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How Did Peridot Become My Favorite Character?

Bo

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Five months (and a mere, what, 10 episodes ago?), I would never have believed that I would even like Peridot, let alone have written something like this. She was entertaining, sure. I loved the whole silly Scooby-Doo villain thing she had going on. And I could see the “Peridemption” possibility despite my reluctance towards it. When “Catch and Release” aired, like most people I was highly entertained by tiny Peridot stripped of her limb enhancers and acting cute beyond words.

So how in the world did she helicopter up my favorite character list so quickly? How does she now arguably perch tall atop it? Such is the question I ask myself now. I suspect more magic by a ridiculously well written show.

 

Comedy is a large part of the attraction, I know. I’m no different from most people who gravitate easily to funny characters, and Peridot is an incredibly funny character. The in-over-her-head-IT tech vibe she gave off at first was endearing, and the way she mimicked Steven’s behavior during the Crystal Gems’ attempts to capture her even more so. Whatever worries  about her character grating on the nerves once she joined our lovable space rocks vanished quickly. She has gotten to the point where it feels like every sentence out of her mouth is a classic (“Barn Mates” and “Hit the Diamond” were basically ‘Peridot’s Greatest Hits.’ I started writing this after “Barn Mates” and “Hit the Diamond” made me feel even better about it.)

Of course it also helps that the humor is so natural to her character, and not lame attempts at forcing one-liners to establish Peridot as the funny character. Her many great funny lines are the product of a writing and animating team that has full grasp of who she is. The humor springs from the situation at hand and the influences on her character, just like it always has. I love that she adopted Amethystisms because she bonded with Amethyst first. This clip is one of the funniest moments of the show while also providing a glimpse into Peridot’s conflicted psyche at the moment. I had a GREAT time watching her try oh so hard to spark a friendship with Lapis, each interaction so funny because of the character development they displayed.

Because ultimately, Steven Universe has not fallen into the easy trap of forcing Peridot into the “comic relief” box. In a show full of complex, incredible characters, she continuously proves to be every bit as complex as any of them.

 

Her arc from her first appearance to now has been a masterpiece. Peridot’s introduction to the show symbolized Homeworld’s evolution into something the Crystal Gems (and Lapis upon her return) no longer understood. She was coldly logical. Instead of a gem weapon she wielded the equivalent of a Mega Man’s buster gun. She wielded command over technology that intimidated the Crystal Gems. She shows no hesitance or remorse to try and kill them in “The Return.” Peridot was a villain through and through.

Yet it didn’t take long for the cracks to show. In retrospect we see Peridot youth. She merely imitated the cold logic she believed the defining trait of her deified leader, Yellow Diamond. Time and new loyalty allowed us to see the youthfulness in Peridot’s behavior during her time as a villain. Together these two elements made her eventual decision to tell off Yellow Diamond perfectly in character rather than some inconsistent break.

Peridot’s youth is a popular topic among the SU fandom. Many believe her to far younger than any of the other gems (I’ve seen claims that Rebecca Sugar confirmed her to be 4-years old, but I have found nothing official saying so). It is pretty clear that if Earth is not her first assignment, it is certainly among the first handful she has ever been assigned. She knows nothing about humans or the Crystal Gems. Everything she knows comes from reports she reads through her arm attachments. She expected an easy mission with no resistance based on her reaction to seeing the Crystal Gems in “Marble Madness” and says as much after an argument with Jasper in “Jail Break.”

It would make sense for a new gem without much experience to gain said experience by simply checking on the Cluster before it emerged. Apparently Peridot assumed the mission would be straight forward.

 

Her youth also shows in her increasingly panicked behavior and immature behavior as she tries to escape Earth. Peridot’s calm, dispassionate demeanor vanishes entirely as she fails again and again to contact Yellow Diamond and leave Earth. She likely never faced a stressful situation, let alone handled one. Her attitude grows more and more childish with every appearance. She copies Steven’s insults. She increasingly insults the Crystal Gems at every opportunity. Anyone who has spent time around children can tell you how they will develop silly little rivalries. Rather than rival the other gems, she instead seems to develop a rivalry with Steven. This shows in her behavior. He is the Crystal Gem she identifies as closest to her equal. The other gems frighten her too much to compete with; she is far more comfortable competing against Steven’s abilities.

I’ve seen complaints about Peridot’s regressing behavior. Fans wonder what happened to the terrifying gem that so ruthlessly tried to kill Steven and friends at Jasper’s side, especially after her capture and help with the Drill. I think a lot of these complaints fail to take into account Peridot’s youth and helplessness. Pretty much her entire identity tied into the technology she wielded.

It is no coincidence that she is at her most terrifying with the immense power of her and Jasper’s ship at her disposal. She identifies in “Back to the Barn” as a natural technician. She takes pride in her logic and rationality. The one glimpse of the old Peridot we get after she joins the Crystal Gems comes when she builds her robot. This is no coincidence. When she lost her limb attachments, she loses both her power and her identity. Who wouldn’t feel frightened and helpless in that situation? She has no gem weapon. Her strength is below that of other gems, as evident by her inability to remove the panel in the Kindergarten that Steven removes easily during “When It Rains.” Without her attachments she had no fighting ability besides weak slaps.

