Friday, April 9, 2021

Starman Plays Indiana Jones And the Fate of Atlantis - Part 6

In which we do some actual archeology and chart a dig site to find the second of the three Worldstones, before making our way into the lost Labyrinth of Minos and repair a number of ancient elevators.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Starman Plays Indiana Jones And the Fate of Atlantis - Part 5

In which we return to Algiers and seek a Nazi dig site that may point the way to Atlantis. But first we must haggle with the local merchants and hijack a balloon. Because puzzles!

Monday, April 5, 2021

Starman Plays Indiana Jones And the Fate of Atlantis - Part 4

In which we take our first steps on the Team Path and explore the bazzar of Algeris, pushing Sophia into a brief career in street theater. We then make our way to Monte Carlo and a seanace, where I demonstrate both of the ways one may obtain a Sunstone from the elusive Alain Trottier.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 6, Episode 1 - Rebirth

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


Plot

Leviathan is defeated, but Lex Luthor is more powerful than ever and Brainiac-5 is at Death's Door. As the rest of the Super Friends rush to save him and the world, Kara considers the possibility that she may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.


I
nfluences

Superman III (Gamemnae's final appearance resembles the computer woman from this movie), Supergirl: The Movie (Supergirl becoming trapped in the Phantom Zone), Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Dreamer and Brainiac 2's scene through the glass wall), Adventure Comics (character of N'orr Cott) and the Supergirl: Rebirth series (the title and the promise of a new direction, rather than the contents of the book)


Goofs

In the official synopsis for the episode, Gamemnae's name was misspelt as "Gamenmae".

The highly-vaunted radiation shield Leviathan employs doesn't work on Martians and Kryptonians for some reason, for no apparent reason other than it requires the team to split up during the fight with Gamemnae.

M'Gann is suddenly back in the control room with Kara as Kara yells for everyone to get out while Gamemnae dies, after vanishing for most of the battle after phasing J'onn through a wall.

Nobody questions the morality of their basically killing Gamemnae. (Granting that she's said to be an electronic life form now instead of an alien, that's still a fine line especially with a techno organic being like Brainiac-5 on the team.)

Andrea Rojas gets off scot-free for her part in aiding Leviathan's plans. Granting that she was a pawn, she still ignored every single problem that Kelly Olsen or William Dey brought to her about how her company was endangering people's lives. Worse yet, we're expected to sympathize with her being held responsible for her criminal negligence by her father, even though he only does this to save his own skin.

Beyond that, it's idiotic to think that nobody is going to find it suspect that he suddenly bought all of his daughter's stock in Obsidian North after publicly calling her out.

Jarhanpur is implied to be in the Andromeda Galaxy, as the Jarhanpurium weaponry in the Fortress of Solitude is stored in a section of the armory devoted to weapons from that region. Yet Jarhanpur was said to be a sister planet of Krypton in earlier episodes and Krypton was said to be located only 2000 light years from Earth. The Andromeda Galaxy is located over 2.5 million light years from Earth. (This could have changed following Crisis)

Why do they need a special Jarhanpurium gun to shoot the Jarhanpurium?  Can't the Hand of the Warrior make something appropriate? (Alex is still mastering the Hand of the Warrior and can only use it to fashion weapons and devices she is familiar with. Of course she winds up using it to hit Lex with the Jarhanpurium anyway...)

The CGI for this episode looks terrible across the board, even allowing that Dreamer's visions are usually distorted and dream-like.


Performances

Jesse Rath and Katie McGrath get a brief but memorable scene as the two most morally flexible members of the Superfriends vent to each other and assure one another that, whatever else may happen with the rest of the team, at least they understand one another.

Jon Cryer is clearly having the time of his life playing Lex Luthor.


Super Trivia

The title of this episode is likely a nod to the 2016 Rebirth movement in the DC Comics Universe that led to the restoration of various classic elements that had been removed during the 2011 New 52 reboot and an effort to launch new titles devoted to characters like Green Arrow and Supergirl who had television series based on their exploits but no monthly comic title. In the case of the monthly Supergirl comic, a teenage Kara Zor-El was made to live as a foster child with scientists Eliza and Jerimiah Danvers and began working with the DEO to fight alien menaces.

Near the end of the episode, J'onn mentions that his partner in the police force on Mars was a Martian woman named N'orr Cott. In the classic comics, N'orr Cott was the name of a male Martian who had been commander of the Martian army and J'onn J'onzz's former best friend.

The Arrowverse version of N'orr Cott was a Martian woman, who was known as the Sentinel because she always stood guard against surprise escapes or ambushes.

Alex adopts Sentinel as her superhero codename at the end of the episode. The code name Sentinel was also adopted in the comics by the first Green Lantern, Alan Scott, during a time when he no longer needed his ring to channel the magical fire energy of the Starheart. 


Technobabble

Alex uses a mixture of Martian nanites and potassium iodide as an antidote to neutralize the radiation poisoning in Brainiac-5's system.

Alex reshapes the Hand of the Soldier into both a hypodermic needle and a portable electronic storage unit.

Lex acquires a new weapon -  a metallic band, similar to brass knuckles, which allows him to fire focused lasers of Kryptonite energy or controlled bursts. The laser is capable of burning a precise image into concrete.

Lex reprogrammed Obsidian Platinum so that all the people who signed into it have become incapable of believing that he can do anything wrong. He calls this program :"I Love Lexi."

Lex also installed sonic weapons in the satellites power Obsidian Platinum that will kill everyone who didn't get the "I Love Lexi" upgrade. Lex created a special device which makes a person immune to these weapons and gave them to Lillian Luthor and Otis Graves, who were already loyal to him without being brainwashed.

The Dorkri Surth-Uh ( or "The Binding" in Martian) is a ritual which allows two Martians to synchronize their thoughts, creating a web of psychic energy that can literally bind onto several things and move them in unison.


Dialogue Triumphs

(Lex explains his evil plan to Lillian.)
Lex:
My satellites will be aligned to beam the kill frequency in about five hours.
Lillian: I assume I will be safe without being brainwashed to love you, since I already do.
Lex: Of course, Mother. There's a special do-hickey with your name on it.
Lillian: And your sister. You can't kill her either.
Lex: Why not? She killed me first!

Supergirl: We know you've placed satellites around the world, and when they sync up, they'll send out a signal killing everyone you haven't brainwashed.
Lex: What do you want? A gold star?
Supergirl: I want you to disable the satellites. You do that, I'll give you what you've always wanted.
Lex: What's that? And don't say hair, that's low-hanging fruit.

Brainiac-5: Lena, I... I need you to know that I had no idea that this was Lex's plan. I thought that if... if I was... close to him, I would be able to know... how and when to stop him, but I... (taking a deep breath) I didn't. I was so worried that... by working with Lex I was becoming the villain, that... that I lost track of... of what he was up to. I thought... that by doing this I would help save the world, but... look what it's done...
Lena: Brainy, you were willing to sacrifice everything to save your friends. On the other hand, I was the hypocrite who believed that she had the answers to all the world's problems. It's the closest I've ever come to seeing things through Lex's eyes. Self-pity and blinding hubris should be the Luthor family motto. So if anyone's gonna win the culpability award, I've got you by a landslide.
Brainiac-5: What do we do now?
Lena: Try and cope with the mistakes of the past and... appreciate that we have friends who still believe in us. 

(Alex has just refused to watch the hologram Kara recorded while waiting for Lex.)
Alex:
We are bringing her home. (turning to face Lex) And you are going to wish that you were dead while you are rotting in that cell.
Lex: Hmm. About that... I'm not going anywhere near a cell. Unless you want me to reveal Supergirl's identity. She may be gone, but she still has an awful lot of enemies out there. It would be tragic if Mama Danvers or your lovely Kelly Olsen were to become the target of one of...
(Lena punches Lex, knocking him down with one punch.)
Lena: (To Alex) Sorry. Did you want to do that?
Alex: No. Family first. 


Dialogue Disasters


Gamemnae: You cannot kill technology, but technology can kill you!

Kelly Olsen: Your father... is a selfish narcissist. You are a brilliant woman... who built this place from sheer force of will. The mistake was doing it for him. (Well, that and ignoring repeated warnings about how your VR technology was going to doom the world...)


Continuity

Gamemnae reconstitutes herself inside the Leviathan base.

Dreamer is able to follow her vision to find the entrance to Leviathan's base and a dying Brainiac-5.

A delirious Brainy tells Dreamer that he loves her but that the team will have to work with Lex to stop Leviathan. 

Dreamer astral projects her mind to open the door into the sealed control room and immediately falls prey to the radiation shield.

M'Gann evacuates Alex and Brainy while Kara and J'onn fight Gamemnae.

Brainiac-5 determines he can stop Gamemnae with the Anti-Life Equation, which he acquired in 510.

Alex loans Brainiac the Hand of the Soldier, which takes the form of an electronic data storage device.

Alex tosses the Hand of the Soldier to Kara, who uses it to destroy Gamemnae.

Lex uses the power of Leviathan to give himself god-like powers using the alien-energy absorbing machinery on Shelley Island, which was last seen in 422. Lillian Luthor assists him with this.

Among the powers Lex displays are super-strength, energy projection, flight and telekinesis. (He also creates a forcefield, but this seems to be a second feature of his new Kryptonite laser weapon)

Lex will be broadcasting a signal that will kill everyone on Earth who didn't receive his "I Love Lexi" upgrade through Obsidian Platinum in 5 hours.

Lex plans to use the same technology to eventually conquer the universe.

Lena Luthor and Kelly Olsen meet with the rest of the team at The Watchtower.

William Dey is said to have taken Eve Teschmacher and her mother to the CatCo offices, where Eve is going on the record with everything she knows about Lex Luthor's crimes.

Lena determined that Lex twisted her Non Nocere program to create "I Love Lexi."

Eve reportedly told Lena about an experiment that Lex performed on two mice. One had gold eyes and adored him. The other exploded after being exposed to a Q-wave transmission.

Dreamer has a vision of herself in space and Lex Luthor dressed as the Anti-Monitor destroying the Earth. She also sees Shelley Island and a glowing green bottle.

