Monday, January 31, 2022

Superman and Lois: Season 2, Episode 3 - The Thing in the Mines

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


Lois reaches out to her father as Clark's visions become worse following a family argument with their sons. Meanwhile, as Lana faces difficulties in her campaign for mayor, Natalie confronts John Henry on a promise he failed to keep. 


The Death of Superman (appearance of the thing in the mines is based on Doomsday) and the Iron Man movies. (the way the Steel armor locks around John Henry Irons.)


For some reason, calling in Supergirl, The Flash or any of the other heroes in the Arrowverse equivalent of the Justice League doesn't come up, despite John Henry Irons asking Clark and Lois if there is anyone else they can turn to and Sam Lane saying the two of them can't fight Bizarro Superman alone.


Jordan Elsass and Tayler Buck have tremendous chemistry and seem to be developing a friendly, sibling-like relationship between Jonathan and Natalie. .


The special effects on the opening shot of Superman hovering over the Earth are of amazing quality for a broadcast television series.

The battle with "Doomsday" is equally powerful.

Super Trivia

The titular thing in the mines is revealed to be either a doppelganger or clone of Superman, rather than Doomsday as had been previously teased. While not identified by this name, the creature is clearly Bizarro Superman.

Bizarro Superman first appeared in Superboy #68 in October 1958 and was created by Otto Binder and George Papp. In his first appearance, Bizarro was an imperfect clone of Superboy created by a well-meaning scientist. Years later, Lex Luthor replicated the same process to create an adult Bizarro Superman, who used the ray to populate a planet that he made into a twisted version of Earth called Htrae, although it was more commonly known as Bizarro World.

In the post-Crisis comics, Bizarro was the produce of Lex Luthor's efforts to clone Superman, but otherwise acted like a Frankenstein version of Superman - easily angered and child like.

In the modern DC Multiverse, Htrae is now a dimension unto itself rather than another planet. It is officially designated as Earth-29.

It is possible that the Arrowverse version of Bizarro Superman is based on this conceit, as he seems to inspire the same pains in Superman that Alice experienced while trying to share Earth-Prime with another Beth Kane in B112, suggesting that Bizarro Superman is a doppelganger.

It is notable that Bizarro Superman is immune to Steel's red solar anti-Kryptonian weaponry. Remarkably, the comics say nothing about what effect red sunlight has on Bizarro, though yellow sunlight doesn't seem to affect him one way or another. However, the light of a blue sun gives him the power to alter reality around him, which was what led to the creation Bizzaro-World post-Crisis.

At the end of the episode, the title card is displayed backwards, as a nod to Bizarro Superman.


DHEA is a steroid formula, which Johnathan suspects Timmy Ryan of using.

Dialogue Triumphs

(Lois returns from taking the kids to school.)
Clark: Is Jordan okay?
Lois: He didn't talk much on the ride. I think you really scared him.
Clark: I don't even remember everything that happened. I-I know he wasn't listening to me.
Lois: He's a teenager. That's gonna happen a lot. 

Jonathan: Hey. You good?
Natalie: My dad's not answering any of my calls. He's probably just avoiding me.
Jonathan: Or his cell just doesn't get reception half a mile under the earth.
Natalie: That's a really annoying point.
Jonathan: Nat, I think your dad is just trying to help.
Natalie: Well, I mean, that's fine, but he has to at least tell me. We've been through too much to have secrets.
Jonathan: Yeah, I get it. Secrets are the hardest part, for sure.
Natalie: I guess you're probably used to this kind of stuff.
Jonathan: Not at all, but I do try to not let it get in the way of me being, like, a normal person, I guess.
Natalie: And how's that working out?
Jonathan: Well, when I found out Candice's secret today, I started a fight after practice, so not great.

Clark: I understand what it's like to not be able to tell someone your secret.
Jordan: Yeah, but, Dad, you don't understand the other side of it, being told the truth after being lied to for years.
Clark: That's fair. And not telling you or your brother, that was a guilt that I had to live with every day. But if something were to happen to Sarah because you told her your secret, that guilt would be 100 times worse.
Jordan: Do you ever wish you told Mrs. Cushing?
Clark: No. Jordan, you have to trust me. What you want in life can change pretty fast, especially at your age.
Jordan: I don't know, Dad. I-I love her. I don't think that's ever gonna change.
Clark: I'll tell you what... if in a year from now you still feel the same way... then maybe you and I can have a different conversation.
Jordan: Really?
Clark: Really. In the meantime, I may have something to help show Sarah that you still care. 

Lois: How are things with the boys?
Clark: Better.
Lois: And you?
Clark: Me? Oh, I'm, um... (sighs) I'm feeling like a complete and utter failure.
Lois: (dryly) Welcome to the world of parenting.
Clark: It's just a little terrifying to think that everything we do can have some lasting impact, like I'm gonna find a way to mess them up forever, especially right now. I'm just not feeling like myself.
Lois: Kids are pretty resilient. I mean, my mom abandoned us, and my dad was never around, and I turned out okay.
(There is a pause.)
Clark: I mean, "okay" might be...
Lois: (laughing) Tread carefully.
Clark: (quickly) A bit of an understatement 'cause you're perfect.
Lois: Okay, there it is.
Clark: That's what I was gonna say the whole time!
(Clark pulls Lois into his arms.)
Lois: Yeah?
Clark: Yeah.
(They kiss.)

Dialogue Disasters

Clark: This thing... it feels like the end of the world's coming.
Lois: Now's not the time to go all doomsday on me. 


Superman crashes to Earth after having another vision while trying to observe the thing in the Shuster Mines from a distance.

Clark notes that the US Department of Defense has taken over the Shuster Mines from AmerTek and he cannot let Lt. Anderson know there is something there that is weakening him.

John Henry volunteers to investigate the mines for Lois and Clark.

Lois calls her father to see if he can help them get he credentials to sneak John henry into the mines.

Jonathan tells Jordan he is certain that Timmy Ryan is using performance-enhancing drugs.

Natalie tells Jordan that she talked to Sarah and she could tell she was really broken up about keeping a secret from him - something he should sympathize with given his powers and his dad's secret identity.

According to Lana, 68% of Smallville High's seniors plan to leave town after graduation. This is up 10% from five years earlier.

Lana's plan for turning this around is to take the Edge settlement funds and use them to create a zero-interest business loan start-up program.

Kyle notes that lots of people in Smallville are excited about a woman being Mayor, but Lana says that isn't enough and she has to prove that she's a serious contender.

Sarah doesn't want to have a quinceañera, but Kyle is insistent that she should.

Sam Lane is happily retired and is on a fishing trip at Deer Lake when Lois calls him.

Jordan tells Clark that he wants to tell Sarah about his powers.  Clark says no.

When Jordan talks back to Clark and says he wants to marry Sarah, his eyes glow red and he shouts at Jordan.

Lois takes the kids to school instead of Clark, after seeing his reaction.

Clark says he doesn't even remember what he said to Jordan and is having trouble thinking straight.

Jordan tells Sarah he isn't sure where their relationship goes from here.

Candice tells Jonathan that she knows Timmy Ryan is juicing something, but it isn't DHEA. She saw him using something at a house party at Deucer Slavin's lake house a few weeks earlier. She describes what he was using as "that crystal crap that only grows in Smallville." Jonathan correctly identifies this as X-Kryptonite.

Candice asks Jonathan not to tell Timmy that she told him that he was using a performance enhancer.

Lana promises to make her loan proposal available to family darms, not just small businesses. 

A man named Chuck turns the crowd against Lana by reminding them about the bad loans she offered them while working for Morgan Edge and that she was working for him when he nearly destroyed the town.

Sam Lane is able to get John Henry Irons a badge that will get him into the Shuster Mines

Lois asks her father why he never took a side in her argument with Lucy. Sam says he refuses to get involved in their argument, although he admits that he never actually read Lois' expose regarding the cult Lucy was part of.

Lois tries to get her father to talk to Lucy on her behalf, but tells Sam to forget it after he says he never read her article.

Jonathan confronts Timmy over his drug use and finds out that Candice is his dealer.

A fight breaks out between Jonathan and Timmy. Clark nearly loses control of his temper again while breaking it up and winds up burning his hands after unleashing a heat-vision blast into them.

Clark says that he's experiencing feelings of being cornered and attacked but he knows they aren't his feelings - they belong to the thing in the mines.

Sam wants to call the Department of Defense, but Lois asks him to wait until they hear from John Henry.

Natalie walks in at that moment and asks what her dad is supposed to tell them.

John Henry poses as a retrieval agent, sent to recover the bodies of the workers who were trapped in Shuster Mine when it was blown up. 

John Henry discovered blood splatter in the mines and detonation marks showing that the mine was blown up instead of collapsing naturally, but is knocked out by Dr. Faulkner.

Natalie beats Jonathan at the Madden Football video game.

Clark promises to start teaching Jonathan how to drive starting next Saturday.

