Monday, November 6, 2017

Legends Of Tomorrow Season 3, Episode 4: Phone Home

Best. Legends Of Tomorrow. Ever!

Seriously, that was a damned fun hour of television. The first couple of episodes this season were a bit iffy, but this week's was a return to form for the series. I love the way it gleefully embraces its comic book roots, and all the Silver Age insanity that implies.

This week's episode is one big homage to the 1980s in general, and to E.T. The Extraterrestrial in particular. In fact the entire plot was pretty much lifted wholesale from E.T., as Young Ray Palmer finds a baby alien that everyone wants to get their hands on. Not that there's anything wrong with that! The episode took the basic framework of E.T. and tweaked it just enough to make it interesting.

Phone Home also gives us some insight into the perpetually upbeat Atom, as we see his self-described idyllic childhood wasn't quite as rosy as he remembers it. It also plants some pretty obvious seeds for an Atom/Zari relationship.

The only downside to the episode, which sets up the departure of Victor Garber as Professor Stein. He's gonna leave a HUGE hole in the series, that I'm not sure can be filled. 

Besides missing Garber as Stein, I'm a bit concerned with what his absence will mean for Firestorm. The character's unique in the comic world, as he's formed from two separate individuals who have to learn how to work as one in order to function.

If they come up with some lame technobabble way for Firestorm to exist just as Jefferson Jackson, then he's gonna be little more than a Human Torch knockoff. Hopefully they'll bring in a new half for Firestorm somehow.


The Plot:
We begin with Young Atom, aka Ray Palmer, running through the lab set of E.T. The Extraterrestrial, er, I mean a plastic-draped, makeshift research facility in Ivy Town in 1988. He's cornered by a couple of government agents, one of which is a young Agent Smith, last seen in the big Invasion crossover event. Young Ray makes a grab for Smith's keys, and the other agent shoots him dead (!). Holy crap!

Cut to the present day onboard the Waverider. Atom's trying to conduct a teambuilding exercise for the benefit of Zari, the newest Legend. Suddenly he winks out of existence. The Legends all wonder what the hell just happened, and Gideon helpfully states that Atom was killed on October 31st, 1988. So why's he just now disappearing? Because time travel never makes any sense.

White Canary orders Gideon to take them to October 30th, 1988 so they can prevent Atom's death. As soon as they arrive he reappears (since he hasn't been killed yet). Don't think about it too hard, or you'll get a headache. The Legends don period-appropriate clothing (as always) and set out to find who killed Atom and stop them.

The Legends split up into two-man teams and tail Young Ray. Atom and Zari scope out the school and watch Young Ray as he walks home. Atom seems excited to be back in 1988, which puzzles Zari, since, you know, his younger self is about to die. He tells her he always tries to see the bright side of any situation.

Heat Wave follows Young Ray to a newsstand, and is shocked to see him stealing candy bars. This greatly impresses Heat Wave, who says Young Ray actually had balls. Young Ray continues on his way, making it home safe and sound. The Legends all meet up across the street from Young Ray's house, and report nothing out of the ordinary. Canary says their presence must have spooked Young Ray's killer, and suggests they check the historical records to see if he's still alive after Halloween.

Atom feels something's off, and sneaks around the back of his old house. He peeks in the window, and sees his younger self offering candy to something under his bed. Suddenly a tiny, blubbery little shape crawls out and sits beside Young Ray. It's a baby Dominator the species that invaded Earth in 2016!

Back on the Waverider, Zari's amazed that aliens are real. The Legends explain to her that the Dominators are extremely dangerous. They're super strong, have advanced technology and worst of all, are telepathic. They can even take control of a subject's mind and make them do things against their will. Vixen wonders if an infant Dominator might be harmless, but Gideon says it somehow has all the strength and mind control powers of an adult of the species.

Believing the Dominator is what kills Young Ray, Canary says they need to get it away from him and send it back where it belongs. Atom says that should be easy, as all they have to do is wait until the next morning when his mom's at work and his younger self's at school, and they'll have the whole house to themselves.

