Friday, June 21, 2024

The Legends Taste Fame, Glory and Rasputin Jelly

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Okay, so technically Crisis part 5 was the first Legends episode for this season. But that was a crossover episode. Sure, a crossover episode that had the Legends fingers prints all over it (Giant Beebo), but a crossover episode none the less. ‘Meet the Legends’ is season five’s proper premiere and Legends hits the ground running. The other Arrowverse shows had the luxury of half a season to deal with the previous season’s consequences while getting ready for the crisis of it all. Legends comes back to the new status quo without any prep-time, leaving them to pick up the threads from both their season four finale and the crossover. In true Legends fashion they rise to the challenge with a few missteps along the way but nothing they haven’t messed for the better.

Legends mania has broken out after Hey World. They were launched to stardom overnight leading to several spotlight opportunities. Yes, Nate was in a Japanese commercial and yes, that was the least surprising thing to come out of the Legends newfound fame. On the other side of the coin, all this attention doesn’t come without oversight. The Time Bureau was shut down. Turns out the government doesn’t like when one of their organizations is taken over by a demon and used as the base of operations for a plan that almost took over the world. Go figure. With the Bureau gone, the Legend’s funding is next on the chopping block. With Sara away, Ava resorts to letting a documentary crew onto the Waverider for the sake of transparency and to gather proof the Legends are needed.

We catch up with our favourite band of misfits through their video confessionals. Charlie ‘borrows’ the jump ship, ditching everyone. Nate’s getting in touch with himself after dying and he’s not at all upset he didn’t get invited to the crossover. He had better things to do. Mona is now Rebecca Silver’s agent. Gary’s been forgiven for the evil nipple and he’s Constantine’s assistant, thanks to a wish granted by Nora. She’s still a fairy godmother by the way. We also get introduced to the newest Legends who’s really not so new, Behrad Tomaz. He’s kind of a stoner, 100% laid back time bro. The kind of guy who visits himself as a baby the day after he’s born.

I love him already.

When the Crisis team returns the reactions to there being a camera crew on the ship are mixed. Ray’s excited. Neron taking over his body was a blow to his public figure and he’s still recovering. The documentary is the perfect way to show people he’s not really a soul-stealing bad guy. Also, he can’t resist talking about his amazing girlfriend. Mick doesn’t care once the cameras don’t get too close to his face.

Sara is horrified, not that she shows it right away. But after watching every universe die, being stuck for months outside of space and time and having to say goodbye to her oldest friend, cameras in her face aren’t high on her ‘want’ list. It doesn’t help her team is hamming it up for the cameras. Oh and on top of all of this Gideon’s got a bug that’s glitching her entire system.

Sara and Ray = The extreme ends of the Legends reactions spectrum

A time quake triggers from 1917 Russia and the film crew tags along as the Legends investigate Rasputin’s funeral. Only he pulls a Sara Lance and doesn’t stay dead. Back on the Waverider Sara and Behrad try fixing Gideon while the others are left to the Rasputin problem.

Ava notices Sara’s frustration. More than the usual level of frustration that comes with a Legend mission. Asking Ray, he says Oliver’s death is hitting her hard, because well, obviously. Mona suggests Ava give her a card. But she’s looking more at the camera than Ava when she suggests it so the advice probably came from her wanting more air time than having actual good advice to give.

Behrad is the first one to ask Sara how she’s holding up. Our captain glances at the cameras and pushes down any feelings she doesn’t want to share with the world, which is to say all of them. Behrad recognises this and still offers a gift. Sara’s worried it’s a card, not noticing Ava in the background slowly creeping back out the room with a card in her hands. But it’s not. It’s a drawing of her, Oliver and Laurel that makes her smile. It’s a small gesture. It doesn’t bring her friend back. It doesn’t ease her pain, but it helps. If only for the moment she can forget the cameras and remember the people she’s loved.

The rest of her team, however, are all too aware of the cameras as they each come up with their own plan to stop Rasputin. Nate and Ray, because their hearts are too big, think they can just talk him down from his murderous plan. Mona thinks a love letter can save the day. Ava just wants to kill the dude… again. So what if didn’t stick the first time? She’s got Mick helping her and one of them is bound to kill him.

