Monday, February 17, 2020

The Flash Season 6, Episode 11: Love Is A Battlefield

This week on The Flash we get a dreaded filler episode, one that spends the majority of its runtime on relationships— because Valentine's Day, yo!

OK, so it wasn't all fluff. The Mirror Iris storyline was actually pretty compelling, and very well done. Actress Candice Patton definitely brought her "A" game to this episode, playing a more aggressive and ambitious version of Iris.

I loved the scene in which Barry says something feels "off" about Mirror Iris, and she scolds him for thinking something's wrong when she's simply growing and improving herself. She almost had me convinced everything was normal with that speech! 

And yes, Mirror Iris' rant was probably a jab at toxic masculinity or some such hooey, but it was done in a subtle and masterful way, rather than clubbing us over the head with it. Kudos!

We also get the welcome return of Amunet Black this week. As usual, Katee Sackhoff chews up the scenery with gusto and glee, and it's always a hoot when she shows up.

Cisco sits out this episode, which came as no surprise since he was temporarily written out last week., And Ralph's still AWOL! Jesus Christ, I'm beginning to wonder if he's ever coming back. Based on the title of next week's episode, it looks like he'll FINALLY be returning.

SPOILERS!

The Plot:
At the end of last week's episode, Iris sneaked into McCullogh Tech, where she was pulled into a mirror by two silvered hands. At the beginning of this episode, we see Iris wake up on the floor. She rubs her head and looks at the giant mirror behind her. Suddenly she hears footsteps and runs off.

The next morning, Barry's surprised to see Iris (who previously couldn't even boil water) has made him perfect pancakes and fresh squeezed orange juice. Rather than thinking this odd, he chalks it up to her finally learning how to cook. He suggests they have an early Valentine's Day dinner.

In the superfluous B-plot, Allegra arrives at the Citizen and finds Frost chilling there for some reason. Allegra grumbles about the holiday, and Frost figures she's had her heart broken. She discovers Allegra's moping over hipster doofus Emerson Fairweather, and makes it her mission to get them together. Exciting! Remember when Frost was an edgy antihero?

Cut to Barry & Iris enjoying dinner at Giovanni's. Iris orders in Italian, again surprising Barry. Just then supervillain Amunet Black wanders in, demanding that a Saul Frankel present himself and hand over his case— or she'll kill everyone in the restaurant. Frankel stands and gives her the case. She opens it and pulls out a high tech device and steals it. 

Barry then flashes his badge and attempts to arrest Amunet. She recognizes him and says if he tries it, she'll reveal his secret (HA!) identity. Barry apparently forgets he has superspeed and could zip her off to jail before she can blink, and stands helplessly as she waltzes out.

The next day Frost & Allegra see Emerson at Jitters. Frost urges Allegra to go talk to him, but before she can he begins flirting with a waitress. Allegra accuses Frost of being a terrible life coach and storms out. The Flash, ladies and gentlemen! Come for the superhero action, stay for the teen angst drama.

That night Barry & Iris stake out a pool hall, hoping to spot Amunet. Iris gets tired of waiting and barges into the hall, demanding to know where Amunet will strike next. She breaks a bottle over a bouncer's head to make a point, and the bartender tells her Amunet's next target is Ivo Labs. Iris returns to a flabbergasted Barry, who scolds her for being so reckless.

Sure enough, Amunet's at Ivo Labs, where she steals another case. Barry & Iris sneak in and observe her. Just then Goldface— Amunet's ex-boyfriend— enters and demands she hand over the case to him. The two argue a bit, and then Goldface uses his gold chain as a whip to yank the case from Amunet's hand. She then fires shards of metal from her gauntlet at him. Goldface runs out with the case, and Amunet escapes as well. Barry's upset that they got away, but Iris reveals she somehow stole the contents of the case while the two villains were fighting one another.

The next day, Barry reports that Amunet and Goldface are engaged in a gang war, which is causing havoc in the city. Iris discovers the item she took from the case is a "biome storage unit." If combined with the UV projector Amunet stole earlier, it could be used to preserve rare and fragile plants.

Iris comes up with a plan to get close to Amunet by simply giving her the device. Barry says that's way too dangerous, which starts a huge fight between the two. Iris says she's grown as a person, and is upset that Barry can't accept that. She says she's going through with the plan and walks out. 

Iris somehow finds Amunet's hideout and offers her the device. Amunet asks why she shouldn't just kill her and take it. Iris says because she figured out what Amunet's doing. Against all reason and logic, Iris found out that a sample of Rappacini's Daughter— a rare orchid whose pollen causes telepathy— is currently being housed in Central City. Iris says Amunet plans to use the pollen to swipe bank account numbers, but she wants to use it to read Barry's mind and save her marriage. For some reason Amunet buys this ridiculous story and says the two of them are going to be good friends. 

Barry meets with Joe, and tells him something's off between him and Iris. Joe gives Barry a Patented The CW Pep Talk®, and says he & Iris will never grow apart and everything will be fine. Thrilling!

Allegra tells Frost she's been reluctant to pursue Emerson because she's afraid of how he'll react to her being a meta. Frost says Allegra never gave him a chance to decide for himself. Allegra realizes she's right, and comes to a decision. Pulse-pounding!

That night, Amunet brings Iris to a warehouse, where she sees the rare orchid houses in a protective case. Amunet says she and Goldface planned to use the flower to go on a telepathic spree together, but things didn't work out between them. Iris realizes Amunet still has feelings for Goldface, and suggests she tell him about it. Electrifying!

