Thursday, July 18, 2024

Legends of Tomorrow Dazzle with A Song and Dance

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After their run-in with a Hoover Bot last time, the Legends arrive in Chicago, ditching the feds car. Ava’s working out how much of their budget they have left versus how much they need to get New York, only to have to redo those calculations because no one told Gary about inflation and he tipped their last waitress like it was 2021. They still have enough to get to New York, but just barely and only if most of the team hang out in the portable magic mansion for the train ride.

There is also the issue of being wanted criminals. With everyone talking about the Bullet Blondes, Sara and Ava need a new look. Zari spots a wig and hat store and knows it’s her time to shine. She leads her captains into the store, ready for a makeover, but the store owner ignores her until Sara addresses him. He only addresses Sara and Ava in an upsetting display of racism. When he goes into the back to check for more wigs, Ava and Sara apologize to Zari and promise they’re going to be out of there as soon as possible.

Outside, the boys spot some cops poking around Hoover’s car, knowing it’s only a matter of time until they come this way. The shopkeeper recognizes them as the Bullet Blondes, extorting them for the rest of their money for the wigs and to let them use the back way out.

In the alley, they’re about to use the mansion key to hide out until the heat dies down when the door opens. The guy who steps out asks them if they’re looking for the Sapphire String and then asks them for the password. They try guessing, but Zari goes on a rant about how miserable things are for them, especially because only Nate is a white man, i.e. the only one with privilege in this time period. During her rant, Zari happened to say the password (which is password) so the guy lets them in.

Zari Tarazi
Zari was only spitting fire facts here.

The Sapphire String turns out to be a speakeasy, and one that caters to persons of all backgrounds, something that is rare for mob-controlled 1920’s Chicago. The man introduces himself as Eddie, welcoming them to the club. The Legends settle in, having found a safe space, for now.

Meanwhile, Spooner, Astra, and Gideon have snuck their way onto a train. Spooner reminds them to keep to themselves to both avoid changing the timeline and to not raise suspicions that could get them thrown off the train. Naturally, this is when the Ticketmaster comes walking down the hall.

Another passenger covers for them, claiming they’re part of their all ladies band. The ticket master gets nervous when she mentions her boyfriend’s name and points out their scary-looking manager and decides not to press the issue any further. She introduces herself as Maude.

Astra, Gideon and Spooner
Gideon must be protected at all costs.

Back with the rest of the Legends, Ava is catching up on the news. Despite exploding last they saw, the papers talk about Hoover still on the hunt for the Bullet Blondes, so they know there’s already a new Hoover Bot out there. The news has labeled them as bootleggers and bank robbers, but that’s not the worst part. They called them sisters. Now they don’t have any money, and with a seemingly unstoppable robot fed after them, they can’t risk another bank heist.

Sara gets an idea to put the bootlegger moniker the news gave them to good use. Eddie’s speakeasy is running low on supplies and they just so happen to have access to a fridge of infinite whiskey. They cut a deal for part of the profit and access to the storage room the night, no questions asked.

In the meanwhile, Astra, Spooner, and Gideon are getting to know their savior Maude and the rest of the band. When one of the girls introduces herself, Gideon starts rattling off her life story until Spooner tells her to play the quiet game. Astra says Gideon is the ‘Lark of London’ as a cover story and puts Spooner as her vocal coach and herself as the manager. Maude is impressed to meet a woman manager and happily accepts when Astra offers to look at her current contract.

The fresh liquor on tap has brought a rush of people into the Sapphire String and the Legends are enjoying one of the only truly inclusive spaces they’ve found in 1925. Behrad especially, who’s been spending his time playing with the band. Eddie asks Zari how she likes her drink and when she explains she doesn’t drink because of her faith he pours her a soda water with lemon, surprising her by greeting her with ‘Salamati’, a Persian version of ‘cheers’.

They both admire Behrad’s playing, Eddie saying they should appreciate it because what’s happening is a ‘one-time special’ and won’t happen again. Zari’s used to the culture of recording everything but Eddie says being in the moment is an experience that no picture could capture.

Back with the temp-time moms and Gideon, Astra has just finished reading Maude’s contract and once she figures out the contract is expired, she’s waking up their manager, demanding better terms for them. When he doesn’t comply, Maude fires him. Astra takes their tickets from him, using some magic to upgrade them to first class.

At the Sapphire String, their bootlegging has earned them more than enough to get to New York. They’re a little bummed they can hang around this place longer, but the sooner they get Gwyn Davis and back to their own time, the better. Later, Eddie is counting his earnings for the night when some mob thugs come in (one of whom happens to be Maude’s boyfriend). They’re the ones who let him rent this spot in the first place on the condition he sell the liquor they provide and they’re not happy he found a new supplier.

When Zari comes out for her cell phone that she forgot by the bar, she finds him beaten and bloody on the floor. She calls for help, Ava and Sara (sans wigs) run out. Eddie recognizes them as the Bullet Blondes. When they ask who did this, he says they did. The next morning Eddie’s packed his bags. He’s lost the bar because the mobs think he went to a rival gang.

Zari wants to help him, but Ava’s thinking about the risks to the timeline by getting involved. Zari points out if they don’t help they’re leaving the timeline worse than they found it. They’ll be responsible for getting rid of one of the few safe spaces for people of color, women, and queer people in that time. She can’t stand the idea that she has a hand in that, and the captains agree. Zari takes the lead for the day to help Eddie get back on his feet. Her plan is to use the mansion to throw a fundraising party to get Eddie enough for a new place.

Real question, why isn’t she in charge more often?

Meanwhile, Astra, Spooner, and Gideon’s train arrives in Chicago. Maude gets a telegram from her boyfriend, informing her about a new gig for the band. Spooner gets some bad vibes and hesitates when she invites them to breakfast. But with the next train to New York not until the next day, Astra isn’t about to pass up the free meal.

