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Jessica Jones and Hunter: the Vigil




Greetings, readers of the Fandomentals. The topic of today’s article is fairly specific – I would like to explain why I think the Netflix show Jessica Jones, which my fellow writers have gone over in detail, is a great, unintentional companion to Hunter: the Vigil, a tabletop RPG in the Chronicles of Darkness system. I have described it once, but looking back, I think I should have included more specific examples of what playing is like. I will try to remedy that now.

Hunter or superhero?

Now, I can hear you asking – “But Michał, doesn’t  Jessica have superpowers? And Luke as well? How do they compare to mortal hunters?” That is true, which is why I want to focus on the atmosphere and experience, not direct parallels between the two. Jessica Jones and Hunter: the Vigil present two different worlds, but they evoke some very similar emotions.

Jessica is strong enough to lift a car and throw someone twice her body mass across a room. But it doesn’t really help her against Kilgrave’s mind control. She’s as vulnerable to it as a regular person. Same with Luke, despite his physical near-invulnerability. Jessica’s other allies (loosely speaking…), Trish and Will Simpson, are entirely normal people (maybe not entirely, in Simpson’s case), who can’t resist Kilgrave’s voice either.

Thus, trying to capture and detain Kilgrave becomes a paranoid mind-game. The protagonists must outthink and outmaneuver a man whose power they can’t resist directly. A direct approach is impossible, because as soon as Kilgrave is close, he can take total control of them.

They must also contend with the fact that anyone they meet could be Kilgrave’s slave. A breakthrough occurs when Jessica discovers that Kilgrave’s powers cease to function when he’s under anesthesia. Which includes releasing his victims from his control. However, Kilgrave manages to stay one step ahead… by hiring guards, instead of mind-controlling them. They save him after Jessica drugs him, since their motivation is money, rather than control.

Once we take out the name “Kilgrave”, what I just described may well be… a Hunter: the Vigil chronicle, where a lone cell opposes a powerful vampire with mind-control powers. I say vampire, because of all the different supernatural beings that populate the Chronicles, it’s the Kindred who have the most direct and convenient methods of mind control. They’re also perhaps the best-known.

The monster

Mages, mummies or demons can have similar powers, or greater ones, but they operate on a level no mortal human could even approach. Demons and mummies are also psychologically detached from humanity. Demons were never human to begin with, while mummies were human millennia ago and are now undying demigods. And the reason Kilgrave is so viscerally repulsive to the audience is that his evil is so human and close to home. A Mage’s motives remain human, unless they slide down some darker paths. But their power and innate traits render Sleepers (that is, regular humans) completely helpless.

If we go by Vampire: the Requiem rules, a vampire has one power to instantly control someone – the Dominate discipline. It has some restrictions Kilgrave’s power doesn’t have. For one thing, it requires eye contact, and a vampire can only issue orders to one person at a time. More importantly, in a combat scenario, using the power is an action, and giving the order is a separate action. If the victim has friends, this gives them crucial time to act.

This is significantly less versatile than Kilgrave’s ability to walk into a room and instantly bend everyone there to his whims. Of course, if someone is alone with the vampire, the difference lessens. If they’re among other people, it’s still not necessarily a problem, as the use of Dominate is subtle. Most humans, ignorant of the existence of the supernatural, will not notice it. Under certain circumstances, other vampires, supernatural beings and hunters can fail to notice this as well.

Controlling many people at a time can be accomplished with the Majesty discipline, which is a more subtle form of control. Instead of breaking someone’s mind like a toy, the vampire radiates irresistible charisma. They can walk into a party uninvited, splattered in blood, and everyone will just shrug it off. Once someone falls to their charm, they can twist their infatuation in powerful ways. A vampire with Dominate and Majesty is a terrifying puppet-master – and thankfully a rare one. Dominate and Majesty can be resisted every time they’re used, unlike Kilgrave’s power, but the odds are heavily stacked towards the user, particularly if the victim is a mortal. That being said, supernatural beings are also very susceptible to them; they have more tools to resist it. More importantly, they’re more aware of their existence so they have the potential to be better prepared.

That being said, a Storyteller (Dungeon Master) is under no compulsion to use rules from other games in the series. Hunter: the Vigil includes Dread Powers, which is a toolbox the Storyteller can use to create their own supernatural beings and creatures. Their main purpose is, of course, to allow Storytellers to run games without purchasing all of the other source books and expansions. But even if someone has them, we often want to create our own denizens of the Chronicles’ deep shadows, without shackling ourselves to other rulesets. For example: if we want to create a terrifying mind-controller who isn’t a vampire, mage or another established supernatural entity, we can do that.