J'onn detects Lex's sonic weapons on 12 of the satellites he launched into orbit in 516. Each of them is armed with claymore cannons that will fire on anything that attempts to tamper with them physically and they are all linked together.

M'Gann and J'onn decide to attempt the ritual of The Dorkri Surth-Uh so that they can safely disable Lex's satellites. 

Lena says she can reverse the "I Love Lexi" code if Kara lets her borrow the Myriad device.

Kelly says she can go to Obsidian North and get them the information on every person Lex has infected.

Brainiac-5 says that Jarhanpurium could weaken Lex and make him mortal in the same way that Kryptonite weakens Supergirl, but there's almost no chance of finding it.

Lena says she can use the machine that made synthetic Kryptonite to make synthetic Jarhanpurium. When she says this, Dreamer mentions the green bottle and Shelley Island from her dream.

Dreamer and Alex elect to go to Shelley Island to get the bottle.

Brainiac-5 stays in the Watchtower to help Lena with reprograming Myriad and making the Jarhanpurium.

Supergirl goes to get Myria from the Fortress of Solitude, along with any weapons that might be used to implement that Jarhanpurium.

When it is pointed out that Lex will be able to track their movements with the power he now has, Supergirl offers to sacrifice herself to act as a distraction while everyone else is dismantling Lex's power base. 

Kara contacts Lex while wearing a Truth-Seeker and promises to meet him in 1 hour at a location of his choosing and let him do whatever he wants if he agrees to disable his satellites.

Lex agrees and names the Fortress of Solitude as their meeting place.

As Kelly is getting the Obsidian Platinum data, she runs into Andrea Rojas. Andrea reveals that her father has blamed her for everything Leviathan has done to their company and that she and CatCo will be bankrupt when the stock market opens the next day.

J'onn is nervous about performing the binding ritual with M'Gann as it will allow her to see everything in his past, including all his memories of his wife and children and every violent thought he's ever had about White Martians. He fears this might derail their ability to disarm the satellites.

Alex points out that M'Gann has gone through just as many problems and she'll have to expose her secrets to J'onn as well.

Brainy loans his Legion Flight Ring to Dreamer until he's recovered.

The Fortress of Solitude armory is divided by where the weapons originally came from and has an area devoted to weapons from the Andromeda Galaxy. This is where the Jarhanpurium weapons are stored.

Lena tries to reinforce the L-Protocol from 507 in the hopes it might slow Lex down. (Apparently it was just disabled in 517 or had been reprogrammed not to attack Lena.)

Kara makes reference to having been trapped in the Phantom Zone for the better part of a decade, having nightmares of her planet's destruction. 

Andrea Rojas uses her Arcata powers to teleport inside her father's house, where she hacks his accounts and buys all her Obsidian North stock. 

Alex takes a Jarhanpurium gun and a portal watch from the Fortress armory. She jokes that she may keep the watch.

Kara stays in the Fortress to wait for Lex, as Alex and Lena leave to go to their respective targets.

Kara uses the Fortress technology to start recording a hologrammatic simulation of herself containing all her knowledge. She gets one volume complete before Lex arrives.

Alex and Dreamer use the portal watch to go to Lex's base on Shelley Island, but Otis Graves and Lillian Luthor are waiting for them.

J'onn and M'Gann are able to disable Lex's satellites. 

With that accomplished, Brainiac-5 and Lena are able to reverse the "I Love Lexi" program.

Dreamer and Alex are able to get the bottle, which Otis drops as he and Lillian escape with their own portal watch.

After Lex blasts Kara repeatedly with his Kryptonite laser and leaves her for dead, the Fortress computer activates the Lena Luthor Protocol, which sends a mobile projector down to saturate Kara's body with yellow sunlight.

Lex starts trashing for Fortress of Solitude while listening to Queen's "We Are The Champions."

Dreamer tries to shoot Lex with the Jarhanpurium gun, but it doesn't work.

Lex arms himself with the Phantom Zone Projector and blasts Kara with it, just before Alex is able to recover the Jarhanpurium and shoot Lex with it.

The data on the Projector is wiped so they have no idea wherein the Phantom Zone Kara wound up. This prevents them from opening a transmat portal to get to her, like Lena did to move the population of Earth-38 during Crisis on Infinite Earths

J'onn says he'll take Lex to the authorities and then will travel to Mars to talk to his brother and seek his advice on navigating the Phantom Zone.

Alex wonders how she is going to explain Kara being Supergirl to Kelly Olsen, establishing that Kelly somehow didn't know this despite being privy to the secret identities of all the rest of the Superfriends. 

Andrea Rojas uses the money from the Obsidian North sale to revitalize CatCo and promises to turn the magazine into a bastion of journalistic integrity once again.

William Dae's story about Lex Luthor and Leviathan is making waves in the wake of Luthor's arrest. He shared the byline with Kara.

Nia covers for Kara's absence by saying that she's working undercover on a story with Cat Grant.

William asks about Kara. Nia tells him that he's sure she would have called him if she could have.

Lena breaks into Lex and Lillian's prison sell and uses Myriad to erase their memories of Supergirl's secret identity.

Lena later admits to erasing the minds of everyone who knew Kara Danvers was Supergirl before returning Myriad to Alex and J'onn.

Dreamer returns Braniac-5's ring to him.. 

Dreamer and Brainiac-5 decided to give a romantic relationship a try after Dreamer says that she loves Brainiac-5 as well. They agree that there will be no more secrets between them.

Malefic was only able to find Midnight in the Phantom Zone because he knew her exact location. He did know someone who once mounted a rescue mission in the Phantom Zone. He doesn't say who, but M'Gann is already searching for him.

J'onn tells Alex about his partner, N'orr Cott, and suggests that she adopt her nickname and symbol as her own. 

Alex officially takes up the name Sentinel for when she's fighting crime in costume.

Lena encourages Alex to tell Kelly about Kara and he secret.

The final scene shows an unconscious Kara in the Phantom Zone, surrounded by snarling spectral creatures.


Location


Shelley Island
The Fortress of Solitude
Buenos Aires - The Rojas Estate.


Untelevised Adventures

J'onn travels to Mars and visits his brother to ask him about 


The Fridge Factor


Kelly Olsen comes off as the biggest idiot ever to not realize that Kara Danvers and Supergirl are the same person, given all the other superhero identities she is aware of in her circle of friends. And she makes a living observing people!


The Bottom Line

A bit of a mess all around for multiple reasons and it is unclear how much of it was the result of the pandemic. The best thing that can be said is that, unlike The Flash Season 7 premiere, it was able to get all its old business summed up in a single episode, even if this does mean rushing through some suddenly nonsensical subplots like everything involving Acrata. Best summed up by the fact that whoever wrote the press release summing up this episode couldn't be bothered to double-check that the characters' names were spelled properly. (Lex Luthor becomes Lex Luther in the Closed Captioning as well.)

Friday, April 2, 2021

Starman Plays Indiana Jones And the Fate of Atlantis - Part 3

 In which we head back to Iceland for a quick pick-up, before heading on to the Azores so Sophia can talk to a dirty old man and learn the location of the Lost Dialogue of Plato. Naturally this leads us back to the beginning at Barnett College, where we can finally dig through the archives again and then must make a fateful choice about how to proceed...

Thursday, April 1, 2021

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 7, Episode 5 - Fear Me

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


Plot

When a powerful new villain with psychic powers uses his abilities to amplify the fears of Central City's citizens, Barry must overcome his own worst fears, with Cecile's help, to save the day. Meanwhile, as Joe finds himself escorting a VIP from the Governor's office and Iris begins investigating why they're in Central City, Frost and Caitlin debate whether or not they should try and lives in separate bodies after being separated.


I
nfluences

The Flash comics of Joshua Williamson (characters of Psych and Kristen Kramer) and the Nightmare on Elm Street movies (general horror aesthetic of dream sequences, idea of villain who attacks people with nightmares.)


Performances

Danielle Panabaker has a fantastic double turn here as Caitlin and Frost.


Artistry

The episode does a fair job of establishing the dream-like, horror movie look of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies in the nightmare scenes.


Flash Facts


The episode introduces Kristen Kramer as a member of the Governor’s Municipal Logistics Commission. In The Flash comics, Kristen Kramer was the name of a CSI who was assigned to work with Barry Allen in the lab at Iron Height's penitentiary after Barry was demoted following repeated absences from work, due to his work as The Flash. She first appeared in The Flash Vol. 5 #1 in August 2016.

The Arrowverse version of Kristen Kramer is completely different, being a career soldier with a file with the Department of Defense that is largely redacted. Her true purpose in coming to Central City is reportedly to arrest Frost.

Cisco gives the super-strong being who attacked Barry the name Fuerza, after the Spanish word for strength. In the comics, Fuerza.was the code name adopted by Alexa Antigone; a vigilante with super-strength and gravity manipulation powers, who first appeared in The Flash Vol 5 #59 (January, 2019). In the comics, Fuerza was an avatar of the Strength Force in the same way that Barry Allen tapped the Speed Force, who used her powers to battle the corrupt police of the island nation of Corto Maltese.

The Arrowverse version of Fuerza seems to be less-intelligent than her comic book counterpart, being a lumbering rage-driven monster whom Cisco compares to the Marvel Comics character She-Hulk.

The episode also introduces a new villain called Psych, who amplifies the fears of people around him.

In the comics, Psyche first appeared in The Flash Vol 5 #61 (March, 2019). Empowered by the Sage Force in the same way The Flash drew power from the Speed Force, Psych possessed a number of psychic powers, including telepathy and telekinesis. Psych primarily worked as an information broker, learning people's darkest secrets and blackmailing them. The Arrowverse version, by contrast, seems only to be interested in spreading chaos.


Technobabble

Barry uses a spectrograph to isolate a rare geothermic isotope that can be used to track the super-strong being that attacked him and killed Abra Kadabra.

Cisco theorizes that Frost and Caitlin's separation was caused by the reflective mirror chip in Mirror Mistress' gauntlet. When Frost was blasted with the gauntlet, her cryogenes rapidly replicated a whole new body so that she could survive.

Barry says that the residual geothermic isotopes on the Speed Force indicate that she was attacked by Fuerza.