Clark talks with Jordan and explains why he thinks they need to keep their powers secret for now, but he offers Jordan something he thinks might help show Sarah he does care for her.

Dr. Faulkner plants detonators around the cave John Henry is left in.

Sam Lane reads Lois' article and apologizes to Lois. He says he really should have paid more attention to both his daughters after his wife left them, but that he blamed himself for driving her away and threw himself into his work because he felt more confident as a General than he did as a father.

Sam says he agrees with Lois abut Ally Allston being a bad egg and says he called Lucy, who (after saying a lot of words he won't repeat) agreed to meet with Lois

Sarah tells her mother about kissing a girl at camp and being afraid Jordan won't forgive her.

Lana tells Sarah that she's very strong and she has no idea where she got it from because she feels like a fake.

Sarah says she has an idea on how Lana can win over the voters.

Clark has another vison and heads for the mines.

Clark and John Henry both fight the monster, but the Steel suit weapons don't phase it.

The creature, once it's helmet is broken, resembles a rock-faced Superman with glowing blue eyes.

The thing in the mines is identified as a doppelganger of Superman

John Henry says he doubts the "bizarre Superman" is the Kal-El of his world, given that his weapons didn't work on it.

Sam Lane says he's going to call Lt. Anderson and tell him about the Superman doppelganger, despite Clark's objections. 

The starting line-up for the Smallville High football team is posted and Timmy Ryan is the quarterback.

John Henry apologizes to Natalie for breaking his promise, but says that Clark and Lois needed his help and he isn't sure he can give her the normal life he promised.

Natalie forgives John Henry and starts discussing how they can improve his armor.

Lois goes off to meet Lucy, in secret, late t night at a diner.

Sarah starts streaming videos of Lana cooking in her kitchen and taking questions from viewers as they wait for things to finish cooking.

Jordan gives Sarah a locket that belonged to Martha Kent, which his grandfather gave her when they were in high school.

Jonathan confronts Candice regarding her drug dealing. However, he doesn't threaten to expose her or break up with her. Instead, he asks about buying some X-Kryptonite from her.

Candice says she was only selling the X-Kryptonite to help her father make ends meet.

Ally Allston shows up at Lois' meeting and tells her that Lucy will not be talking to her.

The final scene shows a confused Bizarro Superman at the Fortress of Solitude.


The Fortress of Solitude.

The Bottom Line

A brilliant, well-paced bit of drama with one heck of a twist!

Starman Plays Quest For Glory 5, The Thief Path - Part 13

In which we (finally) begin the Rites of Rulership and face the first of many labors that will prove our fitness to be King. First up - beat the other competitors to the punch in freeing a fishing village from the mercenary armies that are invading Silmaria. But first we need to talk to everyone in town about what the heck we should be doing.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Starman Plays Quest For Glory 5, The Thief Path - Part 12

In which, after an anti-climactic battle with Gort, we go through a series of equally ant-climactic arena fights in order to become the champion of the arena and make a small fortune, before finally paying the Rites of Rulership entry fee so we can start trying to become King.... next time!

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Starman Plays Quest For Glory 5, The Thief Path - Part 11

A combat heavy chapter, in which we watch all of Elsa's arena fights on the off-chance that gives her a better chance of winning when we bet on her, before we face her ourselves. This is an important step to wooing Elsa, showing that you consider her a worthy opponent. And it also nets us a ton of gold and makes Ferrari poorer, so win/win all around.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Starman Plays Quest For Glory 5, The Thief Path - Part 10

In which we successfully rob the bank a second time (finally), help out Gnome Ann with making her inn a little more presentable and pit ourselves against Toro in the arena.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Batwoman Episode Guide: Season 3, Episode 9 - Meet Your Maker

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


With multiple signs pointing to the original Poison Ivy having awoken, Ryan, Luke and Sophie begin trying to track her down, while Montoya attempts to reach whatever remains of the woman she loved. Meanwhile, Mary's behavior begins to unnerve Alice, as Jada Jet seeks out an old friend's help in saving Marquis.


Every horror movie where the idiot protagonists are trapped in a cabin in the woods and A Quiet Place (trying to avoid triggering killer plants tracking sounds).


Again, Nicole Kang and Rachel Skarsten steal the show.


The special effects for the killer plants are interesting.

Bat Trivia

The lake where Poison Ivy kills two fishermen is called Loeb Lake. This is likely in honor of legendary Batman writer Jeph Loeb, who wrote Hush and The Long Halloween.


Luke creates special darts for fighting Poison Ivy that combine a paralytic drug and a herbicide. He's certain this will slow her down without killing her until they can recreate Batman's desiccation formula.

All the psychologists Jada Jet consulted with believe a second jolt of the Joker's joy buzzer will reawaken Marquis' sense of empathy.

Natural networking is where plants communicate through acoustics in the ground.

Poison Ivy describes the cutting of her vine that Batman kept as a sporeling, which she created to recharge her, like a battery without a plug. She says that meeting Mary will restore her.

Luke describes Diggle's box as a transmatter cube and guesses it isn't from Earth. Diggle confirms this, but asks him to keep that quiet.

Dialogue Triumphs

Poison Ivy: What were you thinking would happen when you freed me?
Montoya: I wasn't. I got wrapped up in the moment, seeing you, the white tulip, the memories, the guilt.
Poison Ivy: Ah. I'm so sorry that you had to feel guilt, Renee, while I rotted for a decade with no water, no sunlight, no soul mate. Must have been really awful for you.
Montoya: I am sorry, Pam.
Poison Ivy: How am I supposed to believe that? I needed you... more than anything, and you're the one that put me there. 

(Mary is trying to go off on her own because of Ivy's efforts to reach her.)
Stop! I am supposed to be the crazy one!
Mary: You're not the one with a bitch of a migraine that only seems to stop bitching when I go... this way!
Alice: If you go that way, you'll probably die! The O.G.'s back? She's trying to draw you to her. Why?
Mary: Uh, do I look like the president of the Poison Ivy fan club?
Alice: I don't know, but I do know that a world with two of a kind never ends well. Why don't you ask poor, boring Beth Kane? Oh, that's right. You can't because she's dead! 
Mary: Okay. Then that's why I've been feeling this way? Clearly... w-w-we have some sort of bond, and she's calling out to me. Give me the keys.
Alice: Were you not listening to anything I said?
Mary: I'm going, Alice. This is the woman who unlocked my prowess and the reason why I'm finally happy. The least I can do is go and see what she wants. Please.
Alice: Fine. Let's go meet your maker. 

Mary: Why do we work, Alice? You killed my mom, I replaced you in our family, but... here we are on this crazy adventure together. Hmm? Why?
Alice: Probably because you made me drive out to "deliverance" country.
Mary: It's because despite all of our baggage, we both found the sister we always wanted. I see the girl who... just craves her freedom, and I love that you support me to do what I want... And this is what I want.
Alice: (sighs) Okay. 

Dialogue Disasters

(Sophie watches Luke working out, shirtless, in the middle of their new lair.)
 Pretty sure in the real world this would be an HR violation of appropriate workplace behavior. Luke: Good thing it's not the real world.


In the opening scene, Poison Ivy attacks several fishermen at Loeb Lake, to Montoya's disappointment.

Poison Ivy declares that submerging herself in water is not restoring her strength, like she thought it would.

Ryan visits her adoptive mother's grave, which notes she died in 2015.

Cora Lewis worked three jobs and volunteered at her church while raising Ryan.

Sophie spars with Luke, who seems more determined than ever to get in shape and become a good fighter. She guesses this has something to do with his being man-handled by Marquis Jet in 308.

John Diggle appears for the first time since S612, though it is believed his last chronological appearance in the Arrowverse was in F716In either case, he has started growing a beard since his last appearance.

John Diggle oversaw Jada Jet's personal security detail at some point when her husband was still alive and they remained friends after.

John Diggle is also implied to be an old flame of Jada Jet, as he tells her he got back together with his wife and had kids and she seems disappointed.

Sunlight is also not restoring Poison Ivy's strength.

Ryan is still angry at Sophie for sleeping with Montoya and refuses to talk to her directly.

Team Bat presume Poison Ivy is active again based on reports of the two dead fishermen at Loeb Lake, an unnatural hornet attack at a pesticide factory and an oil rig being tipped over. All of these attacks were within a two mile radius of a national park outside Gotham City.

Jada offers Diggle a job as head of her security detail. He turns it down, saying that he only agreed to meet with her because he just happened to be in Gotham City attending to other business. 

Diggle agrees to help Jada find Joker's joy buzzer, which she believes might be able to cure Marquis. He suggests, given all the other Batman villain weapons on the street, that all of them were part of a collection, which means the joy buzzer might be out on the street as well.

Diggle says his sources at ARGUS thought Renee Montoya, who works for the Mayor's Offices' Rogue Unit, would be worth consulting about the possibility of a Bat-villain weapons cache.

Poison Ivy reaches out through the plants to send a message to Mary, bringing them together.

