Friday, April 30, 2021
For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.
Requiring a sample of Kara's DNA to track her in the Phantom Zone, Brainiac-5 and Dreamer travel back in time to the night of Kara's senior prom; one of the few occasions Alex can recall Kara being injured enough to bleed. Unfortunately, when they arrive a day early and their ship breaks down, they start accidentally altering the past, as a young Cat Grant comes to Midvale chasing a story and two alien poachers start hunting for one of the last Kryptonians.
Back To The Future (the time-travel theme and the school dance in a small town setting, specifically evoked by Brainiac-5 as the best example of why you should not visit your own past) Beverly Hills 90210 (Nia and Brainy-5 use the aliases Brenda and Brandon while in the past), the whole "young kid in adult body" film genre, ala 13 Going On 30, Big, etc. (Brainy's going native after a day attending high-school), the show Riverdale (Kara and Kenny solving mysteries in a small town setting), the Guardians of the Galaxy movies (Naxim Tork appears to be somewhat modeled on Michael Rooker's Yondu) and the Superman: The Animated Series episode "The Main Man." (Storyline involves an alien zookeeper hunting for a Kryptonian.)
Kara's prom was said to be on May 26, 2009. This was a Tuesday night. Typically proms in the United States are held on Friday or Saturday evening and Kenny specifically says that the night of the dance is a Friday. (The calendar may be different in the Arrowverse.)
The posters promoting Naxim Tork's Menagerie hung up in his ship are printed in English.
No matter how talented he was, it's highly unlikely Brainiac-5 would be recruited into multiple clubs at the end of the semester.
When Brainy and Nia are looking at the DEO database after Naxim Tork's status changes from Captured to Wanted, the names of their species, "Naltorian" and "Coluan" are misspelled as "Noltorian" and "Caluan".
If the timeline is changed so that Nia, Brainy and Kara are abducted by Naim Tork, how would the DEO know Nia and Brainy's species? (Perhaps they were able to get DNA traces from the scene?)
Izabela Vidovic and Olivia Nikkanen, once again, are picture perfect as the young Kara and Alex.
The scene in which teen Kara and Dreamer bond using their powers together is beautiful, from the performances to the effects work to the writing.
This is the first episode of Supergirl not to feature Melissa Benoist.
As part of the running gag that Brainiac-5 continually gets his research into the past wrong, he says that "wassup" is a common greeting among teenagers in 2009. This is a reference to a Budweiser commercial from 1999, which ran until 2003.
Brainiac-5 and Nia wear glasses as part of their disguises, in a nod to how Supergirl and Superman hide their secret identities with nothing but a pair of glasses.
Brainiac-5 notes that the ship piloted by Mitch and Tork had a Bismolian energy signature. In the comics, the planet Bismol is the home of a species of metahumans who all developed the ability to eat anything, organic or inorganic, after a microbe rendered most of their organic food supplies toxic. One of the native Bismolians of the 31st Century, Tenzil Kem, went on to join the Legion of Super-Heroes as Matter-Eater Lad.
Brainiac also mentions a planet called Lasma. In the comics, the Lasma were an alien species, also known as the Ayrie, who were plant-based and peaceful. They appeared in The Flash #238 (December 1975). The Arrowverse version of the Lasma are said to be pacifists and vegetarians.
Brainy determines where they can get a sample of Kara's DNA without coming into contact with her, based on a survey of satellite imagery on the night of her senior prom. Based on the trajectory of the meteor, he predicts Kara's point of contact. After running those figures through 3D modeling, he produces a rendering of the debris field, and by overlaying that with geologic radiation emissions of that same night, plus, Kara's own biologic markers, he was able to pinpoint the exact location of Kara's DNA among the debris- center field of Midvale High School's baseball field.
Brainiac-5's primer on 2009 teen slang is somewhat out of date, as he believes the words"chillax," "flossy," "totes" and "wassup!" are in wide use.
To fix his ship, Brainiac-5 needs to fix one component and replace the missing dysprosium.
Described as a rare-earth mineral, dysprosium does not occur naturally on its own on Earth. It is atomic number 66 on the Periodic table and is a soft, silver-whiteish metal with a reflective sheen. It is primarily used in the manufacture of lasers, commercial lighting and nuclear reactor control rods.
"Groundhog Day" is a maneuver Kenny and Kara came up with to hide objects by burying them. They use this to hide Brainy's ship, with Kara cutting into the earth with her heat vision, Dreamer pulling it aside with her powers and Brainac-5 moving the ship using his Legion Flight Ring to levitate it.
Kenny Li says they can build a makeshift 3D-printer using an inkjer engine and ABS plastic - both of which are available in the STEM lab at Midvale High.
Naxim Tork's ship has scanners that can distinguish alien species from a distance. He is able to identify Kara, Nia and Brainy as a Kryptonian, a Naltorian and a Coluan respectively.
(Brainiac-5 and Dreamer have excused themselves to have a word in private.)
Brainy: So, these are the exact people we are not supposed to be dealing with.
Nia: Yeah, um, but now, we are dealing with them, so, we have to figure out how to manage the situation.
Brainy: Okay. So, the only management we need is to get them out of here!
(Meanwhile, Alex and Kara have their own argument over what to do.)
Alex: We need to get out of here.
Kara: What?! What are you talking about? We have to help them!
Alex: You just promised you'd stop drawing attention to yourself!
Kara: If their ship is broken, the least we can do is help fix it.
Alex: Even if it means endangering everyone around you?
Kenny: To be fair, they don't seem hostile. I mean, look at how they're dressed.
Young Kara: Alex can be a control freak, but you get used to it.
Brainy: There's nothing women like more than physics well applied. That and a modicum of emotional vulnerability.
(Kenny finds Brainiac-5 on the baseball field, in uniform, about to go to bat.)
Kenny: Where have you been? I have been searching for you. I thought we were keeping a low profile.
Brainy: Key events sidelined that goal. I left our STEM lab in search of sustenance and immediately got conscripted by a Glee Club Spartan chief. Needing to preserve my student cover, I agreed. But that led me to getting recruited by your math league, drama guild and Coach Kripkey, who's desperately in need of someone who can switch hit.
Kenny: Wow, that is a lot of exposure.
Brainy: Yes and, given my status, a risky venture, but necessary in order to avoid unwanted attention, or worse, a.m. detention with Mrs. Gormley. But still, I have to say, it has been a revelation. Are you familiar with the emotion of stress?
Kenny: I'm... I'm kind of feeling it right now.
Brainy: Well, I have been struggling with the emotion, and yet, I have been under the impression that my only options were to stress eat or not to stress eat. But now, thanks to your school, I see a cornucopia of approaches. Math leaguers factor, drama clubbers soliloquize, and baseballers hit.
Kenny: Dude, that is fantastic. But now that you've seen all that, do you, uh... do you maybe want to get out of here? Because if Alex finds out, she's going to flip.
Brainy: True. Okay. But how do I exfiltrate? I am a vassal of Coach Kripkey.
Kenny: You just say you're not feeling well and you got to go to the nurse.
Brainy: Oh. Okay, yes. Another method of coping chicanery. Yes, I love it!
Kara: Alex, wait, please. You can't tell Eliza. I can fix this. I swear!
Alex: Fix this? In less than 24 hours, we have had two alien encounters, one of which was the impetus for a break-in at our mother's place of work, which, if we get found out, will likely be her ex-place of work! Oh, oh, and let's not forget about the reporter who is determined to expose the luckiest town in America as home of the newest alien superhero! So, tell me, Kara, how will you fix this?
Kara: (weakly) Well... who reads the newspaper anymore?
Alex: This is too much for us to handle on our own. We need help and weapons. Lots of them.
Kara: (To Alex) I have seen more solar systems that you have dates, so don't even.
(Cat is in a bar, annoyed because her pictures of Nia did not turn out. A bartender freshens her drink without speaking to her. She sips it and is stunned. She also notices the bartender is cute.)
Cat: Mm. This is palatable.
Bartender: I feel like that might be a compliment, coming from you.
(Cat hmms, not displeased by the attention.)
Bartender: You're a photographer?
Cat: (purring a bit) No. But I do love a dark room.
(They both laugh.)
Cat: I'm a journalist, actually. Here on a big story. You may know my work from the Daily Planet? I am...
Cat: (icily) Thirsty.
Nia: Alex was right. It's freezing.
Brainy: That means that climate change wasn't real then.
The night of Kara's senior prom coincided with the Aquanid meteor shower.
Alex recalled that she was back from Stanford on summer break from college.
Alex also recalls it was oddly cold that night and that she dropped Kara off at the dance, which was being held in the Midvale High School Assembly Hall.
A meteor containing a Kryptonite pocket threatened the school, so Kara flew up and punched it. She destroyed the meteor but fell to earth through the roof of the school's new gym, which was still under construction.
Alex recalls that Kara's hand was all cut up and that it was the first time she saw Kara bleed or that Kara had encountered Kryptonite.
Midvale was declared "the luckiest town in America" when Kara was a senior, owing to her and her boyfriend Kenny Li acting to avert a number of disasters using Kara's powers.
J'onn recalls the events of 306 and how Kenny Li died because of a corrupt sheriff running a drug ring in Midvale.
Alex says that changed after the Crisis on Infinite Earths. While Kenny Li died in the history of Earth-38, he lived in Earth-Prime and became Kara's high-school sweetheart.