Amunet assembles the two devices into a holding container, and prepares to put the orchid into it. Just then Goldface and his crew arrive, and once again he uses his chain to yank the device from her hand. The two (along with their respective thugs) begin fighting once more, as Iris slips out of the room.

The Flash arrives and wraps up the various henchmen in vines. He then asks the two villains why they broke up, and they admit they had problems communicating with one another. Goldface then uses his "gold telekinesis" to hurl Barry into a wall of wooden crates, as Amunet pins him against them with two of her metal shards.

Amunet and Goldface continue their bickering, and Barry phases himself free while they're distracted. Iris suggests they destroy the orchid before either villain can use it. Barry fires a tiny bolt of Speed Force Lightning at the plant, which incinerates it. The burning pollen fills the area with purple smoke, temporarily giving Amunet and Goldface telepathic powers. The two read one another's minds, and realize they're still in love. They begin making out, as Barry and Iris look on uncomfortably. Gripping!

Later at Jitters, Allegra apologizes to Frost, saying she realizes she was just trying to help. She says she told Emerson that she's a meta and he was cool with it. She then scampers off and joins Emerson at his table. 

Nash arrives at Jitters as well, having received an urgent invite from Frost. He asks what she wants, and Frost— who's picked up on the fact that Nash has a paternal interest in Allegra— says she's a good listener if he ever wants to talk. She leaves, and Nash stares wistfully at Allegra. After a beat he turns to leave, and sees Harry Wells standing in the doorway. He blinks, and the apparition is gone.

In the tag scene, Barry & Iris relax in their apartment. He apologizes for not acknowledging her growth, and says he's proud of her. He says he was afraid they were growing apart, and Iris says that'll never happen. They kiss and embrace, as Iris stares into a full length mirror behind them.

Cut to inside the mirror, as the REAL Iris pounds on the glass, shouting,"Get away from him! Barry! That's not me! She's not me!"

Thoughts: 
• For some reason, DC Comics has always based their superheroes in fictional cities with very generic names, like Metropolis (which literally means "city!"), Gotham City, National City and Central City.

This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to figure out exactly where in the country their characters live. Is Metropolis near New York City? Is Gotham really Chicago? Who knows?


It's the same here in the Arrowverse. The Flash takes place in Central City, but it's never been clear just where it's located. Most fans assume it's somewhere in the Midwest— most likely in either Kansas or Missouri.


Well, we finally have an answer! Over on this week's Legends Of Tomorrow, there's a brief scene involving a corpse in a body bag (don't ask). At one point there's a prominent closeup of a label on the bag, indicating the corpse came from Iron Heights Penitentiary, which is located Central City, MO, USA.

As near as I can tell, this is the first onscreen confirmation that Central City is indeed in Missouri. Exactly where in Missouri is anyone's guess though— note that the tag skips the zip code and says "USA" instead.


Wherever Central City is in Missouri, it's an odd place. Despite the fact that it's in the middle of the country, many episodes place it next to a large, ocean-sized body of water. It also has a massive population of 14 million, which makes it nearly twice the size of New York City!



• Iris has always been easy on the eyes, but she was exceptionally hot in this episode. I don't know if they made a change to her makeup, or if it's simply a case of Candice Patton acting more attractive, if that makes any sense. However they did it, it worked!

Her sudden glow-up was also a subtle little hint to the audience that this is actually Mirror Iris, and not the real thing.

• Barry stops the episode dead in its tracks by asking his Alexa to make dinner reservations, in an hilariously awkward and obvious bout of blatant product placement. Seriously, this scene serves absolutely zero purpose in the episode, other than to remind us that Alexa is a thing and Barry makes enough money to afford one.

Too bad Barry doesn't have a Siri. There was a ton of similarly obnoxious Apple product placement in the most recent episode of Legends Of Tomorrow, so they'd have probably thrown one in for nothing. Plus "Siri = Iris" backwards, which would have been a subtle little clue that we're actually seeing a "reflection" of her! C'mon, guys! Do I have to write your show for you?

• At the beginning of the episode we get this establishing shot of The Central City Citizen office, located in this building.

Oddly enough, the building bears a striking resemblance to the St. Regis Hotel in downtown Vancouver, where all the Arrowverse shows are filmed!

It looks like the FX Team did their best to disguise the place though. They carefully painted out the St. Regis lettering next to the awning, and they erased the illuminated vertical signage on the corner altogether. They also changed the name of the "Gotham" store next door to simply "Diner." And they changed the street sign from Seymour St. to E. Metz St. (which doesn't exist in Vancouver). Nice try, guys, but I found it anyway!

• During Barry & Iris' Valentine's dinner, Amunet barges into the restaurant, looking for a man named Saul Frankel. He sheepishly stands up, and she demands he hand over the case he's guarding.

OK, at the risk of invoking the wrath of SJWs, this man does NOT look like a Saul Frankel. Just to prove it, he's played by actor Robert Zen Humpage, who's half British and half Japanese.


Apparently when he was an infant, Frankel was adopted by Jewish parents?


By the way, why does Frankel have this high tech doodad with him at a fancy restaurant in the first place? Is it so valuable he carries it with him no matter where he goes? And how the hell did Amunet know he'd be in the restaurant?


• When Amunet enters the restaurant, Barry awkwardly attempts to arrest her. She threatens to expose his secret identity if he does, which leaves him helpless and seemingly unable to act. A couple things here.

First of all, once again Barry's only as fast as the plot needs him to be. If you'll recall, back in Enter Flashtime he moved so fast he literally froze time so he could figure out how to undo a nuclear explosion. He could have easily zoomed Amunet into Iron Heights Prison before she could finish her threat, and return to the restaurant before anyone realized he was gone.