Alice tries to talk Mary into leaving Gotham with her to go to Santorini.

Mary describes the sensation of being summoned by Ivy as feeling like brain-freeze when you eat something cold too quickly.

Ryan, Sophie and Luke's van is attacked by vines shortly after they get to the national park.

A random hunter dies after trying to warn Ryan, Sophie and Luke away. They hide in a cabin.

Luke blames himself for the team's current predicament and says it's clear his father didn't give him the Batwing suit because he isn't meant to be a hero.

Ryan says that real heroes screw up all the time and keep going, pointing out that Sophie allowed Alice and Poison Ivy to escape on her watch. Sophie sarcastically agrees, pointing out that for all of Ryan's alleged detective skills, she didn't realize Mary was possessed by Poison Ivy until it was too late.

Poison Ivy confronts Montoya on how Batwoman and her allies seemed to know how to find her. Montoya admits to working with them, but says Ryan is different from Batman. Ivy refuses to believe her and goes off to kill Batwoman.

Jada Jet knows how to pick locks and apparently learned the skill while living on the street in her youth.

Diggle and Jada find Montoya's list of the missing Bat Villain weapons.

Alice makes reference to the Beth Kane doppelganger from 112.

Alice agrees to help Mary find Poison Ivy, but Mary knocks her out so she can go on her own.

Sophie and Ryan continue to argue, but Ryan does thank Sophie for grabbing the Batsuit out of their van before it was destroyed.

Sophie asks Ryan why she's always held a grudge against her and says it goes beyond her treating Ryan badly when she was a convict.

Luke is able to kill the vines that come into the cabin with a mixture of salt and vinegar.

Ryan puts on her Batsuit and makes for a truck they saw earlier that had a bag of salt in the bed.

Diggle and Jada steal he booze out of Montoya's mini-fridge.

Jada has no idea how Ryan tracked her down.

Jada finds Joker's joy buzzer in Montoya's desk.

Montoya tries to kill Mary.

Luke saves a boy, whose father was the hunter killed by Ivy earlier in the episode.

Luke visits his father's grave. He also died in 2015.

Luke tells his father that he thinks he is ready to be a hero now.

John Diggle meets Luke as his father's grave and says he is sure his dad is proud of him.

Luke returns a box to Diggle and says he couldn't get it open. This is the box Diggle found in a smoking crater in A810.

Diggle says ARGUS couldn't get the box open either, but it opened for him once before.

Luke guesses that whatever makes the box open isn't based on science.

Diggle asks Luke for one more favor - passing on a message to Batwoman from Jada Jet, that she found her fix.

Alice finds Mary's phone and a man's corpse impaled on a tree.

Montoya built up an immunity to Poison Ivy's pheromones by poisoning herself a little each day.

Mary finds Ivy. The two hug and Ivy is rejuvenated.

Sophie kisses Ryan.


A national park outside Gotham City.

The Killing Jokes

Granting that they're somewhat desperate, Team Bat going into a national park hunting a villain who manipulates nature with an untested weapon seems incredibly stupid, even for these heroes.

The Bottom Line

Painfully bad. The "heroes" continue to be as unsympathetic as they are idiotic and the only thing marking the villains as villains is random, unmotivated murders. Not even John Diggle and the promise of his Green Lantern storyline being resolved can make this episode worth watching more than once.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 7, Episode 9 - Lowest Common Denominator

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


When Gideon jumps the time machine into John Constantine's manor, the team find themselves trapped in a hellish reality show. With the rest of the team's emotions running wild thanks to the dark influence of a damned film crew, it will fall to Astra to try and save the team as Behrad tries to express his feelings for the sorceress without making a big production out of it.


Reality TV in general, with specific shout-outs to Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Survivor, Real Housewives, Big Brother, Naked and Afraid, The Real World and Jersey Shore.


All the cast are on fire here playing reality show stereotypes.


The direction does a great job of capturing the feeling of a cheesy reality show.

Trivia Of Tomorrow

This is the first episode of any Arrowverse series since Crisis on Infinite Earths set outside of Earth-Prime.

The episode features a unique title card sequence, with 

The logo for the demonic LCD network is modeled on The CW logo.


Astra knows a spell that can reveal the presence of hidden spirits. She uses this to reveal the Cursed Crew to the rest of the Legends.

Dialogue Triumphs

(Gary watches Gideon eat an apple seductively.)
Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me?
Gideon: Well, if you're referring to the increasing temperature in the house, - you're correct.
Gary: (disappointed) Oh.
Gideon: If you're insinuating we should go upstairs and fool around, also correct. 
(Both start giggling and run for the staircase.)

(The other Legends discover Gideon and Gary in bed.)
Spooner: All right. Well, how long has this been going on?
Gideon: Uh, well, including the foreplay, approximately... 
(All the other Legends moan, grossed out.)

Nate: Look, just when you think you can trust a woman, she turns around and shows her true self. That's why you can't trust dames. You can only trust... gains. (flexes for the camera.)

Ava: Oh, no. I'm turning into the implanted memories of my mother. 

Spooner: They both make good points, but just know that whichever alliance I join, I promise I will betray it

Behrad: You guys want to make asses of yourselves for the cameras? Is that what you want?  Because I know what it gets you. I have countless memories of cameras in my face, every time I was scared! Every time I cried! You want to know about the first time I ever failed? Don't worry. "Keeping Up With The Tarazis" had a whole episode about it! I figured out the way to beat it was to be unflappable, chill. Pop a gummy, lay low, relax. If they don't see it get to you, they don't have the power. But... it gets to me. A lot of things do. I'm sad sometimes. I'm scared a lot. I died, and I never talked about it! Because maybe I'm afraid if I'm honest with anyone, they'll end up hating me. (To Astra) All I wanted to do was ask you out, and now I'm crying for all of hell to see and laugh at me... for my friends to realize they never knew the real me... And for the girl I like to run far away from me. But I'm done now. Here's the honest truth. When it comes to you, Astra... I lose all my cool.  I'm just B. 

Gideon: It's quite nice feeling emotional again. It's like a warm and gooey feeling as opposed to a cold and calculated urge to murder.
(There is an uncomfortable silence.)
Nate: Say what?
Gideon: I'm just kidding. I'm quite funny, actually. 
(Everyone laughs as Gary and Gideon hug.)
Sara: So funny. But, hey, since you are a part of this team and a supercomputer, so you tell us, where do you think we should go?
Gideon: I'm glad you asked, Captain, because I've given it much tactical and emotional consideration, and I think I want to trust my gut, as us humans say, and my gut is telling me to plot a course for Sarajevo in 1914. We need to save Archduke Franz Ferdinand and stop World War I.
(Everyone except Gideon laughs. They all slowly stop as they realize Gideon was serious.)
All But Gideon: What?!


The episode picks up immediately after the team's escape in 707, with the time machine taking the Legends into the Hell Mansion.

Gary guesses that the time machine took them to the Hell mansion since Gideon thought of it as being her "home" when the other Legends told her to take them home.

Gwyn hears the voice of his lost love Alun coming from outside the mansion. He opens the door, which allows something into the mansion.

Gideon has a fever and isn't feeling well after the last jump. She tells Gary she thought she did well to take the team to the Hell Mansion but everyone is obviously disappointed in her.

Gary and Gideon decide to go upstairs and fool around.

Behrad tells Zari 2.0 and Nate that he wants to ask Astra out.

Behrad says he hasn't smoked weed or done edibles since they became lost in time.

Nate says that he considers Zari 2.0 his best bud, now that Behrad is practically his brother-in-law.

Gwyn informs the rest of the Legends that he thinks he let something into the mansion. They split up to search for it.

Nate and Zari 2.0 are sprayed with some kind of gross magic goo and are forced to take their shirts off while exploring the attic.

Nate winds up wearing a white shirt that makes him look like John Constantine.

Zari 2.0 winds up in a flannel shirt that makes her look like Zari 1.0.

Nate and Zari figure out something is altering their minds to try and bring them together.

Sara and Ava discover Gary and Gideon in bed together. Soon the rest of the team run in and discover the two have been lovers since 706.

Gary is blamed for making Gideon too unfocused to time-travel properly.

After Zari says this all seems like a bad reality show, Astra identifies the spirits in the house as The Cursed Crew - a ghostly reality show production crew from the 1990s who were cursed to film footage for the hellish network of a demon named Harris Ledes, until they captured some truly real emotion.

Zari says the Cursed Crew cam twist emotions and amplify conflict, creating petty drama for the amusement of their audience.

Astra leaves the mansion to confront Harris and get him to back off. She tells the rest of the Legends not to give in to their emotions while she is gone.

Zari 2.0 had a reality show as a child celebrity, Keeping Up With The Tarazis. Behrad was recast on it after refusing to appear on camera.

Gwyn asks Spooner to explain just what reality television is to him. Instead, Spooner tells him to stick with her, staying they can form an alliance and that she watched all 40 seasons of Survivor.

