Friday, May 17, 2024

Its High Stakes and Strikes for Legends of Tomorrow

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Apocalyptic stakes that ride on the results of a game of bowling? Must be another episode of Legends of Tomorrow.

The Legends are on the hunt for the last alien pod from Kayla’s ship. Mick, Sara, Astra, and Spooner are in the field, but there’s no alien to be found in the pod. Instead, they find a metal cube that looks like a puzzle box. It takes them to a bowling alley but when they try to leave, they discover this bowling alley is somewhere in space.

Sara, Mick, Astra and Spooner
Suck in a Bowling alley on the other side of the universe

Meanwhile, on the Waverider, Ava’s using the opportunity of Sara being off the ship to try on wedding dresses, a task she enlists Gary’s help for. Constantine returns with his magic supercharged from the magical steroid drugs he got from the lawyer vampire. He’s looking for Zari, but Berhad informs him about the Zari switch. Speaking of, Zari and Nate are out camping to make the most of their time together before Zari has to return to the totem. But they’re sharing their campsite with another couple, Jeff and Jamie, who put the glam in glamping.

At the bowling alley, Spooner’s hoping they can hitchhike back home with one of the aliens. Sara talks to a guy who looks like he works there for more information. The guy, who goes by Buddy, was the one who made this intergalactic bowling alley, but a gang who go by the Pin Killers made it into their turf and have been driving people away. When he learns they’re from Earth he hopes they can beat the Pin Killers, assuming they’re all good at bowling humans invented the sport. He warns Sara the Pin Killers are good and they should only challenge them once they think they’re ready. Unfortunately, Spooner’s already accepted a challenge.

Back on earth, in spite of their camping neighbors, Zari and Nate try to make the most of it. But things seem to be against them. First, they can’t see any stars and then Nate realizes he grabbed Spooner’s bag. They can’t help but be jealous of the over-enthusiastic couple camping nearby. Nate tries contacting Gideon to get them a new camping site but their communications and time couriers aren’t working.  

Using a radio from Spooner’s bag they’re able to pick up a radio signal about it being dark everywhere on earth and chasms appearing in Mexico, Canada, and Alaska, the latter of which is where Nate and Zari are. They try to borrow the other couple’s truck so they can get into town and Jeff decides it’s a good idea that they all go. The truck’s battery is drained so they’re walking.

On the Waverider, Constantine and Behrad decide to check on Sara and the others but learn Gideon can’t jump to Earth. Hearing this, Gary panics, thinking Ava will panic being separated from Sara again. He decides to keep Ava distracted while Behrad and Constantine figure out how to get to earth.

Back in the bowling alley, Sara’s giving her team a pep talk to get them ready. It turns out she and Spooner are pretty good at bowling. Mick might be, if he would take off his gloves. Astra refuses to bowl. But they realize the penalty of losing is their lives.

Ava and Gary
Gary is at his most wholesome when he’s being Ava’s biggest fan.

Gary’s distracting Ava by suggesting alterations to her dress, getting more dramatic with each iteration. Constantine knows a spell that can take them to earth. Behrad gathers the things he needs but the spell itself doesn’t go unnoticed by Ava. They’re not on Earth but looking at the same bowling alley where the rest of the Legends are.

Ava goes to the bowling alley, but the doors won’t open for her. Sara notices her, and the wedding dress she’s still wearing. They put together that if Constantine’s spell was meant to take them to Earth, but brought them here, it must be somewhere in the alley. The Earth has been turned into the bowling ball for Mike the Strike, the leader of the Pin Killers.

On Earth, Zari and Nate see the change in the sky when it’s taken out of the bag. They also see the Pin Killer’s palm that obscures the sky when he goes to bowl. Rolling down the lane feels like an earthquake to them.

In a panic about the possible end of the world, Jeff reveals he got a secret vasectomy, which leads to a fight between him and Jaime. The schadenfreude from that only lasts Nate and Zari so long. The day’s events have Zari thinking she and Nate are in a doomed relationship. Nate promises her that despite all the reasons they shouldn’t date, he still wants to be with her.

In the bowling alley, the Legends realize the stakes are even higher than they realize and that’s taking a toll on the team dynamics, with Mick, Spooner, and Astra arguing. Spooner gets hurt trying to show Mick how to hold the ball. Sara needs a way to bring the team together and goes to Buddy for help. His advice is they can’t win if they’re too worried about the consequences. So Sara grabs a round of drinks and food, puts on some music, and encourages the team to have fun.

Mick and Spooner come to a truce when Mick reveals why he keeps his gloves on; to keep his scars hidden. Spooner comes up with the idea to get him fingerless gloves so he can bowl. With Spooner’s injury, she can’t bowl so Astra has to play. She’s never bowled before, so she’s hesitant but Sara appeals to Astra’s interests, getting to beat their smug opponents.

The Legends start mounting their comeback but they’ll still need a miracle to close the gap in the score. That miracle comes in the form of Zari pulling out a huge gun from Spooner’s bag, turning the setting to its highest (which is labeled as middle finger) and shoots into the sky. The shot hits the Pin Killer as he’s readying his shot, missing with his aim.

Zari and Nate
Sometimes you need to give a problem the middle finger.

The final shot comes down to Astra. She needs a strike to win. Sara tells her to not overthink it and give it a slow roll. Granny style, as Astra puts it. Despite the odds, she gets a strike and the earth isn’t turned into a bowling ball permanently. Mike the Strike and Pin Killers are dethroned and Buddy gets control of his intergalactic bowling alley again. The Legends celebrate at the alley together.


Legends very own Jes Macallan had her directorial debut in this episode. She brought some fun dynamism to the table here. One shot where the camera takes on the POV of the ball as it rolled down the lane stands out, but there were several fun moments in the episode.

For an episode where the world was on the line, it was tonally low-key. It allowed the focus to shift to characters. Although, for most of the characters, unlike the usual character-centered episode, there wasn’t any clear character arc for anyone. Zari and Nate’s date being the exception this time. Having anything with Zari 1.0 is a gift I didn’t think we’d get again and while I won’t look a gifted horse in the mouth, it’s a little underwhelming to see the bulk of her storyline dedicated to Nate.

Meanwhile, there’s a slow build towards the end of the season, one that doesn’t bode well for Constantine. Has he finally pushed his luck too far? With only 4 episodes left for the season something will have to give sooner than later.

Only Legends Could

  • You’d think Sara and Spooner would have bonded over their past alien experiences. Maybe Sara could take Spooner on a field trip to National City for some exposure therapy.
  • Behrad refers to Zari 1.0 as flannel Zari. A brilliant nickname that does perfectly differentiate the Zaris.
  • The montage of Ava trying on dresses with Gary was very cute.
  • Sara’s new carving for cherries continues. She got a cherry coke this episode.
  • Spooner would have a BFG with a ‘middle finger’ setting.
Images courtesy of the CW.

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