Kilgrave is, after all, physically a human – and not an imposing one at that. It wouldn’t take much of Jessica’s strength to overpower him. Vampires, however, are undying predators, and even those who doesn’t focus on physical prowess are shockingly resilient. Additionally, Kilgrave’s only ability is his mind-control, whereas any member of a supernatural group within the Chronicle games have many others at their disposal.

Using Dread Powers to create someone whose mind control goes beyond even vampiric domination, but who is otherwise physically human, would be very simple. In the end, Kilgrave is an antagonist, while characters created with the main books of the game are protagonists. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re heroic by any measure, just that their powers have a different structure.

And against him is… a private investigator who was once his victim, a popular radio host with a connection to the private eye, a policeman who is clearly more than just a beat cop, and an invulnerable ex-con bartender. That’s a first-tier hunter cell if I ever saw one. And like I said before, the methods they use strikingly remind me of hunters. They avoid direct confrontation, where Kilgrave can overpower them easily. Once they find his weakness, they ruthlessly exploit it. They risk conflict with law enforcement to attack him. All of it costs them physical, emotional and mental damage, and they come into conflict with one another.

I should note that when I say “first-tier”, I mean hunters who operate on their own, on a local level and without the support of any larger group. They also don’t have access to any special equipment or powers that hunter conspiracies typically provide their members. Which, again, might seem to clash with the fact that Jessica and Luke do have superpowers. Despite all of that, the mood and structure of Jessica’s struggle against Kilgrave is quite reminiscent of a first-tier Hunter game.

The victims

Still, that’s the major dramatis personae. What about the world around them? In Hunter: the Vigil, mortals are ignorant of the supernatural. Or rather, they are aware of its existence on some level, but most simply repress it, rationalize it away or just outright deny it. There’s a supernatural energy pervading this world that makes them forget. Many magic beings have traits that more actively obfuscate them – it’s literally impossible for a Sleeper to remember seeing a display of Supernal magic, for instance. Vampires, if we’re sticking with treating Kilgrave as one, notably do not have such traits, which means they must take more active measures to keep their existence secret.

In Jessica Jones, it’s clear that people do know superpowers exist. The series takes place in the same universe as Marvel’s superhero movies, meaning everyone saw aliens, gods and superheroes tear New York City apart. Nonetheless, most people don’t believe in Kilgrave’s mind control.

It’s not quite the same situation as it is in Hunter: the Vigil, though. People who witness Kilgrave in action generally believe it. He very rarely displays any sort of subtlety. And when his victims come together to recount their experiences, they remember them clearly. Still, how many of them had spent years wondering if they had simply gone insane? How many were blamed for people who only saw mind control as a ridiculous excuse? Particularly since when Trish puts out a call for Kilgrave’s victims to come forward, there are those who try to blame him for their misdeeds, or are simply mistaken.

So even though there’s no overreaching conspiracy, or innate energy that makes people forget, the sense of isolation that hunters, and monsters’ victims (categories with significant overlap), feel is still present in Jessica Jones to a degree. Jessica doesn’t find much solace in the support group for Kilgrave’s victims. Her reasons are her own, of course, but it is a bit reminiscent of the isolation hunters feel from other mortal humans.

Jessica’s reluctance to be a hero, even though she has superpowers, isn’t particularly relatable to Hunter. The player characters of Hunter: the Vigil are mortal humans who either chose or were forced to stop ignoring the truth about the world around them. They take up the Vigil, which is a dangerous obsession to do something about it. Jessica has her share of struggles with the concept of heroism and eventually decides to act against Kilgrave, even though her first instinct was to run. But it’s not really the same thing.

In the end, Jessica makes sure Kilgrave won’t destroy another life, but it’s hardly a happy ending or heroic victory. Which is also true for most successful Hunter: the Vigil campaigns. Hunters can eliminate a monster that preys on people, but the toll on them is considerable. That’s if they don’t simply act in their own interest, or become fanatics who attack any supernatural being, no matter how innocent. Which brings the parallel to an end. I hope that, by drawing a similarity between the show and the game, I managed to help you understand what playing Hunter: the Vigil might be like, using a seemingly unlikely source.