Meanwhile, Jackson runs into Professor Stein in one of the Waverider's many spacious corridors. He asks where Stein was during the briefing, and the Professor nervously gives him a lame answer. Jackson accuses Stein of not wanting to be on the team anymore. The Professor denies this and walks off in a huff. Just then Heat Wave appears, and says he thinks he knows what the Professor's hiding.

Cut to the next day at Young Ray's house. Atom and Zari enter, and go to Young Ray's room. They find the baby Dominator hiding in the closet. Just as they're about to grab it, they hear Young Ray coming! Apparently he skipped school to stay home with his new alien pal! Atom's horrified by this turn of events— first his younger self shoplifts, now he's playing hooky!

Zari dives under the bed, and Atom does the only thing he can think of— he shrinks down to action figure size. Thinking he's a toy, the baby Dominator grabs Atom and starts playing with him. Young Ray enters and tells the alien, which he's named "Gumball," to stop playing with the figure and sets in on his desk. The two then start watching a videotape of Singin' In The Rain.

Steel and Vixen are staking out the house, disguised as Animal Control workers. Suddenly they spot Young Ray's mom unexpectedly pull into the driveway, in her wood-paneled station wagon. They radio Atom and Zari to warn them. Young Ray hears his mom coming, shuts off the TV and shoos Gumball back into the closet.

Mrs. Palmer enters the room and asks what the hell Young Ray's doing home. He lies and says he's sick. She doesn't believe him, and tells him he's going back to school immediately. This angers Gumball, who starts to open the closet door and attack her. Zari radios for someone to do something.

Steel and Vixen then ring the doorbell. Mrs. Palmer answers, and the two say they're with Animal Control. Steel shamelessly flirts with her, asking if there's a cougar on the premises (haw!). She lets them in, and for some reason starts venting with these two strangers about Young Ray, saying he's always bringing home stray animals. She says she wishes he'd make some real friends and stop being so... weird. Of course Young Ray accidentally hears all this and is heartbroken. He puts Gumball in his backpack— along with Action Figure-Sized Atom (who he still thinks is a toy) and runs away from home.

Zari chases Young Ray into the woods, telling him that he's in danger. She says if he's not careful, Gumball's going to lose his temper and kill him. He doesn't believe her of course, saying Gumball's his only friend. He takes off running again and Zari somehow loses him.

Meanwhile on the Waverider, Heat Wave meets with Jackson. He says he believes Stein is ratting out the Legends to the Time Bureau. Jackson doesn't believe it, but Heat Wave shows him that someone's been taking the Jump Ship out and then erasing the logs. So I guess Heat Wave's an expert in futuristic computer record-keeping procedures now?

Back in the woods, Agent Smith and another black suited government goon search for Gumball and Young Ray. Steel and Vixen see them and warn the others. Canary's also out looking for them, and runs into an adult Dominator who knocks her out.

Heat Wave and Jackson discover Stein's set up a secret lab in a spare storage room (!) on the Waverider. Jackson pokes around, and finds Stein's cobbled together a special time radio, one that can send and receive messages in any era. This would seem to confirm Heat Wave's suspicions.

Meanwhile, Zari finds Young Ray in a "fort" he built in the woods. She tells him again that he's in danger, but he still won't listen. She sees he's named his fort "Camelot," and tries talking to him as if she's an Arthurian character. She finally gains his trust, and just as he's about to come out of the fort, Smith and his goons attack. They knock out Zari and capture Young Ray and Gumball.

Cut to a makeshift government lab, which appears to be in a recreation center. Smith and the other agents have Gumball in restraints and under sedation. Smith tells the others to interrogate Young Ray, and then kill him when they're done (!).

Back on the Waverider, Jackson and Heat Wave confront Stein about his treachery, and sabotage the Jump Ship (!) so he can't use it again. He tells them they're way off, and says he's been using the Jump Ship to travel to 2017, where his daughter Lily's about to give birth. He made the time radio so she could contact him when she went into labor— which she just did. Whoops! Jackson and Heat Wave realize they've been idiots, and want to make it up to him. Unfortunately the Jump Ship's now unusable, so they decide to take the the Waverider to 2017 to make sure Stein's there for the birth of his grandchild. Sure, why not? It's not like there's a crisis going on there in 1988!