Secondly, is exposing his secret identity really a big deal? Is there anyone in Central City who doesn't know he's the Flash at this point?

• In the filler B-plot, Frost wears her Marvel Cinematic Universe disguise to Jitters. Yep, no way anyone could ever possibly recognize this distinctive known criminal now!

At the end of the episode Nash wanders into Jitters as well, and doesn't even bother with a baseball cap!

Why would he need a disguise? Well, remember back in Season 3 when HR Wells had to use his "facial transmogrification device" to change his appearance in public, because he looked exactly like serial killer Harrison Wells, aka Eobard Thawne, aka The Reverse-Flash? Remember that?

Apparently the writers have completely given up on that conceit, right? And are hoping we've all forgotten about it by now.


• Barry rendezvous with Iris at the Citizen after searching the city for Amnuet. Oddly enough, he's actually out of breath, which doesn't usually happen. Iris notes this, and asks, "Why are you so tired?" Barry says it's because he had to run so fast he was practically invisible, to keep Amunet from seeing him.


It's possible Barry's right, and he's just worn out from so much exertion. Nothing happens by accident on a show like this though, so I'm assuming his fatigue is another symptom of whatever superspeed malady he has. Remember last week in Marathon when his hand spontaneously generated Speed Force Lightning for no reason? This has to be related to that.


I'm wondering if these seemingly unimportant incidents have something to do with Oliver Queen/The Spectre "unleashing Barry's potential" at the Vanishing Point during the Crisis?


• Barry meets with Joe and tells him he's afraid he and Iris are growing apart. Joe gives him a speech about trees (?), saying, "Look, the branches, they grow from the center. They grow farther and farther away from the center, but what you have to remember is underneath, the roots? They're mirroring the branches."


Get it? The roots are mirroring the branches. You're a funny guy, Joe.


• I can't remember the episode, but at some point in the past it was mentioned that Amunet and Goldface were dating at one point.

This episode marks the first time we've ever seen them together onscreen though. The two have a different relationship in the comics, where they're husband and wife.

• Goldface is played by actor Damion Poitier. With a name like that, it's impossible not to wonder if he's related to cinema great Sidney Poitier. I looked him up, and Damion says he's "unsure" if he's related to the elder Poitier. He claims their ancestors came from the same island though.


• When Goldface first appeared in Season 5's Goldfaced, his powers and abilities were vague and ill-defined. He had a large gold chain he used as a whip and could seemingly control. And at one point his skin was torn away, revealing what appeared to be a gold skull underneath. Are his bones made of gold? Is his entire body filled with the stuff? Who the hell knows?

Sadly, this episode doesn't clear things up a bit. The chain's back and his gold manipulation powers seems to have increased. But there's no mention of any gold inside his body this time.

Also, last time we saw Goldface he'd been electrocuted by Barry, which caused molten gold to literally pour out of his eyes! Holy Shiite! After that I assumed he was either dead or at the very least, permanently blinded. And yet in this episode he's perfectly fine. Apparently he made a complete and full recovery!

• At one point Goldface uses his gold manipulating powers to hurl the Flash across the room. Just how much gold does Barry have in his costume anyway? Seems like it'd need to have a lot for Goldface to control it like that. Does the suit contain gold circuit boards? Gold thread? Are his chest emblem and ear wings made of gold? 

Amunet then pins him against a wall with a couple of her gauntlet shards. Ouch!


Eventually Barry phases through the shards to free himself, leaving his suit with a couple holes in it. Based on the way he seems fine after this, I'm assuming his speed-healing kicked in and fixed up his shoulders. 


Lastly... what happened to Amunet's shards? I'm assuming they're still stuck in the wall? She fires off quite a few shards in this episode, and seemingly never recovers them. If you'll recall, her shards are made of a special alnico alloy, and not just any run of the mill metal. You'd think she'd use her magnetic powers to draw all the shards back into her gauntlet. Maybe this happens while we're not looking.


• I don't know why, but I loved the scene in which Barry throws a tiny filament of Speed Force Lightning across the room to incinerate the Rappacini's Daughter orchid.

• Amunet & Goldface inhale the orchid smoke, which temporarily allows them to read each other's minds. Oddly enough, that's the last we see of them!

So... did Barry ever arrest Amunet and Goldface, or did he and Iris just leave 'em to bone one another in the warehouse? There's no mention of any arrests in the tag scene, so I guess he must have let 'em go! Our hero, ladies and gentlemen!


• At the end of the episode, Nash is in Jitters when he turns and sees a very familiar face.

At first I assumed this was supposed to be Eobard Thawne. But the more I look at him, the more I think it's Harry Wells, formerly of the Earth-2 that was destroyed in the Crisis.


It would make sense that it's Harry, since just last week Cisco was watching a holo-cube of Harry and pining for his dead friend.


I have no idea how Harry (or that holo-cube!) can still exist, since his world was not only destroyed, but retroactively overwritten when the Paragons rebooted this new Universe. I'm sure we're about to find out though.


• So Barry totally had sex with Mirror Iris, right? I mean it is Valentine's Day, after all, so it's pretty much a given. And real Iris had to watch from inside the mirror! Yikes!

There's no doubt that this incident will come back to bite Barry in the ass once Iris gets out of that Mirror. Especially when a few episodes back (in The Last Temptation Of Barry Allen, Part 1), Iris instantly knew that Barry had been possessed by Bloodwork, and wasn't himself. She's definitely gonna be pissed that he couldn't tell that she'd been replaced by a completely different person!

That's definitely gonna come up and cause a huge deal of resentment down the line. 

