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An Open Letter to Steven Moffat

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Dear Mr. Moffat,

I’m not a current viewer of Doctor Who, but I know people who are. People who were excited and happy to see not only an openly queer woman as a companion, but a queer woman of color. People who are now hurt and angry because of your choices.

I admit, I’m not the biggest fan of your work, not since series 6 of Doctor Who and the mess that Sherlock became after the second series. The more I watched your shows, the more I realized that you only knew how to write one kind of female character over and over again, just in different forms. I call her the Sexy Mystery™, the female character who exists to puzzle and delight the endlessly intelligent white male protagonist. She snarks and Kicks Ass™, but at the end of the day, her character revolves around said white male protagonists and exists only for him. As soon as her role in keeping him entertained and/or mystified is over, she gets the boot.

This kind of Faux Feminism™ turned me off even before I knew what to call it. Then you decided that ‘feminism’ meant a man talking over women and explaining their anger to them. I knew I was done then.

But then, you introduced Bill Potts. A proud, out lesbian and a black woman. I was intrigued, because she seemed so different from the string of interchangeable thin, white women you’d been using as companions (and characters on other shows). I watched trailers. She was funny, honest, optimistic, and not afraid to challenge the Doctor. She was a huge ball of sunshine and a delight. The age gap and her lack of romantic interest meant that a new dynamic had to be wrought between the Doctor and Bill. Still wary, I promised myself I’d keep an eye on the season and maybe watch once I’d seen how it ended.

The news I heard was encouraging. Bill seemed well on her way to being a new kind of companion. I let myself hope that you might be learning from your mistakes.

Yet, there were signs not everything was as I hoped. Bill Potts, a queer woman of color, was the first female companion without a romantic interest since the revival. White Feminism would say, “Excellent! This means her character doesn’t revolve around a man or romance. Win!”. Intersectional Feminism reminds us that women of color are frequently sidelined from being a romantic interest if they are the main character on a show. Often with the excuse of “she don’t need no man”. Even if the intentions here were innocent, someone ought to have been consulted to avoid falling prey to this common trap for lead women of color.

Add in that she’s a queer woman of color, and the implications double. Because the other female companion of color, Martha Jones, was given a romantic interest in her tenure on Doctor Who. The implication seems to be not so much her skin color, but her orientation led to her not being given a long-term canonical love interest. Yes, she got to talk about being into women, which is great. She even got two girls to express interest in (one of whom, Heather, died), which was more than I thought to see. I was half expecting her orientation would be brought up in the first episode then never mentioned again.

But, companions on Doctor Who have always had a love interest. Whether the Doctor himself or someone else, and not just a one off guest star in an episode. Rose, Martha, Donna, River, Amy, Clara, they all had one. Not giving your queer woman of color a love interest when it has literally always been a feature of the show? Now that just looks BAD.

It almost ends up looking like you wanted credit for creating a diverse, intersectional character without having to commit to following through on a sensitive portrayal of that character. You want the kudos for creating a black lesbian, but not have to actually write a wlw romance. Now, I can’t say that’s your motive, I’m not in your head. But for those of us on the outside, it sure as hell feels that way.

We feel robbed of the story every other female companion got. Since this is the first canon lesbian female companion on the show, not giving her a romance like every other female companion is a ripoff. It communicates that we matter less to you. Our love stories do not interest you since you can’t make the Doctor the center of it the way you could with the straight romances. Since you can’t make a man the center of a romantic relationship with a lesbian, you don’t care to give her a romance. Again, this is how it feels, not necessarily your intent. But its only fair that you understand the way your story affects us since we’re supposedly your intended audience.

The lack of love interest would have been frustrating enough if you hadn’t have killed her. Well, mostly killed her then turned her into a Cyberman. Yes, you had the ‘decency’ to forewarn us that the Doctor would witness the death of someone he cares about (the best candidates being Bill and Nardole). That’s at least more than many of us got last year when dozens of wlw characters were killed off of our screen. But it won’t win you brownie points.

