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Black Rosies and Legends Of Tomorrow Take On Planes And Moral Pains in the Mid Season Finale

After narrowly escaping Evil Gideon with a toilet hitchhiker, the Legends find themselves stranded in a forest with a broken time machine. Again. Only this time the damage is more extensive, on account of the toilet that crashed into them. When they see its Bishop who was their commode stowaway the Legends are not happy, especially not Sara or Ava. But before they can decide what do to, the sound of an approaching vehicle forces them to divert attention away from the time machine.

The team splits up to draw away the curious denizens (a pair of Military Police in a jeep) and re-converge to hide in the mansion. Once they’re safely hidden inside, they question Bishop. He admits he was behind the Waverider explosion and the terminator Hoover-bot, but swears he’s on their side now and warns them of Evil Gideon who’s still hunting them. At the mention of her name, our Gideon pipes up, drawing Bishop’s curiosity, surprised to see her human form.

Unfortunately, several specialized parts were damaged in the crash and they need to be replaced. Sara and Ava head out to investigate the ‘where and when’ they are, hoping to find somewhere close by they can find parts to repair the time machine. It seems like they’re in luck this time. They spot some ladies in overalls and follow them right to an airplane factory, building planes for World War II. They’re doubly lucky because they just so happen to be hiring women to work in the factory (there’s a recruitment video by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and everything).

Sara and Ava
They have to get lucky some of the time.

Back in the mansion, Flannel!Zari decides it’s time she return to the totem. Nate promises he’ll be moving in just as soon as the team is settled in their proper time. He also shares the news with the rest of the team who are all very excited. To add to the celebration, Ava fills in everyone about their luck in location. Gwyn has to process that ‘The Great War’ has a sequel. They stop Gideon before she can tell about all the other wars and get planning to repair the time machine.

Looking at Gwyn’s designs, Spooner reckons she can weld the parts he needs once they get the right equipment. The ladies of the Legends (sans the Zaris still chilling in the totem) head to the factory where they run into the manager, Mr. Staples, and the head recruiter. Sara and Ava are assigned to the factory floor while Gideon is tapped to be Mr. Staples’ new secretary. He barely gives Astra and Spooner a second glance after pointing them in the direction of janitorial, but not before he gets off a racist comment.

Astra’s tired of being surrounded by blatant racism and judging by her glowy hands, her magic agrees. Her mood isn’t brightened when they meet the woman in charge of them, who has zero tolerance for Astra’s sass. She’s ready to leave this mission up to the others, not seeing the point of staying when they can’t be in the factory to help find parts. But where Astra sees dirty mops and cleaning carts, Spooner sees the perfect way to smuggle things out of the factory. She’s annoyed by Spooner’s optimism, and lets her know as much when she very endearingly says ‘I hate you.’

Astra and Spooner
Get you a friend you can fondly say ‘I hate you’ to.

Sara and Ava are shown around the factory floor and put to work on the assembly line. No sooner does Ava compliment the fact the factory is run by women than they’re cat-called by one of the few men and reminded that yup, history sucks if you’re not a white man.

Meanwhile, in the mansion, Fancy!Zari returns, happy to be reunited with her phone. She congratulates Nate on his big news but warns him some of their ancestors aren’t thrilled that’s he’s moving in, namely Amoo Arjomand. Nate thinks it will be a breeze to win over one grumpy uncle, but the Tarazis aren’t so sure. They offer to teach Nate about Persian culture, using Bishop to teach him etiquette.

Nate, Zari and Behrad
Helping your alternate self’s/sister’s boyfriend impress your ancestors who live in a totem on your wrists.

Meanwhile, at the factory, Sara spots some metal beams that might be what they need. She swipes one, to double-check with Spooner, asking Ava to cover for her. When she finds Spooner and Astra working as custodians, she immediately lets them know they don’t have to do this. Astra and Spooner assure they’re fine with this for the sake of the mission. Sara relents, but lets them know they can change their minds at any time.

Spooner and Astra’s supervisor Gladys catches them with the part, but instead of reprimanding them like they expect, she points out a room where she and the other colored ladies work on machines, teaching themselves how to use the equipment. She says they can use it, as long as they’re discreet. Spooner goes to work on the part, while Astra covers for her.