This Week's Best Lines:
(Iris cooks Barry a normal breakfast, instead of plopping an unpeeled banana on his plate.)
Barry: "This all looks awesome. I mean, the pancakes are really round. Excited to taste 'em... with my mouth."
(He tentatively takes an experimental bite as Iris watches.)
Barry: "Oh, my God. When did you learn to— I mean, these are really good!"
(Kudos to Grant Gustin here, as he played this scene with perfect comedic timing, stopping himself just short of insulting the old Iris' cooking.)

(Amunet steals a valuable piece of tech, and Barry attempts to arrest her, which amuses her greatly.)

Amunet: "I have the right to remain silent, which will come in handy if you don't want me letting that little secret identity cat out of its flashy red bag. So why don't we just call this a warning. I'll be on my way. No harm. No cowl."
Barry: "I'm supposed to just let you leave?"
Amunet: "Bloody right. Don't think of coming after me, 'cause if I see you, or your onesie, or any one of your frigid or bendy superhero friends, I will hold it against all of you and tell the world your real identities. Savvy?"

(This one requires a bit of setup. Barry & Iris go out to dinner, and he's surprised when she orders in Italian.)

Barry: "What... do you speak Italian?"
Iris: "Oh, well you know that story that I was writing a few months ago on Little Italy? Well, I picked up a phrase or two. Like porca miseria. It's a curse word, but it literally means "pig misery."
(Amunet then enters the restaurant, robs a diner and threatens to expose Barry's secret identity if he tries to stop her. She then sashays out of the place.)
Barry: (realizing he's been bested by Amunet) "Pig misery!"

(Barry decides to search for Amunet at superspeed.)
Barry: "I'm gonna run some sweeps of the city."
Iris: "Whoa, whoa, she said no onesies."
Barry: "Please don't call it that."

Barry: "Hey, what happened? I heard glass breaking."
Iris: "Nothing. I broke a bottle over some loser's head."
Barry: "You what!?"
Iris: "Barry, don't worry. Everything's fine. I was playing a role to get information."
Barry: "Okay, well, that was maybe crossing a line."
Iris: "I'm sure they have some sort of mob doctor in there somewhere."

Amunet: "I suppose you're here to steal what's mine. Typical."
Goldface: "What's yours? Baby, that device belongs to me."
Amunet: "Oh, here we go again with the possessive man routine. The vinyl records were mine, Keith!"
Goldface: "Since when did you like Radiohead? I had OK Computer on 180 gram vinyl with a triple gatefold sleeve!"
Amunet: (cough) "Overrated. (cough)
Goldface: "You skipped out with my Straight Outta Compton soundtrack!"
Amunet: "Oh, please, like you even knew who NWA were before you met me!"

(Nash barges into the Citizen office, where he runs into Frost.)

Nash: "Oh. It's just you. Yeah, I thought, you know, maybe it might be the you know, the girl, the what's her name? Abbondanza?
Frost: "Allegra?"
Nash: "Yeah, Allegra."
(Turns out "abbondanza" is a real word, and is Italian for abundance.)

(The Flash tries to break up a fight between Amunet and Goldface.)
Amunet: "I said no onesie."
Barry: "Okay, why does everybody keep calling it that?"

(Amunet and Goldface inhale the telepathic vapor and realize they still love one another.)
Amunet: "I should take off my gauntlet."
Goldface: "Leave it on, girl. Daddy likes the metal."
Barry: "I can't unsee this."

Frost: "The advice you gave, it really helped me get through to Allegra. It was very insightful. Almost... parental."
Nash: "You going somewhere with that?"
(Obviously Frost has figured out that Nash had a daughter who was Allegra's doppelganger.)

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Legends Of Tomorrow Season 5, Episode 4: Slay Anything

This week on a jam-packed Legends Of Tomorrow, we get a masked serial killer, a look at Constantine's childhood home, Heat Wave's high school sweetheart, the gang going to prom and the welcome return of Nora Darhk.

It's a well-written and fun little romp, and feels like classic Legends Of Tomorrow. Best of all, the characters are all present and accounted for, and everyone gets a moment and has something to do.

Slay Anything is a love letter to 1980s slasher movies, and features numerous shoutouts to the genre. If you're a fan of movies like Halloween, Carrie or Prom Night, this is the episode for you.

The theme of the episode— that you shouldn't let your past define you— was pretty blatant and presented in a typically heavy-handed way. That said, it's a lesson worth learning, and one we should all strive to embrace.

As I mentioned above, Nora Darhk finally returns to the show, and all I have to say is it's about damned time. Courtney Ford, who plays Nora, was this week's MVP, and carried the bulk of the episode on her back. She's become a valued and powerful member of the team in the past year or so, and she'll be missed when she's written off the show.
SPOILERS!

The Plot:
It's complicated and involves two three different time periods, so get comfortable!

In 2004, serial killer Freddy Meyers (GET IT?) is being executed for the murder of seven high school students in 1989. As he's strapped into the electric chair, his mother Kathy watches from the gallery. They throw the switch and Freddy's electrocuted. Kathy's so distraught she has a heart attack and dies.

Later that night, the Coroner picks up Freddy's body and drives it to the morgue. Suddenly his brakes fail and he crashes into a tree. He gets out and sees that Freddy's body is missing from the van. Just then he's stabbed in the back by someone and dies.

On the Waverider, Nora Darhk finally rejoins the show. She's still in Fairy Godmother mode, destined to grant the wishes of children in need. She complains to her boyfriend Atom that all kids ever want is a pony.

After bringing Zari 2.0 onto the Waverider last week, Steel & Behrad hope the ship will spark her memories from the previous timeline. Unfortunately it doesn't. She notices the Air Totem on Behrad's wrist and says she's telling their parents that he stole it. Behrad locks her in his quarters until they can figure out what to do with her.