Ray Cam

Things go sideways before Nate and Ray get inside, which is fast even for Legends. They use the film crew as an excuse to talk to Rasputin, saying they want an interview. Nate gets swept up by Rasputin’s charisma and kind of forgets he just killed a man. When he says he sees something missing in Nate’s heart, Nate lets himself get hypnotized so Rasputin can show him a strange dark-haired woman he doesn’t know he knows. He’s also getting in the way of Ava’s shot. Mick doesn’t have an angle on Rasputin either, because he caught Mona in the hall and started editing her love letter.

Nate, why?

While all of this has been going on, Constantine is back in 2020 New York having your classic exorcism. But he knows the demon possessing a young boy so he invites him for a drink. After they get kicked out of the bar, they chat about Astra and her recent moves to climb the political leader in hell. She’s released the souls of history’s most evil people but because she’s got their chits in hell they’re a little unkillable on earth. Constantine thanks the demon, exorcises him and has Gary give the now unpossessed lad taxi fare back home. John Constantine is classy like that.

Back on the ship Sara’s two seconds away from channeling her best frat boy Oliver and decking a cameraman when Behrad interrupts. He probably saved that cameraperson’s life. He thinks he knows what’s wrong with Gideon. Behrad is just the person she wants around because in this timeline he’s the one on the ship with illicit drugs. Constantine interrupts to relay the news about their new problem, which explains why Rasputin is back for an Encore.

The Waverider’s feed taps in the cameras so Sara sees her team get their butts handed to them. Sara’s furious they left the ship on their own. She’s furious they almost died. She’s furious at a lot of things and it all comes spilling out. She couldn’t handle if she lost one of them. She’s barely handling the death she already has to deal with. And none of her friends have been there for her. Her whole world changed and instead of coming home to the place she could be vulnerable she had to put all her walls up in front of the cameras.

The team is left a little drift. Ava stress cleans. Nate ponders about the beautiful woman Rasputin unlocked in his mind. But his alter memories gives Behrad an idea on what’s wrong with Gideon. If Nate has memories from another timeline, Gideon does too. She can’t process the data of two timelines, hence all the glitching. As he’s explaining this to Sara the Waverider picks up camera feed again.

The Legends forgot the director in their retreat, so he’s with Rasputin who has a plan to kill Romanoff family and become the Czar. Sara’s still upset with her team so she grabs Behrad for a two-man Rasputin stopping team. Sara and Behrad almost miss the poisoned pastries, blowing their cover to stop the Romanoffs from eating them. Rasputin hypnotises Behrad along with a squad of guards to attack Sara.  Since she’s Sara Lance being outnumbered is only a mild inconvenience until she has to fight Behrad.

Look how happy she is her team came.

Duchess Anastasia joins the party, only Ana is Ava with a knife for Rasputin’s heart. The rest of the Legends burst from cover and Sara’s smile says how happy she is to see her team. Ava tells Sara she doesn’t know the perfect thing to say, but she wants to be there for Sara. Even if she doesn’t know what restarting the universe means. It doesn’t matter that those weren’t the perfect words, nor does it matter their conversation happened mid-fight. What matters is Ava cares and she showed she did. Then the epic post-fight kiss gets interrupted by Ray because the rest of the team got hypnotized.

When Ray gets knocked out mid shrink Sara lobs him into Rasputin’s mouth. He embiggens creating a lot of Russian meat jam (the evil nipple might not be the weirdest thing I’ve written because of this show anymore). And because any good ending has a big dramatic kiss, that what Sara does, sweeping her girlfriend into a dip and kissing the daylights out of her.

Now, that’s an ending.

As ‘Meet the Legends’ wraps up we see the Legends destressing together (we also see Rasputin stored in multiple condiment jars) but then we cut to the premiere where they’d waiting to head on stage not looking entirely comfortable. Most of all Sara. Especially when the director mentions they want to make a whole TV show around them. He tells them to be themselves, only not themselves. If they could just be the heroic them instead of the misfits that make up the core of who they are that would be great.

They step out onto the stage, their captain looking like she wants to be anywhere else. But she still puts on a smile says a few words and hands the mic off. Ava looks at Sara’s face, huffs a laugh and stays none of it was real. The team piles on, adding their own criticisms (some of which sound familiar to the same criticisms often cited about a certain time-traveling Arrowverse show). The crowd believes them, thrusting the Legends out of their fame bubble back into obscurity.

They return to home sweet time ship. As for their money problems, Sara volunteers Mick to be their new sponsor thanks to his five-finger discount. Constantine also bounces back on the ship, promptly chugs a jar of Rasputin much to Sara and Ava’s horror and gets ready to send himself to hell again. Sara’s too used her kids doing crazy things but she still sends him off with a ‘be careful’.