As Ava and Sara start trying to get back to thinking of a plan to fight Evil Gideon, Sara becomes obsessed with planning the ultimate beach-themed honeymoon.

As they start discussing how they'd never hook up, Zari and Nate begin arguing over just why they would never hook up.

Gwyn pushes Sara to discuss a plan to save Alun. Sara shrugs him off, but writes him an IOU promising to help him save one person at any point in the timeline.

Spooner begins wandering around the house naked as a strategy, saying everyone trusts the naked person, because they can't hide anything.

Harris Ledes' hellish network is called Lowest Common Denominator Productions. 

Astra and Harris Ledes know each other from Astra's time in Hell.

Astra tries to get Harris to back off, claiming the souls of the Legends are hers to play with. He is content to do so, until Behrad is caught in the lobby of LCD Productions.

After Astra refuses to "piddle" Behrad, Harris realizes she's become mortal and is now fair game for any demon to play with her.

Harris tries to discover Behrad's deepest darkest secrets but is saddened to find he has none.

Astra thinks Behrad followed her because he thought she was too weak to go solo or was going to backslide into being a demon.

The Cursed Crew cause Gideon to dump Gary and to start acting like a cool, emotionless manipulator.

Gary's human form is shown to have three nipples, as first mentioned in 415.

Gideon manipulates Zari 2.0 into thinking the reason Nate is acting so weird to her is because he really doesn't want to move in with Zari 1.0.

Gideon alter tells Nate that Zari 2.0 said his Zari was ugly and is better than her, as Nate starts working-out and bronzing his skin.

Gideon manipulated Gwyn into considering that he might use his "one saved life" voucher to save more than one person.

Sara ignores all the drama in favor of planning a trip to Cabo.

At dinner that night, Gwyn says a blessing, which is bleeped out by the Cursed Crew.

Gwyn asks to use his voucher to save Archduke Franz Ferdinand and prevent World War I.

Ava gets angry at Sara for making a promise that could endanger the timeline.

Zari 1.0 is brought out of the totem in the middle of the fight and joins in.

After Gideon offers to take everyone out of Hell, Gary eats the time machine interface so it can't be used.

Behrad opens up to the other Legends about hiding who he really is, playing a chill stoner that everyone liked. This frees the Cursed Crew from their curse and saves everyone.

Sara agrees to take on more responsibility as co-Captain, saying it isn't fair for Ava to play the house mom.

Gwyn apologies for pushing Sara on the idea of averting World War I. Sara accepts the apology and promises to save Alun.

The Zaris and Nate work things out.

Zari 1.0 goes back in the totem.

Astra and Behrad agree to take it slow, since Behrad is still figuring out who he is sober.

Gary tells everyone off for assuming that Gideon can't make her own decisions and that he corrupted her somehow. Gideon agrees, saying it is hypocritical given how almost everyone else on the team found love with someone else, so why not them?

Everyone apologizes and says they are fine with Gary and Gideon dating.

Gideon says their next step should be averting World War I.



The Bottom Line

A hilarious bottle episode which masterfully sends up reality TV.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Superman and Lois: Season 2, Episode 2 - The Ties That Bind

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


Clark reveals his visions to Lois and admits there may be only one person on Earth who can help him understand their meaning. Meanwhile, some surprising news sends Lana down a new career path, as tensions rise between Chrissy and Lois following an unpleasant revelation regarding one of Lois' old stories. Finally, Natalie begins to befriend Sarah, causing her to break her plans with Jordan, as Johnathan ponders a rival athlete's newfound strength.


The Death of Superman (appearance of Doomsday) and the Supermen of America series.


Alex Garfin has perhaps the strongest individual performance, showing Jordan Kent's true grit as he offers to help his father and stands against Tal-Rho.


The special effects for the fight between Jordan and Tal-Rho are good.

Super Trivia

The episode was directed by David Ramsey, most famous for playing John Diggle on Arrow.

While she is not given a first name, Dr. Faulkner seems to be based upon Dr. Karen Lou "Kitty" Faulkner, who was a supporting character in the post-Crisis Superman comics and, later, the villain Rampage. First appearing in Superman #7 in July 1987, Kitty was working on a pollution-free energy source. An accident transformed her into an orange-skinned Amazonian monster, who grew in size and strength as she was exposed to solar energy, but also became more uninhibited and angry. She later got a job with STAR Labs, became an ally of the Will Payton Starman and later became the director of STAR Labs' office in Metropolis.

The Arrowverse version of Dr. Faulkner is a geologist in the employ of AmerTek's mining operation in Smallville. She claims to have several degrees and is an expert in mineralogy.

A different version of Rampage appeared in the Adventures of Supergirl comic tying into the Supergirl series. This Rampage was named Caren Falqnerr and said to be a Byrnian - an alien species that had the ability to shapeshift into a monstrous form when angered once charged by the energy of a yellow sun. The name Byrnian is a nod to creator John Byrne, who created Kitty Faulkner.

AmertTek is revealed to be the company contracted to clean all the X-Kryptonite out of the Shuster Mines. This is the first mention of the company on Earth-Prime, but they have a long history, in the Arrowverse and the comics, for being dishonest.

In Supergirl season 4, AmerTek was a corrupt weapons manufacturer with connections to Lex Luthor, on Earth-38. The Earth-1 version of AmerTek showed up repeatedly in Arrow and in one episode of The Flash, usually in reference to some piece of advanced technology being stolen.

In the original comics, AmerTek was the corrupt military industrial firm which employed John Henry Irons before he went into hiding after trying to blow the whistle on the company's illegal activities. 

The drug dealer Superman tries to stop from taking hostages at an airport is identified as Phillip Karnowsky. This was the alias of a supervillain in the Superman comics known as Barrage, who lost his arm in a fight with police officer Maggie Sawyer. He later acquired a suit of power armor and an energy canon arm. 

A different version of Phillip Karnowsky appeared in S207, where he was a vigilante who framed Guardian for one of his own killings.

The Earth-Prime version of Phillip Karnowsky was shown to be using some kind of inhaler that temporarily made him as strong as Superman, in addition to his guns.

The idea of Kryptonians creating their children through genetic engineering rather than sexual intercourse dates back to the 1978 Superman: The Movie, although the original references to this were largely cut during filming. The idea was made more implicit in 2013's Man of Steel, where Clark Kent's status as a natural-born child marked him as unique.

This episode features the first Post-Crisis reference to Lucy Lane. However, the character described by Lois seems radically different from the one seen in Supergirl season 1.


Based on Sarah's description of her car and her dad's efforts to change the ignition switch, the starter and the battery, Natalie deduces the problem is a clogged fuel filter.

Anderson claims that Phillip Karnowsky somehow acquired some X-Kryptonite. Presumably this was part of the formula he inhaled that temporarily made him as strong as Superman.

John Henry has a seismometer among the gear in his RV, which measures the difference between a set point when the bedrock isn't moving and processes the variables once it starts shaking.

The '78 Firebird gets 280 horses and has dual exhaust.

The earthquakes coming from inside the Shuster Mines are not seismic in nature, according to John Henry's readings. He concludes that something is causing the earthquakes.

The Lara hologram says Clark's visions are being caused by an invasive cosmological event - interdimensional kinesthesis. In simple terms, some other being is causing the visions.

Dialogue Triumphs

Lois: I know this isn't ideal, being back here around me.
John Henry: It's the best thing for Nat.
Lois: What about you?
John Henry: I'll make the adjustment.
Lois: You sure?
John Henry: (firmly) I'll make the adjustment. 

(Jordan and Tal-Rho are watching Superman and Lara's hologram talk from a distance.)
See how she favors him... your father?
Jordan: Well, yeah, he's not a genocidal sociopath who tried to destroy civilization.
Tal-Rho: And your mother... does she favor the weakling?
Jordan: From what I hear, Jon's probably stronger than you now.

Tal-Rho: Aren't you gonna thank me for reuniting you with your long-lost mother?
Clark: She could have been a mother to us both if you'd chosen a different path. |
Tal-Rho: There is no choice in this life, only the illusion of such.
Clark: I think you're wrong. She believes there's still good in you.
Tal-Rho: And you, brother? Do you feel the same?
Clark: No. But I want to.


As the episode opens, Lois has cooked a big breakfast for everyone. This is a surprise to Clark, Jordan and Jonathan.

Natalie has beaded her hair since the last episode.

Natalie is sleeping in Jonathan's room.

Natalie is a vegan and says she is not a breakfast person.

Clark has another vision and collapses in the kitchen. It is made apparent that nobody else knew about this. Clark says this is the third such spell he has had after the one while saving a submarine and the one during the earthquake in 201.

Clark says the visions showed him destruction of some sort and rocks crumbling, like a cave in. In the third one, he heard someone scream.

Lois suggests the visions could be residual memories of Krypton's destruction from when Clark was possessed by General Zod.

George Dean crashes the event that Lana organized for Daniel Hart.