Not after what we’ve been through. I’m not sure if you’re aware of the Spring Slaughter. That’s the phrase we use to describe the high number of deaths of queer female characters in the 2015-2016 season. That year, queer women made up roughly 1% of all characters on TV, but 10% of all deaths. We were dying at ten times the rate of our representation, so excuse us if we’re angry when another queer female character gets treated this way, especially a queer woman of color. There are precious few of them on our screens.

You know what? No. I take that back. We have every right to be angry. I have trouble believing you didn’t know this was an issue. Even across the pond there’s no excuse not to know given the prominence of this discussion in American media over the past 18 months. When your TV show has a large American following, you can’t not know the problematic trends in American television.

So I can only conclude that despite knowing, you thought this ‘didn’t fit’ the Bury Your Gays trope, as so many other showrunners have claimed in the past year. Maybe because you didn’t technically kill her…yet. So yeah, not buried, but half in the grave doesn’t count for much these days.

Yet, I’m sure you believe it’s fine. You probably had narrative reasons for making this choice. You probably had character reasons, too. The thematic point made about a queer woman of color as a victim of the classism in this society wasn’t lost on me. It’s valid, even interesting. But you know what? I don’t care. We’ve suffered enough.

Having to watch 33 queer female characters die in the 2015-2016 season followed by 20 more in the 2016-2017 season sucks ass. Do you know how much trauma this community has suffered seeing ourselves maimed, murdered, killed, and/or denied happy endings? Add to it the very real violence that the LGBT+ community has witnessed this past year and you can see why we’re Done with being killed off of media. We’re literally being destroyed on screen and killed in real life. We just want to exist and see ourselves represented as people without having to suffer violence and trauma on screen and off of it. The last thing we need is the only queer female companion on this show, the only queer female of color on this show, to suffer a gruesome almost-death and turn into a soulless murder machine.

Because full offense, not even thematic reasons can justify the protracted and macabre manner of Bill Pott’s death and transformation into a Cyberman. She’s shot in cold blood less than 10 minutes into the episode, a melon-sized hole blasted through her chest. Now, you may not realize this, but the death that brought attention to the issue of dead wlw characters last season was Lexa kom Trikru from the TV show, The 100. She was shot in the abdomen and bled out. It was gruesome, senseless, entirely unnecessary, and caused more collective pain than you can imagine. So you can see why a lesbian with a giant hole in her fucking torso would be traumatic for us.

Then you make it worse by giving us flashbacks with Bill hoping against just this eventuality, more lingering shots of the gaping hole in her body, and even make jokes about how mortal and fragile human beings are. I’m glad the death of a queer woc is a joke to you. Because it sure as hell isn’t to us. It’s our lives, not a wisecrack.

We then have to live the rest of the episode in a macabre, twisted parody of a hospital. We’re literally living our worst nightmare. A cross between institutionalization and experimentation, a throwback to the dark days of US history when LGBT+ people were treated as psychologically or physically damaged an in need of ‘repair’ or ‘fixing’.

Once again, other characters make jokes at her expense. And again, the humorous attempt to lampshade the horror happening to Bill fails to ameliorate or undermine what’s happening to her in light of what the queer community has faced the past few years. It doesn’t even matter if you’re going for levity or to lighten the mood. Given the context, it feels like mockery. Especially in hindsight knowing what happens to her at the end and how long she waited for the Doctor to return.

You turned her into a Cyberman. The heartless, emotionless, machines intent on killing all humans. This isn’t even the first time a black woman has been partially or fully upgraded to a Cyberman in the recent Who Universe. Lisa Hallet may not have been your creation, but having two black female characters turn into inhuman murder robots and turn on their friends and loved ones really doesn’t look good. And from what we’ve seen (and you’ve said yourself) in the trailer for next episode, Bill is going to go the way of Lisa, at least for a while.