Why does so much of Constantine’s magic involve him putting strange fluids in his mouth?

Mick finds Mona, telling her he was impressed with her love letter and wants to pass on Rebecca Silver to her. Mona is ecstatic and starts packing her things right away. If she’s going to be a famous writer she needs to find a place she can write, which isn’t on a time ship. Mick looks a little stunned she’s leaving like he wasn’t ready to stop mentoring her yet, but because he’s Mick he doesn’t say anything as she leaves.

Nate’s cleaning out the alternate timeline date from Gideon when a message from Zari appears. She asks him to find her but the message ends and Gideon’s date is deleted before Nate can get a replay.


‘Meet the Legends’ wasn’t perfect, but that makes it fit the Legends charm just that much more. There were a few clunky parts to the episode, namely Mona’s exit felt rushed. It’s a little unclear if she’s gone-gone or if she’s gone to occasionally return. If she’s gone-gone I don’t can’t think too harshly on the decision. Legends works because its characters work. Too many characters mean some get left behind by the story. This show has never been afraid to cut what doesn’t work. But at this point, when it’s found a formula that works so well it’s not about cutting what doesn’t work, but what works less. Mona never quite gelled the same way other characters did, but coming in when the cast was at its biggest point meant there was never extra time to allow her to enmesh like the others. Let’s hope this is a ‘so long for now’ instead of a hard goodbye.

In spite of that stumble, ‘Meet the Legends’ was still one of the most entertaining episodes of Legends. The mockumentary isn’t something that’s always pulled off well (see the 150th episode of Arrow) but Legends is able to draw humour and substance from this trope. At the start of the episode, it’s a great way to gauge where all the Legends are. It also serves double duty with Behrad’s character for this. He’s new to the audience but an exposition style introduction to him would have been out of place because, to the Legends, he’s been with them for years. But here it works because they all have to be introduced for the documentary. The camera crew weren’t just there for the fourth wall jokes. They became part of the conflict with Rasputin and provided the framework for one of the best Sara Lance scenes to date.

Legends took a different course from the other Arrowverse shows when dealing with their post-crisis fallout. While the others have been dealing with doppelgangers and altered timelines, Legends went for something else tangible. They went for grief. Sara’s grief. She saw her friend die, every world vanished and was at a point with no hope. She fought for the literal universe, had to step up to the plate to lead because Oliver wasn’t there. She had to be one of the strongest people in the room because some cosmic force told her that’s what she was. Then she comes home and wants a moment where she doesn’t have to be any of that, where she can grieve with her family but instead she sees cameras and throws up all her walls.

The beautiful thing about that was, at one point, Sara wouldn’t have needed an outside catalyst to put those walls up. She’d put them there herself and kept them up until someone forced her to bring them down. But now she wants to be venerable with her team. She wants them to ask her if she’s okay so she can admit she’s not. She’s come so far learning to trust others. Let’s not forget this was the first episode Legends shots so Caity Lotz is acting her heart out about Oliver’s death weeks before Crisis even began shooting.

‘Meet the Legends’ like any good Legends episode came to have a lot of fun but brought a lot of heart with it. It’s a great first episode back, setting the Encores and how they work. A villain of the week style is perfect for Legends, the best format to allow the characters a lot of room to explore without the plot needing to take too much time away.

Only Legends Could

  • Those people reacting to the Hey World incident are YouTubers and the clips are taken from actual Legends of Tomorrow reaction videos.
  • In the same vein, the picture Behrad gave Sara is fanart.
  • Nate’s shade about the crossover was on point.
  • Ryan Renolds is starting in ‘Detective Beebo’.
  • It’s for the best Ava didn’t give Sara that card. Probably wouldn’t have gone over well. But bless Ava for trying.
  • If you want a fun easter egg, call the number on Constantine’s card.
  • All of Gideon’s glitches were Zari related. Either they referred to Zari indirectly, like the first one when Gideon mentioned totem or she mentioned plots Zari was apart of like ‘Bollywood’.
  • I already love Sara and Behrad’s dynamic.
  • Favourite line: “Agent Sharpe lacks a delicate touch and is extremely deficient when relating to people. That is straight from my Time Bureau review. Pretty harsh… I wrote that review.”
Images courtesy of the CW.

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