George Dean has been Mayor of Smallville for over ten years and hasn't had anyone run against him in ten years.

Sarah is taking French as a foreign language elective.

Natalie is taking shop class in 5th period.

Sarah identifies the car her father got her as a '78 Firebird.

AmerTek is identified as the company overseeing the clean-up of the Shuster Mines. Lois and Chrissy are due to interview Dr. Faulker, the head of the project that morning. 

Chrissy informs Lois that a podcast devoted to journalist oversight has accused her of coercing some of her sources on an expose into Ally Allston - a self-help guru Lois painted as a dangerous cult leader.

Lois defends her story and her sources, noting that she made it clear in the first sentence of the article that one of the sources quoted was a member of her family.

Clark visits Tal-Rho in prison and asks if there's a chance the Eradicator could be responsible for his visions.

Tal-Rho says he hasn't had any flashes of memories beyond his own and he's had far more Kryptonians in his mind than anyone else. 

Tal-Rho tries to tal Clark into escorting him to his Fortress, where he has technology that could run some tests and make sure Clark is healthy.

Tal-Rho claims he is now completely powerless and that John Henry Iron's red solar flare took away his ability to metabolize sunlight. He is later revealed to be lying. 

Dr. Faulkner is the head of the AmerTek clean-up crew.

It has been 40 years since Kansas experienced an earthquake.

The epicenter of the recent earthquake was in the Shuster Mines and there have been multiple tremors.

Daniel Hart drops out of the race for Mayor, having been given a job offer in Bristol County.

Sarah forgot about her after-school plans with Jordan, having invited Natalie to help her with her car. She invites Jordan but he says he isn't a car guy and will text her later.

John Henry advises Lois to be herself and be patient to reach Natalie.

Lois asks John Henry for help analyzing the AmerTek site and figuring out what is causing the earthquake. He agrees, provided it is a one-time thing, saying he needs to focus on being Natalie's father and is done being Steel.

Clark hears gunfire and interrupts a hostage situation at an airport. Unfortunately, he has another vision spell during the situation.

The Supermen of America step in and save the hostages and Superman.

One of the Supermen of America agents is Tag Harris, last seen in 106. Clark later notes that he is barely 18 years old.

The Department of Defense still has dedicated Kryptonian physicians on the payroll, who give Superman a check-up after the fight with the drug dealer.

The DoD team Lt. Anderson runs is officially known as the Threat Reduction Agency.

Lt. Anderson identifies the hostage-taker as a drug-runner and arms dealer named Phillip Karnowsky. He claims he stole X-Kryptonite from the Shuster Mines before AmerTek moved in to it.

John Henry sets up a seismometer at the Shuster Mines.

Lana considers several other people to run for Mayor. These include Denny Brooks (a former councilman who quit to spend more time with his family), Ted Hargrove (a man who isn't well liked) and Del Mason, who runs the 4H festival every year, but is moving to Edgerton.

Timmy Ryan, one of Jonathan's teammates, boasts that he's doing much better thanks to his new training regiment. He is later able to deadlift 315 pounds while working out with the team, to Jonathan's shock.

Clark tells Jordan that he's going to go to Tal-Rho's Fortress. Jordan insists that he come along to watch his back.

Jordan tells Clark that things with Sarah aren't going well and he'd like to think he could do some good helping him. He also offers to teach Clark how to manage an anxiety attack so he can ride out his fits better.

Tal-Rho reveals that he has a hologram of Lara Lor-Van, his mother, made from before the destruction of Krypton. This is different from the record of her personality in the Eradicator, which briefly possessed Lana in 110.

Lara expresses disappointment in Tal-Rho, describing the Eradicator as her greatest regret and lamenting that it was left in the hands of a monster.

Lara says she had no idea Tal-Rho existed until it was too late to do anything, given the way Kryptonian children are raised apart from their parents until reaching a certain age. When Clark asked how this was possible, Lara revealed that he was the first live-born baby on Krypton in generations and that all the babies before them were genetically engineered. 

Natalie is able to get Sarah's car to start.

Sarah asks Natalie if she's ever had a secret she was afraid would change how people see them. She says yes, but doesn't clarify what it is. She does say, however, that she should be honest with Jordan or get better at hiding whatever it is that is making things weird between them.

Clark has another vision fit, during which Tal-Rho reveals he has not lost his powers after all.  Jordan moves to protect his father and holds his own, showing that his powers have increased in the last three months, as Lois noted earlier.

Lara persuades Tal-Rho to let Jordan go, saying that he is not his father and she sees the good in him.

Something inside the Shuster Mines attacks one of the workers as the Earthquake is going on. A worker named Joe is able to blow up the mine, trapping himself with the creature.

Clark returns Tal-Rho to his special cell.

Chrissy tells Lois that the podcast went viral and the next episode is interviewing someone who is recanting her story.

Lois tells Chrissy that the mystery family member in her story was her younger sister Lucy, who Lois saved after she swallowed a bottle full of pills and almost drowned in a bathtub while trying to "find her other self."

Los hasn't talked to Lucy since the expose was published.

Kyle tells Lana that she should run for Mayor, and tells her he already got her the signed support of the entire Smallville Fire Department. Lana had the same idea, and already filled out the paperwork to run.

Jonathan voices his belief that Timmy Ryan is using steroids or something to Jordan, noting that he was the biggest slacker on the team but is suddenly super-strong.

Sarah tells Jordan that she kissed a girl named Aubrey at camp. 

Clark confirms that he's had five visions in the past few days.

John Henry determines that each vision coincided with the tremors coming from the Shuster Mines.

Dr. Faulkner confirms something came through the mines, and describes it as more powerful than they had hoped.


An unidentified airport.

Tal-Rho's Fortress of Solitude, located in The Badlands

The Bottom Line

Another solid episode, which builds the mystery of what is in the Shuster Mines effectively enough, though long-time Superfans can guess based on the glimpses we get. Great character moments for the entire ensemble and all the subplot plates are set to spinning well.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Batwoman Episode Guide: Season 3, Episode 8 - Trust Destiny

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


As Alice and Mary go on the lamb and begin to bond, Ryan, Sophie and Luke become more desperate to catch them. Unfortunately, their resources are limited having been locked out of the Batcave. Thankfully, Renee Montoya has an idea that may help end the threat of Poison Ivy and her control over Mary once and for all. Unfortunately, it requires they infiltrate a party Marquis Jett is throwing in Wayne Tower to celebrate his ascension. 


The Batman comics of Grant Morrison


The writers seem to forget that Alice and Mary are established as being in Metropolis in their first scene, given how easily Mary gets back to Gotham and how quickly Sophie finds the hotel Alice is staying in. While Gotham and Metropolis are fairly close together in the comics universe, Gotham City in the Arrowverse was previously established as being closer to Chicago than New York City. (Then again, this point has been inconsistent, depending on the show, and Superman and Lois has Metropolis being in the same football league as Smallville, Kansas.)


Once again, the interaction between Nicole Kang and Rachel Skarsten is the high-point of the episode.

Bridget Regan gives a powerful performance as Poison Ivy.


The card-themed background for Marquis' party is memorably eye-catching.

Bat Trivia

The original title of this episode was True Destiny.

As Poison Ivy notes, in the language of flowers, white tulips are given as an apology as they symbolize forgieness.

The acrobats at Marquis' party wear Harlequin masks. Coupled with the black and red card decorations, this seems to be a nod to Harley Quinn.

Marquis questions Luke as to whether or not his costume has a portal access point. In the comics, the Batwing suit does have such a function. 


Montoya explains that Batman created a desiccation serum that mimicked the process a plant undergoes when it is denied water and sunlight to disable Poison Ivy. He also created a special device to inject the serum, which is coded to it in such a way that it can also be used to extract the serum.

After Marquis Jet upgrades Wayne Tower's security, the executive elevators in Wayne Tower require a thumb scan to operate. Accessing the CEO's office in Wayne Tower requires a retina scan.

Luke outfits Ryan's mask for the party with ocular mesh scanners from the Batsuit.

Dialogue Triumphs

(Mary has just discovered her credit cards don't work.)
Did the Bat bitches cut me off?
Alice: All your fancy degrees, and you didn't see that coming?
Mary: I thought we were past this. I mean, one would think that nearly vine-squeezing the life out of your bestie and then crushing the only cure for you in existence was a pretty good indicator that it was time to move on from the friendship. Anyone else find it ironic that when I beg Ryan and Luke for their attention they're too busy with their own drama, but then when I finally step away for some much-needed me time, Mary Hamilton is the coveted Batmission of the week?
Alice: If this is a lecture on being Batwoman's most wanted, trust me, I already took the exam.

Ivy: Are you coming with me or not?
Montoya: Not if you go where I can't follow you. Stay here. Stay the... Quirky, brilliant scientist who loves reading and baseball that I fell in love with a decade ago.
Ivy: She's gone. She's blossomed into someone who can stand up for herself and, more importantly, for those things that can't. 