Brainiac-5 says that only he and Nia can safely travel to the Midvale of the past, given the problems caused by meeting yourself in another time period. These problems were fully explained in Legends of Tomorrow in L217.
Nia's mother made her and her sister write an essay about the etymology of the phrase "wassup" to show how ridiculous it was.
Brainy is still stress eating, perhaps remembering how badly he maculated the last time he time-traveled and wound up hibernating for thousands of years.
Alex is putting off taking a trip to Europe, which she had planned to do while in college. She has not told Kara why.
Kara has been accepted to National City University, but hasn't told Kenny, who thinks they are going to Midvale College together in the fall of 2009. She's still uncertain if she'll go to her dream college or stay with Kenny in Midvale.
Cat Grant came to Midvale in 2009 to investigate just why it was so lucky, theorizing it had a secret superhero.
Metropolis is a three hour drive away from Midvale.
Brainy and Nia crash in Midvale High School's baseball field on the evening of May 25, 2009. Kara hears their ship coming and goes to investigate with Alex and Kenny.
Brainy and Nia claim to be psychic aliens from the planet Psycon to explain their knowing English and knowing Kara's name. They also explain away their being dressed for prom by saying it is their custom to dress formally when visiting another planet.
Kara and Kenny offer to help Brain and Nia fix their ship, despite Alex's reservations.
Nia lies and says that she and Brainy are fleeing a dying planet, like Kara fled Krypton.
Kara also reveals her Kryptonian heritage to Nia and Brainy.
Alex says they may be able to get a dysprosium geode from the Rare Earth exhibit at the museum attached to her mother's lab at Midvale College.
Nia agrees to sleep over with Kara for the night while Brainac-5 stays with Kenny.
Professor Naxim Tork manages a zoo, Naxim Tork's Menagerie, which collects rare species. He and his assistant Mitch have traveled to Earth seeking a Kryptonian for his collection.
Kenny Li sometimes helps his mother by doing the books for her shop.
To rebuild the broken part for his ship, Brainiac-5 needs a 3-D printer. However, it completely escapes his mind that 3-D printers were not widely available in 2009.
When Kara asks Nia about her family, she tells the truth: her mother is passed away, her father is still alive and she has a sister whom she doesn't really talk to at all anymore.
Kara shows Nia the necklace that belonged to her mom.
Nia tells Kara that her powers (apart from being psychic and moving the earth with her mind) including making bubbles that are as strong as anything.
Alex agrees to help Nia and Kara sneak into Midvale college using her mother's ID to get to the Rare Earth minerals exhibit.
Nia has a dream vision of a pink panther in a cage.
Brainiac-5 briefly mentions a planet called Neuron, which orbits a black hole and is shrouded in near total darkness. He once had to assemble a broken part under those conditions, so having to work in a school lab with the lights out doesn't concern him.
Kenny has plans to continue having adventures with Kara and dreams of going to space someday.
Kenny reveals to Brainac-5 that he made a secret base for himself and Kara to work out of, having heard rumors of Superman's Fortress of Solitude.
Kenny and Brain are able to get the printer set up to work, but it will take several hours to make the replacement part.
Cat Grant writes professional under the name C.J. Grant. She writes a gossip column for The Daily Planet, but wants to get into writing hard news exposés like Lois Lane.
Cat lies to Perry White on the phone about having an interview lined up.
Alex dismisses the story of the miracle as just a story, displeasing Cat.
Brainiac-5 leaves the STEM lab to get a snack and winds up shouting at a vending machine that eats his dollar. His projection gets the attention of a choir teacher, who recruits him as a tenor for the Glee Club.
Kara and Nia are able to retrieve the dysprosium geode with no problems.
Kenny finds Brainy on the baseball field, having been recruited to the team, which needed a switch-hitter.
Brainy was also, having been forced to pose as a student, recruited into the Math League and the Drama Guild. He went along with it because the activity was a great way of relieving his stress beyond stress-eating.
Alex, Kara and Nia are almost hit by an out of control gas tanker.
Nia has a vision which reveals that the tanker doesn't have a driver.
Mitch and Naxim Tork apparently set up the tanker hoping to get the attention of their Kryptonian, based on the logic that these disasters always get a Kryptonian to show up.
Cat Grant sees the out-of-control tanker and tries to take a picture of it, spitting Nia entering the truck and catching a glimpse of her blue energy whip.
Kara is able to stop the tanker, using her ice breath on the wheels of the tanker.
Naxim Tork is unable to capture Kara, due to Brainiac-5 arriving with a scanner that his ship detects. He and Mitch flee rather than risk being identified.
Nia once again has the vision of a pink panther or cougar in a cage.
Nia tries calling her mother and gets her answering machine.
Alex and Kara get into a fight about what to do next. Alex wants to call her mother and get someone from the DEO to deal with Nia and Brainy. Kara wants to try and fix it herself
Alex reveals that the reason she didn't take her trip to Europe was because Eliza was worried about Kara.
Brainy figures out that whoever was watching them had an encounter with the DEO, so he hacks the DEO Database to try and figure out who they are dealing with.
According to the DEO records, there are two aliens known to be using Bismolian ships. One is an herbalist named Saphrex Col from Lasma. They are 200 years old and wanted for theft of the Bismolian ship, gathering plants considered to be contraband and the illegal manufacture of drugs made from said plants.
The other alien the DEO knows to be using a Bismolian ship is Naxim Tork, home world unknown, who runs a cosmic menagerie. Tork is 400 years old and is wanted in connection with a number of trafficking schemes. He has previously been convicted of killing various endangered species and wearing tacky sequined shirts. (It is not noted where this is a crime.)
Tork's aliases include Mr. T, the Alien King and The Ringmaster.
Nia concludes her dreams were trying to warn her about Tork.
The original DEO record indicated that Tork was captured in Uruguay on May 29, 2009. However, the record changes, indicating a change to the timeline,
In the new record, Tork is not captured and is now wanted in connection with the kidnapping of a Kryptonian, a Coluan and a Naltorian.
Nia's dream energy is revealed not to show up on film, making Cat's pictures worthless.
Kenny shows Kara the lair he made for them in Old Man Watson's old barn.
Nia tells Brainy that she called her mom, hoping hearing her voice might inspire her.
Nia was not part of a clique when she was in high school. She mostly tried to keep to herself.
Nia copes with stress by singing her favorite song, "Nine to Five" by Dolly Parton.
The lair Kenny made contains the log where he and Kara shared their first kiss and carved their initials into the bark.
Nia and Brainy are ambushed after tracking Naxim Tork's ship.
Midvale - May 26, 2009.
Kara and Kenny Li became a couple in the Post-Crisis timeline and had many adventures helping people in Midvale using Kara's powers discretely.
Professor Naxim Tork and Mitch attempted to capture Superman at one point and it did not go well for them, though they did manage to escape.
The Bottom Line
An entertaining episode and easily the best of the season so far, largely because of the streamlined cast. It does still feel somewhat overstuffed, with both Cat Grant and Naxim Tork set up as villains but neither one really given a chance to do much. It's worth it to see the young Alex and Kara again, however, and more of Nia and Brainy is always welcome.
Thursday, April 29, 2021
For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.
As Jefferson plans a confrontation with Ishmael, Tobias Whale takes the next step in striking out against every member of the Pierce family. Meanwhile, Jennifer tries to use her Lightning identity to save Garfield High's music program and impress her crush, even as Chief Lopez redoubles her efforts to capture the outspoken teen vigilante.
Daredevil: Born Again (Tobias' plot against the Pierces is reminiscent of the Kingpin's plot against Matt Murdock)
In Lynn's dream, Jennifer makes reference to her mother finding a way to kill the metagene. Based on the previews for an upcoming episode of The Flash, set one year before this episode, this is already common knowledge and used in the legal system as a way to depower criminal metahumans. (It's possible the method used by the American legal system is temporary and what Lynn is proposing is scientifically different or is a permanent suppression like what Cisco Ramon made for himself.)
Christopher A'mmanuel gets some great comic beats here as TC, playing up his obvious (to everyone except Jen) crush on Jen even as he tries to reign in her excesses and be the friend she needs. He also plays well of Laura Kariuki.
Laura Kariuki, it should be mentioned, is better at playing a likeable brat than China Anne McClain was. At the very least, she's better at conveying Jennifer's bad decisions as being made by short-sighted confidence rather than the whims of the writers.
Lynn's nightmare sequence is an effectively directed moment of horror, with some perfectly disturbing visuals.
The action sequence in which Painkiller goes after Jesse Gentilucci is fantastic, particularly the use of color in the background and lighting.
The final scenes are possibly the best cliffhanger in the show's history.
The title of the episode is an Afrikaans word meaning both "suffer" and "sustain."
Tobias quotes from Matthew 20:16: "The first shall be last and the last shall be first."
In Lynn's dream, she is said to have found a way to kill the metagene and increase a metahumans power.
While studying Lightning, Ishmael notes her speed, acceleration and energy levels.
The new Thunder costume has a sonic trigger that is activated by a finger-snap when Anissa is in her high-density mode. The suit also has a memory function that maintains its density once matching itself to Anissa's body. This will prevent her from being vulnerable the moment she stops holding her breath. It is also bulletproof to automatic gunfire at point-blank range.