Gideon alerts the team that Freddy Meyers has apparently escaped from Hell and is another Encore on the loose in 2004. Sharpe, who's a serial killer fangirl and even has a podcast on the subject, squees with delight and fills them in on Freddy The Prom Night Slasher. She mentions Tiffany Harper, the Final Girl and only survivor of Freddy's attacks. Atom checks the records and says the Central City Class Of 1989 is having their fifteen year reunion that night (in 2004). Sharpe says Freddy will likely show up there to finish off Tiffany.

The Legends land in 2004 and infiltrate the reunion at Central City High School. Sharpe gushes over the place, pointing out areas where Freddy killed his various victims. Heat Wave admits it's his old school (!), and says he remembers Freddy Meyers as a loser. A woman named Ali recognizes Heat Wave, and overtly flirts with him. He looks uncomfortable to see her and runs off.

White Canary and Sharpe search the dance floor for Freddy, while Atom and Steel patrol the outside of the gym. They find a dead cop in a police car, and realize Freddy's there. Inside the gym, the Class President introduces Tiffany, becoming annoyed when she doesn't walk out on stage. The lights come up, and the crowd sees Tiffany sitting dead on a throne with a trophy sticking from her chest.

The crowd panics, as Canary tries to calm them down. Atom and Steel spot Freddy— decked out in creepy mask and coveralls— entering the gym. Unfortunately Freddy uses his telekinetic powers (?) to seal the doors, locking them out and the prom crowd in.

Meanwhile in the present (I think?), Constantine and Gary arrive at an old house in Northumberland, UK. Constantine admits he used to live there, and it's been empty since he left. He's gobsmacked when he sees himself emerge from a room, along with a gaggle of other partiers. He tells the others to piss off and get out, then tells "himself" to drop the charade. Suddenly the Fake Constantine morphs into Charlie.

Back in 2004, Canary and Sharpe try to find a way out of the gym before Freddy strikes. Heat Wave looks for Ali, suddenly concerned about her welfare. Canary radios Atom and tells him to try going back in time to "fix" Freddy before he becomes a slasher.

Atom and Steel take the Waverider to 1989, where they pose as teaches at Central City High. They spot pre-slasher Young Freddy being bullied in the halls by a group of jocks. As they watch, a young Tiffany Harper helps him pick up his books and asks him to be her last-minute prom date. Young Freddy enthusiastically accepts.

Steel realizes Tiffany's working with the bullies and is setting up Young Freddy for some sort of humiliation that'll cause him to snap. They try to talk him out of going, but he's weirded out by them and runs off.

Atom & Steel return to the Waverider. Nora begins hearing voices in her head, and says as a Fairy Godmother she's tuned into kids who need her help most. She thinks she can help Young Freddy and teleports into his room, scaring him half to death. She explains she's his Fairy Godmother, and amazingly he buys her story.

Just then Young Freddy's mom Kathy knocks on the door, and he tells Nora to hide. Kathy says she's ready for their stay-in movie night, but Freddy says he's going to the prom. This visibly upsets the clingy, overprotective Kathy. He gets rid of her, and tells Nora he wishes for a "cool" suit. She happily conjures up one for him.

Cut to the prom, where Young Freddy arrives in a limo provided by Nora. He's met outside by Tiffany, and the two go into the gym. Nora, Atom and Steel follow.

In 2004, Heat Wave stands watch over the trapped crowd. Ali says she's not about to die in the gym and looks for a way out. Heat Wave tells her about a vent he used to use to sneak out of school. They talk about their lives as they find the vent. Suddenly Ali's stabbed and killed by Adult Freddy, who then runs off. Heat Wave calls the Legends in 1989 and tells them they'd better hurry and fix Young Freddy and undo Ali's death.

Back in 1989, Young Freddy takes Tiffany out on the dance floor. She's surprised to find he's a good dancer, and looks genuinely impressed. Steel notices Tiffany looking up, and sees a large net full of garbage hanging above the dance floor, right above Freddy. He also sees the bullies holding a rope attached to the net, and realizes they plan to drop it on him in front of the entire crowd.

To her credit though, Tiffany has a change of heart and leads Young Freddy away from the garbage. This angers the bullies, and they run over and throw their drinks on Young Freddy and shove him to the ground. Tiffany tells them to stop, and Young Freddy realizes she was just playing him. She tearfully says that's not true anymore, now that she's gotten to know him. Young Freddy stalks off, and Nora tells Atom that high school sucks.

Nora finds Young Freddy, fearing he's snapped and wants to kill his fellow students. She gives him a Patented The CW Pep Talk®, telling him not to give into his demons and to "just be himself." Groan! She asks what he would wish for to show the bullies who he really is.

Cut to the stage as the lights go out. Young Freddy appears in a spotlight and begins an impressive dance routine, as Nora provides magical fireworks. The other students begin cheering him on. The bullies try dropping the garbage on him, but Nora turns it into sparkling light. Tiffany approaches Young Freddy and dances with him.

Back on the Waverider, Zari 2.0 asks Gideon to let her out. When Gideon says she can't do that, Zari 2.0 experiences flashes from the original timeline— in which she was a hacker— and begins typing away on a computer keyboard. She manages to hack the door open and waltzes out. As she leaves, she tells Gideon to call her a limo.

Zari 2.0 exits the ship (which is apparently parked somewhere on the high school grounds!) and sees Young Freddy's limo. She thinks it's for her and gets in. After his performance, Young Freddy thanks Nora, and she realizes her mission to "save" him is complete. He, Tiffany and several other girls get in the limo as well. Zari 2.0 thinks it's a ride share. But what's this? Masked Freddy ominously watches from the shadows. How could that be, if he's been saved?