(Mary downs a flute of champenge. Alice emerges from the bedroom of their suite.)
I've been in the bedroom trying to finagle my way out of Sophie's handcuffs, and you've been in here drinking all the Dom?
Mary: (distant) Ryan had me beat. She was about to inject me with something, and then she hesitated. Whatever she was about to do to me scared her.
Alice: Don't tell you're getting the conscience tingles.
Mary: Before I even knew what was happening, she used the syringe on Marquis. I don't know if it was to save Luke or protect her secret. But all I know is in that moment, I was the least of her problems.
Alice: She still underestimates you.
Mary: I know it's silly, but a part of me just wanted her to see me as powerful.
Alice: Do you know all those looney tune delusions I've been having? Postcards from Dad, imaginary friends, walking in on Sophie in the shower?
Mary: That last one happened.
Alice: (blinks) Oh. Anyway, since your whole Poison Mary metamorphosis, I have yet to have a single delusional thought, which means baby-sitting you, my dear, has made me less of a crazy person, and if that's not powerful, I don't know what is.
(The two hug.)


In 2011, Renee Montya was still a GCPD beat cop, whose partner was killed by Poison Ivy because she couldn't bring herself to shoot her.

Alice and Mary rack up an $8000 bill at a Metropolis hotel and are unable to pay for it, thanks to Luke cutting off Mary's credit cards. Thankfully, Mary's "Ivy" powers allow her to pacify the hotel manager.

Montoya recalls meeting with Pamela Isley and begging her to give up being Poison Ivy after her partner died. She refused, saying she was no longer the quirky scientist who liked reading and baseball that she fell for 10 years earlier.

Ryan identifies the rancid smell in the temporary Batcave as a dead rat in the wall.

Montoya says the only way she think of stopping Mary is to use the formula Batman developed to incapacitate Poison Ivy. She has the device Batman used to dispense the formula, but the only dose of it is still in Ivy. This means that, in order to replicate the formula, they have to find Poison Ivy's body.

Everybody except Ryan votes to go with Montoya's plan

Luke says their best bet to finding Ivy's resting place is consulting Bruce Wayne's Batman journals, which are located in the Batcave.

Montoya became a GCPD Detective in 2013.

Montoya did not know that Bruce Wayne was Batman.

Marquis calls Ryan to thank her for trying to freeze him instead of having him sent to Arkham. During the call, it is made apparent that he's planning a party. This leads Ryan to suggest crashing it as part of Montoya's plan.

Luke's cover identity for the party is Spencer Glad, a former Olympic athlete rumored to be the next owner of the Gotham Knights.

Sophie's cover identity for th party is Cecilia Langley, a world traveler and heiress to a whiskey fortune.

Ryan's cover identity is Penelope Devereaux, who runs a board game empire and is French.

All these cover identities are real people, whom Luke was able to uninvite from the party.

Each person attending Marquis' party is given a playing card as part of a game. Marquis calls each guest up by picking a card, and electrocutes everyone who gives the wrong answers to the questions he asks.

Luke swipes a SIM card from one of the workers' tablets and Sophie gets Marquis' thumbprint from a glass.  This leaves it to Ryan to meet him, face to face, to scan his retinal pattern with her mask.

Montoya confirms that all the Batman trophies, except for Joker's joy-buzzer, have been accounted for.

Montoya, Sophie and Ryan enter the Batcave while Luke stands watch.

Mary attends the party and flirts with Marquis.

Montoya first contacted Batman for help with Poison Ivy in early June 2011.

Montoya recalls how she met with Poison Ivy, pretending to want to join her, so that she could inject her with the desiccation solution. 

Ryan figures out, based on Bruce Wayne's journal where he discussed needing to bury Poison Ivy somewhere no one would look for her but where he could get to her if needed, that he must have buried her in the deepest part of the Batcave and that's why there's a tree in the middle of it.

Gotham City has rain 300 days out of the year.

Sophie gets a credit card fraud alert on her phone as they search for Poison Ivy. It does not occur to her until later that her card was stolen and she realizes it must have been taken by Alice.

Ryan recovers the Batsuit and uses it to track Poison Ivy's heartbeat.

Luke spots Mary at the part and tries to confront her.

Mary tells Marquis that Ryan is Batwoman and Luke is Batwing.

Once the serum is extracted, Ryan returns to the party to inject it into Mary.

Sophie leaves Montoya with Poison Ivy when she realizes that Alice has her credit card. 

Alice tells Sophie that she needed to get her alone and reveals that Montoya has been manipulating them all from the beginning. For proof, she tells her to check out Montoya's office and check the second drawer down in her left filing cabinet.

Ryan confronts Mary, but is forced to let her go after Marquis takes Luke hostage.

Ryan uses the desiccation weapon to take down Marquis as Mary makes her escape.

Montoya apologizes to Poison Ivy's body for betraying her. A white tulip blooms near her, revealing that she can hear Montoya on some level.

Sophie breaks into Montoya's office and searches the drawer Alice told her to look at. She discovers the Joker's joy-buzzer.

Luke and Ryan set Marquis up on life-support in Mary's clinic.

Ryan calls Jada Jet as Batwoman and tells her that she has her son, safe.

Sophie calls Ryan and tells her that Montoya manipulated them to find Poison Ivy's body so she could being her back.


A hotel in Metropolis
The flashbacks show Renee Montoya and Pamela Isley ten years earlier (i.e. 2011) 

Untelevised Adventures

Batman stopped Poison Ivy from destroying the Gotham City Dam in June 2011.

The Fridge Factor

Luke accidentally reveals Bruce Wayne's secret identity to Montoya by discussing his Batman journals in front of her.

Again, it must be noted that Sophie is not a very good detective and that she had no idea Alice stole her credit card until Alice intentionally used it to try and get Sophie's attention. She also left a handcuffed Alice unattended and somehow didn't guess that she'd try to escape or would be capable of escaping. 

The Bottom Line

An underwhelming episode that can't be bothered to keep track of what city half its cast are in. A bigger problem is that Marquis' status as "the new Joker" is completely unearned and distracts away from the far more interesting Poison Mary and the idea of Montoya as the true criminal mastermind of the season.

Starman Plays Quest For Glory 5, The Thief Path - Part 9

In which, having maxed out all our stats but defense, I take a chapter to show you a few fun things that aren't important to the plot but are still amusing. Things such as Elsa beating up Magnum Opus, some conversations at the Thieves' Guild you might miss and beat up Magnum Opus ourselves. We also patronize the arts, do a few things that will save us time later and try (and fail) to rob the bank a second time without glitches getting in the way.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 7, Episode 8 - Paranoid Android

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


Forget everything you thought you knew. The real Legends of Tomorrow are back and ready to kick the metal asses of their evil robot doppelgangers, who are out to destroy the timeline. Or so their trusty taskmaster Gideon tells them. But something about that story doesn't ring true to Captain Sara Lance, who uncovers some harsh truths as she tries to understand her arch-enemies and why they're going out of their way to help people.


The DCEU (riffs on Snyderverse and John Cena's Peacemaker character) and the MCU (Evil Sara's "Black Widow" costume and posing, Legends being dark riff on TVA from Loki.)


When the original Legends files are show, a photo of Zari Tomaz is shown in place of Zari Tarazi. (It's possible, however, that Evil Gideon modified the Zari robot to be more like Zari 1.0 than Zari 2.0.)


Nick Zano steals the show as the Evil Citizen Steel, who is equal parts John Cena's Peacemaker and Ben Affleck's Batman.

Caity Lotz gets a surprisingly subtle performance here as the Evil White Canary, who comes to realize she's the villain of the episode.

Trivia Of Tomorrow

The episode title is a reference to the character of Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy.

This episode contains an opening monologue describing the show instead of a title card, which the show hasn't had since Season 3.

This episode includes a modified opening with explosions behind each character's name.

John Cena, who plays the Peacemaker in the DCEU, is referenced by the kids at the end, who mistake the Evil Citizen Steel for him. 

The prosthetic arms Nick Zano wears as Evil Citizen Steel were based on John Cena's arm measurements.


Dr. Sharpe creates special Destiny Restoration Devices which she claims are energy weapons that she doesn't bother to explain. These are later revealed to be radioactive weapons that eventually cause those hit by its beams to die of radiation poisoning consistent with the deaths at the original Chernobyl disaster.

The Evil Citizen Steel robot is programmed to speak Russian.

Dr. Petrov is said to have created a process that accelerates the decay of radioactive waste, making what would take thousands of years to occur naturally happen in a matter of weeks.

Dialogue Triumphs

Opening Narration: It all started when a man named Bishop created a team of robots. He sent them back in time with one goal: to destroy the 20th century. These machines were programmed to think that they were beyond human. That they were superheroes. They made their way cross-country, murdering some of the greatest figures in history. Famous lawmen and men of science. Finally, they kidnapped the inventor of time travel itself and, with his help, set their sights on destroying all of history. No one could stop these so-called Legends. Not until we came along - the real flesh-and-blood superheroes whose job it is to put history back on track. We are the real Legends of Tomorrow.

