Sunday, May 24, 2020

Legends Of Tomorrow Season 5, Episode 13: I Am Legends

I couldn't decide which "cover photo" to use this week, so I included 'em both. Hey, it's my blog, I can do what I want.

This week's episode of Legends Of Tomorrow is a loving tribute to zombie movies, featuring a ton of references to the most beloved examples of the genre.

It's also something of an exercise in frustration. Last week the Legends spent the whole episode trying to get a hold of the Chalice Of Dionysus, which would grant them all "immortality for a day," and allow them to use the Loom Of Fate. This week circumstances prevent them from returning to their ship, causing their immortality to run out and making the entire previous episode completely moot!

I assume this was done to drag out the Loom storyline another week, but as I said, I found it very frustrating and disappointing. Fortunately there was plenty of fun zombie action to make up for it.

With just two episodes to go in the season, this episode is Legends Of Tomorrow's version of The Empire Strikes Back. It features our heroes at their lowest point, right before they regroup, conquer the villains and save the day.

The writers continue to push the Constantine/Zari 2.0 pairing, taking their relationship to the inevitable next level in this episode. Once again, I'm not a fan of this combo. The two of them have little or nothing in common, and very little chemistry, in my opinion. I'll be glad when this little story arc plays itself out and mercifully ends.

One pairing I DID approve of in this episode was that of Gary and Imaginary Gideon! If The CW was smart, they'd pull the plug on Batwoman and give these two their own spinoff! I'd definitely watch it!

Lastly, (um, SPOILER ALERT, I GUESS) there are quite a number of unexpected deaths in this episode. I'm assuming the writers expected us to be shocked and stunned by these brutal casualties, and sob uncontrollably as we did at the end of Avengers: Endgame.

Sadly, that's not the case here. The deaths in this episode made me feel little or nothing. At all. That's most likely because by the end, EVERY ONE OF THE LEGENDS (except for Charlie) dies a horrible death. Since it's unlikely they're gonna change the name of the show to LEGEND Of Tomorrow or The Charlie Show, it's a good bet that they'll all get better and return in the season finale. Nice try, writers, but your attempt to shock and sadden us didn't work.


The Plot:
Picking up right where we left off last week, the Legends (except for Zari 2.0) have all become "immortal for a day." Zari 2.0 sets a timer on her phone, saying they now have 24 hours to use the Loom Of Fate and resurrect Behrad, Astra's mom and restore White Canary's eyesight.

The Legends exit Constantine's House Of Mystery, er, I mean manor, only to find the portal linking the place to Hudson University has inexplicably disappeared. This means they're now stuck in Northumberland County, England. They also notice that both Gary and Astra are gone.

Cut to the Waverider, where Gary's tending his rabbit, Gary Junior II. He asks Gideon to fabricate some carrots, but she tells him she's been compromised right before her voice cuts out. He hears footsteps and sees Astra walking through the corridors with Lachesis and Atropos. As we saw last week, Lachesis called in her favor to Astra, forcing her to work with the two Fates.

Back at the house, Canary tries to contact Gideon, but there's no answer. The Legends all assume Astra stole the ship, but Constantine defends her, saying she wouldn't do something like that. Charlie fears her sisters are involved somehow. Sharpe takes Canary's hand to reassure her, causing her to have one of her future visions. It's apparently a bad one, as Canary quickly draws away. Sharpe asks what she saw, but Canary brushes it off, saying the immortality potion is short-circuiting her powers.

Sharpe says the Time Bureau had safe houses all over the world, and there's one in London. All they have to do is get to the city, enter the safe house, find the stash of Time Couriers inside and teleport back to the ship.

Cut to the Legends waiting at a bus stop. Zari 2.0 checks her phone and notes that it's either 275 miles or kilometers to London. Eventually a bus arrives, but the driver won't let them on unless they pay. Heat Wave grabs the driver and throws him out, and the Legends steal the bus. Our heroes, ladies and gentlemen!

On the Waverider, Atropos doesn't trust Astra and wants to kill her. Astra tells her to go ahead and try, as she's immortal after drinking from the Chalice. She agrees to use the Loom with Lachesis and Atropos, but says she has some demands— she wants prunes to disappear, dogs to remain puppies forever and her mother brought back from the dead. Lachesis tells Atropos to run along while she and Astra discuss her list.

After they leave, Atropos picks up her Loom Ring and walks to a globe in the Study. She mutters an ancient Greek spell, and we see England turn black on the globe. That can't be good!

Back on the bus, Canary tells Sharpe she should captain this mission. Sharpe isn't sure, but Canary tells her the Legends need her right now. Zari 2.0 looks at the timer and frets. Steel assures her they'll be able to use the Loom in time. Heat Wave's driving the bus, and suddenly sees a woman in the road. He slams on the brakes too late and hits her.

The Legends get out of the bus and see the woman lying dead in the road. Suddenly she gets up and charges at them! Heat Wave punches the zombie in the face, and Charlie says this is the work of her sister Atropos, who'll do anything to stop them.

More zombies appear and attack. Constantine braces himself for a fight, but they run right past him. He realizes they're ignoring him because he's a damned soul. A zombie attacks Zari 2.0, but Constantine saves her by frying its head with Hellfire. The rest of the Legends fight the horde, eventually "killing" them all.

On the Waverider, Gary tries to get Gideon back online. He plugs in a cable and manages to electrocute himself. When he comes to, he sees Gideon— in physical form— standing over him. She says he needs to hide the Loom Rings from Astra and the Fates before they use them.

Elsewhere, Heat Wave looks at the bus' engine and says it was somehow damaged in the zombie attack, and will take hours to fix. Constantine says he knows someone in the area who may have a car they can borrow. He and Zari 2.0 take off on foot to find them.

On the ship, Lachesis manipulates Astra, asking her why she wants to bring her poor dead mother back to life. She shows her a vision of the future, in which an older Astra's sobbing at her dying mother's bedside. Astra shocked, and asks why she'd show her such a thing. Lachesis says human life is nothing but pain and heartache, and bringing her mother back will only be postponing the inevitable.

Constantine and Zari 2.0 walk down the dark and deserted road. He tells her Behrad may be doomed to die in any timeline, and bringing him back might not be possible. She angrily tells him to go to Hell, and he says he's already been there. She hisses that she's getting her brother back, no matter what.

On the ship, Atropos' chilling out in the Study, right next to the Rings. Gideon distracts her long enough for Gary to sneak in and take the three Rings.

Back at the bus, the Legends hear trucks approaching. They run out to flag them down, and see it's a military convoy. The soldiers spot the Legends' bloody clothing (from their fight with the zombies) and assume they're infected as well. Sharpe says that's ridiculous as she walks toward the soldiers. Suddenly one shoots her in the head!

Sharpe collapses to the ground, seemingly dead. A few seconds later she stands up as the bullet's pushed out of her forehead. The terrified soldiers then assume they're super-zombies who can talk, and take the Legends captive.

On the Waverider, Atropos returns to the Study and sees the Rings are gone. She informs Lachesis, who says there must be someone else on the ship. Astra looks down and sees a chunk of carrot, and says she knows who it is.

In the Medlab, Gary shows Gideon that he got the Rings. She says next they need to find a Time Courier and bring the Legends back to the ship.

Zari 2.0 and Constantine make it to his friend's junkyard, but it looks deserted. He sees an old chip truck they can borrow. They enter the garage and Zari 2.0 finds the keys to the truck, but the zombies surround the garage, trapping them inside.

Constantine tells Zari 2.0 that the zombies won't attack him, but she's another matter. He says he can cast a spell to stop her heart, which will make her "invisible" to the zombies. He warns her it's dangerous, but she tells him to do it anyway.

Meanwhile, the Legends are locked in the back of an army truck on its way to a military base. Heat Wave says trucks like this always have a weak spot, and tells Steel to armor up and punch the door. He does so, and the door pops open. They ask what they're supposed to do now, as the truck's barreling down the road at high speed. He tells them to jump as he shoves Steel out the back.