Cisco reprograms the Firestorm Matrix to merge Caitlin's DNA with Frost's RNA.

Cisco says that Psych's telepathic powers are strong enough to inspire extreme psychosomatic reactions that can literally trick a person's body into hurting itself.

Psych's powers don't just manipulate a person's fears - they amplify them, elevating their biometrics and putting their amygdala in overdrive, causing extreme panic attacks.

Frost tries to repair the Firestorm Matrix by connecting the transmitter to the output circuit.

After the third battle with Psych, Barry's frontal cortex begins healing, but the part of the brain that controls motor control is still weakened.


Dialogue Triumphs

The Flash: So let me get this straight. You made those guards hallucinate some kind of Godzilla rip-off that almost squashed them?
Psych: Well, I suppose that is an accurate, if not immensely reductive assessment of the situation. So, yes. I scared the hell out of them. And that was after showing them a vision of a dozen bystanders getting eaten alive by a very hungry kaiju. It’s horrifying when you think it’s your turn.
The Flash: Okay, um, look. Whoever you are, I really don’t have time for this.
Psych: My, my. How rude. And from a superhero? Is that actually allowed?
The Flash: (sighs) Okay, I apologize for the rudeness. But I hope you enjoy Iron Heights. ‘Cause I really do have bigger problems today.
Psych: Not yet, but you’re about to.

Caitlin: Do you want to tell me what scared you so much when Psych whammied you?
(Frost looks pensive.)
Caitlin: Come on. We used to share a brain. I know you don’t scare easy.
Frost: I was under arrest, for all the crimes I committed as Killer Frost. And you were the one who turned me in.
Caitlin: I would never do that.
Frost: I know. (sighs) Look, ever since you let me take the wheel, I got to live my life, not just half the time, but all the time. And I really liked it! And I don’t want to go back to living my life just half the time. And I was afraid you’d hate me for saying that.
Caitlin: I would never hate you. You’re my sister. You can always tell me how you feel.
Frost: I don’t know how! I mean… I may be the strong one, but... you’re the brave one. I mean, you’re fearless! I mean, ever since I got in touch with my feelings, I just… I’m scared, all the time. Sometimes I don’t even know why.
Caitlin: You think you’re the only one who gets scared sometimes? Ever since we separated, there’s been this deafening silence inside my head, where you used to be. And it terrifies me! That’s why I’ve been so desperate to put us back together. Why I got so upset when you broke the Matrix. It’s ’cause my biggest fear in life is living without you.
Frost: Mine too.
Caitlin: Well, why don’t we face that fear together?
Frost: You mean…
Caitlin: Maybe two Snows really is better than one. My apartment has an extra bedroom. I could use a roommate. What do you say?
Frost: I say… “This Is Us.”
(Caitlin laughs and Frost smiles softly as the two hug.)

(Cecile has been strapped into The Thinker's chair.)
Cisco:
Cecile, you good?
Cecile: Nope! Not even close to good. I… I am sitting in a death machine! What if this thing fries my brain? Wh… what if this chair turns me evil like the Top? What about that?
Caitlin: As a medical professional, I promise you will be okay. (pauses) Probably. 


Continuity

Ralph is still overseas with Sue, according to Barry.

Frost had a bet with Cisco that Barry and Iris would freak out over her and Caitlin's seperation. Cisco lost.

Cecile has a waking nightmare about someone stalking her. She later describes it as being more like a vision.

Frost and Caitlin can no longer hear each other's thoughts now that they are in separate bodies.

Frost still has her ice powers and Caitlin retained all her medical knowledge.

Caitlin is anxious to find a way to remerge with Frost, but Frost says they should focus on the berserker who nearly killed Barry.

The Speed Force, in the form of Barry's mother, manifests inside STAR Labs and asks for help before passing out.

The Speed Force has manifested as Nora Allen since HR Wells' funeral in 323.

Barry 's powers do not seem to be affected by the Speed Force's weakened state.

Barry puts his Speed Force Gauge on the Speed Force to monitor her power levels. She's currently in the red.

Iris investigates a story about how CC Mercantile was robbed when the guard fell asleep on duty. The guard later told her that he had a nightmare about his abusive stepfather stalking him.

Joe notices the robbery occurred at 11:09 pm. - the same time Cecile had a nightmare about someone stalking her. This leads him to suggest there's a new metahuman criminal with a Freddie Krueger gimmick. 

Joe has his first official meeting with Kristen Kramer; a representative of the Governor's Municipal Logistics Commission. 

Kristen Kramer seems to recognize Iris and claims to have read her story about disappearing into the Mirrorverse.

Iris becomes suspicious because Kristen Kramer uses the phrase "if you're not early, you're late." The only other time Iris heard this saying was from her military advisor at the Central City Citizen. 

Cisco and Caitlin rework the Firestorm Matrix to help merge Caitlin and Frost together again.

Caitlin is a big fan of the show This is Us. Frost is not.

Cecile comes to STAR Labs to ask Caitlin for a check-up, thinking her nightmare could be a side-effect of her expanding powers.

Cecile has another nightmare vision and she senses that an armored truck is being robbed. Cisco later detects another geothermic isotope reading from the same location.

The armored car guards Barry saves work for Crows Security from Batwoman.

The masked robber, whom Cisco names Psych, causes Barry to hallucinate that he's fighting the Reverse Flash and Savitar and that he's impaled through the chest. This causes Barry to actually start bleeding as if he had really been stabbed.

Psych carries traces of the same isotopes linked to Fueza.

Cisco tries to repurpose the mental inhibitors used to fight Gorilla Grodd, but they prove less than effective given Psych's immense power level.

Iris pulls Kristen Kramer's file from the Department of Defense and half of it is redacted. She asks Joe to read the file because she has a gut feeling she has another reason for being in Central City.

Frost knows how to swim but Caitlin might not.

Frost is still planning a white water rapids trip with Cisco.

Frost admits to sabotaging the Firestorm Matrix because she doesn't want to recombine with Caitlin.

Psych attacks the Clearly Capital offices, leaving several stock-brokers crying that they lost everything.

Psych is able to overwhelm Cisco, Frost and Barry with visions of their worst nightmares.

Frost's worst fear is being betrayed by Caitlin and arrested for her crimes as Killer Frost.

Cisco's worst fears involve bad things happening to Kamilla.

Barry's worst fear is causing the deaths of his loved ones.

Frost and Caitlin agree to stay separated and become roommates, with Caitlin calling Frost her sister for the first time.

Cecile says that she thinks about what The Flash would do whenever she is afraid.

Barry suggests that Cecile can cancel out Pscyh's powers by projecting her courage, like how she projected her fear into The Top in 701.

Barry retrieves The Thinker's chair and Thinking Cap from storage to boost Cecile's powers.

Cecile is able to project an electric courage aura that seems to cause Psyche to dissipate.

Barry notes that his Speed Force Lightning didn't phase either Psych or Fuerza.

Barry begins having another spasm of some kind and puts himself into the cryo-pod to heal.

Kristen Kramer worked in Gotham for a while. She claims to be a big Knights fan.

Kramer finally admits to Joe that she's there, on the orders of the governor, to arrest Killer Frost.

The Speed Force wakes up and says that she was attacked by Fuerza and Psych. She also says that she thinks they are "like her."


The Bottom Line

An enjoyable episode that serves more as a showcase of Danielle Panabaker's acting talents than an expansion of the new Force storyline. The script isn't particularly strong despite Psych being an engaging villain, but the performances of the ensemble keep the story moving.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Batwoman Episode Guide: Season 2, Episode 9 - Rule #1

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

Plot


As Kate Kane's friends and family make some difficult decisions, Alice takes a wild trip down memory lane. Meanwhile, Ryan faces the leader of the False Face Society -the fearsome Black Mask!


I
nfluences

The Pre-Crisis Batman comics featuring Black Mask.


Goofs


It seems highly unlikely the Police Commissioner of Gotham City would be leaving his day-long meeting alone or without a security detail.


Performances


Peter Outerbridge utterly dominates as Black Mask.


Artistry

The design for the Black Mask costume is truly terrifying.


Bat Trivia

This episode offers the first view of Black Mask in the post-Crisis Arrowverse. Apparently reality has been rewritten so that nobody knows Black Mask's identity in the revised reality, as Black Mask's mask was among the objects in storage in Arkham Asylum during the Elseworlds event.

First appearing in Batman #386 in August 1985, Black Mask was created by writer Doug Moench and artist Tom Mandrake as a more mature take on the older villain False Face. He was also intended to be a dark mirror of Bruce Wayne and Battman, being the scion of a rich Gotham City family with a double life, only as a crime boss instead of a crime fighter. He was also a failed business man, as opposed to the successful Bruce Wayne.

One trait Black Mask originally had in the comics was a hatred of hypocrisy, which fueled his obsession with masks and the "false faces" people presented the world. This was inspired by his appearances-obsessed parents, who mocked their rich "friends" in private while devoting their lives to impressing the people they despised. This is reflected in the Arrowverse version of Black Mask, whose motivation is to bring down the hypocritical "agents of justice" running Gotham City; i.e. the GCPD, Crows' Security and Batwoman.


Technobabble

The material used to confirm Kate's death was a parietal skull bone found off the coast of Bludhaven.

The time stamp on the security footage at City Hall indicates that someone scrubbed several minutes before and after the murder of Commissioner Forbes.

The NTSB report on Kate Kane's plane crash suggests that based on the weather and atmosphere that night that a lightning strike could have knocked our the controls and that a recalled circuit breaker could have sparked an electrical fire in the cockpit. 