Canary wakes up in a cocoon spun by the Dominator Queen, who asks where her baby is. Canary says if she lets her go, she'll help her find Gumball. The Queen isn't having it, and simply reads Canary's mind. She sees an image of Young Ray's house, and lumbers off toward it.

In the rec center, Atom crawls out of the backpack, grows to normal size and rescues Zari (luckily all the agents must have been on break while he did this, as none of them are around). He tells Zari they have to find his younger self immediately, as the agents are preparing to kill him.

Cut to a replay of the cold open, as Young Ray's cornered by a Agent Smith and another government goon. Young Ray makes a grab for Smith's keys, and as the other agents starts to shoot, Atom appears and blasts them, saving his younger self. Canary frees herself from the cocoon and warns the others that the Dominator Queen is heading for Young Ray's house.

Steel goes to Young Ray's house, and Mrs. Palmer opens the door. She grabs Steel and throws him on the couch and violently seduces him, which seems a bit out of character. Right on cue, Vixen finds the REAL Mrs. Palmer cocooned in the woods. Good thing the Domiator Queen is considerate enough to simply incapacitate all these people instead of killing them!

Vixen bursts into Young Ray's house and does her best Ripley impression, telling Steel to get away from Mrs. Palmer. He has no idea what she's talking about, until the Dominator shows her true form. Vixen summons the power of a cougar (I see what they did there) and attacks. The two women fight, and for some reason Steel starts throwing record albums at the Queen. Yeah, that'll hurt her!

Canary plans to somehow lure the Queen into the Waverider's brig, until she finds a note pinned to a tree (?) saying Stein, Jackson and Heat Wave "borrowed" the ship.

In the rec center lab, Atom, Zari and Young Ray free Gumball from his restraints. Just then Agent Smith enters with his squad and orders them to halt. This angers Gumball, and Atom pleads with Smith to stop. Smith ignores him, and Gumball takes over the minds of the agents, forcing them to sing Good Morning from Singin' In The Rain.

Atom, Zari and Young Ray escape with Gumball. Zari spots some kids' bikes (which are sitting at the rec center's bike rack late at night for some reason) and says they can use those to get away. Steel and Vixen are running through the woods, with the Queen close behind them. Canary sighs and says she hopes everyone meets all at the same time.

Zari and Young Ray ride their bikes toward the woods, as Atom flies along behind. Zari worries they won't get to the rendezvous in time, so she slaps her amulet and uses her elemental powers to lift the bikes into the air, past an impossibly large moon. Meanwhile, Stephen Spielberg picks up his phone and makes a call to his attorneys.

All the groups manage to meet up in time, of course. The Queen appears and roars at the assembled Legends. Young Ray sets his backpack on the ground, and Gumball totters off. Gumball bids his new friend a tearful farewell, and then leaps into the waiting arms of his mother. They teleport away.

In 2017, Stein holds his grandson, saying he's glad he got to be there to witness his birth. Jackson apologizes for thinking he was betraying them. Heat Wave passes out cigars.

Back in 1988, Atom tells his mom she's doing a good job with Young Ray, and not to worry about him as he'll turn out OK. Zari says goodbye to Young Ray, and says he did the right thing by letting Gumball go. She assures him that things will get better, and then asks why he's not going Trick Or Treating. He says he can't, as he planned on going with Gumball.

Cut to Young Ray, dressed as the Atom, followed by the real Atom and the rest of the Legends in full costume— including Zari in her Isis getup! Er, I mean her superhero Isis getup, not a radical terrorist Isis getup. Young Ray's friends are suitably impressed that he has such cool friends. Heat Wave demands the kids hand over their candy... and their allowances.

Back on the Waverider, Atom and Zari bond, or rather bond again, since she already made a connection with his younger self back in 1988. She says she wants to watch Singin' In The Rain with him. As Atom fixes the popcorn, Jackson says he needs his help. He says Stein would obviously rather be with his real family, and wants Atom to help him "break up" 

• Professor Stein does this week's opening narration, which seems to be the same one Canary read last week. Enjoy his dulcet tones while you can, as sadly he's leaving the show soon.

• If you saw the end of last week's episode, you'll remember that Young Ray hid from some bullies in a storm drain and saw... something in the shadows.