In 2004, Canary, Sharpe & Heat Wave spot Adult Freddy in shop class. Out for revenge, Heat Wave blasts him with his flame gun. Unfortunately the killer uses his telekinetic powers to reflect the flames back at Heat Wave, burning him to a cinder! Yikes! 


As Canary and Sharpe watch, the flames burn off Adult Freddy's creepy rubber mask, revealing that "he's" actually Kathy Meyers! Gasp!

Sharpe asks why she's doing this, and Kathy says that 
once she killed Freddy's new good-time friends, he took the fall to protect her, and was imprisoned and eventually executed. So she decided to come to the reunion and kill Tiffany and everyone else who ever wronged her little angel. She attacks Canary and Sharpe, and the three begin fighting. Kathy uses her powers to hurl Canary across the room, knocking her out.

Back in 1989, a younger version of Kathy (wearing a mask) begins trying to kill the kids in the limo. She begins stabbing through the car's ceiling, slashing a couple of the passengers.

2004: Sharpe asks Kathy how she became an Encore. She says when Freddy was executed in 2004, she was so upset she had a heart attack and died. She went to Hell for murdering Freddy's classmates, but was sent back to Earth (by Astra) to finish the job she started. Just then Canary recovers and chops Kathy in the back with a fire ax! Amazingly, this doesn't seem to phase her, as she continues fighting them.

1989: Kathy continues trying to kill the occupants of the limo. Zari 2.0 sprays Kathy in the eyes with her pricey, signature perfume. She then rips off Kathy's mask, and Young Freddy stares at his mother in shock.

Kathy tells Young Freddy she's doing all this for him, as she can't stand to see his new friends take him away from her. He's horrified, and says he refuses to let her control his life. Kathy's so distraught she starts to stab Young Freddy, saying it's for his own good. Just then Behrad shows up and blows Kathy across the lot with his Air Totem, knocking her unconscious.

2004: Kathy prepares to deliver the killing blow to Canary and Sharpe. Just then she disappears, as history is changed in 1989. Heat Wave, Ali and Tiffany are restored as well.

1989: Young Freddy asks Nora what he's supposed to do now. She says she had an equally disturbing and dysfunctional childhood, but managed to overcome it. She says he will too.

Back on the Waverider, Zari 2.0 says she now understands why Behrad is their parents' favorite. He says they only dote on him because they worry he can't fend for himself. He asks how she managed to hack the door, and she dismisses it as a "side effect of time travel." She decides to stay on the ship for a while.

At the prom, the Legends Adult Freddy and Tiffany— now married
— dancing together. Atom and Nora begin dancing as well, as do Canary and Sharpe. In the shadows, Heat Wave and Ali kiss, as she aggressively jumps his bones.

Back at Constantine's house, Charlie asks him what he plans to do about Astra. He tells her that in his younger days he hung around with the Newcastle Gang— one of whom was a powerful witch. He says she's on the other side of a spell-locked door at the end of the hall, and is none to happy with him as she's Astra's mother. He steels himself, casts a spell to open the door and walks through. The doors slam closed behind him.


Thoughts:
• The of this week's episode is Slay Anything. This of course is a play on the 1989 Cameron Crowe rom-com Say Anything, starring John Cusack and Ione Skye. Wakka wakka!


If you're a fan of Seinfeld, you know the show's episode titles were all very simple, and always started with the word "The." For example, The Pen, The Red Dot and The ContestIn an interview, Jerry Seinfeld said insisted on this, as he didn't want his writers wasting time trying to come up with witty and clever episode titles— that the audience would likely never see.

Sometimes I wonder if the Legends showrunner should adopt a similar title policy.

Slay Anything contains a ton of references to 1980s slasher, horror and other types of films. Here are all the ones I caught (SPOILERS!):

— First of all, the name "Freddy Meyers" is an amalgam of Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare On Elm Street and Michael Myers from Halloween. Subtlety, thy name is Legends Of Tomorrow!

— Friday The 13th: Jason Voorhees is thought to be the killer, but it turns out it's actually his mother Pamela.

In Slay Anything, Freddy Meyers is thought to be the killer, but it turns out it's actually his mother Karen. Freddy confesses to the crimes to protect her.

— Halloween: Michael Myers wears a creepy mask and coveralls, and uses a butcher knife as his weapon of choice.

In Slay Anything, Freddy Meyers (and later his mom) wears a creepy mask and coveralls, and uses a butcher knife as his weapon of choice.

— Carrie: Carrie's a socially awkward teenaged girl with a clingy, overbearing mother. She's invited to the prom by a popular boy, in an effort to draw her out of her shell. At the prom, she's publicly humiliated by a group of bullies who drop a bucket of pig's blood on her. She's so traumatized by the incident that she uses her newfound telekinetic powers to kill everyone at the prom.

In Slay Anything, Freddy Meyers is a socially awkward teenaged boy with a clingy, overbearing mother. He's invited to the prom by a popular girl, as part of an elaborate prank by a group of bullies who plan to drop garbage on his head.

Once Kathy Meyers is sent back to Earth as an Encore, she has telekinetic powers.

— Prom Night: A group of children accidentally cause the death of a girl named Robin. Years later at their senior prom, they're picked off one by one by a masked killer.  Kim, the sister of Robin, turns out to be the Final Girl. She's confronted by the killer, who turns out to be her twin brother Alex, who sought revenge for the death of their sister Robin.