“Well she’s a Cyberman from now on…she’s one of those ones in the trailer, just killing people. That’s the way it is sometimes.”—Steven Moffat

Yeah, fuck that.

In a perfect world, there would be no problematic implications for blasting a hole through a black lesbian character’s chest and turning her into an unfeeling killing machine. But guess what? We don’t live in that world. We live in a world where wlw characters are killed off at a disproportionately high rate. A world where our community has faced betrayal, hurt, and pain at that hands of showrunners. Some were ignorant of our hurt, some well-intentioned. But guess what? That didn’t change how much it hurt.

“That’s just the way it is sometimes” isn’t going to cut it. Not when we’ve had to watch ourselves die and showrunners excuse or justify the deaths of their queer female characters over and over and over again. Showrunners with great track records with the queer community have not escaped criticism for the deaths of their LGBT+ female characters in the past few years. And lets face it, your record on Doctor Who is pretty thin.

Madame Vastra and Jenny did have a warm, genuine, and lovely relationship from all I’ve heard. They weren’t main characters, but they were a welcome addition and well written. But they aren’t the only LGBT+ female characters. Sticking to the best representation is an unclear picture of your track record. River Song might as well be straight for all that her bisexuality is mentioned, much less given space to inform her character in any meaningful way. Just compare her with Jack Harkness. And speaking of bisexual erasure, Clara Oswald. The character who talks about “going through a phase” in college with a girl. Oh, and of the two women Bill expressed interest in, one of them is dead.

So yeah, you have made an effort to include queer female characters. It is more than other showrunners have done. But, it’s a low fucking bar. Five wlw characters in six years as the showrunner and only two of them get both a happy ending and the space to discuss their sexuality and relationship openly. The two bi characters have their sexuality regularly erased. And the fith, Bill Potts, the show’s first openly lesbian companion and a woc, you just shot through the chest and turned into a Cyberman.

She’s also the companion who has been given the least amount of screentime so far, which just adds insult to injury. Clara was a Dalek before she was a companion, so a comparison between the two doesn’t really count. River, like Clara, got her run as a companion after her ‘death’, so again, not a good comparison.

Clara isn’t even truly dead, just frozen in time, and River may have lost her body, but her consciousness is preserved in the Library, so again, not the same as turned into a murderous robot. The other four companions—Rose, Martha, Donna, and Amy—all got happy endings. If this is how Bill Potts exits the show, it would be unprecedented in terms of both an unhappy ending and a permanent transformation into a villain. That might be meaningful in terms of your ability to write consequences, but given who Bill is and the communities she represents, this wasn’t the right choice of character to prove you’re capable of killing off companions.

Even if she finds a way to become human again, she’s still the only companion to have been both killed(-ish) and turned into a villain during their run as a companion. Her being a queer woc may be a writing coincidence (i.e., you may have written any companion this way at this point in the story), but the queer women and women of color in your audience probably don’t experience it that way.

More to the point, even if you did write a way for her to ‘come back’, the damage has been done to queer communities and communities of color. You reopened old wounds and made some new ones along the way. Because you know what other pattern Bill’s death falls into? The killing off of lead female characters of color. Abbie Mills from Sleepy Hollow, Poussey Washington from Orange is the New Black, among others, and most recently, Veil from Into the Badlands. There are multiple communities hurting right now from this decision and that can’t be undone.

You already chose to make a traumatic, dramatic experience out of the near-death and de-humanization of a queer woman of color. You prioritized a Shocking™ cliffhanger over sensitivity to marginalized communities. Communities you may not have meant to hurt, but you did regardless. It may not be malicious, but it was insensitive and thoughtless.

Being flippant about it in an interview really isn’t doing you any favors or helping your image, either. You might be able to brush it off as ‘just what happens sometimes’, but you are neither a queer woman nor a woman of color. You don’t get to just be flippant about the way you treat an intersectional character. Maybe it’s your way of communicating it’s no big deal because she’s coming back. Doesn’t make the behavior any less insulting.

