When an episode Legends opens with a young Queen Victoria stage diving at a punk rock concert and showing her royal derrière you know everything that comes after is going to be a wonderfully ridiculous treat. To stop the British Monarchy from collapsing in flaming anarchy the Legends head to London, 1977. The royal misshapes are centred around a band known as the Smell so this week’s magical fugitive is someone in the band and the Legends need to figure out who. For our ragtag time travelling misfits, the punk ear is like coming home. For everyone except Ray that is, who contentedly sits in the van while his Mick and Constantine inadvertently cause a bar fight.
Since Ray is the least rebellious person to ever set foot on the Waverider, naturally fate decides he’s the one who ends up getting an in with the band. Queue the shenanigans as Sara and Mick coach Ray on how to be punk while he figures out which band member is really a demon. This includes him asking the royal dog walker if he can take one of the Queen’s dogs. Ray’s delighted when he’s just handed a leash, not knowing Sara is standing behind him, threateningly holding the two bodyguards she just knocked out.
While Ray’s finding his inner rebel, Constantine stormed off the ship after another fight with Mick. Zari tracks him to a pub. It’s not just any pub because the woman behind the bar is John’s mother. A mother he never knew because she died giving birth to him. Something his father never let a young John forget. Constantine tries to get some cathartic revenge on his old man, but the laws of time mean he seriously his dad without erasing himself. “The Ball Kick paradox” as Zari so eloquently puts it.
Back with Ray, stealing the corgi gets him in the band to trust him enough where they start opening up to him. So much so, one member, Charlie, reveals she’s a shapeshifter. Ray, in turn, opens about the team and how many changes it’s gone through recently; Sara trying to settle down in a serious relationship, Nate leaving for a desk job and Amaya, their moral compass, leaving.
The heartfelt sharing hour doesn’t last long when Ray tells the Legends he found their fugitive. The rest of the team is ready to send her packing to hell. Ray tries to convince them she’s not dangerous but no one listens. Not until Charlie literally puts a mirror to the Legends, using their own voices and faces to show their own hypocrisy of trying to be protectors by damning (literally) an innocent. Her ace in the hole is when she turns in the former moral compass of the team, Amaya and it visibly shakes everyone except Constantine. They can’t send her to hell, not when she’s wearing the face of a friend.
Constantine takes away her shapeshifter powers to prevent any mistaken identity. So she’s stuck in Amaya’s face and the Legends are stuck with her.
Meanwhile, Nate and Gary have been bonding at the Bureau. Gary’s showing Nate the wonders of taco Mondays and Nate is dragging Gary along on unsanctioned missions. After a blip pops up on the magical tracker in the Pleistocene era, they go to investigate. They have a heart to heart to about their heartbreak over Constantine and Amaya, but the mission is cut short by a sabretooth tiger. This may or may not be the same sabretooth tiger that once chased Ava through Waverider. The next day the blip has vanished and Gary has an ‘exotic’ desk plant to gift to Nate. The blip was a carnivorous, bipedal plant that Nate and Gary chase around the Bureau and beat to a gooey, messy pulp.
Sara shows up at the Bureau to grab Nate’s help for the Charlie-with-Amaya’s-face situation. But when he admits he took the job at the Bureau to get away from the constant reminders on Amaya on the ship Sara encourages him to stay. It’s partly to save him from meeting Charlie-with-Amaya’s-face, partly because he can flourish at the Time Bureau. But mostly to save him from meeting Charlie-with-Amaya’s-face.
Some smaller things that happen this episode- Zari gets a new housing for her air totem after the old one melted last week during her near burning. Ray spills to Sara he’s the one who helped Nora escape.
After two episodes packed with magical mayhem, this one wisely pulls back on the spectacle for a bit more substance. That’s not saying a hippie getting gored in the chest or a singing Disney knock-off are lacking in substance. But a constant barrage of the Legends taking on the fugitives’ magical abilities head-on could quickly become stale. Even on a show like this one which thrives on the monster of the week formula. The mystery of trying to find the fugitive was a nice twist on the trend established by the last episodes.