The episode did its best too make it look like It and make us think he was meeting Pennywise in the sewer, but we now know he really found a baby Dominator. Which is just as bad, if not worse!

Oddly enough, this week's episode decides to skip any scenes of Young Ray sneaking the alien into his house, naming him, finding out what he eats, etc. I guess they realized we'd take all that for granted and just cut right to the two of them watching musicals together.

• This we learn that despite the fact that the Waverider contains an impossibly large interior, there's apparently only one bathroom.

• Young Ray's death was front page news in the Ivy Town Times on November 3rd, 1988. Vixen reads the article and says Young Ray went missing on October 31st, and his body was discovered two days later, which would be November 2nd. So his death really would make it into the newspaper on the 3rd. Nice attention to detail by the prop department!

Note that the article also mentions his "shaken" parents and older brother "Sydney." Atom mentions Sydney by name in the episode, even though we never see him. Or his father, for that matter. I'm assuming Dad must have split at some point, and maybe Sydney lives with him?

By the way, the boy version of the name is generally spelled "Sidney," not "Sydney."

One last thing about newspapers. As the Legends are tailing Young Ray in 1988, we see Professor Stein perusing a paper whose headline reads "Reagan Tears Down U.S. Embassy Over Listening Devices Found."

This was a real news story from late October 1988. The White House discovered that the U.S. Embassy in Russia was so riddled with listening devices that the only way to be rid of them was to tear down the building and put up a brand new one (!). 

The actual story ran in the New York Times on October 27, 1988. This particular scene takes place on October 30th, so it's possible that the Ivy Town Times didn't get around to covering it until then. So again, nice attention to detail here!

There's a slight problem with the headline though it says "Reagan Tears Down U.S. Embassy." The building wasn't destroyed on October 27th, that's just the date that Reagan made the decision to raze it. The actual demolition didn't happen until much later. Ah well. I'll go ahead and give 'em this one.

• According to this episode, Atom was eight years old in 1988. That would make him thirty seven in 2017. Actor Brandon Routh is currently thirty eight, so that's just about right!

• When Young Ray's killed in the past, Atom blinks out of existence in the present. The Legends then return to the day before his death, and he magically reappears (because he's not been killed yet). I doubt if that makes any temporal sense, but I have to admit it was kind of a cool idea.

For some reason, Zari's first exposure to time travel causes her to briefly speak French. Odd that none of the other Legends suffer any side effects from the trip. I seem to remember way back in the pilot, Rip Hunter said they might experience some odd effects as a result of time travel. Maybe the other Legends have done it so much at this point that they've built up a tolerance to it?

• As usual, whenever the Legends travel to the past, they try their best to blend in with the times. I'm guessing Jackson's attempting to look like LL Cool J?

And of course Canary's opted for the Madonna "Material Girl" look.

• The Legends tail Young Ray in 1988 to protect him, as well as figure out who's trying to kill him. Honestly, their blatant and obvious attempts at "surveillance" make them look far more suspicious than an potential killer. 
I'm surprised no one saw them and called the cops!

• Man, Legends Of Tomorrow sure lovvvvvves its Back To The Future references. This week, Steel keeps an eye on Young Ray while waxing a DeLorean in a driveway. A couple things here:

First of all, whose house is this, and who owns the car? Did Steel see a DeLorean parked in a driveway along Young Ray's route, and decide to "blend in" with the neighborhood by waxing it?

Secondly, can you even wax a DeLorean? The body's not painted, it's made of bare aluminum!

• At one point Atom spies on his younger self through his bedroom window. Note that since Young Ray's eight years old, he has dinosaur curtains in his room. Maybe it's just a coincidence, but that T-rex skull on the curtains look a lot like the Jurassic Park logo. That's a problem, since that movie wasn't a thing until 1993.

It could just be a case of there being a limited number of ways to draw a T-rex skull.

• Atom and Zari sneak into Young Ray's house to capture Gumball. Zari, who's from the future, marvels at all the 1988 artifacts in the house. At one point she picks up a record album and asks, "Hey, who's Billy Jo-EL?" 

Really? Somehow she thinks the very common name of "Joel" is pronounced like a Kryptonian moniker? She's supposed to be a computer hacker, so she can't be that illiterate. I guess they don't have Hooked On Phonics in 2042.