This whole thing is just…really, really unfortunate, and that’s being as positive as I can be. Mostly, I’m gobsmacked you and your team decided this was a good direction, that no one said ‘how about not.’

You just touched some very raw, very painful wounds. Bill Potts gave a lot of people hope and joy given the shit year queer women and women of color have had in terms of representation. Finding a way to ‘bring her back’ doesn’t negate the damage. The initial traumatic reaction can’t be erased or undone; it can’t be un-experienced even if the character somehow survives or becomes human again. You sentenced Bill, even if just for a time, to gruesome near death followed by a fate worse than death. That’s horrific and painful for us to see happen to a beloved (and much needed) character.

I can only hope that in the coming days you think long and hard about how to interact with these communities online. Many other showrunners have stumbled in reacting to the pain by justifying or excusing their choices instead of listening. Please listen, please understand. We’re wounded people, hurting people. People who have been scarred, betrayed, and dismissed. Don’t be yet one more name on the list of showrunners who proved their disregard for us and our experience in the aftermath of a problematic choice to kill off (or nearly kill off) a prominent queer female character .

I know that there’s still one episode left and as of Sunday, you hadn’t even finished it yet. Perhaps that means there’s hope you’ll hear how upset people are and make changes. If you had planned to kill off Bill, perhaps this means there’s time to have a different ending.

Whatever happens, though, bear in mind that no matter where the show goes from here, you’ve already hurt people. And that didn’t need to happen.

This adorable, precious face deserves better.


Images Courtesy of the BBC

Bi, she/her. Gretchen is a Managing Editor for the Fandomentals. An unabashed nerdy fangirl and aspiring sci/fi and fantasy author, she has opinions about things like media, representation, and ethics in storytelling.

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Black Lightning Episode 1-5 In Review

Shahar

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Black Lightning, Anissa, and Jennifer with the phrase Get Lit

This week, Black Lightning is on a hiatus so here are some thoughts on the show so far. New episodes return next week.

As a whole, Black Lightning is one of my favorite shows on TV right now, and of the 381 (I have a list) shows I’ve watched in my 24 years. It does so many things well, and what I don’t like is situated in a very specific context. For example, I love how the show hammers home that there are consequences to everything.

Consequences and Bad Guys

Last week’s episode ended with Jefferson as Black Lightning knocked out in the water when his suit gave him problems in a fight with Joey Toledo, Tobias’ right hand man. It was a bleak moment, but highlights how everything feels grounded! From the fights between Jefferson and various baddies, the deaths we’ve seen, and to Tobias doing anything, nothing is cartoonish. There are consequences to actions.

Sure dropping a lackey into a tank of piranhas is a bit much…but Tobias is terrible and terrifying and his traumatic childhood is not used as an excuse for his current actions. Rather they situate Tobias and Tori as adults (whose ages we don’t actually know) trying to control their world. I wonder if Tori has her own crime syndicate in Miami? Oh hey, that would be a cool webseries…

The dedication to showing consequences of people’s actions does have me worried with the portrayal of Khalil’s future arc. I understand the impetus behind his arc. Unless the writers flip the script, it’ll highlight how easy it is for people like Tobias and his lackeys to prey on young men without other options.

And I do not mean to simplify the many reasons why a young man may choose to deal drugs or why there is violence across so many American cities. But Khalil’s existence now for Tobias is as a scapegoat to turn BL into the bad guy. Again, disability in DCTV is merely a plot point for villains or temporary.

On the flip side, Anissa as an out and proud activist lesbian is awesome!