Non-Horror Movie Influences:

— Back To The Future: Marty McFly accidentally travels back in time and meets his parents as teens. He inadvertently keeps them from meeting, altering the past and erasing his future. He then has to make sure they get together at their senior prom.

— Cinderella: An isolated, socially awkward teen girl is visited by her Fairy Godmother, who conjures up a ballgown and sweet ride so she can attend the royal ball.
• This episode takes place primarily in both 1989 and 2004. You have no idea how depressing it is to me that stories set in the early 2000s are now considered period pieces.

• Heavy Duty Nitpicking Alert: After Freddy's execution in 2004, the coroner takes his body to the morgue. Freddy's Encore mother Kathy, fresh from Hell, sees this and uses her telekinetic powers to cause the coroner's van to speed down the road at over 80 mph. Eventually the van crashes into a row of water-filled plastic barrels, which dents the front end slightly. The driver exits the van, a bit stunned but otherwise OK. 

Yeah, I don't think so. If the van had actually been going 80+, it would have been flattened against the barrels like an accordion, and the driver killed instantly. It looked like its speed was closer to 30 or 40 mph at the most.

• When the driver checks the back of the van, we get this lovely closeup of a tag on Freddy's empty body bag. Note that it reads, "Iron Heights Penitentiary, Central City, MO, USA."

Fans have long assumed that the Flash's hometown of Central City is somewhere in the Midwest, but no one was ever sure exactly where. Near Kansas City, maybe? As near as I can tell, this is the first ever onscreen confirmation that Central City is indeed in Missouri!

• Gideon detects a timequake in 2004, and displays the front page story of Freddy Meyers' execution. Note that the newspaper is the Central City Picture News. That's where Iris West worked in the early seasons of The Flash (though not in 2004, as she'd have been in her mid teens then).

Iris eventually left the Picture News, and started her own online (I think?) newspaper, called The Central City Citizen.


• Sharpe's disappointed that none of the Legends ever listens to her Stab Cast podcast, so Steel finally gives it a shot. He listens to it all through the mission briefing, and as they head to 2004 he shouts, "And order one of these mattresses using promo code LACERATION!"

Obviously the writing staff listens to a lot of podcasts, because that type of blatant shilling is part of virtually every one!

More Heavy Duty NitpickingWhen the Legends find out their mission is to prevent a prom night massacre, Canary does her "thing" and makes an appropriate battle cry, saying, "Well then, babe, grab your autograph book, because we're gonna go catch a serial killer!"

Given that they're going to a high school prom, wouldn't it have made more sense if she'd said, "Grab your year book?" My classmates and I all signed one another's year books when we graduated. I never saw a single person pass around an autograph book.

Told you it was heavy duty!

• Charlie's back this week! Huzzah! She doesn't have a lot to do in this episode, but at least she's present and accounted for. I was starting to wonder if they'd written her off the show or not.

• Constantine visits his former Northumberland, UK residence in this episode, which of course is a run-down, creepy haunted mansion.

Is it possible his place is supposed to be the Arrowverse version of the House Of Mystery or the House Of Secrets? In the comics, those were the names of two competing horror anthology books. Cain lived in the House of Mystery, while his brother lived in the House Of Secrets. Both would introduce various macabre stories in each issue.

The only problem with my theory is that the two comic Houses were located in Kentucky. Maybe the Arrowverse versions are in the UK? Or maybe I'm way off base here and it's just a generic spooky house.

• Gary arrives late at Constantine's house, explaining, "I tried a teleportation spell to get here ASAP, and now I'm stuck walking backwards!"

So Gary can perform real magic spells now? Yikes. That seems like a bad, bad idea.


• I'll be honest— I wasn't a fan of Nora's Fairy Godmother storyline at the end of last season. Well, maybe I should clarify that. I didn't mind her becoming a Fairy Godmother so much as I did seeing her saddled with that ridiculous princess costume. I wasn't looking forward to seeing her clomp around in that thing from now on.

Luckily the producers must have felt the same way. She does wear the princess getup at the beginning of the episode, but she quickly uses her wand to alter it into a variety of fashions always in the same powder blue color.

She first shows up in an equestrian outfit, as she wearily complains that kids always wish for a pony.

Later she transforms it into a comfortable track suit...

Then a prom dress...

And finally a hip-hop DJ getup.

• Canary, Sharpe and Heat Wave arrive at the reunion in 2004. Ali, one of Heat Wave's former classmates, sees and recognizes him. OK, if Heat Wave was a senior at Central City High in 1989, that would make him 33 in 2004. He looks considerably older than that, yet Ali doesn't seem to notice or comment on it. Maybe she assumes he's had a hard life, and looks older than his years? Or maybe she's just being polite.

Also, if Heat Wave was 33 in 2004 then he'd be 49 in 2020 which just happens to be actor Dominic Purcell's real age. It never occurred to me that Heat Wave's supposed to be that old. I just assumed he was around 40.

• Apparently Heat Wave grew up in Central City. Did we know that before?

• Man, that Kathy Meyers works fast and impossibly! 

OK, stay with me here. At the reunion, Canary and Sharpe meet Adult Tiffany, who's handing out name tags. They get their tags, an d the two walk directly into the gymnasium. Less than ten seconds later, the former Class President introduces Tiffany. When she doesn't appear onstage, he unveils a throne and we see Tiffany sitting in it, stabbed to death with a trophy.

So... in far less than a minute, Kathy grabbed a trophy out of the case, stabbed Tiffany with it, then somehow carried her dead body into the crowded gym ahead of Canary & Sharpe. She then placed Tiffany's body on the throne and covered it with a blanket— all without any of the hundreds of people in the auditorium noticing. Got it.