The Legends all jump out of the speeding truck, getting injured and mangled in the process. After a few seconds their immortality kicks in and they're good as new. They see they're now only 80 miles from London.

Constantine casts his spell and stops Zari 2.0's heart. He then opens the garage door and slowly carries her through the horde of zombies. Fortunately, they completely ignore them both. He puts her in the back of the chip truck and casts a spell to revive her, but nothing happens. Panicking, he starts CPR on her. Suddenly she gasps and comes back to life. The zombies hear her, and run toward the van. Constantine slams the door shut, starts up the van and they roar off.

Gary and Gideon run to the Lab and find a Time Courier. Before he can use it though, Astra and the Fates arrive. Atropos tells him to hand over the Rings or she'll skin him alive. He yells to Gideon for help, but she tells him she can't, as— to no one's surprise— her physical form has been a figment of his imagination all along. She encourages him not to give in. Gary holds out the Rings, and makes them disappear with a simple obfuscation spell. Atropos pokes his neck with her bone knife and demands to know where the Rings have gone.

The Legends are walking along the road when they hear a vehicle approach. Constantine and Zari 2.0 pull up and tell the gang to get it. They finally make it to London, only to find the city eerily dark and empty. They arrive at the Winchester Pub, er, I mean the Time Bureau safe house and enter.

Sharpe finds a note saying there's been a zombie apocalypse, and the post is abandoned. She shrugs and digs a Time Courier out of the cash register. Of course it's dead, so they'll have to wait till it recharges.

Zari 2.0 retreats to another room to sulk. Constantine enters and she says it feels like the Fates are against them. He tells her doom & gloom don't suit her, and she says he has a savior complex. He counters by accusing her of being shallow. They begin arguing and of course at one point stop and kiss. Oy.

On the Waverider, Astra straps Gary to a table and prepares to torture him till he gives her the Rings. Gary reminds her she joined the Legends out of hope, and she says that was a mistake— as was wanting her mother back. She says Lachesis opened her eyes and she can't handle losing her mother a second time. Gary asks if Lachesis showed her all the good times she'd have with her mother before she dies.

Constantine & Zari 2.0 join the others, having obviously had sex. The Legends then discuss what they would have done if they'd been able to use the Loom Of Fate. They then make a toast to dreaming.

Sharpe senses Canary's keeping something from her, and demands to know what. Canary says there's nothing wrong with her powers, and that she saw their future. She says the Time Courier doesn't recharge before the zombies break in, and she dies trying to save the team. That's why she wanted Sharpe to take point on this mission— to get the Legends used to following her.

Right on cue, the pub's surrounded by zombies who try to break in. Zari 2.0 announces that their immortality has officially run out. The Legends struggle to barricade the door.

Back on the ship, Astra shares a memory of her mother with Gary. She makes a decision, then grabs a Time Courier and tells him to show her how to use it. Unfortunately Atropos comes in, says Astra's immortality is gone and hurls a bone knife into her chest. Astra falls dead to the floor (!), and Atropos demands that Gary give her the Rings.

In the pub, the Legends try to hold off the zombies till the Courier charges. They break in, and Canary tells Sharpe she'll hold them off as long as she can. She jumps up on a pool table and begins fighting the zombies with a pool cue. The other Legends join the epic battle, each using their various powers.

Unfortunately Canary's overrun and the zombies swarm on top of her. Sharpe screams in anguish as she watches her die. Just then the Courier reaches full charge. She grabs it and tosses it to Charlie, telling to get back to the ship and stop her sisters. Charlie opens a portal and looks back as each of the Legends is killed. She jumps through onto the ship.

Charlie finds Gary in the Medlab and frees him. He tells her what happened and makes the Rings reappear. Right on cue, Lachesis and Atropos enter the Lab. Atropos stabs Gary in the heart and kills him. Lachesis tells Charlie she came back just in time. Charlie says she's done running, and it's time to get to work.

• Methinks the writers are mixing genres with this week's title. Obviously it's based on the book (and film) I Am Legend, but that story dealt with an invasion of vampire-like creatures, not zombies.

• Nice attention to detail: This episode picks up right after last week's. Appropriately enough, the Legends are all wearing the same clothes they had on in Freaks And Geeks! Well done!

• This is some heavy duty nitpicking, but hey, it's what I do.

In last week's episode, the Legends ladies started up their own sorority at Hudson University. Charlie and Zari 2.0 found an abandoned house they could use, but the interior was a wreck. Ever the resourceful one, Charlie used a Time Courier to open a portal in the doorway of the sorority house, which led to the interior of Constantine's manor in England. 

In other words, the outside of the house was in Central City, while the inside was in Great Britain. 

In this episode, Sharpe exits the manor and walks out onto the front stoop. She should be standing outside the house in Central City, but instead sees she's inexplicably still in England. Apparently at some point the portal leading back to America quit working. 

OK, here's the nitpick. Oddly enough, there's a sign on the door that reads, "Join Delta Chi Sigma 2020." Wait a minute! That shouldn't be possible! Remember, the outside of the house is still back in America. ITS door is the one that should have the Delta sign stuck to it! The exterior of the manor was never visible to anyone in Central City. Whoops!

Told you it was heavy duty!

 As I said in the plot description, this episode picks up right where Freaks And Geeks left off. In fact according to Zari 2.0's phone time, it begins just fifteen minutes after that episode. Lita played a prominent role in that story— so where'd she go this week? I guess she took a cab home between episodes while we weren't looking?

• I mentioned this last week, but it's worth a repeat. Once they drink from the Chalice Of Dionysus, the Legends keep saying they're now "immortal for a day." Yeah, that doesn't make any sense, and I can't tell if it's a deliberate joke or the writers just don't know the definition of "immortal." I think they mean "invulnerable for a day."

 So the Legends are now "immortal" for twenty four hours, but discover they're stuck in England and can't make it back to their ship to use the Loom Of Fate. 

Gosh, if only they had a team member who was able to, oh, I don't know, CAST TELEPORTATION SPELLS!!!! Jesus Christ! If Constantine can teleport travel to Hell and back whenever he gets the notion, why the f*ck can't he transport the Legends back to the Waverider?

And before anyone "actuallys" me and says teleporation spells require special powders and ingredients and are extremely difficult to perform, might I remind you that in The Great British Fake Off, Gary Freakin' Green was able to easily transport himself, Sharpe and Heat Wave to Hell and back! 

If GARY can do that, then how hard would it have been for Constantine to open some doorway onto the ship?

That's one of the problems with having a character with magical powers. There're usually no well-defined, concrete limits to their abilities, so their power level tends to fluctuate based on the needs of the script. In other words, they can do anything they need to until the writers decide they can't.

 Did we skip an episode this week?

In Romeo V. Juliet: Dawn Of Justness, the writers planted the seeds of a Constantine/Zari 2.0 romance. Then they began officially falling for one another in The Great British Fake Off. Last week in Freaks And Geeks, Zari 2.0 was still flirting with Constantine, telling him "she bites" as she took a long, hard leer at his butt.

Annnnnnd then suddenly in this episode the two of them can't stand one another for some reason. In fact Zari 2.0's openly hostile toward Constantine for most of the episode (until they realize their true feelings for one another in the third act).

So what happened here? Did they have a major falling out in the fifteen minutes between this episode and the previous one? Does Zari 2.0 worried about Behrad and is taking it out on Constantine? Or did the writers forget what they already established in previous episodes?

• Gary returns to the Waverider to take care of his rabbit, Gary Junior II. Note that all through the episode, Gary Junior II makes "squeaking" noises no rabbit on Earth has ever made.

• When the Legends realize their stuck in England, they decide to make their way to a Time Bureau safe house in London. We then see them waiting impatiently at a bus stop. Zari 2.0 checks her phone and says it's "275.8 to London." When Steel asks if that's miles or kilometers, Canary says it doesn't matter as either way it's far.

Actually it DOES matter! 275 miles is, well, 275 miles. But 275 kilometers is only 170 miles! Still far, but not nearly as bad as if the distance is in miles!