Dialogue Triumphs

(Ryan narrates the opening scene, as we see Kate Kane's funeral.)
Ryan: 
Dear Kate... It doesn't feel real to say good-bye. Unbeknownst to us, Julia Pennyworth spent months with a recovery team combing the ocean floor for any sign of you. She found something caught, a parietal skull bone in the shores outside of Blüdhaven, had different labs match it to your DNA. It was enough to confirm you were gone, and since I can't exactly be there to say good-bye in person, I'll say it here in the place where I feel like I know you the best, and since I can't lay flowers at your gravesite either, I have another idea. This plant was my connection to my mama. Then it turned out to be more than a plant. It's a Desert Rose from Coryana, probably snuck over to the states by an islander named Ocean, who eventually gave it to my ex for safekeeping, who then gave it to me, having no idea that its serum was actually a miracle cure. Like you, this plant is one of a kind, and like you, it gave me a second chance. Beyond all earthly words and songs of blessing, praise, and comfort. So now when I look at it, I won't just think of my mama. I'll think of Kate Kane, and I'll think of the woman who saved a hell of a lot of people, the woman who created a family for everyone, the woman who could keep us from surrendering to our demons, the woman who inspired people to stay true to themselves even when it felt impossible, to always be there whenever someone needed them, who brought out our humanity, even in the darkest of moments, and the woman who changed me. Like everything good in my life, I thought my time as the Bat was temporary, but it's for real now, and I'm not in your shadow anymore. I'm it. I am Batwoman. Good-bye, Kate Kane. Thank you for changing my life. May your memory be a blessing. 

Angelique: I said some pretty awful things to you a while back.
Ryan: Well, I mean, in your defense, you were in the process of dumping me. 

(Team Batwoman spots Jordan Moore's graffiti. Ryan and Luke start talking as Mary looks at her phone and starts typing.)
Ryan: Someone could have been tagging the building while the shooting was happening.
Luke: Then got the hell out of Dodge, left behind work in progress. 
Ryan: Which means the tagger could have seen the shooter!
Luke: And the shooter could have seen them. So how do we track down a potential witness and protect them solely based off the words "Defund the police?"
Mary: I think I found it.
Luke (flabbergasted) Literally how?
Mary: Social media. Figured the "X" inside the "O" and the monochrome on top of the neon was some sort of signature.
(Mary hands her phone to Luke as Ryan looks over.)
Ryan: Definitely could be the same artist.
Luke: I'll get the user's info. 
(Mary does an exaggerated bow.)

(Alice has a tea party with a hallucinatory teenage Kate.)
Alice: I just spent the last two weeks in the bowels of a ship, trying to escape a godforsaken island. Trust me. If I were to conjure up some fantasy, this would not be it.
Teen Kate: You mean the same island you risked everything to get to in order to see me again? Well, here we are.
Alice: Of course. I ask the universe for my sister, and this is what I get.
Teen Kate: I'm not sure why that's surprising. You never get what you want.
Alice: Cheers to that.
Teen Kate: Nothing about your plan unfolded the way you wanted. After we left you in this cell for years, you set out to make sure your family never left you again, but Dad helped lock you at Arkham, and I'm dead.
Alice: Am I so mentally disturbed that my imagination created you to rub it in?
Teen Kate: You created me because you were always the one who got us into trouble, but I was always the one clever enough to get us out of it.

(Jacob asks Julia to investigate the investigation into Kate's death.)
Julia: I take it I'm reading their report because you don't believe that?
Jacob: Well, in the last few months, I've discovered that one of my daughters is Batwoman while the other ran an illegal underground medical clinic, so I'm not taking anything at face value anymore. 

Ryan: So she's somewhere inside a janky, old sawmill?
Luke: Gotham bad guys wouldn't have it any other way. 

(Batwoman has just witnessed Black Mask sawing one of his men in half.)
Batwoman:
What the hell are you doing?
Black Mask: It's an HR matter. What are you, OSHA?!
Batwoman: I'm here for your prisoner. Let her go. She's not like you.
Black Mask: Oh, please. Enlighten me. Who am I?
Batwoman: You're a sadistic drug lord.
Black Mask: Okay. I can see why you might think that, but it's Gotham that's sadistic, not me, and they say the best way to change the system is from within.
Batwoman: You're not changing crap.
Black Mask:And you are?
Batwoman: I'm doing my best every damn day!
Black Mask: Your best isn't good enough, and I know that better than anyone. My daughter was imprisoned by the Crows and killed by Batwoman.
Batwoman: I never killed anyone.
Black Mask: But you've taken on the symbol of the woman who did. So tell me is that change? Or is that just pandering to a sick city that worships extremist Crows and Bats? Maybe you wouldn't bother me so much if I said I was a squirrel.
Batwoman: You've really convinced yourself this creepy mask is a symbol for, what, a concerned citizen?
Black Mask: No. It's a symbol of liberation from people like you. People who think they'll never be held accountable as long as they pretend that what they do is justice.


Continuity


Kate Kane's funeral is attended by Jacob Kane, Mary Hamilton, Luke Fox, Julia Pennyworth and Sophie Moore.

Julia Pennyworth, unbeknownst to everyone, had a ocean dive team searching the coast for signs of Kate. They recovered a skull bone that belonged to Kate.

Ryan plants the Desert Rose plant that saved her life in the Batcave as a memorial to Kate.

The crime boss called Black Mask is revealed to have Kate.

Police Commissioner Forbes, last seen in 106, attends a day-long budget meeting one month after Kate Kane's funeral.

Commissioner Forbes, unlike Jacob Kane, welcomes Batwoman's help in dealing with the Snakebite drug and the False Face Society. 

Commissioner Forbes is confronted by an activist on the way to the meeting. This activist is later revealed to be Jordan Moore, Sophie Moore's younger sister.

Apparently the GCPD killed four unarmed black me in the past year alone.

Ryan makes good sweet potato pancakes; a dish Mary had never had before.

Angelique shows up at Mary and Ryan's apartment, claiming that she's ready to change her life to get back together with Ryan.

Alice is hiding out in the old Cartwright home. 

Alice hallucinates a teenage Kate coming to her to have a tea party.

Commissioner Forbes is gunned down on the steps of City Hall by two members of the False Face Society. This is witnessed by Jordan Moore, who was in the middle of spraying anti-police graffiti on the side of the building.

The morning after Commissioner Forbes' death, local billionaire Roman Sionis, CEO of Janus Cosmetics, makes a public statement offering his support to any solution that can end the gang violence in the city.

It's common knowledge among the city elites that Forbes was cheating on his wife.

Ryan notices Jordan's graffiti on the altered security footage of City Hall at the time Forbes was murdered. This leads to the search for Jordan after they realize the footage was altered.

This also indicates that whoever killed Commissioner Forbes has access to Gotham City's CCTV feed.

Mary is able to identify Jordan Moore based on her graffiti tag - an x inside her letter o's.

Ryan is unsure whether she should get back with Angelique or not.

Jordan goes to Sophie for help, but refuses to testify to the Crows.

The False Face Society attack Sophie and Jordan in the parking garage at Crows Headquarters.

Batwoman arrives just in time to save them.

Jorfan tells Batwoman that Commissioner Forbes was killed by two men in masks - a gas mask and a hockey mask. Their getaway driver was a woman in a babydoll mask who had a bracelet with a big gold key on it.

Ryan recognizes this description as a distinctive bracelet Angelique always wore.

Ryan confronts Angelique over how she didn't really get out of the False Face Society.

Angelique asks how Ryan knows this. Ryan half-lies and says that she knows Batwoman.

Angelique claims that she was able to get out after agreeing to act as the getaway driver on one last job.

Ryan says she can get Batwoman to help Angelique if she agrees to testify against Black Mask. Angelique asks for time to think about it.

Luke and Mary are both skeptical about Angelique doing the right thing, given that she let Ryan go to prison over her crime.

Mary points out that Kate was similarly blind to Alice's inability to change until after Alice murdered Catherine Hamilton.

Julia claims she never thought Safiyah was responsible for Kate's disappearance, as it didn't fit her MO.

Jacob doesn't believe the report which says a lighting strike or recalled circuit breaker could have caused Kate's plane to crash.

Jacob asks Julia to investigate the investigation into Kate's plane crash and confirm that noneof her enemies or his enemies could have been responsible.

Jordan stays at the Hide Out while laying low.

Jordan has issues with authority in general, including Batwoman, seeing the cops, the Crows and the costumes as "suits who shoot first and ask questions later."

Jordan is working with several grassroots groups to get a new community center built in the worst part of Gotham. She also phone banks to keep new jails from being built and is on a council trying to get more money spent on neighborhood-led safety initiatives than police weaponry.

Jordan and Sophie's mother told Jordan about Sophie coming out to her. Unlike their mother, Jordan has no issue with Sophie being a lesbian. Indeed, she encourages her to ask Ryan out.

Sophie says that will never happen - not even an enemies-to-lovers maybe.

Sophie calls Luke and asks if he can tell her why Batwoman seemed to single out the clue that the False Face getaway driver wore a key bracelet. Luke lies and says he'll check with her.

Luke tells Mary that he's trusting Ryan's judgement and that the Bat team only works when they trust each other and have each other's backs, even when they don't agree.

Angelique calls Ryan and says she's ready to make things right. However, when she goes to pick her up as Batwoman, her apartment had already been ransacked and she was gone.

Luke is able to track Angelique's phone to an old sawmill in the West Yard district.

Batwoman is swarmed by the False Face Society and tied up to be sawn in half in the sawmill.

Batwoman watches Black Mask kill one of the masked men she fought who was sent to capture Jordan Moore.

Black Mask reveals that his daughter was imprisoned by the Crows and then died because of the original Batwoman. It is implied that she was innocent.

Sophie shows up to save Batwoman, having been called by Luke who got worried when Batwoman's comms were shut off.

Batwoman rescues Angelique, who turns herself in to Sophie.

Sophie confesses to the murder of Commissioner Forbes.

Sophie gives Ryan Angelique's key bracelet. She says that Angelique asked her to deliver it because Angelique agreed to take the fall because Black Mask had threatened to kill Ryan if she didn't. 

Julia calls a man named Kurt about the loaders at National City's private airport. He claims to have spoken to Julia a month ago and that they talked about her accent and how they both went to camp in Oxfordshire. Julia has no memory of this conversation.

Ryan creates a set of rules for the Bat Team. There are three rules.

3. Support - We have each other's backs.
2. Accountability - We hold each other accountable.
1. Legacy - We build something better, rather than just beating bad people senseless.

In accordance with Rule #1, Ryan suggests they all help Jordan with getting her community center built. Luke and Mary agree.