Ladies Loving Ladies

Once the season ends, I’ll write a full length piece on Anissa, Chenoa, and Grace. Even with only three episodes to really pull from, the writers established a lot about Anissa and Freeland. We saw in week 2 how she had a key for Chenoa’s place, and her parents knew her name, but that’s as far as that one year relationship had gone. Their sex was mindblowing, sure (which how incredible to finally see two Black woman make love as an affirmative thing), but Anissa wasn’t committed to Chenoa. Understandably she was pissed at the Ruby Red Lipstick Bar (I love that Freeland has a lesbian bar) and said some hurtful things to Anissa.

I wish we had (or maybe we will) seen Chenoa one last time, but the moment Anissa laid eyes on Grace, it was pretty clear we were getting the slow-burn there. And this is what’s so great about the show, by five episodes both Anissa and Grace have been affirmatively labeled by the show as a lesbian and bisexual woman. No need to assume and no need for obnoxious fandom labeling conversations.

However, with Grace as a super recurring character, who knows when we’ll see Chantal Thuy next and how she’ll factor into the next portion of Anissa’s development into Thunder. And if she receives a series regular promotion, whether or not she joins the Pierce family+Gambi shenanigans.

Pierce Family Passion

I LOVE ONE FAMILY. Look, representation is not revolutionary and won’t meet any of our material needs on a global scale. Instead, representation is required and our media should look like us. But I’d be remiss to say that centering a show on a Black man who loves his family isn’t a huge freaking deal!!!

Specifically because of the racist sentiment that Black fathers aren’t around for their kids. This doesn’t consider that a) 1.5 million Black men are “missing” or b) the Black men that are fathers, they are the most involved with their children of any other group of dads!

So watching Cress Williams as Jefferson Pierce, completely in love with his ex-wife and two daughters is stunning and I am so glad the show is about the Pierce family now instead of Jefferson years ago. Their passion for their home and each other is one of the bigger successes of the show.

(Though I’d love a flashback of him first realizing his powers since it would have been in response to a very emotional moment).

Grandpa Gambi

Who is he? We know he and Alvin Pierce were super close, he’s Jefferson’s surrogate father, and from an interview that the girls think of him as a grandpa. Yet we’ve only seen him interact with JefferLynn and Tobias! And he knows Tori? I want to know everything about him and really hope the next eight episodes reveal more. As the only white guy the writers invite us to care about, Gambi is important. He’s got this amazing boutique and clearly knows his technology. (Is he making Anissa’s outfit?)

But he’s hiding more than Tobias from Jefferson, like what I assume is his understanding that Anissa was on camera in episode 3. Likely more secrets related to Alvin Pierce too. Plus just how does he afford all his tech? The show is so good with details that it seems suspect we’ve yet to see more of that aspect…

Otherwise, Gambi is a really interesting lens into the show’s statements about so many issues.

Political Statements

The show has effectively made multiple statements not just about police brutality, drugs, or violence. Even the brief mention of the Tuskeegee experiments is significant with Greenlight and its entry into Freeland. I think its usage of Gambi as BL’s greatest champion as a hero pulled out of “retirement” as compared to Anissa and soon Jennifer’s journeys is really compelling.

I honestly don’t have the expertise to write a lengthy piece on the show’s usage of Malcolm X, MLK Jr, or others like Harriet Tubman but I think Anissa’s Malcolm vs. Jefferson’s MLK Jr. vs Black Lightning’s Malcolm is clear just from the show’s dialogue.

The scene between Anissa, her parents, and the Henderson’s is a great example. Is Black Lightning a vigilante who is hurting the police attempt’s to fight the 100 gang or everything else? (How is Henderson actually feeling about his inability to stop the 100 gang long-term?) Or is he stepping in where no one else will and making a difference? Does nonviolence actually work, or nah? How do we meet the material needs of oppressed groups, here black people?

The latter questions are debated at length and I don’t think Black Lightning is trying to conclusively answer them. Though the former two are definitely at the core of the show.

The same goes for the writers’ strong use of religious imagery in implicit and explicit ways.