This episode introducing the idea of the Legends doing the easy thing verse the right thing is nothing new for superhero narratives. But for the Legends, right now it’s an interesting notion. Everyone on the team is a misfit with a past filled with regrets. Their time on the Waverider has shaped them all into true heroes. The idea they’ve gotten so good as being the good guys, they’ve naturally fallen into doing the easiest thing to save day, rather than looking for the right thing to do.
As for the return of Maisie Richardson-Sellers, could there be a better way to introduce a new character played by an old actor than a shapeshifter changing into Amaya then getting forced to stay in that form? Probably. But why do it the ‘better’ way when you can do it the Legends way? As weird as it is conceptually I’m excited they choose such an unusual path. The Arrowverse has an established history with doppelgängers. The easy thing could have been introducing an Amaya from Earth-(insert random number here) or since it is a time travel show have her be a distant relative. But having Charlie be so different from Amaya is wonderful as is the fact she’s wearing Amaya’s face because she used it to manipulate the team. I am already very interested in where her story goes.
Only Legends Could…
- “Dear to Defy” taco Tuesdays and get your salsa filled deliciousness one day early. I see you, Gary, dropping the CW’s tagline on us.
- The Time Bureau’s taco caterer is played by Romona Young, one of the new additions to the cast. This isn’t the last we’ll see of her.
- Is Gary’s nipple’s going to become the running gag of the season? Because I’m not unopposed to the idea.
- This week’s unbelieve plot thread is Ray stealing a royal corgi. He then gets a tattoo of a corgi with a mohawk.
- Ray’s still trying to make ‘mytheries’ happen. Keeping trying Ray-Ray, it will catch on. Maybe.
- Anyone else felt like they got stabbed in the heart when Ray casually said ‘astonishing’?
- Sara had so many good team mom moments this episode. First with Mick for his picking fights with Constantine. Then with Nate at the Time Bureau when he opens up about missing Amaya.
- Speaking of Sara’s scene with Nate, “Because I like to watch you grow” wins best line of episode purely because of Caity Lotz’s delivery.
- “How do you keep five Legends on a leash at once?”
“Very loosely because sometimes we pull you in the right direction,”
This is the perfect summarization for the Legends’ relationships with each other.
- This technically isn’t about Legends of Tomorrow, but Supergirl’s and Arrow’s episodes this week both featured Beebo. He is a god. He literally transcends space and time and writers rooms.
Images courtesy of the CW
Archie Goes Full Dufresne On Riverdale
After last week’s exciting change of pace, Archie and the gang return to the present time in “Chapter Forty: The Great Escape” and boy, is it a drag (no, not the fun kind).
As Archie’s brilliant escape plan to run in the middle of the day, in plain sight of the guards and other prisoners, is failing miserably, we’re back at the bunker, with Betty catching Jughead and the Serpents playing G&G.
Betty tells Jug everything she’s learned from her mother, while Jughead shares his own discoveries about the game. He insists that G&G somehow reflect the real life, Riverdale’s life specifically. Betty is skeptical, so she decides to deal with feasible suspects aka the Midnight Club for now, while Jughead continues playing in order to get to the Gargoyle King his own way.
After Hiram lets Veronica know about Archie’s unsuccessful escape attempt, she decides to take the matters into her own hands. Through her connections in the, um, teenage filial of the local mafia she unknowingly gets herself invited to the warden’s little fight club. She gets a little private time with Archie and they sorta figure out a possible way to break Archie out.
Meanwhile, Betty recruits Josie, Kevin, and Reggie to discreetly question their parents about the Midnight Club. To their kids’ surprise, Mayor McCoy and ex-Sheriff Keller deny even really knowing each other back in high school, let alone dating, while Reggie gets a black eye for even mentioning G&G to his dad.
Unfortunately, the investigation has to be cut short when Veronica comes to all of her friends for help in getting Archie out of juvie. Betty tries to get Jughead on board, but he’s so cut up in a game that he sees the juvie break as nothing more than a great idea for the Serpents’ next G&G mission.
Speaking of juvie, Archie is granted a fancy meal with the warden, who informs Archiekins it’s also gonna be his last one. “The final meal before the final fight”, he says. Warden Norton also all but says outright its’ Hiram’s order. Archie takes a chance asks to hear how Hiram managed to set him up, and warden complies. When asked if Hiram also “owns” him, warden declares his soul “belongs to no mere mortal”, probably alluding to God… Or someone else.