Alice digs up her dead cat and hallucinates that it is still alive.

Realizing that she's having a psychotic break, Alice decides to just forget Kate existed rather than grieve her.

It is revealed that Black Mask kidnapped Kate Kane from her plane and that her face was messed up during the fiight.

Black Mask employs Enigma, the same hypnotist used by Safiyah, to start reprogramming Kate Kane.


Location

The episode is set in Gotham City, but jumps forward one month in time after Kate Kane's funeral.


Untelevised Adventures

We don't see what  Alice was doing in the past month it took her to get back to Gotham, including two weeks in the bowels of a ship. 

The Fridge Factor


Ryan doesn't come off well in this episode, being easily overpowered by the False Face Society. 

The only reason Sophie is able to help rescue Ryan is because Luke told her where to go.


The Bottom Line

If I had any doubts left that the main reason to watch this show was Alice, this episode eliminated them. Despite this, the show does a fantastic job setting up Black Mask as the main villain for the second half of the season and does bring Ryan's arc with Angelique to a satisfying conclusion. Yet I still wish the story were focused on Julia Pennyworth, because it seems like all the most interesting things are happening to her off-camera. 

Starman Plays Indiana Jones And the Fate of Atlantis - Part 2

In which, after ruining Madame Sophia's show, we make our way back to Iceland in search of a lead on some Atlantean artifacts and the Lost Dialogue of Plato describing Atlantis' location. We then head to Tikal in search of the man who translated the Lost Dialogue and solve many strange puzzles involving animals.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Starman Plays Indiana Jones And the Fate of Atlantis - Part 1

In which we play through the opening credits tutorial and marvel at how unsafe the archives at Barnett College are, before taking a wholly unnecessary trip to pick up a bunch of junk we don't need and clean out the fridge in Indy's office. We then get down to the serious business of sneaking into a theater.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Superman and Lois: Season 1, Episode 5 - The Best of Smallville

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



Plot

As Smallville celebrates its first Harvest Festival since Martha Kent's passing, Clark is reminded of what his mother meant to him and the city and learns an important lesson. Meanwhile, the shift in Jonathan and Jordan's fortunes finally comes to a head, as The Stranger arrives in Smallville and begins stalking Lois.


I
nfluences

The classic Superboy comics (Clark trying to protect his town as a teenager) and Superman: The Movie (Pa Kent's speech about Clark being sent to Earth for a reason, Ma Kent giving him the sunstone from his rocket.)


Performances

Inde Navarrette, who plays Sarah Cushing, gets some great moments here, playing a teenage girl who is wise beyond her years and resentful of the innocence she's lost. 

Tyler Hoechlin gets some great silent acting moments in the set-up to the flashbacks to his teen years and the moments after.


Artistry

The direction in general is fantastic, with the transition between flashbacks and present-day scenes being seamless.

The "after school special" scene with Sarah and Jordan having their date interuppted by a drunken Jonathan is also notable for how it avoids being the typical "teen drinking is bad" drama scene and is played completely straight and with surprising realism.

I defy you not to cry during the final flashback as a teenage Clark Kent leaves home for the first time and Martha Kent watches him leave, neither one wanting to part but both knowing it is ultimately for the best.


Super Trivia


Most of the flashbacks to Clark's teen years are taken directly from Superman: The Movie.

This episode confirms that this version of Clark Kent did try to use his powers to help people before becoming Superman, although he didn't don a costume and appear as Superboy when he did it.

This episode reveals that The Stranger (aka Captain Luthor) was apparently married to Lois Lane on his Earth. There is a long history of Lois Lane and Lex Luthor being romantically involved in alternate worlds in the DC Comics universe. Perhaps the most famous example of this is in Earth-3; a world where all the great heroes were villains and Alexander Luthor the world's only superhero.

Lois and Lex were also married in the reality of Superman: Red Son. The two dated for a time in the realities of Superman: The Animated Series and  Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. In the current mainstream DC Comics universe, Luthor had an infatuation with Lois (due to her refusal to cowtow to him) and he briefly had a replicant companion modeled on Lois.


Technobabble

Captain Luthor tracks Superman and Derek Powell's chase to a five mile circumference, based on an established flight algorithm of Kryptonian flight patterns.


Dialogue Triumphs

(Sharon Powell has just told Lois and Chrissy to drop the matter of Morgan Edge trying to have her killed, now that her son has suddenly come back.)
Chrissy:
Okay, that phony story... was all sorts of rehearsed.
Lois: (deadpan) I know.
Chrissy: Sharon almost got killed by someone who works for Morgan Edge.
Lois: (deadpan) Yep.
Chrissy: I'm acting like you right now?
Lois: That's because we both know this is a big story. And we will figure it out, but for now, let's just be happy she got her son back.

Lois: So you're a reporter?
The Stranger: That's right. Marcus Bridgewater.
Lois: Sounds vaguely familiar. Politico?
The Stranger:  Reuters. Mainly do business coverage, focusing on big tech. I have a background in engineering. I used to work at LuthorCorp.
Lois: (like she's about to spit) Lex Luthor, the only human being worse than Morgan Edge.
The Stranger:  Guy, uh... (chuckles) Definitely has his secrets. 

(Jonathan has just said he's sick of farming, Harvest Fest and Smallville.)
Clark:
Hey. I'm sorry about Eliza.
Jonathan: It's not about that, Dad. I wanna move back. I lost all my friends. I'm probably never gonna play football again, and... and now, what? You just expect me to drop my life for everyone else's?
Clark: Look, I know, I know. A lot has changed. But I promise you, it's all gonna work out.
Jonathan: (scoffs) You don't know that!
Clark: I get it. There was a time in my life when I felt just like you.
Jonathan: Yeah, well, I'm sure. When was that? When you were, I don't know, lifting an oil tanker or maybe flying laps around Saturn?
Clark: Jonathan...
Jonathan: No, Dad! I'm not like you, and I'm not like Superboy over there, okay? (gestures towards Jordan) And this town? It is my Kryptonite! 

Martha Kent: We've talked about this, Clark. You can't be running around playing masked vigilante.
Teen Clark: They were stealing!
Martha Kent: I understand that, but we've got rules in this family.
Teen Clark: Those were Dad's rules, and he's not here anymore.
Martha Kent: That doesn't mean you get to ignore everything he taught you.
Teen Clark: It's been a year. You know? We can't keep pretending everything's the same. We have to move on with our lives.
Martha Kent: Moving on can be a distraction. Sometimes to heal, you've gotta... you've gotta sit with the feeling, you know? Let it run its course.
Teen Clark: Dad understood. He knew I was sent here for a reason.
Martha Kent: Your father and I both knew you were sent here for a reason.
Teen Clark: Well, I'm pretty sure that reason wasn't to be Martha Kent's son! 

(Lois and Clark are sitting on Martha Kent's memorial bench.)

I was so selfish.
Everybody is at that age. It's part of growing up.
Yeah, but Mom knew that. And she let me go anyway.
Because she loved you and she wanted you to be happy. And now we're at the point where our own kids are talking about leaving home.
It feels like they were just born.
It's easy for you to say, you didn't have to go through 27 hours of labor.
That's true.
(Clark looks over at Lois and the both laugh and cuddle up.)
Lois: Love you.
Clark: Love you too.
(From a distance, they are being watched by Captain Luthor, He looks upset - more saddened then angry as he turns around and walks away. He returns to his mobile home. He leans on the counter and steadies himself, breathing deeply. His AI kicks on and a red light scans over him.)
AI: Biometric readings suggests your pulse is abnormally high. This must be about Lois Lane. It is worth reminding you that this is not the Lois Lane from your world.
Captain Luthor: Everything about her is the same. Everything, except she marries someone else! 


Continuity

As the episode opens, the national news is reporting an uptick in Superman sightings around the globe. This is because Clark is trying to free up time for his favorite time of year in Smallville: Harvest Fest.

Harvest Fest is an annual event in Smallville, coinciding with when the farmers harvested their crops in the fall, where the community gathered together and shared what they didn't need with each other. It also has the traditional fair attractions, such as rides, food like funnel cakes, fried cheese curds, and chocolate covered bacon.

Smallville was officially established as a township in 1949.

The Kent farm grows corn and the family shuck the ears together as Clark tells his sons about the festival and how it taught him the value of helping others.

Jonathan's girlfriend Eliza is coming to visit that weekend.

Eliza is reportedly a vegetarian.

Sarah asks Jordan out to the Harvest Festival With a little pushing from Jonathan, he says yes.

Eliza dumps Jonathan over the phone, when he called to confirm her arrival time.

Jonathan and Eliza had been dating for over a year.

Clark turns his mother's room into a home office for Lois. He plans to give away most of the furniture, except for one lamp.

Crissy Beppo calls Lois and asks if she could come into the office as Sharon Powell (last seen in 103) has shown up, with her missing son, Derek.

Derek Powell claims to have no memory of where he's been for the past few months. He says the last thing he remembers before losing time was looking at his latest generous paycheck from Morgan Edge as he was walking through a tunnel and hurting his head. The next thing he remembered was waking up in Stanton County. The authorities found him outside St. Anthony's church and they helped him recover his memory. 

Derek Powell claims to have no memory of the phone messages he left for his mother, saying that the opportunity he'd been given wasn't what he thought it was and he sounded scared.

Sharon says everything that happened, including the attempted murder, doesn't really matter to her since her son is back.

Captain Luthor has tracked Lois Lane to Smallville, saying that the one thing he's noticed about this Earth is that Superman will follow Lois Lane anywhere.

Sharon and Derek drop off several bags of men's clothes for the Harvest Fest swap meet.

Lana recognizes Derek's name from Lois' story.

Derek goes to the restroom, breathing heavily and sweating. He calls Leslie Larr to tell her something is wrong just before his eyes erupt red with heat-vision and set the building on fire.

As a teenager, Clark normally wore flannel shirts.

Lana apparently dated Kyle Cushing in high school before she started daring Clark.

Clark had a brief career as a masked vigilante in Smallville, in spite of his mother warning him against trying to use his powers to help people. 

The thieves Clark stops in his flashback were stealing 32" television sets VCRs and salad shooters.