• Kudos to actor Jack Fisher, who did a great job as Young Ray Palmer. He's one of the few child actors I've seen who's not immediately annoying, and he actually looks like a young Brandon Routh.

• Props as well to the Legends effects team that created Gumball. Somehow they managed to take a horrifying Dominator and make it look cute. The CGI was pretty darned good as well, especially for a TV budget!

• Here's something you don't see every day: nitpicking a show within a show!

Young Ray puts in a tape and watches Singin' In The Rain with Gumball. A couple of things here:

First of all, the tape doesn't start at the beginning, but appears to be cued up to the Good Morning song and dance number. This isn't necessarily a mistake, as it may be Young Ray's favorite song, and he likes hearing it. Or it means Young Ray isn't kind, and doesn't rewind.

Secondly, the lyrics go: 

Danny Kaye: "It's 1:30 already. It's morning!"
Debbie Reynolds: "Yes. And what a lovely morning!"
Danny Kaye: "Good morning."
Debbie Reynolds: "Good morning."
Gene Kelly: "We've talked the whole night through."
Debbie Reynolds: "Good Morning."
Danny Kaye: "Good Morning."
Gene Kelly: "To you!"

I dunno how things work in musical land, but around these parts 1:30 am is not the morning, or the whole night through. Heck, that's usually bedtime for me!

• This week we learn that Ray Palmer's middle name is Carson.

• When the Legends find out Young Ray's harboring a baby Dominator, Zari's completely amazed to find out that aliens are real. Uh... that doesn't make any sense. Zari's from the year 2042, so the fact that extraterrestrials invaded Earth in 2016 should be old news to her. Plus, she looks like she's in her early thirties, which means she was alive in 2016 when the Invasion happened! 

Maybe in in the dystopian world of 2042, the government did a really good job of covering up knowledge of the Invasion?

• Gideon notes that Gumball's a danger to Young Ray, as an infant Dominator has the same strength as the adult, but with "none of its discretion." That doesn't seem right. How the hell can a baby be as strong as a full grown adult?

• I really loved the scene in which Steel dresses as an animal control worker and asks the very hot Mrs. Palmer, "Is there a cougar on the premises?" I laughed harder at that line than I have at anything all year.

On a related note, later in the episode, the Dominator Queen disguises itself as Mrs. Palmer and tries to seduce Steel. Vixen enters and fights the Queen by summoning the power of... a cougar! Someone's having a lot of fun creating this show!

• If Agent Smith looks familiar to you, that's because he was in the big Invasion crossover last year. In those episodes, he first encountered the Dominators in 1951 (where he was played by actor Jacob Richter) and later in 2016 (where he was played by Donnelly Rhodes).

Amazingly, the Smith seen here in 1988 looks EXACTLY like the version we saw in 1951, despite the fact he's thirty seven years older. I guess he's got really good genes! Methinks someone's math is off somewhere.

• When Agent Smith and his lackey are searching the woods for Gumball, they use what sounds like a Geiger counter, which crackles up a storm. Holy crap! Is Gumball radioactive?

• I know I keep bringing up the size of the Waverider each week, but it just fascinates me. In this episode Jackson discovers Professor Stein has converted one of the Waverider's spare storage rooms into a lab. A SPARE storage room! On a ship a bit larger than the average sized house! I'm tellin' ya, this thing's bigger on the inside than the outside!

• Writing logical, cohesive time travel stories that make sense is hard. Always has been, always will be. This episode proves that in spades. 

For example, Heat Wave sabotages the Jump Ship because he thinks Professor Stein's been using it to travel to 2017 and sell out the Legends to the Time Bureau. Of course that's wrong, as Stein's really been using it to visit his pregnant daughter, who just went into labor. Since Heat Wave broke the Jump Ship, he and Jackson decide to borrow the Waverider  so Stein can witness the birth of his grandson.

The three men act like they've got to leave immediately or they'll miss the birth. What the hell's their hurry? They have a TIME SHIP! So what if Stein's stuck in 1988 while his daughter's in labor in 2017? It doesn't matter! He can travel to the exact moment she gives birth any time he wants. Even if he somehow did miss the event, he could just go back in time and still see it. See what I mean?