Back with the Tarazis and Nate, they’ve begun the first lesson in being a good guest/host. But Bishop with his entitled attitude, what with his taking of the good towels and requests none caffeinated tea, isn’t making the lesson easy.

Back at the factory, Sara and Ava aren’t thrilled when they learn they’re expected to turn out a new plane every two days. Meanwhile, Astra’s also lamenting, but for the opposite reason. It took Spooner all day to make one of the parts and with the 17 more they need, it doesn’t look like they’re getting out of this century any time soon.

That is until they overheard Staples as he’s leaving for the day. There’s a broken machine that can manufacture specialized parts. When Spooner confirms the machine could make the parts they need in a few days, Astra doesn’t need to hear anything more. She marches into his office, using her magic to fill the repair form for the machine and ensure it will be producing the parts they need.

Unfortunately, Mr. Staples returns, catching her in his office. As he starts to go on a racist, sexist tirade, about to fire her, Astra reacts, using her magic reflexively, stunning him in place. Realizing she’s made a big problem, Astra calls Time Moms for help. They’re shocked at first, but then decide they can turn this lemon into lemonade. As long as he’s a statue they can take over running the factory, making the mission easier. Astra volunteers to step up to run things, staying behind to study the factory’s books.

The others return to the mansion, where Bishop has been let out of his room and is making himself very comfortable, borrowing Zari’s phone and eating at the table. Over dinner, he asks Gideon more questions. She explains she’s human, but also a computer that doesn’t really make sense, except it makes perfect sense.

The Legends of Tomorrow
Sometimes you have former enemies over for family dinner.

With Astra running things at the factory, they’re able to move the time machine into a cargo bay where Gwyn and Gary can work. Astra’s found a lot of holes in the factory’s system and knows if they’re going to make the parts they need and still produce a plane in 48 hours, they need to make the factory more efficient. Gideon suggests they ask the ladies how best to improve things. Setting up a complaint box, Astra begins changing things according to the wants and wishes of the workforce. They change one of the men’s washrooms to a ladies and give them coffee, donuts, and a radio to enjoy.

It’s not long before they have the factory running better, while also being well on their way to a repaired time machine. But Astra gets one more idea to improve things, passing a work order to integrate the factory floor.

When the foreman and the head recruitment lady see the order, they stage a walk, most of the white workers following them. Gladys goes to Mr. Staples’ office, finding Astra there instead. When she realizes Astra was the one behind the interrogation, she blames her for trying to rush change. With half the workforce gone, they won’t finish the plane and lose the defense contract, costing all of them their jobs. Astra uses some reverse phycology to challenge Gladys and her girls to finish the plane.  Gladys thinks this ends with them losing their jobs either way, but Astra promises they’ll keep their jobs.

Everyone pitches in, the Legends who weren’t already working in the factory or on the time machine chipping in to help keep the ladies fed. Behrad delivers Astra’s meal personally. Sensing the stress she’s under, Behrad reassures her heart was in the right place. If anything he wishes he was more like her, especially when having to deal with Bishop. Astra points out that the last person she had to ‘deal with’ she turned into a glorified coat rack, so she could take a page or two from Behrad’s books.

Spooner, Sara, Ava and the Rosies
The Rosies

Astra heads down to the floor herself to check on things. Hopes about finishing on time are waning, so Astra steps up to the plate to give an inspirational speech. She reminds them that they deserve to be there because of their own skills and not because some white man let them be there. When the odds were stacked against them, they built a plane with their own hands. They did that and no one can take that from them.

Meanwhile, Behrad channels his inner Astra to tell Bishop off about his behavior. Surprisingly, Bishop apologizes. He’s never been good with human interactions, which explains why he was so prefixed with clones and robots. As an apology gift, he shows them an invention he made for the time machine. Gwyn’s machine is capable of time travel, but it doesn’t have the processing power needed to calculate place and time which is they’ve kept ending up in random places in history. His device will allow Gideon to connect to the machine and make those calculations for it. Behrad is thrilled by this, accepting the apology. Zari, less so because her phone was sacrificed for the device.