As a teenager, Clark was strong enough to break a shotgun with his bare hands and fast enough to bat bullets out of the air.

Clark hears the sirens of the fire department and steps in to put the fire out with his ice breath before the building can collapse on Kyle Cushing.

Kyle notices the frost on the support beams afterward.

By the time Clark got to the drop-off site, all the donations had been destroyed.

Clark saw Sharon Powell outside the center as they firemen were trying to put it out. He did not see Derek Powell, but noticed Sharon seemed to be looking for someone.

Clark's favorite band to listen to when he was depressed as a teenager was REO Speedwagon.

Tom "Mitch" Mitchell was the main casualty of the fire. A career firefighter in Smallville, he was the best man and Kyle and Lana's wedding. He's still alive, but he inhaled a lot of smoke and Kyle says things are not looking good for him when Lois questions him about the fire.

Kyle says the whole fire was weird and he has no idea how it started so suddenly or was stopped so suddenly. He does not mention the frost to Lois..

Kyle confirms he saw Derek Powell near the Smallville Community Center before the fire started.

Lois calls Chrissy and suggests that she talk to Sharon Powell again.

Captain Luthor approaches Lois pretending to be another reporter; Marcus Bridgewater. He claims to be working with Reuters and to be a former LuthorCorp employee. He also claims to have an educational background in engineering, though he mostly writes about big tech and business. 

Captain Luthor claims to be a big fan of Lois Lane and says he began investigating Morgan Edge after reading her last piece on him in The Daily Planet.  He tells her that he plans to check out the Shuster Mines. Lois tells him to call her if he finds anything and they can consider sharing the byline. 

Sharon Powell says Derek sent her a text after the fire at the Smallville Community Center, saying that he needed space. He said nothing about where he was going.

After confirming that Sharon and Derek shared a phone plan, Chrissy used Sharon's phone to track Derek's, finding out that he was at 1247 Crawford Street.

Jonathan declares that he wants to move back to Metropolis and that his friend, Bryan Kelso, has an older brother who has a spare bedroom. Clark says that will not happen, but Jonathan says maybe he'll just do it anyway.

After the fight with Jonathan, Clark remembers an argument he had with his mother as a teenager over his vigilantism and how Clark didn't see any reason to follow his father's rule about "showing off" his powers.

Kyle returns home drunk. Apparently he and several other firemen went out to have a drink in Tom Mitchell's honor since the doctors says there's almost no chance he could keep working as a fireman, even if he did pull through given his lung damage.

Kyle fights Lana about going to the Harvest Festival right away. He wants some time to clean up and eat, but Lana has to meet with several people to figure out what to do about the destroyed donations.

Sarah offers to drive Kyle to the Festival while Lana and Sophie go first.

Jon abandons Jordan to hang out with some other football players who are drinking something alcoholic from a flask.

Kyle winds up passing out on the couch while Sarah is fixing him something to eat, trying to sing Sarah a song he used to sing to her when she was a little girl.

Chrissy Beppo goes to the address on Sharon Powell's phone and spies Leslie Larr making out with Derek Powell before they go into the building.

After going into Jordan's room to shut off the radio, Clark remembers back to when the room was his room and how he and his mother made up after their fight over his stopping the robbery.

Clark apologizes, saying his mom was right to be upset at him. Martha apologizes, saying that Smallville might not be the best place for him anymore. This leads to her giving him the Sunstone crystal from the ship that brought him to Earth.

Lana lies about Kyle's absence at the Harvest Fest and says Kyle is at the hospital with Tom Mitchell.

Sarah is late for her date with Jordan. 

The building at 1247 Crawford Street contains a machine like an MRI, which Derek Powell is loaded into by Leslie Larr. Chrissy Beppo observes this but leaves to call Lois before seeing the machine activate. 

Sarah is about to tell Jordan something private, but is interrupted by a drunken Jonathan. 

Sarah loses her temper with the football players and tells them not to talk to her because she's sick of dealing with drunk idiots who don't know what real problems are.

Clark smells the alcohol on Jonathan from a distance. He and Lois send the boys home from the festival early, despite the fact that they said they were already leaving.

Chrissy calls Lois and tells her about how she saw Leslie Larr and Derek Powell together.

Clark goes to the building at 1247 Crawford as Superman.

Derek Powell tells Leslie Larr to "protect the asset" before taking off flying and leading Superman on a chase.

Captain Luthor detects Superman flying and is stunned that Kal-El is in Smallville.

Captain Luthor is now operating out of a mobile home, which contains his AI assistant and a small arsenal of apparently high-tech weapons.

Derek Powell sets a barn and several fields on fire with his heat vision to slow down Superman. Superman barely misses a beat putting them out with his ice breath. 

During the fight, when Superman asks what happened to Derek Powell, an inhuman voice says that he's been resurrected and that "You are not alone anymore, Kal-el."

Captain Luthor attempts to shoot both Kryptonians out of the sky with a rocket launcher of some type. It seems to weaken Derek Powell, but only stuns Superman briefly. The rocket explosion is visible from Harvest Fest.

Derek Powell's body disintegrates into a burst of heat vision and ashes.

Captain Luthor runs to the impact point, but Superman has left before he can get there, armed with a special gun - presumably one that could kill a Kryptonian. 

Clark and Lois declare that Jonathan is getting a "get out jail free card" this one time, saying that he had to leave Smallville to find himself and he understands it might not be the place for Jonathan. He says they can discuss the idea of Jonathan moving to stay with friends later, but he asks Jonathan to give Smallville more time.

Clark gives Jonathan a box that Pa Kent made which he gave to Ma Kent, which she, in turn, gave to Clark when he left home.

Clark says he doesn't think Derek Powell was really Derek Powell and references his talk of being resurrected. He also mentions how his powers were erratic, like Tag Harris's super-speed.

Morgan Edge donates enough cash to replace everything that was lost in a fire, and then some.

Lana reveals that the Smallville City Council decided to dedicate a bench that Martha Kent always sat on whenever she was in town to her. The bench bares a memorial plaque which reads "MARTHA KENT - THE BEST OF SMALLVILLE."

Clark remembers how he and his mother sat on that bench to wait for the train leaving Smallville when he left home.

Captain Luthor was apparently married to Lois Lane on his Earth.

Based on his uniform, Captain Luthor was a US Army Ranger.

Jordan and Sarah decide to take it slow, with Sarah saying she needs a friend more than a boyfriend right now. Jordan agrees.

On the walk home to the Kent Farm, Jordan is jumped by Tag Harris, who is wearing a uniform of some type. He is then knocked out. 


Untelevised Adventures


Superman does many heroic things around the world which are mentioned in passing on the national news.


The Bottom Line

A solid, yet curious episode. Probably the most weakly written episode to date, it is also the best directed and bolstered by some solid performances. It leaves us wanting more. Unfortunately, thanks to The CW's odd schedule, we'll have to wait two more months to get it.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Starman Plays Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade - Part 6

In which we explore all the major loose-ends and alternative pathways not covered earlier. This includes an escape from the castle where we don't get caught, a trip to Berlin where we get to become the only American to punch Hitler (for all the good it does us) and a ride on a Zeppelin. For extra value, I show off most of the ways you can die in the Grail Temple, including what happens if you choose... poorly.


Thursday, March 25, 2021

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 7, Episode 4 - Central City Strong

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


Plot

Abra Kadabra returns, seeking revenge on Barry Allen and the rest of Team Flash. Meanwhile,  Caitlin suspects something is wrong with Frost, as Iris confronts the darkness of her time in the Mirrorverse and seeks help in dealing with it.


I
nfluences

The Flash comics of Joshua Williamson (introduction of Strength Force), the writings of Arthur C. Clarke (mentioned by Chester, obelisks a nod to 2001: A Space Odyssey)


Goofs

Ignoring the quality of Iris' writing and Allegra's comments indicating her article has been plagiarized from other sources, it seems likely the reason the Central City Citizen is losing readers is because it has taken Iris a week to write a basic news article about a major event!

It's revealed that Frost still has a warrant out for her arrest in Central City. Given how high and mighty Barry is about that sort of thing, you'd think this would have been addressed by now or that Joe (as the detective in charge of metahuman investigations) would have tried to do get the warrant cleared. Heck, get Cecile to argue for a dismissal based on good behavior!

The CGI on the Strength Force wielder looks terrible.


Flash Facts

Cisco makes mention of Kord Industries helping out with the effort to rebuild Central City This is a nod to the company of Ted Kord, aka The Blue Beetle, who has often been referenced in the Arrowverse but has yet to appear on camera.

Chester evokes the name of Arthur C. Clarke when confronted with the odd obelisks appearing around Central City. One of the founders of modern science fiction, the obelisks are a nod to Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey. It's appropriate that Clarke is mentioned in this episode with Abra Kadabra, as Clarke's Third Law - "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - is a fair justification of Kadabra's techno-wizardry.

At one point, Cisco and Chester discuss how to go about rewatching the Star Wars movies, with The Machete Order being mentioned. This is a way of viewing the Star Wars films where one starts with A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, but then watches Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith before moving on to Return of the Jedi. This allegedly offers the most cohesive story experience. (The other two most popular methods are Release Order and Chronological Order.)

Kadabra makes reference to a villain called the Chronarch, who he claims will come for The Flash in his future. There are two characters with the title Chronarch in the classic DC Comics books. One was the tyrannical ruler of 64th Century Earth, who was defeated by an unlikely team-up of The Flash and Abra Kadabra. The other was a 30th Century scientist named Circadia Senius, who was appointed head of the Time Institute during the time of the Legion of Superheroes.

The anti-matter bomb Kadabra fashions is based around a core of pure Valorium. This is the same metal used by the Legion of Superheoes to create their trademark Flight Rings. Valorium is an alloy of Nth Metal (the metal used by Hawkman and Hawkwoman to fly) but is more durable and much denser.

The super-strong earthquake-generating villain who kills Kadabra appears to be empowered by the Strength Force - an energy field in The Flash comics, similar to the Speed Force, but tied to gravity and the Earth rather than lightning and motion.