Back at the speakeasy, Veronica lays out her elaborate escape plan for Archie. Basically, they go in undercover to the fight club, create a diversion with self-created smoke bombs (… I know), Archie escapes through the sewer drain, at the end of which Betty will be waiting for him on the Jug’s motorcycle (that she drives impeccably now, apparently).
Right before Archie starts his final match, he gets stabbed by Joaquin. The latter immediately apologizes and insists the warden said this is the only way he can “ascend”.
It’s game time! Literally and metaphorically. While the gang executes their rescue mission, Jughead and the Serpents are on a G&G quest of their own, that coincidentally mirrors everything the other team is doing. While trying to open the sewer drain grade, Kevin sees Joaquin running for his life through the woods. Kevin decides to follow him and leaves his task to Betty.
Back at the fight club, Archie is up for his match. And his opponent is no other than Mad Dog. Archie tells him about the escape plan, but it seems like Mad Dog has accepted his fate.
Veronica runs into her father at the fight club, but before he can do anything to stop them she, Reggie, and Josie are setting the pan in motion. Their
very slow distraction works and Archie jumps into the drain, while Mad Dog heroically holds off the guards.
At the end of the sewer, Betty meets injured Archie. They race on a bike through the woods to safety, but unfortunately, get caught by the warden and the juvie guards. But PLOT TWIST! It isn’t Archie up on a bike, it’s Kevin. They were a decoy for the guards, while Ronnie and the rest of the crew got Archie to safety at the bunker, where Jughead and the Serpents also just finished their G&G quest.
Tony patches up Archie’s stab wound, and the gang notices the warden has branded Archie with a symbol, similar to those on Ben and Dilton’s backs.
Back at the Lodges, Hermione is going off on Hiram for participating in the underground teen fight club as if she, as a mayor, doesn’t have enough problem to deal with. Veronica arrives just in time for some ass whooping as well.
At Pop’s, Kevin tells Josie and Reggie that he didn’t find Joaquin after all, all while the news of Archie’s escape is heard on the radio. The triple also decides to play G&G by themselves, to find out what their parents, and Betty, don’t tell them about the game.
While watching over Archie at the bunker, Betty and Jug discuss how warden Norton fits into this whole G&G narrative. In the meantime, the warden himself is at his office, getting notified the mayor is here to see him. But unfortunately, they’ll have to reschedule, because the warden just drank the good ol’ cyanide-infused Fresh-Aid.
The episode concludes with Jughead getting back home from the bunker when he finally encounters the Gargoyle King himself.
I honestly don’t have a lot on this one. The episode revolves solely around juvie plot and we all know how I feel about it. The escape sequence is extremely silly, but sticking with Riverdale for so long, nothing fazes me anymore.
My favourite scene was probably Hermione cussing out her dumbass family. Marisol Nichols did some amazing acting, and it was just so pleasant seeing Hermione to blow up like this. In Season 2 her character felt very Stepford wife (but make it mafia), so it’s great to see her getting some of that agency and character back.
The theory that someone of the Lodges is the Gamemaster behind this G&G madness grows stronger this episode. Killing the Red Paladin aka Archie was obviously a part of Warden Norton’s quest, and we know from the warden himself Hiram ordered to get rid of Archie. Or was the warden lying? Also interesting how Hermione was at the juvie when Norton ended his life. Could be nothing, could be something.
Next week, Archie is fugitive on the run, while Jughead discovers a new piece of the G&G puzzle…
Images courtesy of CW
I like my women… competent
Criminal minds is a show that I enjoy watching despite sometimes watching it trough my fingers. It never fails to get my adrenaline going. One of it’s many great traits is the selection and capability of present female characters, be it unsubs or agents. The lead women are versatile and different while still having a few common traits. Furthermore they’re always competent and do the job the best they can.
Emily Prentiss is one of member of the team that was with them from almost the beginning. She went trough all the career steps, finally becoming the team leader.