Painkiller now has the ability to switch out his poison gland with an antidote one that neutralizes the poison his system creates.
A full dose of Painkiller's poison can kill an adult male in four seconds.
(Lightning has just filmed a social media video to promote Uriah's GoFundMe.)
Uriah: Yo, I... I don't know how to thank you enough.
(Jennifer is laying the loving daughter act on thick while fixing Jefferson breakfast.)
Jefferson: Now, you know, just because you said you're sorry doesn't mean I'm going to forget that we need to discuss Lightning's IG page.
Jennifer: There's no such thing as grounding a social media page.
Jefferson: No, but you can delete it.
Jennifer: Delete it? Come on, Dad! Really?!
Jefferson: Yes, really
Jefferson: Look, we don't do what we do for attention or applause. And as Lightning, you need to remain focused and vigilant if you want to remain alive. So delete it.
Jennifer: Okay, I lied. How about I just... deactivate it for a while? That's like grounding it.
Jefferson: How about.. you delete it?
Jennifer: Okay. Before you put a period on it... My mistake. I won't go live ever again. But Lightning is a role model. The kids that look up to me need my voice. I get to inspire them without contact. Sounds pretty safe to me.
Jefferson: Okay. Deactivate it for now until further notice.
Jennifer: Did I tell you how sorry I am?
Jefferson: Young lady, don't press your luck.
Khalil (To Painkiller, as he is torturing Jesse Gentilucci) PK? I can't get information out of a dead man.
(After Painkiller has killed Jesse Gentilucci)
Khalil: (sighing) Now, why would you do that?
Painkiller: What? Look, you were wrong. I was right. See? You CAN get information out of a dead man.
Jennifer: Hey, you made it possible.
Uriah: Not me. I'm not a hero like Lightning. It takes a special person to do something when everybody else is just standing by.
(Jennifer is smoking weed on the ledge outside her bedroom. TC is with her.)
TC: Oh. Uh... I just say no.
Jennifer: Did you quote Nancy Reagan?
Jennifer: (laughing) How about you "just say no" to mass incarcerations? Isn't the 80' s anymore. A little weed is good for stress.
TC: Aren't you stressed, like, 90% of the time?
Jennifer: Yes, because my family rides me, like, 90% of the time.
(Jennifer's celphone chimes, indicating she just got a text messsage.)
TC: It's Uriah.
Jennifer: Are you monitoring my DMs, like, all the time?
TC: Of course. That's my job, remember?
Jennifer: Well, take a day off.
TC: Didn't you say that your dad said to deactivate that account?
Jennifer: He doesn't know how to use or check social media. Besides, I promised to never go live again, not deactivate it.
TC: Why do you need to be Lightning to be with a boy who already likes you?
Jennifer: You ask a lot of questions. Because it's fun. Ever heard of that? He wants to thank Lightning in person for helping him save Garfield's music program.
TC: Isn't Lightning grounded? Does that mean Lightning can't go out at all, or just stopping crime?
Jennifer: (thinks) Definitely stopping crime.
TC: Lightning shouldn't be friends with a boy that JJ likes.
Jennifer: So I won't post it on IG.
TC: Why can't you just be JJ?
Jennifer: You're a genius. I will go as JJ... and then change into the suit right before I see Uriah. If anybody asks you where I am, just say no.
TC: That is not what that meant!
Tobias Whale: My philosophy has always been, "Do what you love, and the money will follow." Run your mouth and death will follow quicker.
Tobias Whale: (To his sister's tomb) It's time to show the Pierce family, when you go against God's plan, a great whale swallows away your powers. (breathes deeply) The last shall be first... and the first shall be last.
Lynn tells her therapist about a dream she had where she gassed her family as a way to get rid of their superpowers, saying it was the only way for them to be a normal family.
The therapist suggests Lynn's dream is her subconscious telling her that her family doesn't need fixing.
Jenn approaches Uriah as Lightning and offers to help with promoting the GoFundMe that he started to finance Garfield High's music program. She says she saw a repost from some girl named JJ, referring to her new secret identity.
Uriah works as a delivery boy for a restaurant.
Jenn records a video using Uriah's phone, logging into her Instagram account, telling people to donate to the GoFundMe.
A CCPD officer is revealed to be monitoring Lightning's social media and alerts Chief Lopez that she's transmitting a live video.
Detective Hassan Shakur texts Black Lightning to warn him about the Chief coming for Lightning.
Uriah's IG account is All-Eyes-On_Uriah.
Jennifer feels a sudden twinge of pain while talking to Uriah and flees.
Ishmael is revealed to have been watching Lightning and Uriah, studying her powers up-close.
Gambi makes a new Thunder costume for Anissa. She loves it so much she declares she may never go out as Blackbird again.
Jennifer is grounded, in her civilian life and as Lightning, when Jefferson learns about the video.
Gambi tells Jefferson, Anissa and Jennifer everything he and TC have learned about Ishmael, which isn't much. He has advanced hand-to-hand combat training and is a master swordsman who is good enough to have made a reputation for himself as a metahuman hunter. He's adept with technology, a master tactician and good enough to a digital footprint "as small as a fly's," in TC's words.
Gambi also tells them about how Ishmael is apparently being up for the League of Assassins.
Killing high profile targets is one way to get invited into the League of Assassins, apart from killing 100 Metahumans.
TC confirmed that Ishmael is currently being paid by the Kobra Cartel.
Jennifer cooks a big breakfast for Jefferson as an apology for getting upset about his grounding her.
Jefferson orders Jennifer to delete her social media accounts. He eventually relents and agrees to her not doing live broadcasts and deactivating them until she's no longer Public Enemy Number One in Freeland.
Lynn is locked out of her lab at work. The security guard informs her that all of her personal files have already been transferred offsite.
When Lynn reminds the security guard, Michael, that she fought to let him keep his job even though they had every right to fire him, he tells her that Special Agent Kevin Mason was responsible for coming into her lab and taking everything as evidence.
Lynn does some digging and angrily informs Jefferson that it looks as if his embezzlement funded the last 15 years of her research, all of which has been confiscated by the FBI.
Painkiller goes after Jesse Gentilucci.- the man who cut the checks for Tobias Whale back in his crime lord days.
Jesse Gentilucci. tells Painkiller about a secret ledger Tobias keeps and where it can be found.
Uriah is a piano player.
Uriah tells Jennifer that they got enough funding to pay for the music program in one day, thanks to Lightning's video.
Uriah quotes back the words she told him as Lightning when she says he's a hero.
Detective Shakur coaches an after-school basketball league for at-risk youths
Black Lighting thanks Detective Shakur for the warning about Chief Lopez monitoring Lightning's social media and asks him about Ishmael.
Detective Shakur has heard of Ishmael and agrees to give Black Lightning a 20 minute delay in police response, but says he'll have to clear out an area for a confrontation himself.
TC is straight and straight-edge. (i.e. he does not use drugs recreationally)
TC says he currently has a crush on a girl named Lisa.
Jennifer says that Jefferson is clueless when it comes to social media.
The Lightning Instagram account gets a message from Uriah, saying he wants to meet her in person to thank her for what she did to help the music program. It is revealed this message was sent by a GPD officer who hacked Uriah's account to set a trap for Lightning.
Chief Lopez leads the trap team herself, keeping Detective Shakur out of the loop.
Dr. Darius Morgan confides in Anissa that he began researching the fake cystic fibrosis treatment that Anissa began investigating in 408. He says he got locked out of the system so now they know he was trying to get into the files he wasn't suppose to look at. He asks to meet her at his place that night where he can give her while files he had before he flees town.
Anissa calls Grace and tells her that she'll see her at home later and will meet with Darius alone.
Gambi helps Jefferson to hack Ishmael's phone to send him a challenge.
Marshall Bates delivers the energy emitter prototype to Tobias Whale's home personally.
Val informs Tobias that Lynn made a meta-booster based on her DNA and it is viable. When Tobias gives the order to move against her, Val says it has already been done.
Tobias refers to his sister as the love of his life.
Kevin Mason shows up at the Pierce home and arrests Lynn for Violation of Civil Rights.
Chief Lopez notes that Lightning is now taller but is still convinced it is her, somehow.
Jennifer barely escapes the police ambush.
Lynn is forced to endure a full pat-down, strip search and cavity search after being arrested.
Tobias has the energy emitter moved to his sister's tomb and activates it. Somehow, the emitter has now been turned into a forcefield that prevents metahuman powers from being used within the range of its field.
Anissa discovers Dr. Darius Morgandead in his home and flees the scene. As she leaves, a vehicle speeds toward her as she's crossing the street. She attempts to do her Thunder Clap and it does not work.
Jefferson's powers suddenly stop working as he is fighting Ishmael.
TC is unable to use his powers to hack the computers and find Jefferson an escape route.
Jennifer's powers stop working as she's flying away from the police ambush.
Dr. Darius Morgan was apparently asked to research the fake cystic fibrosis treatment by Anissa off-camera.
The Winick Factor
Thunder's decision to try and clap a car out of the way rather than get out of the road is stupid and only occurs to set up a cliffhanger.
The Bottom Line
A great episode, in spite of a few rough edges. Easily the strongest episode of the season, thanks to some smart writing and all of the ensemble being given a chance to shine.
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Monday, April 26, 2021
Sunday, April 25, 2021
For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.