Technobabble

Cisco says the first Kadabra crime scene is infected with temporal energy. He says he can carbon date the energy as being 43 centuries from now, which seems to be Cisco dumbing down how he's actually tracking the energy given that carbon-dating is used to track the death of organic matter.

Kadabra charges his anti-matter bomb by teleporting around the city, using his kinetic energy as a power source.

A trace amount of anti-matter is enough to nearly take out The Flash's leg. A core the size of a baseball could destroy Central City.

 A routine medical scan in Kadbra's time determined that he had a sudden increase in his somatic memory cells. This is apparently a common side-effect of neuro-temporal displacement that is caused by speedsters disrupting the timeline.


Dialogue Triumphs

Abra Kadabra: The last time we met, you begged me to find a glimmer of light in myself. Well, I found that light, that hope. And then you stole it from me. Now I'm going to take something from you.
The Flash: I don't know what you're talking about.
Abra Kadabra: Let me make it crystal clear for you, Flash. You cannot defeat a man who has lost everything.

Abra Kadabra: I don't get it. We're mortal enemies in the future. Why are you doing this?
The Flash: So the next time we meet, maybe we won't be. 


Dialogue Disasters

Every time someone uses the phrase "Central City Strong." Resist the urge to make a drinking game of it. You will be dead within 20 minutes.

Abra Kadabra: I'm the greatest magician of all time, which is why you should be more than just afraid... You should be terrified. 


Continuity


In the week since the battle with Mirror Mistress in 703, Barry has taken Iris on a trip to Maui. He also brought her fresh crepes from Paris for breakfast that morning.

Central City has been experiencing a series of earthquakes over the past week, with the latest measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale.

Mirror Mistress is officially being called Mirror Monarch in the Central City Press.

Barry makes an appearance as The Flash on The Arielle Atkins Hour to encourage people to chip in on rebuilding Central City. 

STAR Labs does a lot of volunteer work in the community.

Cisco mentions that Kord Industries is supposed to be taking over for them on a construction site in an hour.

Caitlin has been tired and head a headache since the fight with Mirror Mistress.

Frost still has a warrant out for her arrest in Central City, despite her reformation. 

Kamilla has been busy taking photos of the destruction of Central City. This leaves Allegra having to act as Iris' sounding board on the Central City Citizen more than usual. 

Viewership on he Central City Citizen site is down 73%.

Allegra tells Iris her story on the battle with Mirror Mistress stinks because she says nothing about her own personal experiences during the event.

Abra Kadabra kills a volunteer at the constriction site, where a small but heavy obelisk manifests, riddling his body with razor-sharp playing cards.

Kadabra was last seen in 318. However, his picture was briefly seen among the villains resurrected by Crisis in Cisco's Who's Who Binder in 610.

The obelisk ways two tons.

Chester is now working as a CCPD-consultant intern.

Iris goes to a support group for Mirrorverse abductees and interviews a couple named Steve and Alice. Steve was abducted and watched his mirror universe clone sleep with Alice - a nightmarish scenario that triggers Iris' own bad memories of the Mirrorverse.

Kadabra refers to Cisco and his new tech suit as Mecha-Vibe.

Kadabra makes reference to a villain called The Chronarch and says he's doing The Flash a favor killing him now.

Frost is able to bring down Kadabra while he's distracted.

Kadabra is handed over to ARGUS.

ARGUS has a new Director of Technology and Science who is very literal and has no sense of humor.

Frost does not need to hide herself from ARGUS personnel, as they are aware of her reformation. 

Frost took some kind of techno cuff from Kadabra before he was taken away.

Frost is experiencing the same fatigue and headaches as Caitlin. Despite this, Cisco's tests determine that she's perfectly healthy.

Kadabra allowed himself to be arrested to gain access to a third obelisk that ARGUS picked up one week earlier.

Barry tries to steal Iris away for a night at a beach villa in Monaco, but the plans are changed when he learns of Kadabra's escape.

Iris is having a major bout of writer's block.

Kadabra merges the three obelisks into a sphere.

Kadabra claims that Barry stole something from him and now he's returning the favor.

Cisco determines the bomb Kadabra conjured is made of pure Valorium, so Barry can't phase through it.

Barry is still depressed that he didn't see through the fake Iris sooner. This is why he's been going all out to pamper Iris since her return.

Barry determines that the thing Kadabra had stolen from him was his family, based on the idea of what he nearly did because of Iris being taken from him.

Cisco determines that Kadabra's cuff contains the Martial Memory Restorer used by Laurel Lance to return Mia Queen's memories of the pre-Crisis reality from A809.

Cisco guesses that Kadabra stole the MMR at some point in the future and that something in his pre-Crisis memories brought him back to Central City in the 21st Century.

Barry confronts Kadabra at Tagaloa Plaza and confirms that Kadabra regained the memories of all his doppelgangers, including one who had a wife and infant son.

Kadabra claims that, in the future, Barry will become obsessed with the future.

Kadabra confesses to stealing the MMR from The Flash Museum and fixing it.

Barry guesses that Kadabra is trying to destroy Central City instead of him because he already did the math and realized he couldn't kill The Flash so destroying his city was the only revenge available to him.

Barry talks Kadabra out of setting off the bomb.

Kadabra reveals that his real name is Philippe. His son's name was Luca and his wife's name was Amélie.

Barry describes Oliver Queen as his brother.

A large hulking figure tied to the earthquakes appears at Tagaloa Plaza and attacks The Flash and Abra Kadabra. It somehow absorbs the full power of the antimatter bomb before killing Kadabra.

Joe is having to act as an escort to a liaison from the Governor's Police Compliance Commission.

Allegra is given a full staff writer position on the staff of the Central City Citizen.

Iris goes to a meeting of the Mirrorverse Survivors as an attendee rather than as a reporter. She reveals publicly that she was held captive for three months.

Somehow, Caitlin and Frost separate into two separate beings.


Untelevised Adventures


Precisely how Caitlin and Frost were separated occurs off-camera.


The Bottom Line

A busy episode with too much going on and not nearly enough focus on its most interesting aspects. It's a bad sign when I'd much rather watch Cisco and Chester playing Fortnite than watching Barry fight the villains.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Starman Plays Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade - Part 5

The epic conclusion!

Well, eventually. First we have to successfully steal a plane, escape from Germany and work our way through several checkpoints after being shot down. But after that, we get to the Temple of the Holy Grail with a lot more ease than you'd think and I show you every single ending to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade!

Batwoman Episode Guide: Season 2, Episode 8 - Survived Much Worse

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

Plot

Alice heads to Coryana with her fake Ocean corpse to trade for Kate's life (and death), with Jacob and Sophie one step behind. Unfortunately, when they get captured by Safiyah's men before they get the chance to leave Gotham, Ryan must undertake her greatest challenge ever to rescue them, stop Alice and survive long enough to get the Desert Rose that can cure her. Meanwhile, Luke and Mary will face their own encounter with the Many Arms of Death.


I
nfluences

Batman: The Movie (the shark repellant gag) and the Batwoman Rebirth series.


Goofs


The Desert Rose fields catch on fire WAY too fast.

Even by the laws of comic books, it's entirely too contrived that Ryan's plant is a Desert Rose. Hopefully we'll get some explanation as to how that happened.

Not a good with the episode itself, but the dramatic ending was immediately undercut by WB's Sunday evening announcement that the role of Kate Kane had been recast with a new actress, suggesting that Kate's apparently confirmed death was not, in fact, confirmed.


Performances

Again, Rachel Skarsten steals the show and is the best thing about Batwoman.


Artistry

The scene of Alice burning the rose fields of Coryana is a satisfying and cinematic moment. 


Bat Trivia

When pushing Ryan to jump from the plane, Luke says she doesn't want to jump too late and wind up in the ocean because her utility belt doesn't contain any shark repellant. This is a nod to the 1966 Batman movie and an infamous scene in which Batman fights off a shark with Shark Repellant Bat Spray. (In fairness, this was one of several repellants in the Bat-Copter rather than a utility belt standard.)


Technobabble

Ryan injects herself with a combination of adrenaline and cortisone which will give her a jolt of energy and dull the pain of her Kryptonite poisoning at the cost of accelerating the speed of her cellular decay by %. This means she will die in a matter of hours rather than days.

Luke speculates that the system which keeps Coryana from showing up on satellites uses anti-radar electromagnetic waves. The lenses of the Bat-Suit can detect this electromagnetic field.

Luke gives Ryan several EMP grenades to disable the electric wrist restraints that Sophie said are the only electrical devices on Coryana.

A HALO jump is a high-altitude, low opening skydive.

Ammonium nitrate is a chemical that is used in making bombs and as a fertilizer. 

Safiyah's special daggers were imbued with the Desert Rose when it was forged. As a result, when used to stab a person, its curative properties seal the arteries upon entrance, creating the illusion of death without actually killing them until the dagger is removed.


Dialogue Triumphs

(Open on Ryan, writing in her journal.)
Ryan: Dear Kate, today is the day I'm supposed to die. Truth is I'm not scared of dying. I'm scared I didn't live. My mom always told me I was put on this earth for a reason, and now I finally know what that is.
(Cut to Alice, who is likewise writing in a small book.)
Alice: Today is the day I kill you, Kate. I spent years waiting for you to find me, but instead, I found you. Then, I waited for you to save me, but instead, I saved you, I turned you into a hero.
Ryan: You helped me find my inner warrior, my voice, my power.
Alice: While I played the part of your villain - the girl who reminded you how right and noble and courageous you were.
Ryan: You made me feel brave.
Alice: So I told you my greatest fear was being locked away again, and on that very day, what did you do?
Ryan: You helped me break out of the system that was trapping me.
Alice: You lured me into a box, and you locked the door.
Both: I've come so far...
Alice: ...to get my revenge.
Ryan: ...to inspire others,
Both: ..and I've survived much worse.
Alice: Cartwright, the Queen of Hearts...
Ryan: Foster care, the Candy Lady. If I could do that...
Both: :I can do anything.
Ryan: I can push off death another day if it means saving you.
Alice: I can even kill my sister.

Sophie: I have an active APB and field teams looking for Alice, yet you not only managed to locate her but tagged her with a high-powered tracking device? How?
Luke (sarcastic) I'm sure you're familiar with the concept don't ask, don't tell.