At the factory, the ladies are tightening the final bolts on the plane and not a moment too soon as the Colonel is about to arrive for their inspection. But Mr. Staples happens to unfreeze at this moment and he’s not happy to see half his workforce gone and the colored women on the factory floor. But Astra did take some advice from Behrad, ‘a good guest makes a good host.’ She invited the first lady to the factory, along with Time Magazine. Once she sees the efforts of an integrated workforce she congratulates Staples, and promises to keep an eye on him (making it impossible for him to roll back the changes Astra made).

The ladies celebrate with a party. Whilst Bishop and Gwyn are making the final adjustments to the time machine, the rest of the Legends join the festivities. Gladys thanks Astra for everything she’s done. It’s thanks to you she understands that sometimes change is slow and steady and sometimes it needs to be a sudden force.

Astra and Gladys
Sometimes, you need to be the change you want to see.

The Legends can take some pride in the fact they brought integrated workforces two years sooner to the timeline. That pride doesn’t last long once they remember they weren’t supposed to be making big changes. They don’t notice the shadowy figures in tactical gear sneaking into the building, but they do hear the unmistakable sounds of the Waverider.

Bishop and Gideon are with the time machine but separated from the team. Bishop puts his device on Gideon’s head and they jump to the factory floor. Those mysterious figures begin opening fire on the team, pinning them down. With their options limited, Ava tries suggesting the bulletproof members of their team (Sara and Nate) run to the time machine and come back for them but Sara isn’t going to be separated again.

That’s when Bishop steps up to the plate. Or steps into the plane, to be accurate. With the mounted gun on the warplane, he’s able to take out two of their attackers and draw the attention of the rest, allowing the Legends to get to the time machine. But one of the figures gets to Bishop. He gives one last salute to Legends before we hear a gunshot off-screen. The Legends jump away and we meet those shadowy figures.

They’re the Legends. Clone/robot hybrids most likely, made by Evil Gideon. Seems like Evil Gideon has learned if you want to stop a Legend, you’re going to need some Legends of your own.

Review

The first half-season seven of Legends of Tomorrow certainly hasn’t shied away from the social aspects that a group of time travelers who are majority women and POC would face in the early 1900s. If anything its embraced that aspect and chose to tell the stories of empowerment of those groups. This episode they told the story of the ‘Black Rosies‘ and in their timeline, they changed things a little sooner than expected, but it was a change for the better.

Since Zari called them out on it, in Speakeasy Does it, there’s been an almost conscious shift from their usual motto of ‘sometimes we screw things up for the better,’ to trying to leave a better mark on the places they end up. They chose to help Eddie get a new club. They chose to warn people about Chernobyl. And here they chose (or Astra did) to have an integrated workforce. Legends acknowledge that being historically right sometimes means being morally wrong and when they have to make a choice, they choose to be in the moral right.

The other main aspect of this season has been their cat and mouse chase with Evil Gideon. I’m so glad I was right about Gideon being the real big bad and Bishop was more the set piece to get her onto the board. I mentioned before how interesting a dynamic is it watching the differences between ‘our’ Gideon and Evil Gideon and the things they determine as important to protect the timeline. Now, with an entire team of Evil Legends, there’s so much potential in showing the difference between ‘preserving history’, the good and bad of it, and ‘screwing things up for the better.’

Only Legends Could

  • I’m sorry Gideon, but Misunderstood Gideon who’s just trying to keep the timeline intact is a lot to type, so Evil Gideon will remain as Evil Gideon.
  • Matt Ryan, as Gywn Davies “Who’s John?”
  • Truly, only on a team like the Legends could the words ‘I’m moving into a totem’ be met with 100% enthusiasm and no questions.
  • ‘I hate you’ is one of the deepest ways best friends can say I love you.
  • Ava channeling her inner ‘I Love Lucy’, and hiding washers in her mouth.
  • Fancy Zari being the only one who sees the resemblance between Constantine and Gwyn.

Images courtesy of the CW

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Author

  • Proud Trinidadian. Writer, poet and game writer when she isn't busy dissecting fictional worlds or galavanting through the latest video game.

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