• A bus finally stops for the Legends, but the driver won't let them on without any money. So they decide to steal the bus. When Heat Wave throws the driver out, note that he utters the Wilhelm Scream as he flies through the air.

Yeah, it's way past time that sound effect was retired. It was fun the first 75,000 times I heard it, but now it's become cringeworthy.

• During the bus ride, Canary says that Sharpe should take command on this mission. Sharpe disagrees, saying that she and Canary are "co-captains for life."

Who thought THAT was a good idea? Every time they said it in the episode, all I could think of was Oscar's quote from The Office.
• As the Legends make their way to London, Atropos puts on her Loom Ring and summons a zombie invasion to stop them. Fortunately the team uses their various powers and makes quick work of the zombies.

Not gonna lie— now I definitely wanna see Heat Wave and Constantine show up on The Walking Dead! What an awesome crossover that would be!

• I loved the zombie who tried to bite Steel in his armored form— complete with "clinking" sound effects as it tried to bite his metal arm.

• Check out the expression on Constantine's face as he realizes the zombies aren't interested in him because he's damned. He almost looks like he's disappointed!

• After the zombie fight, the Legends discover the bus won't start. Heat Wave looks under the hood and says, "Well, the engine's busted after the fight, and the fuel pump's got no power."

So how the heck did that happen? No one— Legend or zombie— ever got anywhere near the bus' engine during the fight. The only thing I can come up with is the engine got damaged when Heat Wave hit the zombie standing in the middle of the road.

• Back on the ship, Gary tries to repair Gideon and rescue the Legends. Unfortunately he electrocutes himself, and when he wakes up he sees Gideon physically standing before him.

It's always a highlight whenever Gideon appears on the show in human form. Amy Pemberton is just so damn hot! Can I say that? Am I allowed to say that here in 2020? And man, does she have an awesome voice! It sounds even better when it's not being electronically filtered as it usually is.

I wish someone on the team would create a Gideon hologram, so she could take human form and walk around the ship each week— ala the Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager or Rommie on Andromeda.

• Gary and Imaginary Gideon made for a great team! Who knew we'd ever get the chance to see the two of them team up for a mission? They were wonderful together!

Gary: "We should have our own spin-off!"
(He begins singing in a deep, heavy metal voice.) 
Gary: "Gideon and Gary, having adventures! Solving problems and saving the world!"
Gideon: "Brilliant song, Gary! You must teach it to me once you've managed to wrestle control of the Waverider from those pesky sisters."

I agree with Gary— they should have their own spinoff! I'd watch the hell out of that!

• I loved the scene in which the Legends are mistaken for "super zombies." In particular I liked Sharpe's resurrection, as she wobbles to her feet and moans in the most undead way possible. Actress Jess McCallen is actually pretty funny— too bad she doesn't get to use her comedy chops more often on the show.

• Funniest part of the episode: When Zari 2.0 uses her wind power to kill a zombie, and her gag reflex kicks in as she sees what she's done!

• So Constantine casts a spell to stop Zari 2.0's heart so he can carry her through a horde of zombies to the chip truck. Once he gets her in the back of the truck, he tries to start up her heart again. 

Can anyone explain to me why the holy frak he DIDN'T CLOSE THE GODDAMNED DOOR OF THE TRUCK BEFORE HE STARTED CASTING THE COUNTER-SPELL? Jesus Christ! I get that time was of the essence here, and he had to act fast before Zari 2.0 died for good. But how long would it have taken to close the door? A second?

Of course because he doesn't close the door, the zombies hear him and start sprinting toward the truck.

• Jesus Christ, how far did Constantine and Zari 2.0 walk, anyway? 

OK, stay with me here. The Legends steal a bus and head for London. After a while the bus breaks down, so Constantine and Zari 2.0 take off on foot— in the general direction of London— to find alternate transportation. While they're gone, an army convoy captures the rest of the Legends. They throw them in the back of their truck and take off at high speed for their HQ— which is also in the general direction of London. After a time the Legends jump out of the moving truck. Moments later, Constantine and Zari 2.0— now traveling back the way they came— pull up in their chip truck and rescue the Legends.

OK, we don't know how long the Legends were in the army truck or how far it carried them. It looked like it was flying along at a good 50 to 60 mph. Even if they were only in the truck for fifteen minutes, they'd have traveled 15 miles. Did Constantine and Zari 2.0 really walk that far in less than an hour?

• When Constantine pulls up to the Legends in the chip truck, Zari 2.0 leans out and yells, "Get in losers, we're going Looming!"

That's a reference to the movie Mean Girls (of all things), in which Regina says, "Get in loser, we're going shopping!"

• Man, Lachesis gives Wormtongue (of The Lord Of The Rings fame) a run for his money in the manipulation department. Just listen to her mealy-mouthed, conniving conversation with Astra:

Lachesis: "Astra, dear, we have been very patient with you, especially considering you betrayed us without saying a word."
Astra: "You betrayed me first. Besides, I had to take my destiny into my own hands and try to bring my mother back myself."
Lachesis: "And I appreciate your gumption, but I'm afraid you don't fully grasp what that means."
Astra: "Right now my mother is dead. I would like her to be alive. Fairly simple concept."

Lachesis: "But as you know, life as a human is very difficult. If you insist on having a normal life with your mother, you will be bound to the rules of nature, which are not kind to humans. See for yourself."
(She shows Astra a vision of her mother dying in a hospital bed.)
Astra: "Why would you show me that?"
Lachesis: "Because that is what is going to happen if you bring your mother back. Life as a human is a life of pain and suffering. Constantine promised to bring your mother back as if it would solve all your problems, but what he didn't tell you was you're just postponing the inevitable. Why bring your mother back only to lose her all over again?"

See? She's pure evil!

• I Am Legend is a veritable love letter to zombie movies, and features a butt-ton of references to various films of the genre. Here are all the ones I spotted (and I'm sure there're a few I missed):

— The fast-running zombies with the veiny faces are likely a reference to the undead in 28 Days Later and its sequel.

— Constantine looks for suitable transportation at the junkyard, and finds a chip van labeled "Pilato's."

That's a reference to the late Joe Pilato, who played Captain Rhodes in Day Of The Dead. Pilato famously delivered the hilariously over the top line, "I'm running this monkey farm now Frankenstein, and I want to know what the f*ck you're doin' with my time!"

— Constantine stops Zari 2.0's heart so the zombies won't be interested in her. He then cautiously carries her through a herd of them to safety. Check out the very familiar-looking zombie on the far right.

He's a dead ringer for director George Romero, who single-handedly created the modern zombie genre. Romero directed Night Of The Living Dead, Dawn Of The Dead and Day Of The Dead, among many others.

The zombie Constantine passes is obviously a nod to Romero, as it's wearing his trademark vest and giant glasses!

— During the junkyard scene, there's a shot of a zombie (in the center of the screen) who pulls his arms up to his chest and does this weird, stiff little jig for a second. I think that may have been a reference to Michael Jackson's Thriller video. Or maybe I'm just looking so hard for references that I'm seeing things that aren't really there?

— In a later crowd shot, we see a prominently featured zombie with a bright pink punk rock hairdo.

She's obviously a shoutout to Trash, the character played by Linnea Quigley in the horror/comedy The Return Of The Living Dead. Even though Trash had red hair instead of pink.

— The entire third act of the episode is practically a shot-for-shot remake of the pub battle at the end of Shaun Of The Dead

The Legends make it to the Time Bureau safe house in London, which is disguised as a pub. Unfortunately the place is immediately surrounded by a massive horde of zombies, who eventually burst through the windows and force their way inside. The Legends then make their last stand against the zombies. That's pretty much exactly how the end of Shaun plays out!

At one poing Sharpe and Charlie leap over the bar to escape the zombies, just like Shaun and Liz did in Shaun Of The Dead.

And Sharpe's perpetually loaded shotgun is no doubt a Winchester, just like the one Shaun used (and which is the source of the pub's name in the movie).