There's also no reason to take the Waverider in the middle of the crisis either. Jackson can spend as much time as he needs to fix the damage Heat Wave caused to the Jump Ship, and then Stein can simply set its coordinates for an hour before Lily gives birth! He can NEVER miss the blessed event as long as he's got a time machine at his disposal.

The episode treats his grandson's birth like it's happening at the same time as the 1988 events in this episode, but that's simply not true. It's all done for drama and story purposes of course, and they blow over it so quickly that it takes a while to realize something's not quite right.

• Atom and Zari infiltrate the government lab to rescue Young Ray and Gumball. Suddenly a government agent grabs Zari and injects her with a knockout drug. It must be potent stuff, because she goes out like a light before he even sticks the needle in her neck!

• There's an Asian scientist on Smith's team who sports a hairstyle that is most definitely not from 1988.

• I think a smiling Dominator may be even more horrifying than a snarling one.

• Although this episode is all about the 1980s, it's primarily a big love letter to E.T. The Extraterrestrial, featuring tons of references to the film. Here are the ones I noticed (and it's possible there were even more):

In E.T., Elliot sneaks into a government research lab draped with plastic sheeting, in order to rescue his alien friend. 
In Phone Home, Young Ray enters a similar facility to rescue his alien pal Gumball.

Elliot and his siblings are being raised by their mom, as their dad is nowhere to be seen. 
Young Ray's also being raised by a single mother.

E.T. features a scene that takes place on Halloween, as Elliot and E.T. go trick or treating. 
Phone Home takes place around and on Halloween as well.

Elliot hides E.T. in his bedroom. When his mom unexpectedly enters the room and opens the closet, E.T. freezes and pretends to be a stuffed animal.
When Atom and Zari enter Young Ray's room and open the closet, Gumball freezes and pretends to be a stuffed animal.

Then there's the big bike scene. Elliot and his friends jump on their bikes and try to get E.T. back to his spaceship before it takes off. When they're menaced by government agents, E.T. uses his magic space powers to cause the kids' bikes to fly through the air, and touch down at the UFO landing site.
Here Young Ray, Atom and Zari are trying to reunite Gumball with his mother. Young Ray and Zari hop on a couple of bikes, and Zari uses her elemental powers to lift them in the air.

Seriously, the bike scenes here are pretty much identical to the ones in E.T. Same shots, same camera angles, everything. It's actually pretty impressive. Someone spent a lot of time replicating these scenes! Hopefully Universal Studios won't sue them too badly.

And of course there's the ending, in which Elliot says a tearful goodbye to E.T.
Young Ray does the same, giving up his only friend Gumball for his own good.

• Since this episode's set in 1988, we see a bunch of kids in 80s appropriate Halloween costumes. That's a kid dressed as Pee-wee Herman on the right. And is that Catwoman in the center?

There's also a kid dressed as a Rubik's Cube...

And even Michael Jackson (note the barely visible white glove on his right hand). That looks like Pee-wee again behind him, with an Obi-Wan on the left.

• At the end of the episode, Young Ray's "friends" Gus and Ty show up dressed as a pair of spooky skeletons.

I'm wondering if their costumes are supposed to be an homage to this? Which would be unfortunate, since it totally wasn't a thing in 1988. Maybe it's just a coincidence, and Gus & Ty are supposed to be generic skeletons.

• Before the Legends leave 1988, they decide to help out Young Ray one last time. They suit up in their superhero costumes (some of which we've not seen in forever!) and go trick or treating with him.

Note that even Zari's in costume, wearing a getup very much like the one her Saturday morning inspiration Isis wore in the 1970s! It's not exact, but it's fairly close. Get a good look at this costume though, because you're likely never going to see it again!

• This is some really hardcore nitpicking, but whatever. Back in 2017, we see Professor Stein got to see the birth of his grandson after all. Note that on the wall behind him, there's an engraved nameplate reading "Lily Stein." 

Really? An engraved nameplate? Not just a piece of paper with her name scribbled on it? What kind of fancy hospital goes to the trouble and expense of engraving nameplates for patients that are only gonna be in a room for one or two days?