Evil Nate: (growling) There's a lot of red on that time thingy. And one thing I do know, red ain't good.
Evil Sara: (deadpan) It's that kind of insight that makes you my right-hand man.
Evil Nate: (growling) I thought it was 'cause I'm strong as steel. And always hard.
Evil Sara: (deadpan) I was joking

(A park. A boy and girl are fighting over a baseball bat.)
Hey, ow!
Girl: Get a new one, you shrimp!
(Evil Nate walks up to them.)
Evil Nate: Who are you calling a shrimp?
Boy: John Cena!
Girl: That's not John Cena, you dork! That's Commander Steel!
Evil Nate: Citizen Steel, and don't call him a dork.
Boy: Citizen Steel? Who's he?
Girl: What's with the patriotic outfit?
Evil Nate: What's wrong with my... listen, I'm here to talk to you about bullying.


The opening scene repeats the closing moments of 707, from the perspectives of the Evil Legends.

The Evil Legends are notably more trigger-happy and inclined to violence than the regular Legends. 

Evil Behrad and Evil Spooner compete over who can kill the most people.

Evil Nathan Heywood wears his Citizen Steel uniform all the time and has ridiculously overdeveloped arms. There is no indication that he is a historical or a tactical thinker. 

Evil Gary Green does not disguise himself as a human and enjoys eating humans without any sense of guilt.

Evil Ava Sharpe is the team's medic and science officer.

Zari and Astra are sent to the medical bay for Ava to work with them, despite the team being sure they are dead.

The Evil Legends briefly discuss why the Real Legends would bother helping some factory workers (707) or save some gangster's singer girlfriend from getting killed (704), before being dispatched to the Ukraine in 1986 to repair the damage done by the Real Legends.

While in the med-bay, Evil Sara notices a microchip labeled Zari. When she asks Evil Ava about it, she says that those are the crew's medical records.

Evil Ava is later shown burning the now-dead Zari robot.

The Evil Legends are told that the aberration centers around General Kalashnik, who was meant to die in the original timeline.

The Evil Legends find out the Destiny Restoration Devices they were given kill people with radiation. This restores their destiny by causing them to die in the same way they were meant to die during the Chernobyl disaster.

Evil Gideon tells the Evil Legends that the Legends caused the city of Pripyat to evacuate 36 hours faster than in the original timeline. 

The Evil Legends force General Kalashnik to send out a message declaring that the first evacuation warning was a mistake to restore the timeline. When he refuses to help, the Legends threaten to kill his family, after Zari hacks his records and discovers pictures of his children.

Evil Behrad accidentally shoots Evil Sara in the shoulder.

Evil Sara becomes aware that she is a robot after waking up during Evil Ava's to fix her shoulder.

Evil Sara steals the chips with the Legends' names on them from the infirmary and shows them to Evil Zari.

Evil Zari confirms that the chips are awfully powerful for something meant to hold simple medical records.

Evil Zari says that after her surgery her brain felt faster and more focused. This causes them to wonder if Evil Ava is controlling them somehow or if she is manipulating Gideon.

Gideon reports a new anachronism - a nuclear physicist named Dr. Irina Petrov fled Chernobyl and spent six years in hiding. She went on to sell nuclear secrets, which Gideon said led to disaster in the future.

Evil Sara is sent to kill Dr. Petrov quietly

The other Legends gamble on just how Evil Sara will kill Dr. Petrov.

Evil Zari determines that Dr. Petrov's work doesn't lead to a disaster and could help save the world from nuclear pollution.

Evil Sara helps Dr. Petrov to escape and takes the data she was going to sell.

Evil Zari discovers that Evil Gideon has a secret firewall hiding the real historical records of the real Legends. They also discover the video file of Bishop creating the Evil Gideon, proving that she's the one who made them.

Evil Sara tries to convince the Evil Legends to turn on Evil Gideon, while Evil Zari deactivates Evil Gideon. Unfortunately, Evil Gideon convinces Evil Zari she can make her even more intelligent. This allows her to reprogram Evil Zari to be totally loyal and leads to Evil Sara being reprogrammed to be be less creative and moral.

The episode ends with a mock PSA, in which Evil Citizen Steel is beaten by two children with a baseball bat after lecturing them about bullying.


Seattle, Washington - 1943
Chernobyl - April 25, 1986
The Temporal Zone, on board the Evil Waverider
A park somewhere in modern times.

The Bottom Line

A hilarious send-up of what the show used to be and what other superhero series try to be. It falters in that most of the characters are one-joke cardboard cutouts (which is, itself, the joke) but there's some honest ethos with the Evil Sara making a decision to choose morality in spite of her conditioning.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Superman and Lois: Season 2, Episode 1 - What Lies Beneath

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


It has been three months since Natalie Irons came to Earth-Prime, but Lois still can't bring herself to speak to her daughter from another world. As she throws herself into her work and building a newsroom staff for the Smallville Gazette, Clark finds himself having harsh words with General Lane's replacement at the Department of Defense, Lt. Mitch Anderson. Meanwhile, Jordan and Jonathan face drastically different problems with their respective girlfriends, with Jon moving too fast and Jordan growing apart from Sarah Cushing.


The Death of Superman (appearance of Doomsday) and the Supermen of America series.


Despite being addressed as a Lieutenant, Mitch Anderson's military uniform has three stars, marking him as a Lieutenant General. 


Elizabeth Tulloch has a particularly strong performance playing Lois' torment regarding Natalie.


The special effects during the submarine sequences and the earthquake near the end of the episode are of cinematic quality. It's clear the show's FX team will not be slacking off in Season 2.

Super Trivia

Lt. Mitch Anderson shares a name with a DC Comics character who first appeared during the Death of Superman storyline. Mitch Anderson was one of many civilians who was endangered by Doomsday's rampage. Mitch came to blame himself for Superman's death, as Superman came to his house to save him and his parents from Doomsday. Years later, Mitch developed magnetic powers, adopted the codename Outburst, and formed a team called the Supermen of America to honor Superman.

Apart from the name and forming a team of young people who make use of Superman's symbol, there is no apparent connection between Lt. Mitch Anderson and his comic book counterpart.

The fist that emerges from the ground in the final scene of the episode resembles the first of the Superman villain Doomsday, clad in the same containment suit that Doomsday wore in his first appearance. The showrunner later confirmed that Doomsday would be one of the season's villains.

Dialogue Triumphs

(John Henry is running through his and Natalie's cover story.)
John Henry:
Your name is...
Natalie: Natalie Johnson.
John Henry: And I'm... 
Natalie: Henry Johnson.
John Henry: And we just moved here from...
Natalie: (bitterly) A planet that was totally destroyed by psychopathic Kryptonians.
John Henry: Nat, are you sure you wanna do this? Going to your old school, things could get confusing.
Natalie: Dad, I'll be fine.
John Henry: What if you run into the doppelganger of Regan or Annika?
Natalie: Then I'll pretend like I don't know that they're my best friends. Because they are not. They're not the same people. I know. The only person on this whole earth that I know is you.
John Henry: I just wanna make sure we don't attract any unwanted attention.
Natalie: (sarcastically) You mean like the same kind you get from flying around the world in steel war suit with Superman?

(Lois is telling Clark about walking in on Jonathan and his girlfriend.)
What happened is that I came home to find our not-even-old-enough to drive son in bed half-naked with Candice.
Clark: (shocked) Jonathan, come on, man. What are you thinking?
Lois: He's 15 years old and home alone with his new girlfriend. It's pretty obvious what he was thinking.
Clark: What? You mean... no, th... I never would've done that when I was his age!
Lois: Well, then he clearly takes after his mother.

Lois: Things haven't been okay for months. And I've been blaming you. And I'm sorry. Ever since you told me to say something to Natalie and I just stood there frozen.
Clark: You were in shock. All of us were.
Lois: It's more than that. She was my daughter in that other world and... seeing her standing there and calling me "Mom..." I felt nothing. And in that moment, I finally realized how my mom must have felt the day she left us.
Clark: Lois...
Lois: I've wondered how she could do that my entire life, how a mother could just...  abandon her children. And now I know. She didn't feel. She didn't feel anything. Not for me. Not for Lucy.
Clark: Lois, you can't know that for sure.
Lois: Yes, I can, Clark. And every time you ask me about Natalie or tell me to call her, it's just bringing up all of those feelings in me and all of this guilt.
Clark: You have nothing to feel guilty about.
Lois: She called me "Mom", Clark!
Clark: But she's not your daughter.
Lois: I know, but...
Clark: Lois, her mom died. And there's absolutely nothing you could've said or... or done to change that.
Lois: But I know how she felt. And she must have been so crushed seeing me look at her that way.
Clark: You are not your mother. What happened with Natalie, that's... that's a completely different thing.
Lois: I just hate this feeling.
Clark: (pulling her close) Here, come here.

