program it limited.

Trevor comes to meet Alex in person and thank her for saving him.

Yvette decides to delete all her social media. She says she's tired of putting herself out there because she should have known better than to trust that most people could accept a trans woman of color or that she could find a man who loved her for her.

Brainaic-5 gives the detective handling Yvettte's case a list of people connected to a group Gregory Bauer was part of that was planning attacks on trans women on-line and identified several users who had claimed credit for several attacks.

Alex is still having trouble getting the Hand of the Soldier to work in the real world.

Alex gets a phone-call from her mother telling her that Jeremiah Danvers has been found dead.

Alex goes to Kara's apartment to tell her the news.

Margot is seen wheeling Richard Bates out of the hospital and placing him in a room with other Obsidian Platinum users - some of whom are somehow floating in mid-air.


Location

Opal City


The Bottom Line

Were it not for some strong performances, this might instantly have been the worst episode of Supergirl ever filmed. As it stands, it definitely has one of the weaker scripts, and surprisingly this is more because of the clunky virtual reality storyline (which would have seemed silly and dated had it been an episode of VR.5) than the Dreamer-focused story about the problem of violence against trans women.

The script is just lazy in the middle parts, with William and Kara literally reading off the statistics about how many trans women have been murdered by bigots. This severely undercuts the good parts of the episode, such as where Nia takes Kara to task for trying to give her usual chirpy optimistic speech about how we can overcome these problems if we work together, neatly ignoring all the people who are actively working to discourage that kind of unity.

It's also bothersome that the lesson taken away from this episode is that you should just stay off social media and close yourself off from the world. Yet none of that is as painful as the tech jargon rattled off by people who don't understand it. The hearts of the writers may have been in the right place, but their heads were somewhere else entirely.