Images Courtesy of Netflix and White Wolf

Michał is a natural meddler, driven to take fiction apart and see how it works. In The Fandomentals, he examines fantasy and gaming with a critical, and somewhat cranky, eye.



Black Lightning Episode 1-5 In Review





Black Lightning, Anissa, and Jennifer with the phrase Get Lit

This week, Black Lightning is on a hiatus so here are some thoughts on the show so far. New episodes return next week.

As a whole, Black Lightning is one of my favorite shows on TV right now, and of the 381 (I have a list) shows I’ve watched in my 24 years. It does so many things well, and what I don’t like is situated in a very specific context. For example, I love how the show hammers home that there are consequences to everything.

Consequences and Bad Guys

Last week’s episode ended with Jefferson as Black Lightning knocked out in the water when his suit gave him problems in a fight with Joey Toledo, Tobias’ right hand man. It was a bleak moment, but highlights how everything feels grounded! From the fights between Jefferson and various baddies, the deaths we’ve seen, and to Tobias doing anything, nothing is cartoonish. There are consequences to actions.

Sure dropping a lackey into a tank of piranhas is a bit much…but Tobias is terrible and terrifying and his traumatic childhood is not used as an excuse for his current actions. Rather they situate Tobias and Tori as adults (whose ages we don’t actually know) trying to control their world. I wonder if Tori has her own crime syndicate in Miami? Oh hey, that would be a cool webseries…

The dedication to showing consequences of people’s actions does have me worried with the portrayal of Khalil’s future arc. I understand the impetus behind his arc. Unless the writers flip the script, it’ll highlight how easy it is for people like Tobias and his lackeys to prey on young men without other options.

And I do not mean to simplify the many reasons why a young man may choose to deal drugs or why there is violence across so many American cities. But Khalil’s existence now for Tobias is as a scapegoat to turn BL into the bad guy. Again, disability in DCTV is merely a plot point for villains or temporary.

On the flip side, Anissa as an out and proud activist lesbian is awesome!

Ladies Loving Ladies

Once the season ends, I’ll write a full length piece on Anissa, Chenoa, and Grace. Even with only three episodes to really pull from, the writers established a lot about Anissa and Freeland. We saw in week 2 how she had a key for Chenoa’s place, and her parents knew her name, but that’s as far as that one year relationship had gone. Their sex was mindblowing, sure (which how incredible to finally see two Black woman make love as an affirmative thing), but Anissa wasn’t committed to Chenoa. Understandably she was pissed at the Ruby Red Lipstick Bar (I love that Freeland has a lesbian bar) and said some hurtful things to Anissa.

I wish we had (or maybe we will) seen Chenoa one last time, but the moment Anissa laid eyes on Grace, it was pretty clear we were getting the slow-burn there. And this is what’s so great about the show, by five episodes both Anissa and Grace have been affirmatively labeled by the show as a lesbian and bisexual woman. No need to assume and no need for obnoxious fandom labeling conversations.

However, with Grace as a super recurring character, who knows when we’ll see Chantal Thuy next and how she’ll factor into the next portion of Anissa’s development into Thunder. And if she receives a series regular promotion, whether or not she joins the Pierce family+Gambi shenanigans.

Pierce Family Passion

I LOVE ONE FAMILY. Look, representation is not revolutionary and won’t meet any of our material needs on a global scale. Instead, representation is required and our media should look like us. But I’d be remiss to say that centering a show on a Black man who loves his family isn’t a huge freaking deal!!!

Specifically because of the racist sentiment that Black fathers aren’t around for their kids. This doesn’t consider that a) 1.5 million Black men are “missing” or b) the Black men that are fathers, they are the most involved with their children of any other group of dads!

So watching Cress Williams as Jefferson Pierce, completely in love with his ex-wife and two daughters is stunning and I am so glad the show is about the Pierce family now instead of Jefferson years ago. Their passion for their home and each other is one of the bigger successes of the show.

(Though I’d love a flashback of him first realizing his powers since it would have been in response to a very emotional moment).

Grandpa Gambi

Who is he? We know he and Alvin Pierce were super close, he’s Jefferson’s surrogate father, and from an interview that the girls think of him as a grandpa. Yet we’ve only seen him interact with JefferLynn and Tobias! And he knows Tori? I want to know everything about him and really hope the next eight episodes reveal more. As the only white guy the writers invite us to care about, Gambi is important. He’s got this amazing boutique and clearly knows his technology. (Is he making Anissa’s outfit?)