Superman: Earth One (mention of the planet Dheron), Supergirl: The Movie (Kara and her father needing to escape the Phantom Zone), Ghostbusters (evoked by Brainiac-5 upon seeing Lena's Prototrap) and Superman:The Movie (the mirror acting as the portal out of the Phantom Zone.)
Kara finds a way out of the Phantom Zone, but it is not without risk. Meanwhile, Lena joins the Super Friends in their efforts to stop the phantoms threatening National City and rescue Kara. Unfortunately, when the two missions come into conflict and Lena is forced to choose between the possibility of losing Kara forever or fighting the phantoms, she begins to doubt her place among the heroes.
Brainiac-5 talks about the pieces of a soul repelling each other like magnets, but M'Gann reports the opposite effect as she approached the Prime Phantom's lair.
Logically, the chief threat of this episode is completely illogical. The Super Friends sacrifice their best chance of being able to track Kara because they don't want to risk losing M'Gann, even though she should be fine if they successfully destroy the Prime Phantom's chrysalis and M'Gann is not given the chance to make the same noble sacrifice Kara made three episodes earlier.
Nyxlygsptlnz is a textbook example of Stupid Evil. Had she maintained her façade for a few more minutes, she would have been on Earth, all powerful and Kara wouldn't have been able to stop her. Instead, she attacks Zor-El for no reason (despite working to save him last week) and confesses her treachery to Kara, to whom she is utterly dependent on escaping the Phantom Zone!
Katie McGrath and Chyler Leight's interactions are totally on-point and the best dialogues of the episode involve the two of them playing off one another.
This episode marks the first one in Season 6 to open with Kara's updated narration. The new narration does not make mention of the DEO.
At one point Braniac-5 mentions the planet Dheron and a Phantom invasion of that world. In the comics, Dheron is the 5th planet of Rao's star system. Krypton is the 4th planet. In the reality of Superman: Earth One, the two planets went to war with one another, due to Krypton having more resources than Dheron.
Brainiac-5 estmates that M'Gann is currently 18% Phantom, following a soul transfusion.
Phantoms have the ability to sense life force and can hone in on a specific soul signature, even within the Phantom Zone. M'Gann theorizes she can use this ability to track Kara. This power can also be used to track Phantom Prime's lair and where he is holding the souls he has captured since coming to Earth.
Brainiac-5 estimates a 99.999% probability that freeing the captive souls will restore all the people changed into Phantom progeny.
Lena combines a DEO Protogun and her portal technology to create what she calls the ProtoTrap - a device which traps Phantoms from a safe distance and teleports them directly to a containment pod.
The portal out of the Phantom Zone resembles a mirror, only instead of a reflection it shows the way home. It is programmed so that only a righteous person may activate it.
According to Brainiac-5, the Double Soul Dilemma is a problem caused by a soul being split into two parts. The pieces will act like magnets and repel one another.
Lena develops a way to replicate a Phantom's soul tracking powers using Q-Waves and nanobots. The nanobots map the brains of the Phantom Progeny. However, this method still requires a DNA sample in order to calibrate the right frequency to track a subject.
The Kryptonian data crystals used to create a holographic simulation of a person contain a core digital record that replicates the person's life force.
Kara: (v/o) My name is Kara Zor-El. I'm from Krypton. I'm a refugee on this planet. I was sent to Earth to protect my cousin. But my pod got knocked off course. And by the time I got here, my cousin had already grown up and become... Superman. I hid who I really was until one day when an accident forced me to reveal myself to the world. To most people, I'm a reporter at CatCo Worldwide Media. But in secret I work with my adopted sister and my friends to protect my city from anyone that means to cause it harm. I am Supergirl
Kara: Family isn't about blood or last names. It's about the people who love you for who you are and stand by you no matter what. And just as my sister Alex has always been there for me, so have my friends. They're my family, too. Anything is possible when you have family who love and support you.
(Alex gives Lena the crystal holding Kara's hologram.)
Alex: You said you need a piece of my sister to track her in the Phantom Zone.
Lena: Yeah, but if I extract that, you'll lose the recording forever.
Alex: Well, what matters most is that we get back the real Kara. And you said that life force can do that, right?
Lena: Yeah, I mean, I'm hopeful, but there's no guarantee.
Alex: I trust you.
Lena: Thank you.
(Alex and Lena are arguing about using Lena's scanner to find the Prime Phantom instead of Kara.)
Alex: We'll find another way. There's always another way. She taught us that!
Lena: We have a way now! How can you choose to save anyone else over your own sister?
Alex: Because if I don't, countless lives will be lost. Kara would always choose saving others. That's just who she is. And how do you think she would feel if we rescued her and she found out that we let thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of people die, just so we could have her back? Supergirl relies on those that she loves to follow her example. So please don't make this any harder than it already is. Give me the device.
Lena: Alex, I hear what you're saying... but I have to bring Kara back. You see, it's my fault. It was my brother who sent her to the Phantom Zone, it was my experiments that empowered him. It was my war with Supergirl that started all of this. So if this is my only chance to make it right, then I have to do it.
Alex: Okay, Lena, listen to me. Nobody blames you for this. Kara doesn't blame you for this. You two already forgave each other for everything that happened in the past. So it's time for you to forgive yourself. And all that really matters is that you did the right thing today. So, please give me the tracking device.
(Lena hesitates. Alex reaches down and summons the tracer to her hand using her
Alex: I'm sorry, but I can't take no for an answer.
It is revealed that Nyxlygsptlnz's at the end of 603 did successfully get Kara, Zor-El and Nyxlygsptln within walking distance of the dimension anchor.
As the episode opens, the Super Friends till have five Phantom progeny contained.
M'Gann has a nightmare of being chained down in a cold place.
Nia gives Lena her first official tour of the Watchtower.
M'Gann believes she has become connected to the hivemind connecting the Phantom progeny to the Prime Phantom, through the part of her soul that was captured by the Prime Phantom.
Lena invents a special gun that can trap Phantoms and instantly teleport them into a containment pod.
The Super Friends are able to track the Prime Phantom to the Noonan's in Grand Central Station.
While fighting the Phantoms, Dreamer has another vision of Alex and Kara as teenagers in Midvale.
M'Gann attempts to track one of the captures souls, but begins to lose herself as she approaches the Prime Phantom's lair.
Kara reasons there must be a spare part for just such an emergency and goes off in search of it among the Fort Rozz supply barracks.
It is determined that M'Gann cannot get too close to the Prime Phantom's lair or it her soul may be drawn to the piece of her that was captured.
Brainiac-5 realizes that they can save the people turned into Phantoms by destroying the Chrysalis, but doing this will remove M'Gann's ability to track Kara.
Lena offers to find a way to replicate M"Gann's tracking power in case they can't find Kara before they have to stop the Prime Phantom.
Brainiac-5's favorite comfort food is donuts. He is particularly fond of strawberry glaze with sprinkles and compares it to Kara's fondness for dumplings.
While Kara is gone, Zor-El is attacked by the scar-faced prisoner whom captured him earlier.
Zor-El's ankle is broken in the attack.
Kara and Nyxlygsptln leave Zor-El behind to get the portal fixed, with the intention of coming back for him later.
Alex gives Lena the crystal containing Kara's hologram from 601 to use for her tracker..
Dreamer and M'Gann combine their powers, using Dreamer's astral projection powers in conjunction with M'Gann's bond to try and find the Prime Phantom's chrysalis.
Dreamer has another vision of Midvale and determines that the chrysalis is almost completely solid.
Alex suggests using Lena's tracker to find the Prime Phantom's database, even though recalibrating it will cause them to lose the one sample of Kara's DNA they have.
Lena objects to this, but Alex takes the tracker from her anyway.
Nyxlygsptln tries to get Kara to abandon her father.
Nyxlygsptln reveals that she took the form of the scarred-prisoner and attacked Zor-El.
Nyxlygsptln couldn't get the portal to work with Kara activating it because she is not righteous. She had planned to go to the 5th Dimension first but now wants to go to Earth and wreck it before reclaiming her throne.
J'onn and Brainiac-5 are overpowered on the way to the chrysalis.
Kara destroys the portal rather than let Nyxlygsptln use it to go to Earth.
Lena says she doesn't belong with the team but Alex says that is nonsense.
According to Alex, Lena is the only other Super Friend with decent taste in scotch.
Dreamer keeps having visions of Kara and Alex as teenagers in Midvale.
The Prime Phantom is captured.
J'onn theorizes they can use the Phantom like a bloodhound to track Kara if they can get a DNA sample. This leads to the idea of time-traveling to a point when Kara had been injured.
In remembering times Kara was injured by Kryptonite poisoning or a solar flare, Alex remembers the fight with Red Tornado (106) and an incident back when they were in high school.
The dimensional anchor in the Phantom Zone is completely destroyed.
The Phantom Zone.
The Kryptonite Factor
Nyxlygsptln suddenly becomes a Stupid Evil villain who confesses her evil nature because she is evil.
The Bottom Line
An idiotic story that is once again salvaged only by some excellent performances. The Phantom Zone storyline has dragged on far too long and it is cold comfort that we're getting a two-part time travel story that will presumably eliminate the need to see Kara not doing much in the Phantom Zone for two weeks.