Canary even jumps up on a pool table and distracts the zombies' attention away from the others, much like Shaun did when they were first entering the pub. The only thing missing is a necktie tied around her head and Don't Stop Me Now blaring on the soundtrack. No doubt The CW couldn't afford the music rights!

That's all the zombie movie references I spotted. As I said, it's entirely likely I missed some!

• At the pub, tensions between Constantine and Zari 2.0 come to a boil. They get into a bitter argument, as each belittles and disparages the other's personality traits. Of course this bickering leads to a kiss, and the two end up screwing like rabbits.

Jesus wept.

This is typical sitcom fodder, straight out of shows like Cheers. I'd be incredibly surprised to find out that anything like this EVER happened even once in real life. Usually when two people argue and resort to name-calling, they kind of, oh, what's the word... HATE one another. And hatred rarely leads to sexual tension, as the two individuals tend to avoid one another after their spat.

• During the final minutes of the episode, each of the Legends is killed by the zombie horde. Oddly enough, we see Steel die as well— even though he's in his armored form! So tell me, how do zombies kill a man who's made of solid steel? 

Did the zombies dog pile on him and crush him with their weight? Did they smother him till he suffocated? Heat him to 1370° and watch him melt?

His death makes zero sense here. Of them all, he's the only one guaranteed to survive the zombie battle.

• A couple weeks ago in Ship Broken, we finally got a closeup of the three Rings Of Fate, and saw that each featured a different symbol relating to its owner.

The only one I could clearly make out was the Ring Of Lachesis, which had a hand clutching a coin engraved on its face (which made sense, since she was initially known as the Coin Maker). Unfortunately at the time I wasn't able to make out the symbols on the other two.

In this episode we get our best look yet at the Rings, as Gary makes them reappear. The gold one at left is the Ring Of Clotho. A few weeks back I thought maybe its symbol was a sword, but now I see it's a spindle of thread— appropriate for the Fate who weaves the lifeline of humanity.

That's the Ring Of Lachesis in the center. The one on the right is the Ring Of Atropos. For some reason its symbol appears to be a pair of tongs? Or maybe they're some kind of cutting blades. That'd make sense, since she's the Fate who cuts the life threads of everyone.

• By the way, when Atropos demands Gary hand over the Rings, he says, "Yeah, I may have been electrocuted by Gideon's mainframe, but I could still do a simple obfuscation spell." He then passes his hand over the Rings and makes them disappear. Atropos stares in amazement at this, and seems completely bamboozled by his little trick.

But... obfuscation just means "to make obscure or unclear." To me that implies that Gary didn't teleport the Rings somewhere, he just made them invisible. In fact they're probably still in his hand! Too bad Atropos didn't realize that, as she could have just grabbed 'em out of his hand even if she couldn't see them.

This Week's Best Lines:
Canary: "I think it's the Chalice. It's probably messing with my powers."

Heat Wave: "So what, so now you're just blind?"
Zari 2.0: "That's not helpful."
Steel: "Come on, that's insensitive."

Lachesis: (to Astra) "Thank you for delivering this lovely timeship. And Atropos, thank you for shutting off that aggravating talking computer. She thought she was so witty."

Astra: "Fine, I'll join you, but I have some demands."

Lachesis: "Demands, really?"
Astra: "Yeah. Now I've experienced life on Earth again, some things have gotta change, like prunes. Disgusting. I want them gone. And dogs? They should stay puppies forever. Oh, and there's just one more thing. I want to bring my mother back to life."
Atropos: "Let's kill her."

Zari 2.0: "Look around. The sky hasn't fallen, the world is still here, and for whatever reason, the cabal of mystical seamstresses hasn't started spinning yet, which means we still have time to stop them."

(An army convoy approaches the Legends.)Soldier: "Stay where you are!"

Soldier 2: "They've got blood on their clothes. They might be infected."
Canary: "But... No. No, it's not."
Sharpe: "No, no, no, we're not infected."
(A soldier shoots Sharpe in the middle of her forehead, and she collapses on the ground.)
Canary: "Ava!"
(Sharpe comes back to life as her immortality kicks in. She struggles to her feet, moaning much like a zombie as the bullet pops out of her head.)
Sharpe: Oh. Ow! Ow!"
Soldier 2: "My God. These zombies can withstand headshots."
Heat Wave: "Since when do zombies talk, you idiot?"
Soldier 2: "Super-zombies who have become sentient. Round them up and take them back to base camp!"

Constantine and Zari 2.0 approach the junkyard.)Zari 2.0: "How'd you hear about this place?"

Constantine: "Well, back in the day, Old Man Joe called me about a demon-possessed '75 Fiat. It was a right messy exorcism. And a right crappy car."

Sharpe: "And let's try to get creative and think about what resources we have. Okay. Look, we've got a guy who turns into steel. We've got a shapeshifter, right? That's fricking amazing. We've got a kickass blind assassin. And a reformed thief turned romance novelist."

Heat Wave: "Who you calling reformed?"

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Happy FORTIETH (!) Anniversary To The Empire Strikes Back!

Happy Fortieth (!) Anniversary to The Empire Strikes Back! Forty years! Jesus Christ, that can't be right, can it? It feels like I just saw it in the theater for the first time a couple months ago. If it's been forty years since it premiere, then that'd mean that I'm... never mind!

I became a fan of Star Wars the moment I saw in our two-screen cineplex way back in 1977. To say it had a huge influence on me would be a disservice to understatements. For months, make that years after seeing it I would sit around and draw the ships and characters, which eventually got me to try my hand and designing my own sci-fi hardware. I doubt I would be a designer and illustrator today if not for Star Wars.

When The Empire Strikes Back came out in 1980, it wowed me even more. In fact I consider it a better film than the original Star Wars (or A New Hope, as it's since been Lucasized). I've seen it more times that I can count, more than any of the other films, and still watch it regularly a couple times a year.

Empire outdoes A New Hope in just about every way. Everything is bigger, it expands on the old characters and introduces new ones, and it takes a dark turn that was unexpected at the time. Best of all— unlike most sequels, it continues the story, rather than simply rehashing what's gone before (Yeah, I'm lookin' at you, Revenge Of The Jedi and your Death Star II).

I don't think I blinked once during the AT-AT battle on Hoth. Believe me when I say no one in the audience had ever seen anything remotely like that before. And the asteroid chase! I was actually ducking space rocks during that sequence. Those scenes still wow me today, even in this age of CGI effects.

By the time Luke battled Vader I was squeezing the armrests in panic. And when Luke lost his hand, I practically fell out of my chair! Luke's the hero! Nothing bad's supposed to happen to the hero! For a few uneasy moments I actually thought they might kill him off (this was way before the internet and spoiler sites!)

When Vader revealed he was Luke's father— the entire audience audibly gasped. I've never experienced a reaction like that in a theater since. By the time the film was over, I was exhausted. I could barely make it back to the car.

A few Empire Facts:

• George Lucas had a contingency plan in case Star Wars wasn't a huge blockbuster. He commissioned sci-fi writer Alan Dean Foster, who wrote the Star Wars novelization, to come up with a treatment for a low budget sequel.

When Star Wars became a huge hit, Lucas scrapped Foster's bargain basement sequel and came up with a more ambitious script. Foster went on to publish his treatment in book form, as Splinter Of The Mind's Eye.

I've read it a couple of times, and... meh. It's OK, but it's no Empire.

• Leigh Brackett wrote the original draft of the Empire screenplay. She previously wrote the screenplays for The Big SleepRio BravoRio LoboHatari! and The Long Goodbye. Unfortunately she died shortly after turning in her first draft, and it was rewritten by Lawrence Kasdan. Her story was basically the same, but with a few differences. In her draft Han didn't get captured and put into carbonite, Luke doesn't lose his hand and he finds out he has a twin sister that may or may not be Leia.

The biggest difference was that Vader was not Luke's father. In Brackett's script, Luke actually meets the ghost of his father on Bog World, the original name for Dagobah.