• Lily names her baby "Ronnie." That's of course an homage to Ronnie Raymond, the original half of Firestorm. Does Lily know about him? And if she does, so what? He was important to her father, but what's he to her? She never even met him, as far as we know.

• This Week's Best Lines:
Zari: (to the assembled Legends) "Besides, I've already have you all figured out. The old guy wants to be anywhere but on this ship. These two (Steel and Vixen) have some will-they-won't-they thing going on. Rory's been drunk since breakfast. Jax is wondering if I'm single. And your ship's still mad at me for doing a teeny hack on her subsystems. Now, what's this about one bathroom?

Steel: (after Atom's wiped out of existence) "Wait, Ray's dead?"
Heat Wave: (who was participating in a "trust fall" when Atom disappeard) "He better be."

Zari: "So you're always this positive, even when you're dead? How can you pretend like everything's okay?"
Atom: "I'm not pretending. I believe it. I found that if I can trust in myself, I can believe everything's okay, and it usually is. It's called positive thinking. Give it a shot."
Zari: "Is he for real?"
(I've noticed Atom's "positive thinking" trait seems to become more exaggerated with each passing season)

Atom: (spotting his younger self coming out of school) "Wow, there I am!" 
Young Atom: "Thanks for the pop quiz, Mrs. Garvin. It really reinforced some fundamentals." 
Zari: "Yeah, that's definitely you."
(I love that "fundamentals" line! Only Atom would think to thank a teacher for testing him!)

Atom: (entering his childhood house) "Home, sweet home. Wait."
Zari: "What? What is it?"
Atom: "No shoes on the carpet. I guess I can probably let go of that now."

Canary: (monitoring Young Atom's bedroom) "Is that music?"
Atom: "Yeah, 'Singin' in the Rain.' Only the best musical ever."
Heat Wave: "Not as good as "Fiddler on the Roof."
(Canary and Stein turn to gape at him)

Steel: (to Atom over the comm) "Do you anyone who owns a green station wagon with fake wood paneling?"
Atom: "What's my mom doing home?"
Steel: "Dude, you never mentioned your mom was hot!"
Atom: (horrified) "Why would I ever mention that?"

Dominator Queen: "You know what I'm looking for."
Canary: "A breath mint? Dermatologist recommendation? Reese's Pieces?"
Dominator Queen: "Grrrrr..."
Canary: "Oh, right, your kid."

Vixen: (to the Dominator Queen disguised as Atom's mom) "Get away from him, you bitch!"
(apparently Vixen, who's from the 1940s, has been catching up on her film knowledge)

Steel: "Oh, my God. I kissed a Dominator. And I liked it."

Steel: (after Gumball's reunited with his mom) "I'm not crying. I just have, uh, alien goo in my eye."
Canary: "Yeah, me too."
Steel: "Now I'm gonna go brush my teeth forever."
Atom: "Wait, why?"

Heat Wave: (passing out cigars after seeing Stein's newborn grandson) "I thought we should celebrate."
Stein: "Oh."
Heat Wave: "One for you. (hands cigar to Jackson). One for you. (hands cigar to Stein).
Stein: "Thank you."
Heat Wave: "And one for you. (hands a cigar to the baby)"
Jackson: "Man, dude, come on, man. Not the baby!"

Zari: (looking at Halloween candy) "You know, in my time, the FDA outlawed all this."
Atom: "Guess they got my letters."
(again, only the straight-laced Atom would try to get candy outlawed!)


  1. There's at least one more person who was in the Firestorm matrix whom they haven't yet introducted in this show: Gehenna, who was Jason's girlfriend (before being turned to salt by the black lantern Firestorm). So they could bring her in to the mix without having to do anything too novel.

  2. Yeah, the character's gone through massive changes over the years. Seems like I remember I time in the 90s when Firestorm was part Ronnie Raymond, and part some Russian guy.

  3. I totally forgot about the Russian guy! So yeah, they've got options. It's a pity to lose Stein, but it's not without precedent.

  4. I hate to lose Stein too, but I hope they do replace him with somebody. Having two people make up Firestorm is what makes the character unique in superherodom. If they somehow split him up so he's just Jackson, that's gonna ruin the character, IMO. He'll just be another run of the mill superhero with fire powers.


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