Friday, April 23, 2021
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Black Lightning Episode Guide: Season 4, Episode 8 - The Book of Ruin: Chapter Three: Things Fall Apart
For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.
The newlyweds are home from their honeymoon and Grace is officially welcomed into the Pierce Family. Unfortunately, the event is marred by the sudden arrival of a team of FBI agents and the news that Jefferson is under investigation for embezzling money from Garfield High. As they work to prove his innocence, Tobias steps up his campaign for mayor, Ishmael begins his hunt the heroes of Freeland and Jennifer prepares for her first day of school as JJ Stewart.
Gambi believes he can use Promethium to make costumes that will protect the team from DEG blasts.
Anissa learns that while she was gone the hospital entered into a partnership with Monovista and that their medical division found a way to safely isolate chromosomes and fully remove the CFTR gene mutation.
In the latest test for the Promethium Energy Field Emitter, the radiance is extended to 55 miles.
As Ishmael is listening to the police band, a 10-57 is reported. This is the code for a firearm being discharged.
(Jennifer is inspecting her ransacked room with Anissa.)
Jennifer: So hard not to light them up. Having to stand there and let them completely destroy my room.
Anissa: That's why we work on restraint. It doesn't come naturally.
(Tobias is going over his immediate plans with Val and Red.)
Val: One more thing, sir. Dr. Stewart? Her role in your plan is as crucial as any, and we haven't heard anything from her. Are you sure she's on track?
Tobias: What you don't know about Dr. Stewart is, her finest quality when it comes to her work is she leaves no stone unturned. And we're using that attribute against her. The best part is... she has no idea.
Grace and Anissa return home to Freeland and a surprise party.
Anissa reveals she called ahead and told her parents about their marriage over the phone.
Grace is welcomed into the Pierce Family.
A SWAT Team, led by Special Agent Kevin Mason, arrives in the middle of the party with a warrant to search the house.
Jefferson discovers that he's been accused of embezzlement and his personal finances have been frozen by the government.
Lynn confirms that she is still trying to figure out Val Seong's power.
Jefferson apologizes for pushing Lynn to test the meta-booster made from Val's genes on herself in 406. She accepts the apology.
Jennifer is returning to Garfield High under the alias JJ Stewart - an Army brat, Jennifer Pierce's cousin on her mother's side, she wanted to finish school in the States so the Pierces offered to let her stay with them while she finished school.
Tobias was given the body-cam footage of the SWAT officers who searched the Pierce house so he could amuse himself watching Black Lightning's house be trashed by the police.
Red suggests that he talk to Marshall Bates - the CEO of Monovista - and encourage him to speed up the delivery of their new weapons. Tobias agrees.
Val asks about why Tobias isn't rushing the part of the plan involving Lynn Stewart. Tobias says that things are on track and that he doesn't need to do anything but wait in regards to her.
TC is nursing an obvious crush on Jennifer and shows up to escort her to school on her first day.
Gambi is plotting to steal a stockpile of Promethium to make DEG-proof suits for the team.
Lynn asks Gambi to test the meta-booster she made with Val Seong's DNA. He agrees, but he doesn't feel anything when he takes it.
Jefferson meets with Marcel Payton - the teacher to whom he started renting his father's home in 403.
Marcel gives him an eviction notice and notes that everyone in the neighborhood got one. He and his children are okay, however, thanks to Tobias Whale insisting on paying for all the families being displaced by his new hospital to be set up in new homes.
Jennifer tells TC she hasn't felt any different since her transformation.
A student named Montel leads a protest against Jefferson Pierce.
Montel is told off by another student named Uriah.
Jennifer thanks Uriah for what he did and introduces herself as JJ, Jennifer's cousin.
Jennifer and Uriah are in the same band class.
Jefferson tries to contest the sale of his father's house, but is run through a loop on the phone.
Jennifer doesn't understand why losing the house is such a big deal. Jefferson explains he wanted to save the house at it was such a big deal to his father that he was able to work hard and earn property.
Jennifer calls Jefferson "Daddy" for the first time in years.
Jennifer lies and tells Jefferson that kids were protesting for him at school.
Anissa has a consultation with an old friend named Kiki, who is seeing a man named Marvin and is 17 weeks pregnant.
Kiki says one of the genetic tests for her baby came back abnormal, showing that the baby had DNA markers for cystic fibrosis, but she was told that could be fixed with a single outpatient procedure.
The energy field emitter has its first successful trial, generating energy in a 55 mile radius.
Gambi triggers a false alarm so that he can steal a tank of Promethium from Lauren's lab.
Ishmael kills a member of the Freeland Resistance trying to learn where to find Blackbird.
Grace and Jennifer hangout at Anissa's apartment.
Jennifer vents to Grace about the protests against her dad and tells her about Uriah.
Grace says that shapeshifters tend to be good at reading body language and she could tell Jennifer was upset and that she had a crush on Uriah based on how she moved when she talked about them.
Tobias gives a speech and brings Marcel Payton out to talk about him being the sort of person he intends to help as mayor.
TC traces the records which seem to show Jefferson embezzling school funds. They amount to 12 transfers from the education fund into the trusts Jefferson set up for his daughters. They are direct deposits with no middle man.
TC suddenly loses his powers and can't talk to the computers anymore. Eventually they realize that his power outages coincided with Gambi entering the room and standing next to him. This is confirmed when Jefferson is unable to "light-up" next to Gambi.
This leads to the revelation that Val Seong is a nullifier- a metahuman whose power is cancelling out the powers of other metahumans.
Freeland High School scraps its music program two days after Jennifer got into the band class.
Jennifer tells Uriah she has an idea on how to raise the money to fund the band program.
Lynn's latest test of Jennifer's physiognomy suggests that she's unstable. She calls Jefferson to tell him about this, but suddenly changes her mind and says she called to tell him she'd be working late.
Anissa and Grace break into Monovista to get the files on Kiki's procedure and are ambushed by Ishmael.
Ishmael is able to wound Anissa's thigh, but is forced to flee when Grace changes into her leopard form. He apparently had no idea Grace was a shape-shifter based on his intel.
Gambi uses a satellite to scan for extreme magnetic energy signatures. This enables him to track Red when he's using his powers against the CEO of Monovista.
Red beats Mr. Bates with a golf club before bending it around his neck and threatening him.
It is revealed that Lauren was developing the Energy Field Emitter for Tobias Whale.
Mr. Bates says the Emitter will be ready. They just needed a few more days for final testing.
Red gives Bates 48 hours to deliver and threatens him with a bullet.
Jefferson says this confirms that Red is the one who killed Mayor Black.
TC is in communication with Khalil and Philky, who are about to try a new procedure to deactivate Painkiller's kill-order against The Pierces.
TC tells Khalil about how Jennifer is doing.
Khalil offers to help investigate how Tobias framed Jefferson, having some inside knowledge of how Tobias handles his finances.
Anissa is healing following Ishmael's attack.
Gambi doesn't know much about Ishmael beyond his name.
The Bottom Line
An enjoyable episode, heavy on plot and light on action, but the stage is being set well for one Grand Guignol.
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.
With Angelique in Black Mask's clutches, both Batwoman and the Crows are anxious to rescue her and tripping over each other in the process.This leads to an uneasy alliance between Ryan and Sophie, as the two attempt to infiltrate the False Face Society's courier network on their own, after Sophie is taken off the case. Meanwhile, Alice confronts Enigma, hoping the woman who created may also erase her memories of her twin sister.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Alice's dreams under hypnosis) ,The Fast and the Furious, Tokyo Drift and urban racing movies in general.
Laura Mennell has an interesting performance here as Enigma. It would be easier for her to disable Alice while she's under, and yet she does not. This suggests that, on some level, she truly is trying to be a healer to someone she wronged, in much the same way that she honestly seemed to be trying to help Jacob Kane work through his grief even as she was setting him up in the last episode.
The episode is full of great action sequences, from the car chases to the final fight between Batwoman and Black Mask.
This episode introduces a Crows' agent named Russell Tavaroff who has a reputation for using excessive violence. In the comics, Russell Tavaroff was the name of a supervillain called Menace, who appeared in the Batwing comic as an enemy of Luke Fox. Curiously, he was also addicted to a drug called Snakebite, but that drug was a Venom derivative quite different from the drug in the Arrowverse.
One of the delivery vans used by the False Face Society is for a florist called Mr. Bloom. This was also the name of two different characters in the modern Batman comics. The first, Daryl Gutierrez, was a scientist who developed seeds that gave random superpowers to those who consumed them. The second Mister Bloom was an unknown man, who stole the technology of the first and became the arch-enemy of Jim Gordon's Batman, when he assumed the Batman name while wearing a mechanized suit.
Sophie makes reference to street racing terms such as red-lining, backpedaling and asks if Ryan knows how to measure a car's camber and airflow.
The Batmobile has an artificial intelligence that can drive the car on its own and subtly assist a human driving without them knowing it. (Ryan is annoyed to discover this, as she thought she was getting better at handling the Batmobile.)
Luke has also created a portable version of the Batmobile AI that can be plugged into any car.
Black Mask: (To Angelique, while pushing her face toward a broken flash full of acid.) Well, the final ingredient will be delivered soon. And if I've gone through all this trouble just to find out you can't cook after all, well... At least I have what I need to dissolve your body.
Enigma: You were working with Julia Pennyworth.