Empire received mixed reviews at the time, but most fans, like myself, believe it to be superior to A New Hope. Credit for that has to go to Brackett, Kasdan and director Irvin Kershner.

Naturally since I like the film so much, George Lucas has stated it's his least favorite. No doubt because he didn't have obsessive, minute control over it as he did the others.

• Stanley Kubrick's The Shining premiered just two days after Empire. What a time that was to be a movie fan!

• Yoda was originally going to be called Bunden Debannen, Buffy (!) or Minch Yoda. He initially looked quite different as well, as production art depicts him as everything from a garden gnome to a Smurf-like thing.

Makeup artist Stuart Freeborn designed the Yoda puppet, modeling his eyes after those of Albert Einstein. Frank Oz of course voiced and operated the puppet.

Although Oz did a terrific job, kudos also have to go to actor Mark Hamill for Yoda's success. He really sells the idea that he's talking to a real, live alien being, which makes the audience believe it as well. If not for Hamill, Yoda would have been just another Muppet.

Yoda's line, "Try not! Do, or do not. There is no try" blew my little mind as I sat in the darkened theater, and was my introduction to the philosophies of Buddhism.

• ALIEN star Yaphet Kotto was considered for the role of Lando Calrissian, but turned it down because he didn't want to become typecast.

Most fans agree that Lando was included in Empire after Star Wars was criticized for being awfully... not very diverse.

• Shortly before Empire was filmed, Mark Hamill was involved in a serious car crash, and had to have facial reconstruction surgery. For decades the story went that Lucas wrote the Wampa attack scene to explain Luke's facial scars and altered appearance.

Lucas has recently denied this, saying it's an urban legend and that he scripted the Wampa scene well before the accident. Lucas is notorious for his tendency to revise history though, so who the hell knows.

• Han Solo was frozen in carbonite because Harrison Ford wasn't crazy about starring in a third Star Wars film. If Ford hadn't returned, it's assumed that he'd have remained frozen and Lando would have taken his place.

These days studios have learned their lesson. Marvel regularly signs actors for multiple films, so there'll be no question as to whether they'll appear in a sequel or not.

• As most fans know by now, Han Solo's "I know" response to Princess Leia was ad-libbed. When Leia tells Solo she loves him, his original line was a heartfelt, but bland, "I love you too." Ford felt that Solo, ever the wisecracker, would have something wittier to say, and came up with the "I know" line. 

Naturally Lucas hated it, but the enthusiastic response from test audiences convinced him to reluctantly leave it in.

• Vader's big reveal was supposedly a secret even to Mark Hamill, who didn't learn about it until just before the scene was filmed. Only Lucas, director Irvin Kershner, Hamill and Vader voiceover artist James Earl Jones knew the secret before the film premiered.

It's unlikely something like that could ever happen today, with the advent of social media and cell phones.

Vader's mind-blowing revelation is one of those movie lines that are constantly misquoted. Everyone always says "Luke, I am your father." What he actually says is, "No, I am your father."

Sadly, Lucas' underwhelming Prequel Trilogy dampened my enthusiasm for Star Wars quite a bit. The Original Trilogy still had a place in my heart, but my feelings toward it was never quite the same after the Prequels.

Even worse, Disney's recent Sequel Trilogy has pretty much killed my love for the franchise altogether. I actively hate those movies, and consider them nothing more than expensive fan fiction. I'm doing my level best to forget I ever saw them, and just stick with the originals.

Anyway, Happy Fortieth to The Empire Strikes Back. Hey Disney, we're all still waitimng for proper ORIGINAL editions of the film on blu ray.

Monday, May 18, 2020

The Flash Season 6, Episode 19: Success Is Assured

This week on The Flash, it's the truncated finale of Season 6!

As you're no doubt aware, Season 6 was originally meant to consist of 22 episodes. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic had other ideas. 

Due to the worldwide lockdown, production on The Flash was shut down before they had a chance to finish filming the entire season. According to showrunner Eric Wallace, they'd shot about 90% of Episode 20 when The CW gave the order to shut down.

As a result, the producers were left with an incomplete season— one without a clear and definite ending. This meant that this week's Episode 19 would have to serve as a makeshift season finale, whether it was intended to be or not!

Luckily, Success Is Assured can kind of function as a season finale, if you stand back from it and squint real hard. The Joseph Carver storyline is wrapped up this week (in the most underwhelming way possible), as is the "Joe In Witness Protection" arc.

That still leaves a ton of plot threads dangling though. Will Barry save Iris in time, as well as Kamilla and Singh? Will Barry figure out a way to build a new Speed Force? What will happen to Sue now that's she's been framed for murder? And the most important one of all— how will Barry defeat Eva?

All in all, it's a very unsatisfying end to the season.

In addition, thanks to the shutdown, Season 6 marks the first time that Team Flash doesn't defeat the main villain in the finale! At the end of this week's episode, Eva kills her husband Joseph (spoilers!), incapacitates Barry and gets away scot free!

It's not all bad news though. According to Eric Wallace, the plan is to complete filming of Episodes 20, 21 and 22, and move them to the beginning of Season 7. So even though it won't happen until well into 2021, eventually we WILL see how things turn out.

And just for the record, I realize that a TV show not getting to film its season finale is the LEAST important side effect of this whole pandemic crisis. I get that. It's still annoying though.

Lastly, a thought occurred to me this week— what the hell was the point of the big Crisis On Infinite Earths crossover? Before it premiered, the producers stated they wanted to use the Crisis to eliminate the Multiverse and move all the Arrowverse characters— including Supergirl and Black Lightning— to Earth-1. The thinking was once everyone was on the same world, it'd be easier to do crossovers.

So what happened to that idea? It's been seven months since the Crisis, and Barry hasn't teamed up with Supergirl or Black Lightning. Heck, he hasn't even MENTIONED either one of them! I don't think there's even been a reference to National City since it became part of Earth-Prime! 

Again I ask— what was the point of it all then?


The Plot
Picking up where we left off last week, Mirror Singh arrives at Eva's warehouse. She's emerged from her "reflection modulation chamber" and is now wearing an "acclimation costume." She tells Mirror Singh it's time to deal with her husband Joseph Carver.

At Caitlin's apartment, Nash, Cecile and Allegra help Frost pack for her trip to the Tannhauser Facility, where her mother Carla will heal her. Cecile's power senses that Frost is anxious about meeting Carla, and she tries to reassure her. Carla arrives, and is taken aback to see Frost instead of Caitlin. The others make a hasty retreat to give them some privacy. Carla says she'd like to run a few baseline tests on Frost before they leave.

At Barry's CSI lab, he, Nash, Ralph and Allegra discuss Eva and where she's gone. Barry thinks if they can find Black Hole, they'll find Eva. Ralph shows them the giant diamond that Sue gave him a few episodes back, and says it has a microscopic Black Hole logo engraved in it.

Allegra detects energy coming from the diamond. She focuses a UV blast through it, which projects an odd symbol on the floor. Barry tells her to point the projection at a map of Central City. She does so, and the center of the projection lines up with a street address. Boy, will we be talking about THIS scene in the thoughts below! Ralph looks up the address and says it's a warehouse with five subterranean levels, belonging to Joseph Carver. He and Barry go to check it out, while Nash and Allegra go to Star Labs for some reason.

At the warehouse, Barry and Ralph find several security guards who've been stabbed to death. Ralph sees stacks and stacks of file boxes, including one labeled "Dearbon." He opens it and sees it's filled with records proving Joseph Carver's blackmailing Sue's parents.

Just then Barry sees Mirror Singh pouring gas all over the warehouse. When Barry asks why, Mirror Singh says Eva wants revenge against Carver for never trying to save her from the Mirrorverse, and profiting off her tech. He 
then pulls out a flare gun and aims it at the gas. Barry tries to reason with Mirror Singh, hoping he'll develop free will just like Mirror Iris did. It doesn't work, and Mirror Singh fires. He flees as the warehouse bursts into flames.