Book of Black Lightning

Abrahamic religion and their prophets are explicitly referenced from the episode titles to the show dialogue. Abrahamic religion is a huge part of the show. The titles all tell a story, even the non “Book of” titles like “Resurrection” and “Black Jesus” have their own. We even saw a Methodist church for Lawanda’s funeral! It makes sense because the Akils are actually Muslim. I hope we get some Black Muslims too in the show.

Jefferson is Black Jesus (resurrection), then Black Lightning is Moses (the latter was reluctant at first to lead). Obviously Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have differences in their telling of Moses’ story but it’s pretty apparent what’s happening here. Lady Eve is Pharaoh and I’m not quite sure on who Tobias is yet, but I’ll figure it out by season’s end when I’ll write a long article about everything else we get this season.

Last Thoughts

  • When will Syonide get to talk extensively? One Syonide in the comics has a girlfriend and I would love to see the show’s take on that.
  • Someone find the scripts for me because each episode feels like it’s cramming a usual script and a half’s worth of stuff into one 45 minute episode.
  • I hope this show doesn’t get 22 episodes this fall. I find it works better as a short season show.

What do y’all want answers to or have thoughts on? Next week, the show returns to Jefferson looking for Alvin’s murderer and so much more.


Image courtesy of The CW

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Rise and Fall: The Chi’s “Penetrate a Fraud” Is Joy, Heartbreak, and Fear

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Welcome back to Lena Waithe’s The Chi, where this week we see some characters start to rise from pain while others fall all the way into it.

Ronnie, never able to escape this corner.

Let’s start with Brandon, who hit a low point last week when Jerrika showed up to the block party with another guy. Then Brandon confronted Ronnie, telling him he hopes Coogie’s murder haunts him for the rest of his life before walking alone into the darkness. This week, things are looking a little better for our tender-hearted guy. A big reason for that is Sarah, his boss’s wife/all-around manager of things at the restaurant. There is a serious mutual crush happening, and in this episode she gives him an opportunity to prove himself: he’s going to be in charge of the food for a very large and fancy wedding anniversary catering gig. He pulls it off without a hitch and Sarah thanks him, saying the restaurant isn’t doing as well as everyone thinks and they really needed a good night like this one.

Side note, my parents ran a restaurant for more than 10 years, and it is so true that even popular upscale places are in a constant struggle to keep their heads above water. It is a very unforgiving industry, and this little corner of the storyline hit home for me. Plus, my mom was the Sarah, basically doing every little thing and never stopping, so I appreciate her as a character.

Anyway, the other immediate event in Brandon’s world is the revelation that his mother and Greavy got married at the courthouse without telling him. They’re planning a backyard barbecue celebration that night and were hoping he could do some of the food. Brandon is angry, still resentful of Greavy, and storms off. But Greavy goes after him and is a little softer toward him, saying that it would mean a lot to his mother if he were there, and also that he’ll do right by her.

In the end, Brandon, high off of a successful night that will likely mean a lot to his career, takes Sarah and the leftover catering food to his mom’s house. The joy Laverne feels that her son shows up is such a perfect illustration of how much mothers love their children. Brandon ends up making a really nice speech about the new couple, and it’s nice to see everyone in that string-lights-and-Heineken-filled backyard so full of smiles. Oh and then Brandon and Sarah kiss, so, that will be interesting next week.

!!!! This won’t end well but in the meantime, I’m happy for them.

Meanwhile, some other mothers are having an unexpectedly great day of their own. Ethel takes Jada to get their nails done as a thank you for patching up Ronnie’s gunshot wound/saving his life. They end up bonding and we learn that Jada has not been prioritizing dating or her sexual needs, since she has approximately 100 million other things on her plate. But after her conversation with Ethel, Jada comes home to an empty house, lights candles along the edge of the bathtub, and masturbates with the shower head. I am so here for Jada taking care of herself. Also I will always associate showerhead masturbation with that scene in The Runaways where Joan Jett—aka a still-not-publicly-out Kristin Stewart—tells her bandmate to think of Farrah Fawcett in order to get off. Iconic.