Alice: And I appreciate you sending her on a long vacation because I need some alone time with you.
Enigma: Safiyah hired me to erase your memories of Ocean. You're obviously here to get them back. I assume that's what this is all about. From what I recall, you were in love, I made you forget your feelings and consequently helped turn you into... you.
Alice: Keep them. I don't need the hassle.
Enigma: (confused) Then why did you track me down?
Alice: I have someone else I need to forget. My sister. Kate.
(Enigma hypnotizes Alice.)
Enigma: Focus on what your senses are telling you, what you hear... what you feel.
(Alice goes under and is suddenly on top of Ocean, making out with him on the floor of his subway lab. Alice quickly breaks the kiss.)
Alice: Whoa. That happened fast.
Ocean: It's almost like you'd rather be here with me.
Alice: (shouting to sky) Are we sure we're in my subconscious? (muttering) What am I doing in Ocean's sex dream?
Ocean: I'm guessing you brought me here to apologize.
(Ocean tries to pull Alice back into his warms but she pushes him away.)
Ocean: Why'd you kill me?
Alice: Wouldn't you like to know?
Ocean:(angrily)You killed me for nothing.
Alice: You would have done the same to me.
Ocean: No. No chance in hell. There's screwed up, and then there's you.
(Alice suddenly wakes up in the real world, as the real Ocean enters the office with a gun drawn. Alice draws a knife but Ocean knocks her to the ground.)
Alice: (confused) Is this real? This feels real.
Enigma: You tell me. I thought you said you killed him!
Ocean: I'm alive. And very pissed off.
Black Mask (looking at a Batarang): Now that is some terrific branding. But you should really consider bringing a gun to a gun fight.
The False Face Society has been pulling a number of high-speed heists on various chemical plants, getting the materials they need to make Snakebite.
Angelique is under heavy guard, being the only person apart from Ocean who knows what is needed to make Snakebite.
The Snakebite formula is toxic unles cooked using Ocean's secret method.
The Crows think Angelique is alive based on the fact that they didn't find her body among the dead after she was abducted.
Ryan offers to help Sophie with finding Angelique using her contracts, but Sophie shuts her down.
Luke traces the eye-witness descriptions of the cars that ambushed the Crows' SUV carrying Angelique to a heist later that same day at Gotham Pharmaceutical.
Luke determines that the one thing the False Face Society lacks to make more Snakebite is Scarecrow's Fear Toxin, which is a much rarer commodity.
Luke flags the cars so they will get an alert as soon as any traffic cam detects them.
Ryan refuses to let Sophie know what they are doing, given how The Crows let Angelique get captured.
Alice briefly pretends to be Dr. Evelyn Rhyme after a new patient - a recently divorced man named Jackson - enters her office while Alice is there.
Alice kills Jackson after Dr. Rhyme gets there.
Alice reveals that she knows Dr. Rhyme is Enigma.
Enigma wrongly assumes Alice has come to have her memories restored. Instead, Alice asks her to remove her memories of Kate.
The False Face Society uses new recruits to act as couriers, delivering stolen chemicals between drop points using street racing cars, with directions being texted to them en route. Anyone who fails to keep up the required speed or makes a wrong turn is "burned" and locked out of any further False Face contact.
Sophie went undercover to try and infiltrates the False Face Society as a courier, but is burned after Batwoman stops her car.
Alice tells Enigma about her hallucinations of a teenage Kate in 209.
Enigma theorizes that Kate is a manifestation of Alice's moral compass.
Enigma says that Alice is a monster but a rational one and that in order to safely remove her memories of Kate she must first confront the part of her that is making her hallucinate Kate.
The False Face Society has killed three separate Crows' agents in the past week.
Jacob takes Sophie off of the False Face Society operation and places it under the command of a Crows' agent named Tavaroff.
Tavaroff is described as being the sort of agent who will scorch the earth to get to the False Face Society and won't care much about getting Angelique back alive.
Jacob seems to be more bloodthirsty and angry than usual - presumably a side-effect of the Snakebite use.
When Sophie tells Ryan what happened, Ryan volunteers to try and infiltrate the False Face Society in her place.
Alice is placed under hypnosis. She sees the teen Kate again as they were riding in the back of their mother's car when they were 13. Ocean is revealed to be driving the car, when Alice finds she can't get rid of Kate or just wish her away.
Mary agrees to loan Sophie and Ryan her car.
Sophie reaches out to Luke, who has to pretend that he doesn't know Ryan when they meet.
Luke sets up a fake ID for Ryan, giving her the name Robyn Wilde.
Luke also gives Ryan a comms they can use without Sophie hearing them, a tracking device to place inside the Fear Toxin and a portable version of the Batmobile AI.
Luke warns Ryan about teaming up with Sophie, saying that they're rising exposing her secret identity.
Enigma tells Alice that Ocean showing up in her vision is proof that she is still capable of feeling emotion and attachment, for all Alice claims to be beyond emotion and a master manipulator.
Sophie calls Ryan as she's waiting to start the heist, telling her there's a drone watching them, suggesting Black Mask is watching the whole operation. This means they can't stop and plant a tracker in the fear toxin, like they'd planned.
Ryan says she can manage it, despite the fear toxin containers being double-sealed and unstable.
Luke steers Mary's car remotely while Ryan opens the far toxin container and plants the tracker.
The Crows shoot at Mary's car while Ryan and Luke are making their getaway.
Ryan makes the delivery successfully.
Sophie decides to go after the False Face Society on her own and is captured.
Alice tells Enigma to erase her memories of Ocean as well.
Alice has a vision of Ocean where they kiss in his subway lab before he angrily asks why she killed him.
Alice wakes up as the real Ocean storms into Enigma's office with a gun drawn.
Ocean explains how Safiyah spared his life in 208, giving Alice a dagger soaked in Desert Rose to use to kill him.
Ocean says he was in Gotham City on other business, but he wanted to find Alice to ask her why she killed him.
Alice says it was because she thought it was the only way to get Kate back.
Enigma makes her escape by doing the one thing she promised Safiyah she would never do - restore Ocean and Alice's memories of each other. She does this by saying the words "Mockingbird anew." This paralyzes Alice and Ocean for a few minutes as their memories return.
Black Mask reveals that he has eyes inside of Crows HQ, so he knows that Sophie came after him alone and nobody is coming to rescue her.
Batwoman shows up to rescue Sophie.
Black Mask gets away after he reveals he has Angelique being held elsewhere and his men will kill her if he doesn't escape.
Angelique tells Black Mask that she doesn't know the full technique for making Snakebite, but claims to know how to find Ocean.
Ocean says that Safiyah gave him Enigma's contact information and that he called her a day earlier. Enigma told him that someone was tracking her and that her identity might have been compromised.
Ocean's mission is to find the one last Desert Rose plant he had taken with him, as Alice has destroyed every other sample on Earth.
Alice confirms that Batwoman probably has it, since she isn't dead from Kryptonite poisoning.
Ocean and Alice start making out after Ocean once again asks Alice if she regrets killing him.
Agent Tavaroff finds security footage in Black Mask's base of Batwoman fighting Black Mask while Sophie was there. Based on that, he searches the scene and finds a sample of Ryan's blood.
Sophie finds the Batmobile AI remote in Mary's car and, hacking it, overhears a conversation between Luke and Ryan where Ryan reveals she's the new Batwoman.
The Killing Jokes
Granting that Sophie's purpose on the show is to be a bad cop who gets captured by the villains in 90% of the episodes she's been in, the decision to go after the False Face Society on her own is stupid even by her standards.
The one thing stupider than that decision? Ryan leaving the Batwoman AI in Mary's car for Sophie to find later. (It also seems really out of character for Luke not to have nagged Ryan about returning that to him ASAP.)
The Bottom Line
A decent filler episode with some amazing action sequences, let down only by the final five minutes requiring our main heroes by idiots for the sake of advancing the plot.
Monday, April 19, 2021
Saturday, April 17, 2021
For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.
Kara finds another unlikely ally in the Phantom Zone after her father is abducted. Meanwhile, back on Earth-Prime, Lena wages a shadow war with Lex over control of LuthorCorp, as the rest of the Super Friends face a more dangerous challenge as one of the Phantoms runs loose in National City.
Supergirl: The Movie (Supergirl escaping from the Phantom-Zone with her father), Harry Potter (The Phantoms are rip-offs of the Dementors) and Star Trek III: The Search For Spock (Brainac-5 refers to this when attempting a soul transfusion.)
Why would Lex need to buy experimental weapons from Kasnia? Wouldn't it be more in character for him to be selling them weapons like in Season 4?
Katie McGrath and Jesse Rath play off of each other perfectly in the scene where Lena and Brainy discuss killing Lex.
The episode title is a play upon the name of Star Wars: Episode 1.
Mention is made of a Phantom Zone prisoner named Az-Rel. Az-Rel was the name of a Kryptonian criminal with pyrokinetic powers who was part of a group of criminals (including General Zod) who tried to arrange a mass escape from the Phantom Zone.
Nyxlygsptlnz was the name given to Mr. Mxyzptlk's wife in the New 52 reality of DC Comics. She spent some time on Earth in secret, living as a woman named Mrs. Nyxly, who was Clark Kent's landlady when he first moved to Metropolis.
The Arrowverse version of Nyxlygsptlnz is the princess of the 5th Dimension.