Her being in charge was one of my favorite story lines. She earned that privilege with exceptional service and field work with various agencies. Her character replaced Aaron Hotchner as unit chief in season 12 after he resigned. It’s wonderful to finally see a woman leading a team; it happens so rarely. She has a great deal of experience with many different cultures as her parents were diplomats. That’s also how she speaks a few different languages, and it’s a skillset that has helped solve quite a few cases.
While on cases, she’ s rarely upset or lets her emotions get in the way, which is one of the reasons why she makes a great unit chief. She is level headed and calm and always factors many different scenarios into her decisions. With that being said she is also quick on her feet and can make split second decisions when she needs to.
While being calm and collected she still empathizes with the victims and their families and doesn’t hesitate to sacrifice herself to protect others. She’s not only a skilled field agent but also an undercover operator, which was shown in her stint catching Ian Doyle. That particular unsub also forces her to fake her own death without informing her team, with JJ and Hotchner being the only exceptions. She eventually reunites with the team in season 7 after the whole Doyle debacle was over.
She isn’t with the BAU the entire time. As previously stated she also work with other agencies like the Interpol. Even if she isn’t always with the team, she is referenced and talked about or pops up for a visit. Her work as unit chief hasn’t always been smooth sailing either. She was reassigned after she pursued a case and went toe to toe with Linda Barnes, who disbanded the team.
Jennifer “JJ” Jareau is the only women on the team with a family. She has two sons with her husband Will, who was a police detective in New Orleans. The fact that JJ is a mother strongly affects the way she acts and responds.
Although she started working when she wasn’t a mom, she always sympathized with the victims and their families the most visibly. Since she started as a police and media liaison, JJ was often responsible for contacting the families of the victims or their loved ones. She always did a great job while consoling them.
Her early role as media liaison made her the “media face” of the bureau, as she often spoke at press conferences. She was also responsible for choosing the cases the team would be working on, so her job came with a lot of responsibility. Her excellent work in that position was the reason for her reassignment and classified assignment. After her comeback in season 7, she made the change to profiler and her responsibilities were taken over by Hotch and Penelope. She is a skilled profiler, as even before she was one she was often crucial to solving cases and did that job even without the title. Her transition was also easier because she observed the team as their liaison.
She was one of the two people to know that Emily didn’t die. As they are close friends. JJ was also the one who met Prentiss in Paris after her “death”.” That close friendship is a recurring theme with the two characters, as Prentiss comes back when Jennifer is missing.
JJ has been trough tough times including the suicide of her older sister, her classified assignment, not to mention the toll the cases take. While she can wear her heart on her sleeve, she is also a skilled operator who will do anything for her family and for the people she loves. As my choice of calling her “the mother” implies, Jennifer is the one who takes care of all the team members. She shares a special bond with Reid, who is the godfather of her son Henry.
Finally, Jennifer is also a great leader, which was showcased when she replaced Emily Prentiss in the role of team leader. Although she has the ability to lead she doesn’t aspire to be the BAU’s chief. She’s content being an SSA.
The first thing that springs to mind when thinking of Penelope Garcia is her relationship with Derek Morgan, well, and her unique personality.
Penelope is a former hacker gone good who’s now a technical analyst. Out of all the Criminal Minds characters, she’s the most colorful one—literally. Garcia often offers comic relief and a sense of light and joy to the intense show, and is the one the audience can probably relate to the most if you exclude her computer knowledge.
She is very emotional and openly shows all of her reactions. It doesn’t surprise anyone that she can’t look at horrific crime scene photos; her office is filled with colorful and cute stuff because of the horror that fills her screens (that’s what Hotch says to Strauss while describing the analyst). She also often speaks a bit too intimately when talking to team members, especially Derek. She gives him nicknames like chocolate thunder, etc, and he, in turn, calls her ‘baby girl’. These would normally be considered sexual harassment (which was even addressed in a funny scene in episode 9×12).
But it never actually crosses that line because they have a mutual understanding that it’s a consensual conversational choice. In fact, Penelope’s special relationship with Morgan is what initially drew me to the show. There is just something in how different they are personality-wise while still being very close to each other and understanding the other perfectly that compelled me. And while my shipper heart never understood why the two never dated, I have to admit that sticking to a platonic relationship between these two was a great move.
