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Outlander Returns to Prove It’s the Best Show on TV

Meg

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After a summer hiatus, I am back to The Fandomentals to review Outlander, and after a ridiculously long hiatus, it’s back too! Thankfully. Just in time, with that other epic fantasy show on TV still fresh in our minds, along comes this juggernaut of quality to remind us that there’s more to this TV game that spectacle—though spectacle can count for a lot.

I will say that the first 10 minutes absolutely gutted me, and they reminded me of the importance of world-building. While you can certainly start watching here, with season 3 episode 1, many of the things that happen, especially in those first few minutes, are a culmination of 2 seasons’ worth of character arcs, and they ran the gamut from satisfying, to humorous, to tragic as hell. It looks like Starz is letting people play catch-up for free, so please, if you haven’t already? Do it.

Content Warning: This review discusses violence, rape, a past miscarriage, and sexist behavior, including forced medication during childbirth, as depicted on the show.

Recap

Oh man. Whew, that a first 10 minutes!

We open with long, lingering shots of the dead and wounded in the aftermath of Culloden Moore. It was, as we know from history, a route for our Scottish heroes, and these scenes really bring home the brutality of it. I mean, when that idiot fop Bonnie Prince Charlie is there (in flashback) in his wig drinking his booze proclaiming their certain victory, you wanna punch him in the face. More so than usual.

Their strategy was, to say the least, flawed, and sending starving, sword-armed men into heavy artillery and musket fire seems like a quick path to defeat.

Jamie’s down anyway, of course.

Scenes of Jamie lying near-death are intercut with flashbacks to the battle: the charge, the volleys of English musket fire dropping waves of Scots, and, most important for us Outlander fans, Jamie and Black Jack Randall’s long-awaited showdown.

As I’m sure you remember, Claire promised Black Jack that he would die at Culloden Moore, a fact she knew from her husband Frank’s genealogical research. After Jack spent weeks torturing and raping Jamie, our hero was more than willing to do the deed. He owed him one, you might say.

Their fight was split across several flashbacks. It wasn’t in order (as Jamie himself might remember it in his dazed and wounded state), but the climax of it was spectacular. The English had set parts of the battlefield on fire, so everything was bathed in a hot, flickering light. Smoke curled around them. As they fought, the battle moved on, so it was just the two of them in a sea of dead.

They’re both wounded; Jack bayoneted Jamie in the leg and Jamie stabbed him in the stomach. They can barely stand, but they’re still going at each other. Suddenly Jack’s face changes. He knows he’s dying, and his expression becomes one of longing and compassion, which is kinda gross but also brilliant, and as he falls against Jamie it almost turns into an embrace.

They tumble to the ground, Jack’s body draped over Jamie’s, and it’s probably the dead redcoat on top of him that saved him from the roaming English soldiers finishing off the wounded.

While lying there, snow slowly drifting down onto his upturned face, Jamie has a vision of Claire walking across the field toward him. She’s in full La Dame Blanche mode, and he grips the dragonfly in amber tightly in his hand.

Claire’s face turns into Rupert’s, and he gets Jamie to a hovel where the Scots are collecting their wounded, but it isn’t long before the English find them. An officer arrives with some men and explains that he’s been ordered to execute any traitors to the Crown they find. Are any men here innocent of treason?

Rupert says nope, they’re guilty to a man, so the executions begin. I mean, like, they’re all very gentlemanly about it, but I think it’s a form of psychological torture to make everyone wait while you shoot these guys one by one.

So we lose Rupert, and the rest of the Scottish Gang from seasons 1 and 2, but Murtagh (who Jamie saw on the battlefield) is unaccounted for. Y’all know that ol’ cuss made it through. *fingers crossed*

All of the able-bodied men are executed, so the commander orders stretchers to be brought so the wounded can be carried outside for their executions. Jamie volunteers to be shot next, but when he gives his name, the commander recognizes it. If you remember from last season, Jamie at one point encountered a young English soldier, John Grey. Instead of killing him when he had the chance, he let him go, and the boy vowed to save his life one day.

Important rule of thumb: don’t kill dumb kids.

As luck would have it, the English commander is Lord Hal Melton, the kid’s older brother. He can’t kill Jamie as a point of honor (despite how much Jamie begs), so he has him smuggled out in a hay cart to Lallybroch. He believes Jamie will die on the way (I mean, they’ve never met, so he DOESN’T KNOW JAMES FRASER), but duh of course he survives. Jamie’s arc ends with Jenny bending over him crying and thankful that he’s home.

Okay, so, that was a lot, but it was only half the episode! All the Jamie stuff was intercut with Claire in 1948 Boston. She and Frank moved there when he was offered a position at Harvard. She’s pregnant, of course, with Jamie’s child, but Frank has offered to raise it as his own. He wants a fresh start with his wife, who, after all, he still loves very much.