But he’s hiding more than Tobias from Jefferson, like what I assume is his understanding that Anissa was on camera in episode 3. Likely more secrets related to Alvin Pierce too. Plus just how does he afford all his tech? The show is so good with details that it seems suspect we’ve yet to see more of that aspect…

Otherwise, Gambi is a really interesting lens into the show’s statements about so many issues.

Political Statements

The show has effectively made multiple statements not just about police brutality, drugs, or violence. Even the brief mention of the Tuskeegee experiments is significant with Greenlight and its entry into Freeland. I think its usage of Gambi as BL’s greatest champion as a hero pulled out of “retirement” as compared to Anissa and soon Jennifer’s journeys is really compelling.

I honestly don’t have the expertise to write a lengthy piece on the show’s usage of Malcolm X, MLK Jr, or others like Harriet Tubman but I think Anissa’s Malcolm vs. Jefferson’s MLK Jr. vs Black Lightning’s Malcolm is clear just from the show’s dialogue.

The scene between Anissa, her parents, and the Henderson’s is a great example. Is Black Lightning a vigilante who is hurting the police attempt’s to fight the 100 gang or everything else? (How is Henderson actually feeling about his inability to stop the 100 gang long-term?) Or is he stepping in where no one else will and making a difference? Does nonviolence actually work, or nah? How do we meet the material needs of oppressed groups, here black people?

The latter questions are debated at length and I don’t think Black Lightning is trying to conclusively answer them. Though the former two are definitely at the core of the show.

The same goes for the writers’ strong use of religious imagery in implicit and explicit ways.

Book of Black Lightning

Abrahamic religion and their prophets are explicitly referenced from the episode titles to the show dialogue. Abrahamic religion is a huge part of the show. The titles all tell a story, even the non “Book of” titles like “Resurrection” and “Black Jesus” have their own. We even saw a Methodist church for Lawanda’s funeral! It makes sense because the Akils are actually Muslim. I hope we get some Black Muslims too in the show.

Jefferson is Black Jesus (resurrection), then Black Lightning is Moses (the latter was reluctant at first to lead). Obviously Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have differences in their telling of Moses’ story but it’s pretty apparent what’s happening here. Lady Eve is Pharaoh and I’m not quite sure on who Tobias is yet, but I’ll figure it out by season’s end when I’ll write a long article about everything else we get this season.

Last Thoughts

  • When will Syonide get to talk extensively? One Syonide in the comics has a girlfriend and I would love to see the show’s take on that.
  • Someone find the scripts for me because each episode feels like it’s cramming a usual script and a half’s worth of stuff into one 45 minute episode.
  • I hope this show doesn’t get 22 episodes this fall. I find it works better as a short season show.

What do y’all want answers to or have thoughts on? Next week, the show returns to Jefferson looking for Alvin’s murderer and so much more.

Image courtesy of The CW

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Rise and Fall: The Chi’s “Penetrate a Fraud” Is Joy, Heartbreak, and Fear





Welcome back to Lena Waithe’s The Chi, where this week we see some characters start to rise from pain while others fall all the way into it.

Ronnie, never able to escape this corner.

Let’s start with Brandon, who hit a low point last week when Jerrika showed up to the block party with another guy. Then Brandon confronted Ronnie, telling him he hopes Coogie’s murder haunts him for the rest of his life before walking alone into the darkness. This week, things are looking a little better for our tender-hearted guy. A big reason for that is Sarah, his boss’s wife/all-around manager of things at the restaurant. There is a serious mutual crush happening, and in this episode she gives him an opportunity to prove himself: he’s going to be in charge of the food for a very large and fancy wedding anniversary catering gig. He pulls it off without a hitch and Sarah thanks him, saying the restaurant isn’t doing as well as everyone thinks and they really needed a good night like this one.

Side note, my parents ran a restaurant for more than 10 years, and it is so true that even popular upscale places are in a constant struggle to keep their heads above water. It is a very unforgiving industry, and this little corner of the storyline hit home for me. Plus, my mom was the Sarah, basically doing every little thing and never stopping, so I appreciate her as a character.

Anyway, the other immediate event in Brandon’s world is the revelation that his mother and Greavy got married at the courthouse without telling him. They’re planning a backyard barbecue celebration that night and were hoping he could do some of the food. Brandon is angry, still resentful of Greavy, and storms off. But Greavy goes after him and is a little softer toward him, saying that it would mean a lot to his mother if he were there, and also that he’ll do right by her.