I guess she must have used some of her Hell powers to accomplish all this.

• Speaking of Kathy Meyers, I'm assuming she picked up her telekinetic powers when she was sent back from Hell as an Encore. The episode never makes it clear WHY she got the added bonus of extra powers.

• Based on this episode, the Central City High mascot is the Cavaliers. I don't think that's ever been mentioned before over on The Flash.

Missed Opportunity— Given that this episode takes place primarily in Central City, it would have been nice to see a cameo from The Flash's Detective Joe West. He was probably around in both 1989 and 2004!

• I'm assuming Freddy/Kathy Meyers' slasher mask was supposed to be scary. Unfortunately it ended up looking kind of... goofy. It reminds me of someone, but I can't quite figure out who. Jake Busey, maybe? With a little bit of Beetlejuice thrown in for good measure?

• Kudos to actor Seth Meriwether, who plays Freddy Meyers. He was awesome in this episode, turning in a sympathetic and relatable performance.

• This week the Original Zari's hacking skills suddenly come to Zari 2.0, allowing her to escape the Waverider. Hopefully more of Original Zari's memories will come back as well, making Zari 2.0 a little less unbearable.

Actually I'm not being fair to her here, as in this week's episode she started showing signs that she's not quite the self-absorbed airhead she seems, and there's more depth to her than is readily apparent. Hopefully they'll continue softening her if they insist on keeping her around for the entire season.

By the way, take a look at the computer in that shot above. In addition to this very obvious Mac, earlier in the episode there's a shot in which Steel listens to Sharpe's podcast on a pair of prominently framed AirPods.

I have to assume The CW must have a major product placement deal with Apple.

• Seems weird for Freddy to arrive at the prom in a limo by himself. Yes, I know Tiffany said she'd meet him there, but... isn't the whole point of having Nora conjure up a limo so he can make a big splash and impress his classmates? As is, Tiffany's the only one who sees him show up.

Why does Freddy arrive the prom in a limo by himself? Yes, I get that Tiffany said she'd meet him there, but she's the only one who sees him pull up. Isn't the point of having Nora conjure up the limo so he can make a big splash and show up his classmates? Only one person sees him in it.

Speaking of the limo that Nora whips up... who's driving it? When Freddy drives up in the limo, I assumed Nora was probably at the wheel. Nope! Later on we see the limo again as Freddy and his new friends pile in, and there's clearly a chauffeur sitting in it.

Did... did Nora just conjure up a living, flesh and blood person? Is that really something she can do? Wouldn't that make her... God?

Wherever the poor driver came from, it doesn't much matter now as he's dead anyway. Kathy kills him seconds after the kids enter the car.


• I'm really going to miss these two when they're written off the series in a few weeks. As I've said ad infinitum, Atom is the heart and soul of the Legends, and I feel it's a huge misstep to get rid of him. I've grown to really like Nora too, as I've always been a sucker for villains who turn over a new leaf and join the heroes. I'm so pissed about their imminent departure that I'm having trouble enjoying their last few appearances.

• At the end of the episode, a time-resurrected Heat Wave and Ali get hot & heavy at the reunion. Heat Wave's totally gonna have a sixteen year old son when he gets back to 2020, isn't he? 

Don't believe me? Then think back to last week's episode, when he had a conversation with Sharpe, and told her how awesome it was to have no kids or responsibilities. I didn't think about it at the time, but that had to be some pretty obvious foreshadowing.


This Week's Best Lines:
Nora: "It's the same thing every time. Kid gets a fairy godmother, what do they wish for? (imitating Oprah) You get a pony, and you get a pony. Everyone gets a damn pony!"
Atom: "Well, maybe next time, you should say, neigh..."

Zari 2.0: "Hey, what's with the Wi-Fi? I need to clap back at Blue Ivy on CatChat. CatChat's the chat app that lets you clap back..."
Behrad: (snidely) "I didn't say tell me."
(I laughed out loud at Behrad's line because he & Zari 2.0 sound like me and my sister when we were younger!)

Sharpe: "Oh, my God. It's Freddy Meyers, the Prom Night Slasher. Come on, guys. I ranked him #5 killer of all time on Stab Cast!"
(The Legends all give her blank stares)
Sharpe: "My podcast about serial killers babe?"
Canary: "Oh."
Gideon: "As I was going to say, Freddy killed seven of his peers before..."
Sharpe: (interrupting her) "At his high school prom in 1989. He used a kitchen knife and he wore a creepy mask. I actually did a whole series on it. So none of you open my emails, clearly?"

Steel: "Let's rap, Freddy."
Freddy: "Who are who are you guys?"
Atom: "New teachers. Cool new teachers."

(Nora appears in Young Freddy's room, wearing her ridiculous Fairy Godmother getup.)
Nora: "I am your fairy godmother. So Please don't kill me?"
Freddy: "You're a fairy godmother? My fairy godmother?"
Nora: "Uh-huh."
Freddy: "Prove it."
Nora: "You think I'd be wearing this if I really had the choice?"

(Atom, Steel and Nora see the bullies have set a trap for Young Freddie at the prom.)

Steel: "So that's the prank. She leads him to the center of the dance floor and they drop trash on his head. Classic Carrie. Bet these bullies don't know how that ended!"

(The bullies humiliate Young Freddy at the prom, and he vows revenge as he runs off.)

Steel: "We just went from John Hughes to John Carpenter."

Sharpe: "I cannot believe I got to get an exclusive scoop for Stab Cast and I got to be the Final Girl!"
Canary: "Well, technically, I never died, so...
Sharpe: "Technically, you've died more than three times, so just give me this one, babe."
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