Justice League Unlimited

Season 3 Episode 6

Fearful Symmetry

Aired Saturday 10:30 PM Sep 04, 2004 on Cartoon Network
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Episode Summary

When Supergirl is plagued by disturbing dreams, she turns to Green Arrow and The Question for help, but they soon learn that she may not be dreaming after all.

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Sam McMurray

Sam McMurray

Gilbert Hale

Guest Star

Roger Rose

Roger Rose


Guest Star

Cree Summer

Cree Summer

Female Singer

Guest Star

Kin Shriner

Kin Shriner

Green Arrow

Recurring Role

Jeffrey Combs

Jeffrey Combs

The Question

Recurring Role

Robert Foxworth

Robert Foxworth

Professor Emil Hamilton

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • If Galatea is an exact clone but aged a few more years, why does she have green eyes when Supergirl's are blue?

    • Presumably, they used a completely mocked-up hologram for Tea's training program at Nuvo-Gen, the one that Supergirl saw in her dream. But then why did they use the STAR Labs surgical robot in the simulation? Wouldn't it have made more sense to use, say, the combat training robots, rather then either ship the surgical robot across town and back, or create a hologram of it?

    • When the heroes visit Hardcastle, they teleport up from right outside his door. But earlier, they just strolled away from STAR Labs and...kept on walking. Why didn't they request beam-up? It's not like they had somewhere else to go and they're in an isolated area. It's almost like they read the script and knew they had to stick around to be ambushed...

    • Throughout the episode, everyone calls the professor that Supergirl/Tea killed "Gilbert Hallstrom." But in the end-credits he's identified as "Gilbert Hale."

    • For some reason the hexagon floor-tiles in the hologram room aren't very...well, hexagonal. They all have six sides, but some are symmetrical (ironically enough) while the ones that Green Arrow and Supergirl stand on aren't.

    • It looks like the Army guys that ambush the heroes have three grenades on their belts (from multiple angles), but when the Question drops one belt there are four grenades on it, and when the two guards flee there are only two grenades on the ground.

  • QUOTES (14)

    • Dr. Hamilton: You rest. We'll have you fixed up in no time...Galatea.

    • The Question: It bites having someone in your head, doesn't it?

    • Tea: Next time, get your own dreams.

    • The Question: Anything break?
      Green Arrow: Just my stride.
      The Question: Nap's over. Come on.

    • The Question: (singing) I'm in love again. What am I gonna tell my friends? It just happened - you walk in my door. No I don't want to be alone no more. (shatters window, sets off alarm) Oops, I done it, told you how I feel. Just have to hope our love is real...

    • Hardcastle: That little club up in that spaceship? There's a file on every one of you.

    • Supergirl: We're not here to hurt you. We just have some questions.
      Hardcastle: Sorry if I don't take your word for it. As I recall, your kind can be...fickle.

    • Green Arrow: Does everything have a sinister motive in your world?
      The Question: Your's too. You just don't know it.

    • Supergirl: What - do you go through my trash?
      The Question: Please. I go through everyone's trash.

    • The Question: Reaching back to Ancient Egypt, there's been a single cabal of powerful individuals directing the course of human history. But the common man prefers to believe they don't exist, which aids their success.
      Supergirl: Global warming? Military upheavals in the third world? Actors elected to public office?
      Green Arrow: The spread of coffee bars? Germs outpacing antibiotics? And boy bands? Come on! Who would gain from all this?
      The Question: Who indeed?

    • Green Arrow: Don't listen to this guy - everything's conspiracies with him.
      The Question: Not 'conspiracies'. 'Conspiracy.' Singular.

    • Green Arrow: But vague memories of a probe like one of those alien abduction things. Maybe you've just been hanging out in Kansas too long.
      The Question: Wouldn't be so sure. Especially when she's the alien.

    • Green Arrow: I don't know, I've had some dreams that felt mighty real. (glances at Black Canary) There was this one the other night...

    • J'onn: Hmmm, I've never fully understand the mechanics of dreams. I don't have them myself.
      Supergirl: Well, this one's doing a number on my ceiling. And Pa Kent's getting tired of patching it.

  • NOTES (8)

    • Character bios: The Question, General Nathaniel Hardcastle, Green Arrow, Supergirl

    • The reporter "Jerry" that accosts Lasser in the bar, is a spot-on match for the fictional Carl Kolchak, a reporter who was featured in the '72 TV movie The Night Stalker, its sequel The Night Strangler, and the short-lived 1974-75 TV series Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Coincidentally or not, an all-new DVD of the two TV movies was released the week or so just prior to this episode.

    • The Flash, Wildcat, the Vigilante, Black Canary, Hourman, Dr. Mid-Nite, the Shining Knight, and several other Leaguers are glimpsed throughout this episode.

    • The Royal Flush Gang and Volcana are mentioned.