She makes him laugh and calls him out on his BS. He grounds her and helps her focus and get the job done. Their close relationship is probably the reason why it took Garcia a long time to warm up to Luke Alvarez, who replaced Morgan after he retired. It was implied that Garcia and Morgan are still in contact despite him not being on the show; she is even the godmother to his son.
As previously stated, Garcia is a skilled computer expert and former hacker. Her work is often crucial to finding the unsub. While that is her primary job, after JJ’s promotion she also became the liaison for the team. A job she shared with Hotch till he retired. The best way to describe her is that Penelope’s character is the counterbalance we need to all the heaviness and seriousness of the show.
Criminal minds proves that we can have a show that perfectly balances it’s male and female characters. It offers us a selection of women who all are intelligent, skilled, competent, educated, professional, and strong while staying human and showing emotions.
Images courtesy of CBS
Tailor Soldier Spy: Black Lightning 2×05
Hello and welcome back to Black Lightning season 2 after one of those weird one-week hiatuses that networks sometimes do!
Last episode, Lynn was struggling to navigate her pure heart clashing against Dr. Jace’s conscience-less one at the ASA; Anissa was vigilante-ing and Thunder and Black Lightning diffused several bombs at a neighborhood clinic; and Jen was imploding under the pressure of house arrest to the point where she finally responded to Kahlil’s messages and met him at Garfield.
This week, our fam is still pretty much in the same boat as they were in the previous episode, but with the sudden devastating addition of Gambi’s supposed death by assassins (presumably sent by Tobias).
The general rule for things like this is that if there’s no body (which in this case there isn’t), the character isn’t dead (see also: Delphine Cormier). But for now, we’re all operating under the assumption that Gambi’s dead, which makes for some heartbreaking crying from the entire Pierce family, including Jefferson who at first won’t believe Gambi’s gone. It’s so sad, y’all.
In her grief, Anissa indulges her central character flaw, aka using Grace/sex with Grace as an emotional crutch. When she shows up at Grace’s apartment, she has all kinds of claims about how she now knows what’s important and Grace is the only person besides her family that she cares about, but in the morning when Grace asks Anissa to look her in the eyes and promise she won’t hurt her again, Anissa can’t do it. Really Anissa? Please stop with this nonsense. I love our bulletproof lesbian but given the way she treats her girlfriends, I would not date her.
Grace, for her part, looks like she’s about to turn into some kind of supernatural being with creepy-crawly skin, which is also something that’s happening to some other Freeland residents such as a skittish boyfriend of one of Anissa’s pregnant patients who turns up dead at the clinic (did I mention Anissa now works there because she can do everything?), and a cop who pulls her over as she drives out to check on said pregnant patient. CREEPY.
Jen, meanwhile, has some particularly great moments this episode, the first being her witty one-sided banter with her online learning program. We also get to see the conversation she and Kahlil had at Garfield, which consisted of both of them quietly lamenting their circumstances. When Kahlil asks her then, and again later in the episode, of she thinks they can fix whatever they have together, Jen is a true Strong Female Character and basically is like, no dude, we get each other on an important level but we cannot be a thing anymore. (Anyway that’s what her facial expression said, I’m pretty sure).
Lynn aka perpetual Black Lightning MVP finds herself tricked into believing Dr. Jace has used Lynn’s amazing brain-power-math to crack a code that will save all the pod kids, but it turns out it will only save half of them and the rest of them die. This is not great for Lynn’s giant heart and after slapping Dr. Jace’s smug face and having her dragged off by security, she is left alone to deal with the mess and be extra sad because yeah, Gambi’s gone too. And because she’s Lynn, she’s also doing all the emotional labor on behalf of Jefferson who is in denial about Gambi until the end of the episode. Someone give this woman a trophy and a massage.
Tobias (I guess we have to talk about him too) is busy being horrible as usual, relentlessly intimidating Kahlil and also blackmailing a councilman into helping advance his agenda to take over Freeland and ultimately kill Black Lightning. So, great. That guy sucks.
That’s it for this week, friends! Do you think Gambi is really dead? Do you think Anissa needs to get her lesbian act together? Do you think Jen will be ok?!?!?! Come back next week and maybe we’ll find out!
Images courtesy of The CW