In the end, Brandon, high off of a successful night that will likely mean a lot to his career, takes Sarah and the leftover catering food to his mom’s house. The joy Laverne feels that her son shows up is such a perfect illustration of how much mothers love their children. Brandon ends up making a really nice speech about the new couple, and it’s nice to see everyone in that string-lights-and-Heineken-filled backyard so full of smiles. Oh and then Brandon and Sarah kiss, so, that will be interesting next week.

!!!! This won’t end well but in the meantime, I’m happy for them.

Meanwhile, some other mothers are having an unexpectedly great day of their own. Ethel takes Jada to get their nails done as a thank you for patching up Ronnie’s gunshot wound/saving his life. They end up bonding and we learn that Jada has not been prioritizing dating or her sexual needs, since she has approximately 100 million other things on her plate. But after her conversation with Ethel, Jada comes home to an empty house, lights candles along the edge of the bathtub, and masturbates with the shower head. I am so here for Jada taking care of herself. Also I will always associate showerhead masturbation with that scene in The Runaways where Joan Jett—aka a still-not-publicly-out Kristin Stewart—tells her bandmate to think of Farrah Fawcett in order to get off. Iconic.


The reason Jada came home to an empty house is that Emmett has been extremely busy with his and Amir’s burgeoning shoe business. Amir “borrows” $5,000 from his uncle Habib, and he and Emmett follow a tip Emmett got about some rich white person who wanted to unload a shoe collection. Turns out it’s a day-drinking divorcee who wants to sell her husband’s garage full of sneakers. The two jump on it, thinking they’ve scored the shoes for half, if not less, of what they’re worth.

Emmett gets to work putting the word out to his network of sneakerheads and sets up the van full of shoes in an underpass, where he sells almost all of them. Until one guy rolls up, looks at the shoes, and tells Emmett they’re knockoffs (something to do with SKU numbers). Then he accuses Emmett of “penetrating a crime” on him and pulls a gun on him and Emmett Jr., who is in his arms. Emmett Jr. basically never stops crying; is that what real babies are like? Anyway, luckily the guy doesn’t actually shoot but Emmett is sufficiently freaked out. It remains to be seen how this will unfold with the “business partnership.”

As we continue down our path of characters’ best days to worst days, Ronnie is still halfway dead, stumbling around town bleeding through his clothes. He goes back to Common’s mosque, where he is told he’ll be welcome to come in and talk, but despite looking tempted, he doesn’t do it—yet. Ronnie is also trying to find someone who will unlock Jason’s phone. He finds Jason’s girlfriend. Ronnie didn’t know he had a girlfriend, or that she is pregnant, or that Jason knew she was pregnant and so did Tracey. Or that Tracey didn’t want Jason to see her, or that Jason wanted to quit basketball. There was a lot Ronnie didn’t know, but Jason’s girlfriend unlocked the phone for him, so now he can look through pictures.

But guess who else wants to look at the phone: Detective Cruz. He brings Ronnie in for questioning, and backhandedly proposes they help each other: Cruz won’t push too hard to pin Coogie’s murder to Ronnie, and Ronnie will give Cruz Jason’s phone. I guess so he can figure out what happened and get back in the department’s good graces before anyone exposes the fact that he’s the reason Ronnie knew about Coogie having robbed Jason’s body. Cruz doesn’t seem to find much on the phone—mostly a lot of selfies—but he sees that the last call made was to 911. So that’s interesting.

Lastly, we have the boiling-point tensions between Trice, Reg, and their crew and Q and his. Q stole Trice’s dog (the same one Coogie used to feed) and has been taunting him with her for weeks. Now, he uses her as a distraction, taunting Trice into conversation while Q’s two guys sneak into the house to see what Reg, Trice, and co. have in there. Trice tells Q to go back to Cuba, so we now know where he was before coming back to Chicago. Q points out to Trice that he never got back to him about who might have killed Jason and why. He’s clearly hung up on something with Tracey; maybe he’s Jason’s real father? I don’t know.

Regardless, Q’s guys report back on the specific kinds of military guns Reg and co. stole a lot of last week. And at the end of the episode, the three of them straight-up kill everyone in the house and steal the guns. I don’t know if Trice or Reg were there, but I’m concerned for Jake?!?!

I-miss-my-dog face.

That’s it for this week, let’s hope next week we get to see the kids and the lesbians again, because I miss them and this episode ended on an extremely dark note.