Barry tries to put out the fire with his nearly depleted speed, but can't. He and Ralph run from the warehouse just before it explodes. Barry says as bizarre as it sounds, they need to protect Carver from Eva.

The next day, Barry meets with Carver at Jitters. He says he knows Eva wants him dead, and he needs to go into Witness Protection just like Joe did. Carver says there's no danger, as his wife is dead. For some reason he shows Barry security footage of Iris being yanked into the Mirrorverse by Eva. He says his people studied the realm and discovered it's incompatible with the human brain, and that both Eva and Iris are either dead or unrecognizable at this point.

Carver asks why Barry would think Eva was coming after him. Barry says it's because Eva burned down his warehouse. Carver denies owning the property and leaves, visibly shaken.

In the Mirrorverse, Iris and Kamilla are trying to find the real Singh. Iris stares at a monitor as its display comes into focus for a second. As it does, she experiences a stabbing headache, and realizes she's acclimating to the place and needs to get out as soon as possible.

Ralph invites Mr. & Mrs. Dearbon to his office, intending to tell them he's found Sue (he's just now doing this?). Just then Sue enters as well, and pretends to meet Ralph for the first time. She makes up a story about how she joined a retreat in India and just "lost track of time." Ralph asks to speak to Sue alone and takes her into the hallway.

Ralph asks Sue what the hell. She says Carver called her a week ago and said he was no longer blackmailing her parents because he had "a change of heart." Ralph doesn't trust Carver, and Sue says doesn't either, but figures her parents are safe now and she can go home.

Cut to Carver's mansion, where his Black Hole minions Doctor Light, Ultraviolet and Sunshine are prepping for battle. Sunshine walks past a mirror and suddenly disappears. Moments later, Ultraviolet does the same. Realizing she's under sneak attack, Doctor Light draws her blaster and searches the room for the unseen assailant. She stops next to a window as she hears Eva's voice. She sees Eva's reflection on a nearby wall and fires. Suddenly Eva reaches out of the window and pulls her in.

Minutes later Carver enters, and finds his minions are gone. He sees the scorch mark on the wall from Doctor Light's blaster, realizes Eva took his little army and hauls ass out of the room.

Carver shows up at Barry's lab and says he's changed his mind about Witness Protection. He says if they help him, he'll stop trying to kill Joe and he can return home. Barry realizes Eva took Carver's minions and agrees.

Carla runs tests on Frost, and says she wishes Caitlin was there to help interpret the results. She then realizes what she just said and apologizes. Frost figures Carla sees her evil husband Thomas when she looks at her. Carla says that's not true, and that she's grateful to Frost for protecting Caitlin. She says she'd like to get to know her better.

At CCPD, Barry arranges for Carver to be placed in Witness Protection. Unfortunately. Mirror Singh approaches and says he's there to personally escort Carver. Barry pauses, reluctant to hand him over to the mirror clone
. Mirror Singh whispers to Barry, saying it he lets him have Carver, he'll hand over Iris. 

Nash, who's also there for some reason, sees Barry hesitating. Nash throws down one of his teleportation smoke grenades, and he, Barry, Ralph, Allegra and Carver are all transported to STAR Labs. Nash looks over and hallucinates Harry Wells, who tells him, "The Barry Allen I knew would never have considered Singh's offer."

When Carver asks what the hell just happened, Barry explains that Singh is one of Eva's mirror clones as well. Carver doesn't trust Team Flash to protect him, and says he has a secret, high-tech, impenetrable panic room at McCulloch Tech. They agree to take him there.

Before they go, Nash tells Barry he knows he was considering Singh's offer. Barry says he'd do anything to save his wife. Nash asks what Iris would think if she knew Barry was ready to trade another person's life for hers.

Cut to McCulloch Tech, where Nash, Allegra and Ralph are evacuating the building. Nash gives Allegra a large ruby she can power with her UV rays. She angrily asks when he's going to stop trying to win her over, and he says never. Just then Ralph spots Sue heading for an elevator. He confronts her, realizing she must have agreed to work for Black Hole in exchange for her parents' freedom— and now she intends to kill Carver from the inside.

Sue congratulates Ralph on his deductive reasoning, and says there's no other way. He gives her a short Patented The CW Pep Talk®, saying he believes in her and knows deep down she's a good person. She tells him she's sorry and sprays him with knockout gas.

Meanwhile, Barry escorts Carver to his panic room. There, Carver activates a force field around the entire building. He says nothing can possibly get in or out while it's up. Right on cue, the field shorts out and drops.

In the lobby, Doctor Light, Ultraviolet and Sunshine enter. They announce to Carver that they're now working for Eva. He offers double what she's paying them, and they reply that it's not about money, but payback. Ralph recovers and somehow suits up as Elongated Man just as the three minions attack.

Ralph, Nash and Allegra then battle Eva's minions for a good chunk of the runtime. Carver calls his security team and tells Barry to activate the backup generator in the subbasement. Barry runs to the basement, where he sees Mirror Singh. Suddenly Singh shatters, and Eva emerges, decked out in her Mirror Master gear. A blaster forms over her hand and she fires at Barry, knocking him out. She heads upstairs for Carver.

Meanwhile, the battle rages on in the lobby. Allegra confronts Ultraviolet— who's her cousin— and asks why she'd doing this
. Ultraviolet blames Allegra for everything bad that's happened to her, and says she's nothing to her now. Just as she starts to kill her, Allegra shoots a UV blast into the ruby Nash gave her. It fires a beam of light at Ultraviolet, incapacitating her as it causes her to experience her worst fears.

Ralph battles Doctor Light, and is suddenly joined by Sue (in her catsuit), who apparently gave up on her plan to kill Carver.

Carver watches the battle on a large flatscreen monitor. Just then Eva steps out of it, much like the girl in The Ring. He tells her it's not too late to talk things over. She says there's nothing to talk about after he sold and corrupted her tech and left her for dead. She shatters a mirror and causes the shards to hurl toward Carver.

Just then Barry speeds in out of nowhere and protects Carver with his body. The shards impale Barry, causing him to collapse. Eva tells Flash she has no beef with him, and Carver isn't worth saving. She uses her power to force one of the shards completely through Barry's body (yikes!) and fly into Carver's chest.

As Carver collapses, he says his real wife died in the Particle Accelerator explosion. Eva says he's wrong, as she's never felt more alive. Carver then ups and dies. Well that was anticlimactic!

Eva telekinetically pulls the shards out of Barry's body and tells him they're on the same side. She contacts her minions and tells them to stand down, as Carver's dead. Barry tells her he'll never stop coming after her. She tells him he's trespassing in her building, and he'd better go.

The next day, Eva holds a press conference at CCPD. She says six years ago an international crime syndicate took her captive and stole her tech to weaponize it. She says her husband Joseph Carver found and rescued her, but was murdered shortly after. She vows to work with CCPD to find her husband's killer, as well as resuming her duties as CEO of McCulloch Tech.

That night Ralph shows up at Sue's apartment. She says now that Carver's dead, she can quit Black Hole and go home to her parents. Ralph says not so fast, and says Eva's framed her for Carver's murder.GASP!

Barry goes to Caitlin's place to tell her goodbye. She's in Caitlin form now, and gives him a Patented The CW Pep Talk®, telling him it's not his speed that drives him, but love (ugh). She says she knows he'll find Iris and bring her back. Carla says she'll bring Caitlin & Frost back as soon as possible.

Allegra thanks Nash for giving her the ruby, as it saved her life. She hands it back to him, but he tells her to keep it in case she needs it again. Awwwww... she's finally warming up to the creepy guy who befriended her doppelganger.

At STAR Labs, Barry gives Team Flash a MASSIVE Patented The CW Pep Talk®, saying they may not have won, but they still have hope and he knows they'll get their people back soon. Just then Cecile enters with Joe, who no longer needs Witness Protection (since Carver's dead). He tells Barry it's time to get busy and save Iris and the others.