(Luke is going through the steps for a skydive.)
Ryan:
This would be a lot easier if we had a Batplane.
Mary: That's what I've been saying!
Luke: Okay. I'll get right on that after I work out the kinks in the Batsub.

Jacob: Why are we here?
Tatiana: You're here because Alice wants you to have a front row seat to watch her kill Kate. She's here at Safiyah's request.
Sophie: Me? What did I do?
Tatiana: It's not what you did. It's what Safiyah thinks you're capable of. You're skilled, strong, and most of all, loyal. She wants you to join her army.
Sophie: (laughs) Why the hell would I join an army of ruthless killers?
Tatiana: Because you're already a part of one. (motions to Jacob) His. Both groups are organized, armed, and... dangerous, but we are committed to protecting our people while you oppress yours. 

(Batwoman is dragged before Safiyah.)
Alice:
If I had a nickel for every bad penny...

(Alice is tossed in the same cell as Ryan.)
Ryan: I was wondering how this place could suck harder.
Alice: Why are you even here?
Ryan: To stop you from killing Kate.
Alice: I don't know what this obsession is with my sister, but you're not part of our family soap, 'kay?
(Ryan begins coughing and spits up blood. Alice nods.)
Alice:
Oh. I see. You're on your way out. You've got a few hours left to live, and you need Kate to tap back in because God forbid the Bat ears go unoccupied for minutes!
Ryan: So people like you can roam free and kill their own siblings?
Alice: Not to play Monday morning quarterback, but if you didn't want me to kill Kate, you should have stopped me when you had the chance.
Ryan (chuckling) Then I wouldn't have been able to follow your dumb ass to this godforsaken island.
Alice: The tracker was you.
(Ryan laughs.)
Alice: (sighing)
Clever girl.
Ryan: That's it? I just royally screwed up a move you've been planning for months. You could end me right now, but you just hit me with a loud sigh.
Alice: You're already on death's door. Let's let nature run its course.
Ryan: Or maybe you're terrified.
Alice: Of killing a sky rat?
Ryan: Of killing your sister. You've been throwing the same tantrum for months, poisoning bats, attacking Gotham Square, killing God knows how many people because if Kate was gonna die she was gonna die your way, and here you are moments away from getting what you want except... it's not actually what you want, is it? You don't want Kate back to kill her. You just want her back.
Alice: (laughs)  Well, someone has spent an awful lot of time thinking about the girl they blame for their mom's death.
Ryan: You remember what you said to me on your way out? You said... "It's not my fault", but you weren't talking about killing my mom. You were talking about why you are the way you are because as dark and screwed up as you are, at the end of the day, you're a victim of somebody, too... and that tiny sliver of humanity won't let you kill your sister. Because then it is your fault

Safiyah: Someone care to explain why I had to dagger one of Safiyah's minions? 

Tatiana: I have to applaud you for picking your own survival over Kate's. Take it from an island lifer... self-sacrifice is overrated.
Ryan: Heh. That's not why I did it. Alice isn't going to kill her sister.
Tatiana: I'm curious how you know that.
Ryan: I saw it in her face. Revenge, hate, anger, th... those are the only emotions she knows, so she hides behind them.
(There is a long pause.)
Tatiana: Well, you're right about one thing. Alice isn't going to kill her sister today.

(Alice learns that she just killed Ocean for nothing and Safiyah never had Kate.)
Alice:
You blew up her plane! You killed her, you stupid, lying bitch!
Safiyah: I had nothing to do with her plane, but when someone tried to frame me for killing your sister, I saw an opportunity to get what I wanted, to make you and Ocean pay for your betrayal.
Alice: You are a monster!
Safiyah: And I created you. So what does that make you? 

(Ocean is gasping for breath after having the dagger removed from his chest.)
Safiyah: Welcome back, brother. That breath in your chest is only there because of me. I gave you your life back.
Ocean: (gasping) Why would you do this to me?
Safiyah: When push comes to shove, Alice doesn't actually have feelings for you. I wanted you to see that.
Ocean: You're sick.
Safiyah: I'm not the one who just put a knife through your heart. Alice's loyalty will always lie with her sister just as yours should lie with me because loyalty is everything to me. Isn't that right, Tatiana?
Tatiana: It is, my queen.
Safiyah: Then why test it? Why after I gave you power and freedom and health would you pick a fight with Alice on my behalf?
Tatiana: (uncertain) Safiyah, I don't know what...
Safiyah: You slaughtered Alice's gang. You sent her a note saying I killed Kate. You reeled her back into my life. Why when you know how hard I worked to forget her?
Tatiana: But you never forgot her! That's the problem. You couldn't. You were in love. I was... trying to get rid of that toxic an...
Safiyah: (suddenly furious) Enough! You always hated Alice and tried to drive a wedge between us. That's how I knew it was you.
Tatiana: (protestingly) No! No!
Safiyah: You wanted to see her lose, and now you have. Congratulations, Tatiana. I hope you were entertained!
(Safiyah stabs Tatiana in the chest. She falls to the ground, as seemingly dead as Ocean was.)
Safiyah: (to another guard) Keep that in her. I'll pull it out when I decide to forgive her. 


Dialogue Disasters


Jacob's whole hypocritical speech about not being above the law.

Luke and Mary losing 100 IQ points in dealing with the assassin.


Continuity

Alice is revealed to keep a diary in the form of letters to Kate, just like Ryan.

Alice makes reference to her battle with the Queen of Hearts (115) and being locked in Arkham by Kate.(116)

Ryan refers to her battle with The Candy Lady (204).

Ryan gives herself a shot that will keep her functional for another day, but risk her dying from the Kryptonite poisoning much faster.

Luke tells Sophie about the tracker that Ryan planted on Alice and gives her the frequency,

Sophie finally figures out that Luke is working with Batwoman.

Luke also tells Sophie that the new Batwoman has been poisoned and asks Sophie to get him a Desert Rose flower when she goes to Coryana to rescue Kate.

The Crows got footage of Ocean leaving Gotham on a flight to Rome the night before. This confuses Sophie.

Luke suggests to Sophie that Alice is attempting to fool Safiyah with a fake Ocean and refers to the fake Bruce Wayne from 201.

The planes heading to Coryana left from the Olsson Airstrip.

Sophie does try to honor her deal with Luke and tells Jacob they need to get a Desert Rose while on Coryana.

Sophie and Jacob are ambushed by Safiyah's men en route to the airport.

Luke is able to guess where Coryana is based on where Alice's transponder cut out.

Ryan leaves Mary her plant, which was a gift from Angelique and was going to be a gift to her mother when they moved into their new apartment.

Mary couldn't keep a Taagotchi alive for five minutes.

Luke gets Ryan on board a mail carrier bound for a few minutes over the airspace over Coryana.

Batman does not have a Batplane or Batsub.

Ryan has never been on a plane before.

Jacob and Sophie wake up in a cell in Coryana with their wrists shackled.

Safiyah's people found the tracking device on Alice.

Tatiana says that Jacob was brought to Coryana because Alice wanted him to see Kate die.

Tatiana claims that Safiyah wants Sophie for her army.

Ryan lands on Coryana, but her comms are fried after she drops the EMP.

Jacob and Sophie are able to free themselves once the EMP disable their bonds.

Ryan tells Safiyah about the fake Ocean.  This leads to her finding the seam on the flesh mask Alice made.

Sophie tells Jacob that she's working with someone working with Batwoman.

Sophie refers to the events of 205 and how the Crows who nearly killed Wolf-Spider were fired rather than being arrested, when Jacob says The Crows are held accountable for what they do, unlike Batwoman.

Ryan refers to her last conversation with Alice in 207.

Safiyah offers Ryan a reward for telling her about Alice's treachery. Ryan asks for enough Desert Rose to cure her and for Kate's return. When Safiyah says she can have one or the other, she chooses the flower.

Safiyah's followers recaptured Ocean on his way to Portofino. They found him because Alice had done a search for it on her phone, apparently intending to find him once Kate was dead.

Safiyah offers Alice a choice: spare Ocean's life or be allowed to kill Kate. Alice stabs Ocean in the chest with the knife Safiyah gave her.

One of Safiyah's assassins comes after Mary and Luke in Bruce Wayne's office with a spiked flail.. She is killed by Julia Pennyworth and bleeds out onto Ryan's plant.

Safiyah reveals that she doesn't have Kate and never did, after guiding Alice to a room full of perfect replicas of her and Kate's matching necklaces.

Julia says that she hired a team to run down some leads from the Crow's tipline and they found body parts off the coast of Blidhaven that have Kate's DNA. This seems to prove that Kate is dead.

Safiyah once again denies having anything to do with Kate's death, but does admit to taking advantage of the situation to get her revenge on Alice and Ocean.

Jacob knows how to fly a plane, but is out of practice. He leaves to get a plane going, while Sophie goes to find Kate and a Desert Rose.

Safiyah reveals that her daggers do not permanently kill a person - only lock them in a coma.

Safiyah wished to prove to Ocean that Alice didn't really love him and that she would never choose him over her sister.

Safiyah also revealed that she knew it was Tatiana who killed the Wonderland Gang in 116 and framed Safiyah for Kate Kane's murder, leaving a note for Alice in 201.

Tatiana is stabbed with the special dagger and left until Safiyah decides to forgive her.

Alice kills her guards and sets the Desert Rose fields on fire.

Sophie finds Ryan near death, having been abandoned by her guard when the fields caught on fire. She tells Sophie that Safiyah never had Kate - a fact she learned from Tatiana. 

Ryan asks Sophie to stay with her while she dies.

Luke calls Sophie and tells her they need to get Batwoman back to Gotham because they have a cure.

Ryan's plant is revealed to be a Desert Rose, which bloomed after being fed the assassin's blood.

The episode ends showing a corpse in a sewer that appears to be Kate Kane.


Location

Coryana


Untelevised Adventures

Ocean is captured by Safiyah's men off-camera.


The Bottom Line

An enjoyable episode, despite a contrived coincidence in the final moments that is a bit much even for the melodrama of a superhero show.