Zari, meanwhile, has thought of the perfect way to draw a crowd to their party, a performance by the Bullet Blondes. Eddie and Behrad spread the word around town, while the rest of the Legend work on getting the mansion prepared. Nate notices that Gary has shown some attraction to Zari and her leadership. When he calls him out, Gary flips the script back on him, pointing out Nate keeps getting into relationships that can never go anywhere because he’s scared of commitment.

At the establishment formerly known as the Sapphire String, Maude’s boyfriend is pissed she fired her manager. He doesn’t care when she tries to tell him about the poor terms, especially not when she mentions Astra being the one who pointed them out to her. Astra, Gideon, and Spooner watch the same woman who lied flawlessly to a ticket master, and has been leading her band with gusto this whole time wither away in front of this man.

But he still wants her to perform. He’s pulled strings to get someone from a record label to come listen to her. Astra wants to help, she knows Maude’s boyfriend from hell which can only mean bad things for Maude. Spooner thinks they should stay out of it. They ask Gideon what happens to her and Gideon’s knowledge of the future confirms Maude is found dead but no one is ever charged for the murder. Astra makes up her mind to save Maude.

Before she can go on stage, Astra tells Maude she needs to run. At first, Maude tries to deny that her boyfriend is anything more than a little rough, but Spooner’s been reading her emotions all day. She knows how sick and scared Maude feels around him. With the promise that they’ll take care of the other girls in the band, they convince Maude to leave.

Astra thanks Spooner for her help, and Spooner admits Astra was right. The duo share a celebratory high five, but just then the show starts and there’s no headliner to go on stage. While Astra and Spooner are arguing if one of them should go on stage neither notice that Gideon is gone. She grabbed Maude’s outfit and mask and took the stage herself.

The song she sings is rife with Sapphic energy.

Meanwhile, at the mansion, the party is going great, but Zari feels like she’s forgotten something. She notices her frazzled hair and the dress she’s been wearing all day and realizes she’d forgotten herself. Eddie tells her to be in the moment and invites her to dance. And Zari does just that, not even noticing that her phone gets left behind and knocked away in the crowd.

The main event starts, Sara and Ava putting on quite the show. Gary and Mate are manning the doorway when Nate notices someone with a gun trying to get in. It’s Hoover bot and some of his feds. Hoover slips insides while Nate and Gary fight with his men.

Words can’t do justice to how much energy the next sequence brings. It bounces between Nate and Gary in the middle of a brawl, while also discussing Nate’s relationship, and Ava and Sara’s performance, which turns into using the silk rope in their routine to capture Hoover, while Gideon’s song is heard over all of it.  For their big finish, Ava pulls Sara into a sweeping kiss. The crowd goes silent until Ava says they’re not sisters and there are cheers all around.

Ava and Sara
This is exactly the kind of zaniness I expect from Legends.

Across town, Spooner and Astra congratulate Gideon when she comes off stage. Maude’s boyfriend, who didn’t even notice it wasn’t Maude singing until he sees Gideon without the mask, wants to know where Maude is. Astra and Spooner taunt him with his deepest fears until he’s running with his tail between his legs. One of the girls in the bands says they’re going to see the Bullet Blondes. Hearing this our girls sprint across town, but when they get there the mansion is gone. But they do find Zari’s phone so they know the Legends were there.

The party did raise enough money for Eddie to get a new place. After he and Zari said their goodbyes, Gary got on a train to New York, with the rest of the Legends bunkering down in the mansion. The party also came with the added bonus of catching robo Hoover. Sara points out Zari is still in charge for a few hours if she wants to take lead with Hoover. She’s flattered, but robots aren’t her expertise. Luckily she happens to know of someone who is. She switches places with flannel Zari (although she’s currently overalls Zari) and Zari doesn’t seem that surprised by a tied-up J. Edgar Hoover.

Zari Tomaz
I’m always surprised by how much I miss one Zari or the other when they’re out of rotation.


So far, this season has turned out one good episode after another. We’re only four in, but this is easily the strongest episode yet. It might be one of the best episodes of Legends, period. A fun romp of an episode, that had some important things to say and also had a song and dance number. That is the equation for a good episode of Legends of Tomorrow.

I appreciate that Legends isn’t shying away from the prejudices of the time, but even more than that, I’m grateful they’re taking the time to acknowledge that no matter the time period that racism, sexism, and homophobia are never justified and there have always been people making safe spaces for others.

They could not have left Chicago after taking away one of those rare places, not the Legends who’s made up of a team of misfits who found a home with each other. It was great getting to see Zari step up to the plate this episode and take a stand.

In the same vein, of course, Astra, Spooner, and Gideon were going to help a woman trapped in life, especially Astra. Sometimes, the world is dark but Legends reminds there is always light to be found, with the right people.

And the song and dance, which were both wonderful, were the icing on the cake.

Only Legends Could

  • “Okay, Captain Sharpe.” “That’s Spooner Cruz.”
  • Gideon was a delight to just watch in the background of this episode. She does little things like imitating Astra and Spooner.
  • “Gals help gals, make new pals.” – come on, they have to know what they were doing with this one.
  • “Don’t you want to be with someone who respects you for the alien you really are?” “No, not really.”
  • “She’s my future favourite. My love, no denying it. So very dizzy for this dame.” – These are low key gay lyrics.
  • “We’ve been forced to hide away, our hearts until a better day.” – These are high key gay lyrics.
  • “Cheers to all the memories. Facing danger, solving mysteries. In the present, future, and the past.” – And these are Legends lyrics.
  • It would take a very tall order to dethrone ‘I Surrender’ as my favourite Legends original song. Future Favourite comes very, very close.

Images courtesy of the CW

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