Claire agrees, but she’s struggling. She doesn’t like the gas stove in their (amazing) house, and instead cooks over the fireplace. Frank’s boss is incredibly rude and condescending to her, basically dismissing her as a “little woman” who should be happy with the domestic life of motherhood and stop trying to actually think!

The wallpaper’s pretty terrible, but trust me on the rest of it.

And, of course, she misses Jamie. Frank grows frustrated because she’s so distant; she won’t let him touch her, and she can’t seem to settle into their life in Boston. They fight, and she throws an ashtray at his head. He tells her she has to make a choice: either stay there with him, or leave, but do what makes her happy.

That night, he’s sleeping on the couch when she comes downstairs to tell him her water’s broken. He rushes her to the hospital where the doctor is (once again) a condescending prig. She admits to having a past miscarriage, which Frank didn’t know about, but when she tries to apologize he tells her not to worry about it. It doesn’t matter.

She’s taken into the delivery room, and despite her protests she’s given ether to knock her out through the delivery process. God that seems so barbaric to me! Especially because the doctor’s attitude was “we can’t have any messy WOMEN involved in this process. Just go to sleep and let us MEN handle it.” Ugh.

Anyway, she’s terrified when she wakes up because clearly she isn’t pregnant anymore, but there’s no baby. Then Frank comes in carrying her, and they have a beautiful moment bonding over their daughter. They agree that this can be a fresh start, and they kiss and cry and fuss over how gorgeous their baby is.

She’s so cute!

You start to think that maybe this can all work out for them, after all, but then the nurse comes in and asks where the baby got her red hair. Frank’s face falls and the music changes. Just before the credits roll, you get the instant understanding that no, it won’t work. It can’t.

Review

That made it sound like very little happened on Claire’s side, and while it’s true most of the action was in 18th century Scotland, Claire’s arc this episode was about her general “fish out of water” feeling in not only Boston, but also 1948 and her marriage with Frank.

When you look back at how incredibly hard she struggled to get back to him and her time, it makes the rift in their relationship even sadder. She never meant to fall in love with Jamie. She loved Frank deeply, but she did fall for Jamie, and now she has to figure out how to put her life back together after.

At one point her neighbor tells her how lucky she is, because she’ll never find a man like Frank again. That’s true, but she has found a man like Frank before, and now nothing compares to him. Frank loves her, and he’s trying, but how can their marriage work when most of Claire is still back in the 18th century with Jamie?

I feel so awful for Frank. He’s a good man who really never did anything wrong. It’s not his fault he looks exactly like Jamie’s rapist and Claire’s tormentor. It’s not his fault his wife got sucked back in time and fell in love with a strapping Highlander. Obviously Jamie and Claire are the OTP to end all OTPs, but Frank is a good man caught in a bad situation. I can’t help but wish that Claire could find room in her heart for him again.

Don’t think I’m blaming Claire for any of this. Again, she didn’t ask to marry Jamie, and she certainly never planned on loving him. Unfortunately circumstances dictated the marriage had to happen, and well whoops. Who wouldn’t fall in love with Jamie Fraser??

I mean pls.

I’ve seen people this season asking what happened to Edmure Tully, and, well, now y’all now: he escaped to a better show! Black Jack Randall is dead, but Frank’s still truckin’ on, being the long-suffering husband with carefully controlled anger issues. Good on you, Tobias. Upgrade.

Anyway.

As I said in the intro, what made this episode so effective (besides the spectacular use of color and lighting, and Bear McCreary’s always exceptional score) was all the payoff. We’d been falling for the ridiculous Scottish gang for 2 seasons; Rupert’s loss hurt, and it brought to mind Angus’s death last season. Rupert’s touching call out to Angus only made it that much more poignant.

Of course we finally got to see Jack Randall meet his fate, and I’m glad it wasn’t done in a super gratuitous way. Jamie is a good man with a strong sense of honor and vengeance, not cruel like Jack; so if he had enjoyed it or reveled in it, it would’ve been gross and out of character. As it was, they were two men with a bloody history meeting on the battlefield, and the better man won. The fact that Jamie probably owes his continued life to Jack’s death is an irony that likely isn’t lost on Jamie.

Claire’s storyline was less about endings and more about beginnings. She floated the idea of becoming an American citizen, but Frank didn’t like it. We see her chafe at the “little woman” role imposed on her by Frank’s colleagues and society in general. She’s clearly bored and annoyed by being a housewife. She also mentions that women have recently been accepted to Harvard Medical School. Hmmm, methinks Mrs. Randall is plotting something.

Isn’t she always?

Outlander is back, dear readers, and if you haven’t watched it before, now is the time. Everything you hate about certain other shows, everything those shows get wrong, Outlander gets right. There is nothing cheap or melodramatic here. Every beat is earned, every character is a real person, and the beauty and the spectacle are just icing on the cake.

Episode Grade: A. Get used to it, because this show is setting the bar.


Images curtesy of Starz

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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

Matthew

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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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