Nyxlygsptlnz says that her father's name was King Brpzx. In the DC Comics' reality, Brpzx is a location within the Fifth Dimension, which Nyxlygsptlnz's father ruled.
It is possible to suffer physical injuries on the Phantom Zone, but natural healing does not occur.
The computer systems at LuthorCorp require a password and a bio-scan.
Brainiac-5 identifies the Phantoms of the Phantom Zone as Zulian Melatarians. Originally from a dark planet on the outskirts of the Rao system, they were forced to flea and seek a new home planet. Unfortunately, their method of reproduction requires they infect other species, transforming them into soulless, hive-minded minions. They ran wild until the Kryptonians trapped them all in the Phantom Zone.
Within the Phantom Zone, the powers of the Zulian Melatarians are diluted and they cannot infect other species or reproduce. They still have the ability to cause psychic distress, making them ideal prison guards.
Individual Zulian Melatarians on the material plain gain power the more they reproduce.
Brainiac-5 believes the Phantoms only possess people as a means of evasion.
The Zulian Melatarians attack their enemies psychically at first, paralyzing their prey with misery and then attacking them physically with poisonous talons. After a brief incubation, the life force of the victim leaves their body and migrates to the Phantom's nest. The body then transforms into a new Phantom.
According to Brainiac-5, 31st scientists discovered a formula to quantify the intangible substance that makes sentient life unique - what less science-minded beings call the soul, but he calls life-force.
The physical attack of a Phantom causes the body of its victim to lose heat and Phantoms give off a distinctive cold energy signature that can be detected from a distance.
Brainiac-5 says a remote-activated kinetic inhibitor can be used to attack the Phantoms from a mile away so they can be safely captured.
M'Gann suggests that energy field discs could be used to neutralize the Phantoms, but they require a close proximity to work and J'onn is unwilling to take the chance.
Phantoms seem to be drawn to one another and can sense the presence of their own kind. This is discovered when the Phantom who was Silas keeps trying to push through the south wall of his cell shortly before the team get reports of a warehouse two miles to the south being attacked by Phantoms.
Martians are more vulnerable to the attacks of a Phantom due to their telepathic nature.
A blood transfusion can slow the Phantom transformation process in Martians.
Large concentrations of Phantoms in an area can short out electronics. In order to contain them, Brainiac requires multiple Luthor Electro-Cores.
Using the Obsidian Neuro-Imager and a sacred U'ra'er'run (an object used in Martian spiritual rituals), Brainiac-5 attempts a soul transfusion on M'Gann.
Lena uses her portal watch to transport the Phantoms to a sub-containment unit.
Kara: Just because neither have us have our powers here doesn't mean we can't believe in ourselves. And each other.
(Brainiac-5 and Lena have just seen the news report about the National City Children's Hospital burning down and realized Lex did it just to spite them.)
Lena: (rambling) He's a maniac. This is just sport to him. It's just another way to beat me. I hate him. So much. I hate his face. I hate his voice. I hate his suits, I hate his never-ending games of depravity. I wish he would just die. I wish we could kill him.
Brainiac-5: We should kill him. We can craft the perfect murder. First, with just the tiniest re-wiring of his home, we can deliver a near-fatal electric blow. He'll be paralyzed but he'll still be aware of what's happening to him. From there, we'll finish him. You choose the method, he's your brother. (chuckles) But just make it slow, okay? After that we'll dismember the body and scatter the pieces across the universe. I know exactly which planets have atmospheres with pressures high enough to decompose carbon in an instant! This time there will be no Lex resurrection!
Lena: (softly) Brainy, stop. Okay? We can't kill Lex.
Brainiac-5: Why not? You just suggested it. Lena, you've already done it.
Lena: Brainy, it turned me into the darkest version of myself. I know it's hard, but you can't go down this dark path, okay? You're a good person.
Brainiac-5: Then what do we do? What do we do? What am I supposed to do? Ever since I removed my personality inhibitors, I... I have been overwhelmed by the depth of my emotions. The rage? It's always there. Seeping out, burning me like acid and... All I want to do is help you destroy him, Lena. I need to destroy him. And if I can't do that, then... how do I make these feelings go away?
Lena: Brainy, we were wrong. You can't put your emotions into little boxes, they'll eat away at you until there's nothing left. And I know it's hard, but you have to embrace that. It's okay to feel rage. You just gotta let it out and then let it go.
(Lena has just told Lex that she's quitting LuthorCopr.)
Lex: You can't just walk away. You hate me too much.
Butler: I see you won your war with Ms.Luthor. So, what's next for the Man Who Has Everything?
Lex: I go get more.
Silas tells J'onn that one of the phantoms hid inside his body and attacked him.
Kara and Zor-El attempt to follow a Phantom through one of their portals. They wind up falling to the ground elsewhere in the Phantom Zone and Kara breaks her leg.
Zor-El is captured by a group of prisoners. They're about to take Kara when a woman warns them of the approach of a group of phantoms. She claims they already got someone named Az-Rel and shows them a lighter she claims was all that was left behind of him.
Silas had three roommates, whose fate he is uncertain of.
Brainiac-5 has a rage fit after seeing Lex Luthor on the news.
Nia is away attending a Catco investor's retreat. She tried to get out of it, but Andrea said one of their big reporters needed to go since Kara was on assignment.
J'onn is in full-on soldier mode, convinced that giving into his emotions after Kara's abduction is shat caused the current crisis with the Phantom.
Alex is in a depressive funk, watching the hologram Kara made in 601.
Kelly suggests maybe Alex can find meaning in helping others, the same way Kelly found meaning in helping Silas.
Lena locked Lex out of all the LuthorCorp computers.
The District Attorney of National City was fired for losing the case against Lex Luthor.
Lex has befriended the new DA, a man named Matthews, who has issued a court order against Lena to restore Lex's computer access.
DA Matthews is also launching an investigation into Lena and what laws Project Non Ncere might have violated.
Silas takes a turn for the worst, during which Alex freezes up.
J'onn tells Alex she needs to be a good soldier right now.
Kara's new ally tells her that the men who captured Zor-El intend to sacrifice him to a monster that lives in what the locals call Shadow Lake, but it won't feed until it swims 11 laps around the lake.
Kara's new ally has a crystal ball that allows her to check on Zor-El and confirm he is fine.
Kara guesses her new ally is a 5th Dimensional Imp, based on her carrying a magic artifact and her mentioning having powers in her home dimension.
Kara's new ally knows Mxyzptlk, describing him as a real wild card.
M'Gann wants to attack the Phantoms directly, but J'onn refuses to listen to her plan.
Brainiac-5 meets with Lena through a holographic projection.
Brainiac-5 hacks the accounts of The Luthor Foundation, which exists only as a front to buy experimental weapons from Kaznia, and transfers the money to the Luthor Wing of the National City Children's Hospital.
M'Gann is attacked by Phantoms at a warehouse two miles south of The Watchtower. The team is able to capture all the Phantoms, but M'Gann is left in bad shape .
Kara's new ally finally introduces herself as Princess Nyxlygsptlnz. Her father, was the Mad King Brpxz'.
Nyxlygsptlnz.was banished to the Phantom Zone by her father, whom she describes as a paranoid narcissist, who killed her older brother who was kind and popular.
Nyxlygsptlnz was apparently not worth killing, but her father did bind her with a shackle that limited her magical powers.
Lex learns about Lena's hack after he's called by the Galaxy Gazette for a statement regarding the donation he just made to the National City Children's Hospital.
Lex sends Otis Graves to set the Luthor wing of the National City Children's Hospital on fire and issues a statement blaming the fire, caused by faulty wiring, on the upgrades overseen by his sister.
Nyxlygsptlnz breaks the cuff using her crystal ball and is able to restore her magic powers.
Nyxlygsptlnz uses her magic to heal Kara.
Nyxlygsptlnz says that ever since the Phantom Zone fractured she's had flashes of fake memories - things she thinks didn't happen but which felt real. As a result, she's not really sure who she was before coming to the Phantom Zone anymore.
Kara says that she's been having the same sensation since coming to the Phantom Zone.
Lena and Brainy vent to each other about their anger over Luthor.
Lena refers to the conversation she and Brainy had in 504 about keeping their emotions in little boxes.
Alex suggests that maybe J'onn can use his soul-bond with M'Gann to save her.
J'onn and Brainiac-5 figure out a way to stop M'Gann from transforming into a Phantom using J'onn's piece of her soul from when they bonded in 601, a Martian spiritual artifact and an Obsidian Neuro-Imager.
The Superfriends are able to capture Silas, his roomates, and the other Phantoms, but the Prime Phantom is able to escape through a portal.
Lena makes a deal with DA Matthews: he'll stop all the investigations into her if she'll leave LuthorCorp.
J'onn tells M'Gann that he made a mistake not sharing his fears with her and promises to be honest in the future.
Alex asks Kelly to move in with her.
Kara and Nyxlygsptlnz rescue Zor-El.
The episode ends as Nyxlygsptlnz snaps her fingers and tries to use her magic to take them to anchor point.
The Phantom Zone
The Fridge Factor
M'Gann loses 50 IQ points and needlessly places herself in peril only to give J'onn angst about going too far in his efforts to be a good soldier.