HERE FOR IT.

The reason Jada came home to an empty house is that Emmett has been extremely busy with his and Amir’s burgeoning shoe business. Amir “borrows” $5,000 from his uncle Habib, and he and Emmett follow a tip Emmett got about some rich white person who wanted to unload a shoe collection. Turns out it’s a day-drinking divorcee who wants to sell her husband’s garage full of sneakers. The two jump on it, thinking they’ve scored the shoes for half, if not less, of what they’re worth.

Emmett gets to work putting the word out to his network of sneakerheads and sets up the van full of shoes in an underpass, where he sells almost all of them. Until one guy rolls up, looks at the shoes, and tells Emmett they’re knockoffs (something to do with SKU numbers). Then he accuses Emmett of “penetrating a crime” on him and pulls a gun on him and Emmett Jr., who is in his arms. Emmett Jr. basically never stops crying; is that what real babies are like? Anyway, luckily the guy doesn’t actually shoot but Emmett is sufficiently freaked out. It remains to be seen how this will unfold with the “business partnership.”

As we continue down our path of characters’ best days to worst days, Ronnie is still halfway dead, stumbling around town bleeding through his clothes. He goes back to Common’s mosque, where he is told he’ll be welcome to come in and talk, but despite looking tempted, he doesn’t do it—yet. Ronnie is also trying to find someone who will unlock Jason’s phone. He finds Jason’s girlfriend. Ronnie didn’t know he had a girlfriend, or that she is pregnant, or that Jason knew she was pregnant and so did Tracey. Or that Tracey didn’t want Jason to see her, or that Jason wanted to quit basketball. There was a lot Ronnie didn’t know, but Jason’s girlfriend unlocked the phone for him, so now he can look through pictures.

But guess who else wants to look at the phone: Detective Cruz. He brings Ronnie in for questioning, and backhandedly proposes they help each other: Cruz won’t push too hard to pin Coogie’s murder to Ronnie, and Ronnie will give Cruz Jason’s phone. I guess so he can figure out what happened and get back in the department’s good graces before anyone exposes the fact that he’s the reason Ronnie knew about Coogie having robbed Jason’s body. Cruz doesn’t seem to find much on the phone—mostly a lot of selfies—but he sees that the last call made was to 911. So that’s interesting.

Lastly, we have the boiling-point tensions between Trice, Reg, and their crew and Q and his. Q stole Trice’s dog (the same one Coogie used to feed) and has been taunting him with her for weeks. Now, he uses her as a distraction, taunting Trice into conversation while Q’s two guys sneak into the house to see what Reg, Trice, and co. have in there. Trice tells Q to go back to Cuba, so we now know where he was before coming back to Chicago. Q points out to Trice that he never got back to him about who might have killed Jason and why. He’s clearly hung up on something with Tracey; maybe he’s Jason’s real father? I don’t know.

Regardless, Q’s guys report back on the specific kinds of military guns Reg and co. stole a lot of last week. And at the end of the episode, the three of them straight-up kill everyone in the house and steal the guns. I don’t know if Trice or Reg were there, but I’m concerned for Jake?!?!

I-miss-my-dog face.

That’s it for this week, let’s hope next week we get to see the kids and the lesbians again, because I miss them and this episode ended on an extremely dark note.


Images from The Chi Courtesy of Showtime

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Legends of Tomorrow Gets Stuck in a Time Loop

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legends

Starting off intensely, we see Zari racing against time to get Gideon to execute some simulation program that she wants to keep a secret from the team. Things don’t go as planned because the Legends come back from a mission that involved Napoleon Bonaparte and disco clothing. While Nate and Amaya leave the bridge to discuss the fact that they just had sex during a mission, Sara gets pissed at Zari when Gideon stops working and she finds out about Z’s secret simulation.