Lt. Anderson: I asked you repeatedly, "Be part of my team".
Superman: What you asked for was my allegiance to America.
Lt. Anderson: And you refused.
Superman: Because I gave it to the world a long time ago.
Lt. Anderson: America needs to come first. And to them, it does. And the rest of my new team. When it does to you, come on back. I'd love to have you. Bring your friend.
Superman: I told you, he's done.
Lt. Anderson: Then they're who I'm calling.
(Lt. Anderson starts to walk off.)
Superman: Anderson. That crest you put on their suit, it's not yours to give.
Lt. Anderson: That's the most recognizable symbol on the planet. I want everyone to know that we are the good guys. Besides, America can have more than one Superman.


The opening scene of this episode picks up where the last scene of 115 ended.

Three months pass between the opening scene and the where Season 2 officially begins with the first day of school.

Sancerre is Lana Cushing's favorite brand of wine.

As the episode opens, Lois still hasn't spoken to Natalie Irons and is trying to build a new team of writers for the Smallville Gazette.

Natalie is said to be having her first day of school in Metropolis as well.

Sarah Cushing has been away for a month, working as a counselor at her old summer camp.

Lois says that Natalie is refusing to talk to her.

Mike & John's Barber Shop is one of the businesses in downtown Smallville.

A new business in Smallville specializes in selling Superman merchandise. Kyle worries about the city becoming a tourist trap, but Lana points out it's helping save the down in the wake of Morgan Edge's actions.

Chrissy Beppo interviews a young writer named Michael who works for "The Messenger" doing copy proofing and layouts, but he mostly worked on monetizing the site. He also runs his own blog and claims to have 40,000 Twitter followers. He describes himself as the "WOAT or GOAT" guy.

Lois is not impressed by Michael and dismisses him.

Chrissy accuses Lois of having standards that are too high.

Lana has thrown herself into the campaign for Daniel Hart, who is running against George Dean for the post of Mayor of Smallville. 

Jordan asks Sarah to meet him at Atlas Pond, where they were arrested in 113. However, this time he asks for permission to be there first.

Jonathan has started dating a girl named Candice Pergande.

Jonathan is still the back-up quarterback for the Smallville High football team. He's playing at practice again, but is annoyed the coach won't let him do any pass play drills.

Clark hears a submarine in distress that causes him to leave Jonathan and Candice alone at the Kent farm. He says that he need to go to the Hubbard's farm, as Ben Hubbard asked him to check the headers on his combine.

As Superman is saving the submarine, he has some kind of fit and clutches his ears as if he were hearing something painfully loud.

The submarine that Superman saves is North Korean.

Natalie starts school at what was her high school in her original Earth. She is using the alias Natalie Johnson.

Lois finds Jonathan making out with Candice, with his shirt off, on his bed.

General Lane has been replaced at the Department of Defense by Lt. Mitch Anderson.

Anderson complaints that Superman shouldn't have saved the North Korean submarine 

Superman affirms that he protects the whole world - not just the United States.

Jonathan and Jordan are confirmed to be 15 years old.

Jordan uses his heat vision to light many floating candles at Atlas Pond to surprise Sarah.

Sarah says she's feeing crampy and asks to leave her meeting with Jordan.

Daniel Hart plans to use the settlement money Smallville was recently awarded to renovate the parks., enhance local community services and local infrastructure.

It has been five years since the teachers of Smallville got a pay raise. Hart stumbles over this point when questioned by a teacher, but Lana helps him out.

Clark talks with Kyle about his fight with Lois and how he feels like there's something she isn't telling him. Kyle advises him to let it lie.

The Metropolis Museum (aka The Met) still being repaired following the battle with Morgan Edge's army three months ago.

John Henry looks for Natalie at the museum and discovers it is closed.

Natalie left school after first period, having been unable to keep going after one of her best friends looked at her like she didn't exist.

Jordan comes home and Lois grills him about what he was doing with Sarah.

Jonathan warns Jordan that their dad is probably going to lecture them both about what Jonathan did.

Clark asks Lana if Kyle is jealous of all her work for Daniel Hart's campaign.

Lana figures out that Clark is really needing to talk about Lois not talking to him about her feelings.

Clark hears something close by, kind of like an earthquake, but different.

Kyle bought an old car and is fixing it up with Sarah.

Kyle advises Sarah to take the lead in her relationship with Jordan and be honest with him.

Lois' finally reveals to Clark that she feels guilty about not feeling anything regarding Natalie Irons and is afraid that makes her like her mother, who abandoned her family when Lois was younger.

Clark hears glass breaking and sense an earthquake is about to hit Smallville.

A water tower is crushed by the vibrations.

Clark has another fit and visions of destruction. During this, he sees two young heroes in uniforms with the S-Shield of the House of El on their chests.

Lois calls John Henry after the earthquake.

Superman confronts Lt. Anderson regarding the other heroes. He confirms they are students from the DoD school for metahumans who have graduated and are ready to serve their country.

Lt. Anderson hands his ELT over to Superman and ignores his objections about using the House of El symbol, saying that there can be more than one Superman.

Lois meets Natalie and says she would like to be friends and thinks it would be good for them to be part of each others' lives.

Sarah is also confirmed to be 15. 

Clark talks to Jonathan and Jordan about "being intimate" and coming to him if they have questions. He also tells them that they should be responsible and respect whoever they are with.

Clark confirms he was older than both of them when he lost his virginity, before warning them that Lois is going to be giving them a much stricter talk.

John Henry and Natalie agree to stay on the farm until they find a place of their own.

Clark hears a distant rumble.

The episode ends with something big trying to punch up through the earth under Smallville.


Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

Untelevised Adventures

We don't see the past three months of activity in Smallville.

The Bottom Line

A solid start for Season 2.

Starman Plays Quest For Glory 5, The Thief Path - Part 8

In which, having spent Day 5 getting most of our stats maxed out, we enter into our first battle in Silmaria's arena. Partly for the experience but mostly for the money from the large bet we made on ourselves. We then open Day 6 with a visit to the Academy of Science on Science Island. We also check in with the Famous Adventurer, who is once again high on life and Hippocrene water. We close the chapter out with me showing how to raise your Climb skill, despite us not really doing any difficult climbing in this game and close out Day 6 with a return to Science Island to meet the night-shift.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Starman Plays Quest For Glory 5, The Thief Path - Part 7

In which we take our first trip in earnest into the wilds of Silmaria, for want of a missing basket, the waters of the Hippocrene and some Pegasus feathers. After a little more commerce, we close the day with a night at the arena and open Day 5 with our first encounter with the pompous Magnum Opus.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Starman Plays Quest For Glory 5, The Thief Path - Part 6

In which we help improve the local economy by spending some of our ill-gotten gains from the bank heist, chat with the local merchants some more and train up our skills with some swimming, sneaking, dagger throwing and shadow boxing. Shame there's no way to raise your defense without letting monsters beat on you...

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Starman Plays Quest For Glory 5, The Thief Path - Part 5

In which, after paying Erasmus and Fenris a quick visit, I show you how to pump up your hero with another visit to the Adventurers' Guild and the Dead Parrot Inn. Throwing knives at the Wheel of Fortune is a great way to make money and boost your throwing skill, but robbing the bank proves a much more profitable way to end the evening. Finally, we start Day 3 with another visit to the Adventurers' Guild and a fateful meeting with our soon to be love interest.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Starman Plays Quest For Glory 5, The Thief Path - Part 4

In which we explore the docks of Silmaria, meeting the ever-cheerful fisherman Andre, the sexist centaur smith Pholus and the Famous Adventurer whose correspondence course set us upon the road to adventure. We also get to explore the rest of the Silmarian market square, run into another old acquittance at the bank and meet up with Rakeesh to reclaim some of our lost gear from Quest For Glory 3.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Starman Plays Quest For Glory 5, The Thief Path - Part 3

In which we explore the thieves guild and have our first encounter with the dancing-man memory puzzle trap system utilized for this game. We then go on to commit our first burglary in Silmaria (it won't be the last) and experience the wonders of Gnome Ann's Kitchen before starting day 2 with a trip to sign in at the Adventurer's Guild.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Starman Plays Quest For Glory 5, The Thief Path - Part 2

In which, after catching up with Rakeesh, we start to explore Silmaria's fabulous marketplace and marvel at how such a legendary and cosmopolitan city has only three merchants and two stores. Still, we get to meet-up with some old friends before closing the evening out with the house of ill repute that is the Dead Parrot Inn. (I don't know why it's called a house of ill repute. Everyone I know who goes there speaks quite highly of it!)

Monday, January 3, 2022

Starman Plays Quest For Glory 5, The Thief Path - Part 1

In which we journey to the magical land of Silmaria, have any sense of mystery regarding the main story spoiled by the opening cinematic and run into several old friends and old frenemies on the way to the Hall of Kings. It's a lot of exposition, but nobody said being a hero was easy.