The Bottom Line
A repetitive mess of an episode which feels like it is largely treading water and leaves the heroes looking largely incompetent. At least Kara is given more to do this week and the Lena/Brainy interactions are great. But J'onn going to the opposite extreme he took last week and Alex being too depressed to go on don't really ring true.
For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.
A new metahuman thief with ice powers is on the prowl in Central City and Joe is feeling the heat to bring in Frost, despite knowing she's innocent. Of course Frost isn't going to wait for the rest of Team Flash to prove her innocence, even before Caitlin is arrested in her place. Meanwhile, Barry struggles with the Speed Force, still in the form of his mother, trying to stay close to him as it throws his powers out of balance.
The Flash comics of Mark Waid (character of Chillblaine) and The Fugitive (evoked by Allegra, plot of a wrongly accused person hunting the real criminal while being hunted themselves.)
The presence of dark matter in the ice at the crime scene at Ivo Labs should have exonerated Frost, since she was a natural-born metahuman not created by the STAR Labs particle accelerator explosion.
It's unclear how the charges against Frost were formulated since they involve assault on one of Alchemy's acolytes, the attempted murder of Tracy Brand and the kidnapping of Cecile Horton and Julian Albert. These last three shouldn't have been reported to the police, as they were handled in-house by Team Flash. (Perhaps things played out differently post-Crisis?)
Even as a state official, Kristin Kramer shouldn't have been able to get the Central City Metahuman Taskforce to converge on O’Shaughnessy's because it was in Keystone City.
Given how empathic Iris is supposed to be, you'd think she'd figure out that Barry is uncomfortable living with a cosmic being taking the form of his dead mother without him having to tell her that outright.
Danielle Panabaker gets a fantastic turn here as Frost and Caitlin and clearly enjoys playing opposite herself.
It's also fun to see the friendship between Frost and Allegra develop and the chemistry between Kayla Compton and Danielle Panabaker is strong.
Cheesy as it is, the sequence with Mark taking his shirt off as Nelly's "Hot In Here" plays is a well-played laugh.
The fight scene between Chillblaine and Frost is well executed.
The bar where Frost seeks information is called O'Shaughnessy's. In the DC Comics universe, O'Shaughnessy's is the name of a popular fast food chain, comparable to McDonald's, and the chief rival of Big Belly Burger.
The first version of Chillblaine appeared in The Flash Annual #4 in July 1991. Originally Chillblaine was a title which Golden Glider bestowed upon various henchmen, along with her brother's cold gun, when she was trying to make her own way in the criminal underworld. Unfortunately for Glider, the fourth Chillblaine got ambitious and killed her. This Chillblaine was eventually killed by Captain Cold in The Flash #182 (March 2002).
The Arrowverse version of Chillblaine is a scientific genius named Mark Blaine, who invented a pair of gloves that give him cryonic powers.
While giving Frost the run around, Mark suggests that she check out the Wieringo Complex for a lead on the thief who framed her. This is a nod to artist Mike Wieringo, who was the co-creator of Bart Allen/Impulse.
Chester wonders if his first consultation will be a 1090, a 1011 or a 1035. These are, respectively, a bank alarm, a dog case and a major crime alert.
The ice crystal patterns among the remains of the security guard killed at Ivo Labs are dendritic, like tree branches. According to Barry, Frost's ice crystal patterns are usually hexagonal, like snowflakes.
Later, Barry determines that the ice at the crime scene only has dark matter residue on the surface. The ice produced by metahuman powers has dark matter evenly dispersed throughout the ice. The Speed Force later confirms that the molecules in the crime scene ice are compacted and constrained.
Gin has a specific gravity which will cause it to rise above denser liqueurs like crème de noyaux.
According to the Speed Force, White Hole singularities can exist without mass.
Frost and Caitlin share 80 nodal points of facial recognition.
Chester determines that the dark matter in the Ivo Labs ice isn't really dark matter, but some sort of half-life variant with compacted membranes. This proves that the killer is not a metahuman.
Chillblaine used a neurogenic scan of Frost to replicate her powers.
Chester: Anybody else taste pennies? It tastes like there’s 78 cents in my mouth.
Frost: (To Chillblaine) You fight like a boy!
The freeways in Central City included Route 220 and Route 119.
The Speed Force knows how to cook and can make blueberry compote and bacon and baked egg Danishes.
Barry is experiencing power surges where his speed goes out of control. The effect seems to get worse whenever the Speed Force is nearby.
The Speed Force says she is trying to boost Barry's power while she is healing, acting as his living battery.
The official charges against Frost include one count of assault, one count of attempted murder and two counts of kidnapping. All of these occurred during Season 3. While the CCPD stopped pursuing Frost, the state never officially dropped the charges against her.
Cisco and Kamilla are still on vacation together.
Chester gets his first call to a crime scene as a STAR Labs consultant.
An Ivo Labs van was robbed by someone with ice powers who stole an experimental microchip and killed the driver.
The CCPD still has Leonard Snart (aka Captain Cold) listed as off-the-grid.
Chester determines that the dark matter levels in the ice at the Ivo Labs robbery are off the charts. However, Barry notes that the crystal pattern is totally different than Frost's.
Kristin Kramer orders Joe to mobelize the Metahuman Task Force and says she is going to get the Central City DA to issue a warrant for Frost's arrests, despite Barry and Chester saying there's no real way to connect her to the crime.
Caitlin and Chester start working on altering one of HR Wells' transmogrifiers to allow Frost to move around unnnoticed.
Frost is in hiding at STAR Labs, but isn't happy about it, despite having found a work-out partner in Allegra.
Frost decides to hunt for the killer on her own and asks Allegra to keep quiet about her sneaking out.
Barry barely manages to cover himself after the Speed Force shows up at the Ivo Labs crime scene and his powers go out of control around Kristin Kramer.
Frost used to work at a bar called O’Shaughnessy's in Keystone City which was a hangout for a lot of criminals.
Frost is in O’Shaughnessy's when Kristin Kramer announces a $100,000 bounty on her head, which every crook in O’Shaughnessy's tries to collect.
Mark, the new bartender at O’Shaughnessy's, helps Frost out in the fight and suggests she check out the Wieringo Complex off Route 119, warning her that there's a new metahuman in town with a thing for experimental tech.
Chester suggests they use the Speed Force to process the data for the Frost case. Barry is against it and his "take it slow" attitude is justified when The Speed Force's presence cause shim to spaz out and shorts out the computer running the calculations.
The CCPD are given a tip on Frost's whereabouts and the Task Force is sent to Caitlin's apartment to arrest her. They also send Rene Carpenter, a clinician with the Mental Health Evaluation team.
Kramer didn't find anything incriminating in Caitlin and Frost's apartment.
A simple blood test can prove Caitlin doesn't have the metagene. After that, she should be released.
The fact that someone tipped Kramer off about Caitlin means that whoever is framing Frost also knows that Frost and Caitlin used to be one person.
Frost plans to break Caitlin out of prison, but Caitlin talks her out of it.
According to Kristin Kramer, Caitlin's fingerprints were found all over the Ivo Labs van and the known whereabouts of Caitlin Snow match up perfectly to sightings of Frost over the past few months.
Barry tells Iris that he's not comfortable with the new Speed Force.
Iris reminds Barry of how odd it was between her and Joe when she moved back home after college and suggests maybe he and the Speed Force just need time to get used to one another and the changes.
Chester finds proof that whoever killed the Ivo Labs guard wasn't a metahuman.
Allegra confesses that Frost has been trying to find the real killer on her own.
Mark reveals his full name is Mark Blaine and that he'd planned to frame Caitlin for his crimes. He claims he figured out Caitlin was Frost by being observant.
Mark Blaine confesses that he was a cryo-geneticist who used to work for Ivo Labs, who was going to be fired and arrested for his inhumane experiments. He stole the microchip from Ivo Labs because it was the culmination of his work.
When he was 9, Mark fell through a frozen lake while ice skating and was submerged in freezing water for 15 minutes. Afterward he became obsessed with the power of ice, believing if offered mastery of life and death.
Mark dubs himself Chillblaine and attempts to kill Frost with the gauntlet he made that gives him cold-blast powers. It does not end well for him, as Frost is still able to impale him on an icicle even after he snow-blinds her.
Allegra and The Flash go to O’Shaughnessy's after Chester detects a major cryokinetic spike there.
Allegra is able to safely melt the ice on Frost's face as The Flash patches up Chillblaine's wounds.
Frost recorded Chillblaine's confession.
Kristin Kramer shows up with the CCPD Task Force. Frost decides to turn herself in, saying she needs to pay for the crimes she committed in the past, to prove she's serious about reforming.
Caitlin is released from prison.
Cecile is trying to negotiate bail for Frost.
Frost is pleading guilty to all charges, so all that remains is a sentencing hearing.
Chillblaine is said to be heading to Iron Heights Prison.
Barry apologizes to the Speed Force and has apparently stopped glitching.
O’Shaughnessy on the south side of Keystone City.
The Boomerang Factor
The whole episode is dependent on Frost being too stubborn to let her teammates clear her name and Kristin Kramer being too stubborn to trust the experts who keep bringing up evidence that clears Frost.
The Bottom Line
An odd episode that succeeds only because of the charisma of the cast. The subplot with Barry and the Speed Force is a little weak, but thankfully most of the episode is focused on Frost and the rest of the ensemble bouncing off of her.