Taking the captain position hard, Sara argues with Zari about it, despite Ray’s concern about her mood given Constantine’s warning. Zari reveals that she wanted to find loopholes in history so she could exploit them to avoid the dark future she knows as 2042. As Zari goes to fix the ship, she is hit with some neon fluid from a tube. As she tries to see if Gideon is back online, the Waverider explodes…

…and we’re back to Zari arguing with Sara.

Zari tries to figure out what’s going on, first talking to Mick, then snooping on Nate and Amaya’s post intercourse conversation, and finally Ray to no avail. In the end, the ship explodes again and we’re back to Sara, who ends up twisting Zari’s arm by accident. She ends up being taken to the med bay where she gets sedated and thus back again with the day starting over. Her next move is to try to explain the whole thing to the crew, but it still doesn’t work for multiple attempts.

Until Nate believes her and tells Zari to talk to him again and quotes “Groundhog Day,” which leaves me wondering why pop culture can’t update its timeloop references. Say “Edge of Tomorrow” or even “Happy Death Day” if we want current. Nevertheless, as soon as she wakes up again, she goes to Nate. The two theorize that the explosion comes from within the ship instead of some outside force. Some other stuff happens, but in the end, the ship explodes.


Zari’s newest attempt starts with her teaming up with Nate to go after Rory. It takes a few other attempts, but they eventually figure out that, despite his initial suspicious behavior—doing his laundry—Mick’s was only hiding his novel. They go check on Ray, who ends up revealing, rather easily, that Constantine had told him to kill Sara when Mallus takes over. The duo decide to go after Sara now, fearing that she may be possessed and exploding the ship. Ray shrinks Zari and himself in order to spy on Sara.

What they find is rather the opposite: just a flirtatious facetime conversation with Ava — to quote the poet, “This is a gays only event, go home!”. The two talk about their own experiences being bossy and how Sara has faith in Zari, but she ends up dodging one of Ava’s attempts to go over to the ship and hang out. Sadly, Sara ends up crushing Ray and Zari, as she thought they were a fly.

Once again, Zari goes to Nate, but she’s feeling quite tired. Nate suggests they have fun with it given the lack of consequences, so cue the fun montage. Eventually, the fun runs out and Zari tries to kill herself, but fails. This time though, Sara manages to believe Zari’s story and enlists the whole team to look for bombs. The Legends try the trash compactor and find Gary, the Bureau agent. Mick takes a device from his hand and destroys it, thinking it was the bomb, but instead, it was what originated the time loop: Gary had boarded the Waverider because of an alert that the ship would explode so he had created the one-hour loop which would give enough time for the time to defuse the bomb. So now, the device is broken and the team has five minutes to find the bomb before they truly die.

Using the Chekhovian move, Sara finds the bomb inside a disc play. If I understant it correctly, Napoleon had gotten his hand on a CD player with ABBA’s “Waterloo” in it, which he had used to win the war? Something campy like that, for sure. Seeing as the bomb will explode, Zari locks herself with the bomb in a force field so she can say her last words to the team which, as expected, is mostly advice she picked up from her time during the time loop.

As the timer stops, Zari finds herself in the company of humanoid!Gideon, the same one that kissed Rip Hunter that one time (I’m glad they end up finding ways to bring Amy Pemberton on board!). Gideon tells her that, in real life, Zari is healing at the med bay, but her mind is with Gideon at her matrix. Turns out Zari’s simulator had not only worked but done all the job regarding the timeloops to show that Zari needs the Legends’ help in order to find the loophole to save 2042.

As she wakes up, Zari gets Ray to confess his secret to Sara so she can prove that she indeed was inside the matrix. As Sara and Zari have a chat, it circles between their will to save people and a nice little loophole that may just give Z a chance to spare her brother’s life.

Capping off the episode, we finally meet Firestorm’s replacement after the CW confirmed it a few weeks back: Rip Hunter tracks down Wally West in China to ask him for help to save the universe.


Images Courtesy of The CW.

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