    • General Hardcastle and Professor Hamilton, from Superman: The Animated Series, are in this episode. Charles Napier reprises his role as General Hardcastle. Robert Foxworth takes on the role of Professor Hamilton, previously played by Victor Brandt. The episode itself is a direct sequel to the S:TAS episode "Legacy".

    • The Zeta (Z-8) robots, seen in Batman Beyond, The Zeta Project, and the Justice League episode "Secret Society (1)", are seen. Once again these are the "original" Zeta models, with the horseshoe-shaped heads, rather then the more human-headed model that Zeta eventually became in his own series. Stan Berkowitz wrote extensively for that series, and Robert Goodman credited here as the writer for this episode "created" the Zeta character.

    • Jeffrey Combs previously played another WB animated red-haired character who wore a facial mask without features - the Scarecrow, in Batman Gotham Knights in the episode "Never Fear". That episode was also written by Stan Berkowitz.

    • Original/working title: Galatea.


    • Title
      The title of this episode comes from William Blake's poem "The Tyger" - Tyger, tyger burning bright / In the forests of the night: / What immortal hand or eye, / Could frame thy fearful symmetry? It also appears to be an allusion to Watchmen #5, which was titled "Fearful Symmetry" and heavily featured Rorschach, a character based on the Question. "Fearful Symmetry" was also the name of a second season X-Files episode, which may be another in-joke to that series (see Cultural References below). And finally, the poem was also used as the title for the Batman: TAS episode, Tyger, Tyger, where Selina Kyle (Catwoman) becomes a real cat woman.

    • Tea = Power Girl
      In the comics, Power Girl (Kara, or Karen Starr) was originally the Earth-2 version of Supergirl, and the cousin of the Earth-2 Superman. While the character Tea clearly isn't supposed to be her, she bears a marked physical similarity - shorter blonde hair, a more...mature physique (a running gag in the current JSA series), gold bracelet-belt, and a circular chest-cutout in her all-white neck-covering costume.

    • The World's Finest
      The Green Arrow/Supergirl team-up parallels the famous Batman/Superman partnership in the comics. Green Arrow is a "normal" human being with no superpowers, uses devices, and is/was a rich millionnaire. Supergirl is a somewhat naive alien and orphan from a distant planet, the last of her kind, who has vast superpowers.

    • The Question's Walls:
      The walls of the Question's room are covered in clippings connected by a web of yarn - they're identical to John Nash's "decoding" in the movie A Beautiful Mind.

    • Poster: Got Fluoride?
      Aside from being a "Got Milk?" parody, the poster is referencing that most water in the United States contains low amounts of fluoride in it. Supposedly, this is included to help prevent cavities, but some say it's part of some conspiracy such as mind control. The idea of water fluoridation is used in the movie Dr. Strangelove in which a general believes it is a Communist conspiracy to harm "our precious bodily fluids."

    • The Question: How do you like the pre-package corporate pop music?
      The radio song, and the Question's singing, are a reference to the evil known as pop music in America. The song seems to be a spoof on Oops, I Did It Again! by Brittany Spears. Pop music holds a semi-conspiracy standing in society as corporations try to manufacture hits for broad demographics and push lowest-common-denominator music in an almost propaganda-esque manner.

    • Professor Hamilton: Galatea
      From the Roman myth of Pygmalion and Galatea by Ovid. Pygmalion was a gifted sculptor who hated women and resolved never to marry. Oddly enough, he dedicated his time to sculpting the perfect woman. The final result was a life-like statue that he named Galatea. Pygmalion fell in love with his creation and prayed to Venus to bring his creation to life, which was granted. The theme of man creating the ideal woman is behind George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion and its musical adaptation, My Fair Lady.

    • The Question: Poster
      The poster in The Question's room is a take off the "I Believe" poster from The X-Files. The Question's poster says "I Know" with an alien face for the "o". In fact, his JLU quarters look a lot like Mulder's FBI basement office. Both Fox Mulder and the Question are conspiracy theorists with an interest in alien abduction. The plot here also bears some similarities to the main story on The X-Files - someone is using alien DNA to create a race of super-soldiers to oppose a future alien invasion. Also, the Kolchak series has been acknowledged by The X-Files creator Chris Carter as the inspiration for his own series, so the Kolchak cameo here takes on added significance.

    • The Question: 'Conspiracy'. Singular.
      Although not directly stated, the ancient Egyptian conspiracy group the Question alludes to is undoubtedly the Illuminati. They are most-often connected with the Freemasons (Egyptian and/or Scottish branch) and George Washington - the eye on the pyramid, seen on the U.S. dollar bill, is considered to be their symbol. They have inspired a non-collectible card game by Steve Jackson game (or published it themselves as misdirection), and have been referenced in many TV shows and movies, including Gargoyles, The Simpsons (as the "Stonecutters" rather than the "Freemasons"), Tomb Raider (The Movie), and the upcoming flick National Treasure.