In the Mirrorverse, Iris scans the city and locates a life sign at Central City Hospital. She tells Kamilla it has to be Singh (or IS it?). Kamilla realizes Iris can now control the Mirrorverse, just like Eva did (?). Suddenly Iris doubles over in pain and disappears.

• "Success Is Assured" is not only this week's title, but the little motto Eva's mirror clones always spout at the end of their conversations with her. Eh, I guess it's OK as catchphrases go, but it's no "Resistance is futile."

• At the end of last week's episode, Cisco said the key to springing their people from the Mirrorverse involved a perpetual motion machine— which could only be found in Atlantis. I predicted we'd never actually see him go there though, as there's no way in hell the show's budget could afford to depict a massive undersea city.

Sure enough, Cisco's absent this week, as his little jaunt to Atlantis happens totally offscreen.

• After ten episodes, Eva FINALLY gets a costume and becomes Mirror Master. Honestly this should have happened weeks ago, but instead we had to watch her and Iris stand in the same room for several months straight.

By the way, at the end of last week's episode we saw Eva emerge from some sort of glowing chamber. We never got an explanation as to just what it was though. I wondered if maybe it was some sort of energizing chamber, or if it was realigning her cells to cure the neural dissonance caused by spending six years in the Mirrorverse.

This week we find out that's exactly what it is. She tells Mirror Singh it's a "reflection modulation chamber," that's helping with her acclimation process.

• Man, Team Flash sure gets around in this episode, don't they? First Nash, Cecile and Allegra are at Caitlin's apartment. One scene later, Nash & Allegra— along with Ralph— show up at Barry's office at CCPD. Then we immediately cut to Nash and Allegra hanging out a STAR Labs. A bit later, Nash, Ralph and Allegra join Barry back at CCPD again. Then the whole gang teleports back to STAR. Annnnnd after that they all schlep over to McCulloch Tech. 

Jesus Christ! They spend the whole episode running back and forth across Central City like basketball players hustling up and down the court!

• And now we come to the dumbest and most baffling part of the episode. Ralph shows Team Flash the diamond Sue gave him back in So Long And Good Night. Allegra shines a beam of UV light through it, which projects a strange symbol on the floor. Nash claims the symbol's a "Triangulation Cartograph," whatever the hell that is. 

Barry tells Allegra to shine the image on a handy map of Central City. She does so, and Barry says the center of the symbol is pointing to 47th and Darby, the location of a warehouse owned by Joseph Carver.

Wait, what? How could that possibly work? Look how she just aims the symbol at an arbitrary spot on the map. She's not aligning it to anything! She could just as easily have pointed it six inches to the right, and then the "center" would have been over a completely different building!

• Caitlin's mom Carla Tannhauser comes to take her & Frost to her lab "up north," where she can heal her of her wounds.

I didn't realize till this week that Carla's played by actress Susan Walters. If she looks familiar to you, that's because she played Jerry's girlfriend Delores on Seinfeld. You know, the one whose name rhymed with a female body part!

• Caitlin & Frost ride that couch for the third episode in a row, in a flailing attempt to hide Danielle Panabaker's real-life pregnancy. Hopefully by the time the show comes back next year that'll all be over and done with, and we'll get to actually see Caitlin walking around again without a stack of pillows obscuring her midsection!

 When Cecile's helping Frost pack for her maternity leave, er, I mean her trip, she just straight up scans her with her telepathy and sees she's upset. Isn't that a huge invasion of privacy? Or are we supposed to believe Cecile has no control over when her power activates itself?

• For decades now, Star Trek fans have joked about "redshirts" and their high mortality rate on the show. They've got nothing on The Flash's security guards! Almost every week Barry finds at least one who's been callously slaughtered on the job by an evil metahuman. I bet Warehouse Security Guard is the the most dangerous profession in all of Central City!

• Barry & Ralph investigate Carver's warehouse. Inside, Ralph discovers a wall of file boxes, including one containing info on Sue Dearbon's parents.

The names on the other boxes are all characters we've seen this season, who have some sort of connection with Carver. "Garcia" is Esperanza Garcia, aka Ultraviolet (and Allegra's cousin). "Rawlins" is Millie Rawlings, aka Sunshine. "Hoshi" is Kimiyo Hoshi, aka Doctor Light. And Merkel is Merkel, aka Rag Doll.

Not sure who the "Gore" could be. The name sounds familiar, but I can't think of where I've heard it before.

• Nice Attention To Detail: Last week Iris discovered Kamilla hanging out in a copy of STAR Labs inside the Mirrorverse. Appropriately enough, everything in this reflected version of STAR was reversed— down to the printing on the coffee mugs. 

This week Iris returns to Mirror STAR Labs, and stares wistfully at Barry's Flash costume— which features a reversed lightning bolt symbol! Now that was a nice touch! Kudos to whoever thought to flop that bolt!

• Um.. why is Ralph JUST NOW calling the Dearbons and telling them he located Sue? He found her MONTHS ago, way back in A Girl Named Sue! Has he really been that busy since then?

• I gotta point out the fact that Ralph's desk drawer contains one of those multicolor ink pens that kids always have (the thick light blue one).

 Barry meets with Carver and tells him he knows Eva's been trapped in the Mirrorverse for the past six years. Carver snaps back, "If Eva did ex-scape that wretched place, I'd know about it." Eh, it's just a flubbed line, guys. No need for a second take!

• This is some heavy duty nitpicking, but whatever. The exterior of Joseph Carver's luxurious home...

...doesn't look anything at all like the spartan, Brutalist-style interior. Why, it's almost like inside & outside were filmed at two completely different locations!

I suppose you could argue that this spacious, airy room with wall full of windows is in the back of the house, and not visible in the establishing shot. Still, there's nothing about these two shots that looks the least bit similar.

• When we first see Doctor Light, Ultraviolet and Sunshine, they're all speaking in their native languages. Oddly enough, they all seem to understand one another with no trouble. Even stranger, later on we see they can all speak fluent English! So why the international dialogue in this scene?

• Carver knows his wife's still alive, has the power to control any mirror and is coming for him. So of course he doesn't do anything about the large number of mirrors and reflective surfaces in his home. Sure enough, his little army of metas are kidnapped by Eva.

• When Ultraviolet and Sunshine disappear, Doctor Light realizes she's next. Unfortunately for her, she stands too close to a window and Eva yanks her into it.

OK, the concept of pulling a person into a mirror makes a certain amount of sense (in a comic book science way). After all, when you look into a mirror, it seems like there's an entire backwards universe inside it.

But yanking someone into a sheet of glass? How? It's completely transparent! There's nothing "inside" it. To me this feels like it violates the sci-fi rules they previously set up.

• The writers have totally given up on the whole "Current Wells Needs To Hide His Identity Because He Looks Like Mass Murderer Eobard Thawne" thing at this point, right? In this episode, Nash walks right into CCPD and nobody says a word.

• More Attention To Detail: When Carver comes to CCPD for help, he and Barry walk past a framed commemorative photo of Chief Singh.

The way the shot's framed, it's obvious they want us to see the photo. I guess to remind the audience that the real Singh is a hero and not a clone doing the bidding of an evil meta?

• At STAR Labs, Nash turns and sees a vision of Harry Wells warning him about Barry. Yikes, what the hell happened here? This may be the all-time worst special effect I've ever seen on this show! 

Yeesh, look at it! It's patently obvious they had Tom Cavanagh stand against a green screen and then hastily pasted him into the shot. You can tell because Harry & Nash are being lit from two completely different directions. The main giveaway though is Harry's shadow. It doesn't match the density of the other shadows in the room, and it's clear that it wasn't cast by him. It looks like they picked "drop shadow" from a menu and just let the computer create one.

Did the FX team run out of time and had to finish this shot in fifteen minutes? Did someone have to complete this shot in a makeshift studio in their kitchen during the virus lockdown? Did they pass it off to a new intern? Whatever the reason, it's pretty darn bad.