Images from The Chi Courtesy of Showtime

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Legends of Tomorrow Gets Stuck in a Time Loop






Starting off intensely, we see Zari racing against time to get Gideon to execute some simulation program that she wants to keep a secret from the team. Things don’t go as planned because the Legends come back from a mission that involved Napoleon Bonaparte and disco clothing. While Nate and Amaya leave the bridge to discuss the fact that they just had sex during a mission, Sara gets pissed at Zari when Gideon stops working and she finds out about Z’s secret simulation.

Taking the captain position hard, Sara argues with Zari about it, despite Ray’s concern about her mood given Constantine’s warning. Zari reveals that she wanted to find loopholes in history so she could exploit them to avoid the dark future she knows as 2042. As Zari goes to fix the ship, she is hit with some neon fluid from a tube. As she tries to see if Gideon is back online, the Waverider explodes…

…and we’re back to Zari arguing with Sara.

Zari tries to figure out what’s going on, first talking to Mick, then snooping on Nate and Amaya’s post intercourse conversation, and finally Ray to no avail. In the end, the ship explodes again and we’re back to Sara, who ends up twisting Zari’s arm by accident. She ends up being taken to the med bay where she gets sedated and thus back again with the day starting over. Her next move is to try to explain the whole thing to the crew, but it still doesn’t work for multiple attempts.

Until Nate believes her and tells Zari to talk to him again and quotes “Groundhog Day,” which leaves me wondering why pop culture can’t update its timeloop references. Say “Edge of Tomorrow” or even “Happy Death Day” if we want current. Nevertheless, as soon as she wakes up again, she goes to Nate. The two theorize that the explosion comes from within the ship instead of some outside force. Some other stuff happens, but in the end, the ship explodes.

Zari’s newest attempt starts with her teaming up with Nate to go after Rory. It takes a few other attempts, but they eventually figure out that, despite his initial suspicious behavior—doing his laundry—Mick’s was only hiding his novel. They go check on Ray, who ends up revealing, rather easily, that Constantine had told him to kill Sara when Mallus takes over. The duo decide to go after Sara now, fearing that she may be possessed and exploding the ship. Ray shrinks Zari and himself in order to spy on Sara.

What they find is rather the opposite: just a flirtatious facetime conversation with Ava — to quote the poet, “This is a gays only event, go home!”. The two talk about their own experiences being bossy and how Sara has faith in Zari, but she ends up dodging one of Ava’s attempts to go over to the ship and hang out. Sadly, Sara ends up crushing Ray and Zari, as she thought they were a fly.

Once again, Zari goes to Nate, but she’s feeling quite tired. Nate suggests they have fun with it given the lack of consequences, so cue the fun montage. Eventually, the fun runs out and Zari tries to kill herself, but fails. This time though, Sara manages to believe Zari’s story and enlists the whole team to look for bombs. The Legends try the trash compactor and find Gary, the Bureau agent. Mick takes a device from his hand and destroys it, thinking it was the bomb, but instead, it was what originated the time loop: Gary had boarded the Waverider because of an alert that the ship would explode so he had created the one-hour loop which would give enough time for the time to defuse the bomb. So now, the device is broken and the team has five minutes to find the bomb before they truly die.

Using the Chekhovian move, Sara finds the bomb inside a disc play. If I understant it correctly, Napoleon had gotten his hand on a CD player with ABBA’s “Waterloo” in it, which he had used to win the war? Something campy like that, for sure. Seeing as the bomb will explode, Zari locks herself with the bomb in a force field so she can say her last words to the team which, as expected, is mostly advice she picked up from her time during the time loop.

As the timer stops, Zari finds herself in the company of humanoid!Gideon, the same one that kissed Rip Hunter that one time (I’m glad they end up finding ways to bring Amy Pemberton on board!). Gideon tells her that, in real life, Zari is healing at the med bay, but her mind is with Gideon at her matrix. Turns out Zari’s simulator had not only worked but done all the job regarding the timeloops to show that Zari needs the Legends’ help in order to find the loophole to save 2042.

As she wakes up, Zari gets Ray to confess his secret to Sara so she can prove that she indeed was inside the matrix. As Sara and Zari have a chat, it circles between their will to save people and a nice little loophole that may just give Z a chance to spare her brother’s life.

Capping off the episode, we finally meet Firestorm’s replacement after the CW confirmed it a few weeks back: Rip Hunter tracks down Wally West in China to ask him for help to save the universe.

Images Courtesy of The CW.

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