Why didn't they just do a simple split screen shot? You lock down the camera and film Nash's part of the scene. Then you have Tom Cavanagh get changed into Harry and shoot him on the same set. Then you cut the two scenes in half and combine 'em in the computer. That way Harry'd have a real shadow and the lighting on each character would match.

• Carver may be scheming and devious, but he ain't too bright. At no time does he ever figure out that Barry's really the Flash— even after he's teleported to STAR Labs!

• My favorite part of the episode: Ralph (who's in his street clothes) wakes after being gassed by Sue. We cut to Barry & Carver for literally FOUR SECONDS, and we we see Ralph again he's suited up in his Elongated Man costume. Somehow he even found the time to apply the black makeup around his eyes!

Note that this definitely is not a case of a long amount of time passing between shots. Ralph and Barry actually converse with one another here, implying that it's all one continuous scene. Whoops!

How the hell did such a huge gaffe happen? According to showrunner Eric Wallace, this episode was filmed, edited and in the can before the lockdown began, so they can't even blame it on a disruption from the coronavirus!

• Did Ang Lee direct this episode? During the big fight scene, the screen suddenly splits into multiple frames that look like comic book panels.

Eh, I didn't hate the effect. It's a comic book show after all, so it makes sense for it to look like one. But it makes me wonder why it took them a whopping SIX YEARS to think of doing this!

• During the big setpiece battle, Allegra confronts her cousin Esperanza, aka Ultraviolet. The two have a heated exchange as they speak in Spanish.

I'm guessing actress Kayla Compton, who plays Allegra, isn't a native Spanish speaker. Even I can tell her dialogue is stilted and awkward.

• Why do Nash, Ralph and Allegra just stand around and watch while the three meta gals kill dozens of innocent security guards? It takes 'em a good ten minutes before they finally act and try to stop Doctor Light & Co.

• Are the Doctor Light, Ultraviolet and Sunshine we see in the big setpiece battle real, or are they mirror clones? They certainly seem real, as they don't call Eva "mother" and seem to have free will.

So far every time Eva's abducted someone she's made a clone of them to do her bidding. If these three are still the real things, then why? Why would she let them back out of the Mirrorverse without making copies of them?

• Eva must be a fan of The Ring, as she emerges from the TV monitor in Carver's safe room. 

Earlier in the episode Carver said he had the giant wall-sized mirror in his office coated with nanoparticles to prevent Eva from popping out of it. Too bad he didn't think to do that to this monitor as well.

By the way, did you notice Carver's panic room is in the exact same place as Eva's secret monitor lab in the Mirrorverse?

• Eva shatters a mirror and sends the jagged shards flying toward Carver. At the last second, Barry zooms in and shields him with his body, getting impaled in the process. Eva then telekinetically causes a huge shard of glass to slowwwwwly slice completely through Barry's body and into Carver's chest (!).

Jesus Christ! How the hell is Barry still alive at this point? There're all kinds of major arteries and veins located in the shoulder, and that piece of glass just severed ALL of them on Barry's left side! Heck, I'm wondering how his arm is even still attached at this point! 

Yeah, I know he has speed-healing and all that, but it isn't instantaneous— it generally takes him hours to recover from a serious injury like this. He should definitely be dead at this point.

To make things worse, once Carver dies, Eva tells Barry she has no beef with him and uses her power to yank out the remaining shards from his body! Holy crap! That likely made things even worse, as pulling a knife or other sharp object out of a wound generally causes it to bleed even more.

• Why does Eva hold her press conference at CCPD? Wouldn't it have made infinitely more sense to do it in front of McCulloch Tech? You know, the corporation that she actually owns?

• In the wrap-up, Ralph informs Sue that Eva's framed her for Carver's murder. Several things here:

First of all, I wondered why the hell Eva would accuse Sue of all people. Have the two of them even met before? Or did Eva just look in the society column, see Sue's name and think, "Ah, I'll blame my husband's death on this innocent random heiress!"

Then it occurred to me that Eva probably used her mirror monitors to find out that Sue's secretly cat burglar who was intending to kill Carver herself. Once you realize that, it makes perfect sense.

I still think it'd been nice if one of the characters briefly mentioned that though, so I didn't have to do the writers' job for them.

Secondly, note that the article on Ralph's phone is from the Central City Picture News. That's where Iris used to work before she went off on her own and started the Citizen. That's some more nice attention to detail. It makes sense that the article's not from the Citizen, since Iris is still in the Mirrorverse and her clone's dead. I guess the Citizen's no longer being published at this point?

Lastly, at her press conference, Eva declares she'll find the heinous culprit who killed her husband. In the very next scene, she frames Sue for his murder! Talk about working fast!
• As we all know, the Speed Force is dead and Barry's struggling to somehow create a new one he can use. 

When he visits Caitlin, she gives him a Patented The CW Pep Talk®, telling him, "The reason you've beat Zoom, Godspeed, Thawne? It's because speed isn't what drives you. It's love. That's your true force, and there is nothing artificial about that. So as long as you stay true to yourself, you will always find a way to beat the bad guys."

Sigh... they're totally going to have the new and improved Speed Force fueled by the power of Barry's love, aren't they? Oy gevalt. How sappy can you get?

And just in case you think that's improbable, remember that in the Green Lantern comic, there was a Violet Lantern Corps whose rings were all powered by love.

• At the end of the episode, Barry bids an emotional goodbye to Caitlin. She and her mom then exit as they head "up north." Note that they leave Barry standing alone in the middle of Caitlin's apartment!

And in case you're skeptical, this is most definitely Caitlin's apartment here— it's the one she's been sitting in for the past three episodes.

What the hell? Why would they film this scene that way? I guess they thought it was more dramatic to show Barry watching them leave, rather than following them out the door like a normal human would.

• Allegra's change of heart toward Nash deserves some scrutiny. Ever since she found out he was friends with her doppelganger, she's been giving him the cold shoulder. 

In this episode he gives her a magic ruby to protect her. When her evil cousin Esperanza tries to kill her, Allegra fires a blast of UV energy through the ruby and aims it at her head. Esperanza doubles over in pain, allowing Allegra to escape.

Later on, Allegra asks Nash what the ruby did to Esperanza. He says it forced her to relive her worst memory. Oddly enough she then gives Nash a slight smile, as she finally begins to tolerate him!
What the hell? Seems to me like finding she used the ruby to inadvertently hurt her cousin (even if she isn't a nice person) would make Allegra hate Nash even more!

• In the tag scene, Iris & Kamilla are still in Mirror STAR Labs. Iris detects a life sign inside Mirror Central City Hospital. She says that's where they'll find the real Singh. 

Eh, not so fast there, Iris. I don't think that's Singh!

Remember earlier in the episode when Carver was mortally wounded? He told Mirror Master that his wife died six years ago in the Particle Accelerator explosion. Then with his dying breath, he told her she's not even human.

I'm starting to suspect that wasn't just hyperbole on his part. I think Carver believes that Eva really did die in the explosion, and the one we've been seeing for the past eighteen months (OK, maybe it just seems that long) is a mirror clone who thinks she's the real thing.

I'm also thinking that Carver was only half right. Eva wasn't killed in the explosion, but we have been watching her clone all this time. I think the life sign Iris detected in the Mirror Hospital is actually the REAL Eva, who's been lying in a coma or something for the past six years.

Unfortunately we'll have to wait till next year to find out if I'm right! 

• Right after Iris discovers "Singh's" life signs, she doubles over in pain as her body becomes faceted and disappears.

So what the hell just happened? Did Eva pull Iris out of the Mirrorverse? Did her newfound control over the Mirrorverse allow her to teleport herself back to the real world? Does the Mirrorverse contain its own version of the Mirrorverse, and Iris was sucked into that? I honestly have no idea at this point. And it'll be months before we find out.

• Thanks, Covid-19! This is the first time in the history of the show that we've gotten a "To Be Continued" title card at the end of a season finale.

This Week's Best Lines:
Meh. Nothing again this week.
Related Posts with Thumbnails
Site Meter