So when she acts light a frightened child in future episodes, the hint is clear. She’s barely more than a child who has lost her only way of defending herself.

Most of all, her youth shows in the constant learning and adaptability process occurring with Peridot. Like a child she is absorbing information and putting it to practical use. This plays a key role in Steven Universe managing to make Peridot my favorite character. Not only does the Homeworld mindset provide a great way to lore dump without it feeling weird or misplaced, that mindset accomplishes what this show does best; challenge harmful messages and stereotypes and shred them to pieces. In many ways Peridot learns about the world in the same way this wonderful show likely hopes its audience will learn about the world.

Yet another reason why she has become my favorite character.

The best example of this occurred with Peridot’s cruelty towards Pearl in “Back to the Barn.” Besides the appreciated lore about Pearls and their function on Homeworld, the entire point of Peridot’s attitude was to show the harm of Homeworld’s society and social barriers. Ultimately, Peridot was right. Pearl is not as good an engineer as she is. It did not make her beliefs right, and the Crystal Gems did not care that Peridot won. Their argument was never that Pearls were superior to Peridots, which is what Peridot seemed to take offense about. The lesson was that no one should be forced into stereotypes that limit their interests and potential.

The others’ support of Pearl for simply trying than her for winning challenges the only society that Peridot had ever known. It makes her question that society. And it teaches the audience to do the same. Pearls can try at whatever they want, and so can anyone else. I think the friendship she sees in this episode kickstarts her transformation going forward. Is it really coincidence that Peridot argues Earth’s potential to Yellow Diamond after seeing what a mere Pearl can accomplish? Every episode afterwards also sees Peridot make a genuine effort to at least try and understand those around her.

This is evident in “Log Date 7 15 2,” where she forms a bond with Garnet and a new understanding of fusion, to the point of a brief attempt to fuse with Garnet. Like all she knows, Peridot’s understanding of fusion formed from the harmful teachings of Homeworld. Fusion happens for war. It is a “cheap tactic to make weak gems stronger.” Fusion serves a specific purpose. The idea of a fusion simply existing is strange to the point of uncomfortably (and clearly meant to suggest homophobia considering the nature of Garnet’s existence). When Pearl and Amethyst fuse to move the drill, this is the final straw for Peridot. Why does Garnet just exist rather than do something of purpose and then un-fuse?

As usual, Steven Universe uses this setup to teach an important lesson about acceptance. An extremely funny shipping joke from earlier in the episode involving the Camp Pining Hearts episode explains Garnet’s relationship to Peridot in a way she understands. This is also an important step in the right direction for Garnet, who before this episode has been very short of temper with Peridot. I love this because Garnet is not totally innocent; while Peridot’s beliefs are clearly wrong, rather than shun her entirely the effort is made to change her mind. The lesson is taught both ways in this episode. Peridot gains an understanding of fusion beyond what Homeworld taught her. She learns acceptance of the bond Ruby and Sapphire have.

Arguably even more importantly, Garnet shows that the best way to combat ignorance is through education. Attitudes cannot change if no effort is made to change them. So much about hate, prejudices, and stereotypes are steeped in a lack of exposure and education. Fear is born from a lack of understanding. This is entirely the case with Peridot. Garnet taking the time to relate her existence to Peridot’s approval of Percy and Pierre is such an important thing to do. So was her brief attempt at fusion with the Peridot afterwards. I thought it was especially important because of Garnet’s less than sensitive response to Peridot’s initial discomfort.

(By the way, the fusion attempt was yet another wonderful lesson in consent by a show that excels in the subject. Peridot made the attempt, was not comfortable, and so they stopped. It was enough for them both that she simply tried and also an example of how fusion does not need to always represent sex.)

So I guess you could say the way Peridot’s learning experience of life on Earth in many ways symbolizes what Steven Universe as a whole is hoping to teach its audience is a big reason I love her character. And the reception and processing of information does not exist solely for lessons when it comes to Peridot. There’s also the previously mentioned copying of Amethyst’s speech, the craving for positive attention, and her constant exuberant energy which reminds you of the children the Crewniverse want watching this show.

Still, I’m no kid. Why would this make Peridot my favorite character and not one clearly more relatable to an adult such as Pearl or Greg? Or one with deeper emotional baggage like Amethyst? Or Steven himself?

 

I suppose there’s also the way Peridot provides a glimpse of the joy of discovery the Crystal Gems once experienced so long ago. She parallels parts of their early days that we have either seen or can infer. How she has grown to understand the beauty of Earth the way Ruby and Sapphire did after fleeing from Blue Diamond. Or how Peridot’s growing sense of individuality is like Pearl’s. So is their loyalty towards the Quartz who planted the seeds. She shares Amethyst’s dependence on humor to fit in and Steven’s childish wonder. She is a proud nerd like Connie (yeah, she’s not a gem, but I’ll stand by this very vague comparison).

Though some of this is also true of Lapis (and the Pearl/Lapis comparisons are definitely stronger in my opinion). And it’s not as if she is some strange amalgamation of every other character that lacks personality of her own. Definitely not that. So again, I am asking myself what it is about Peridot specifically?

Perhaps there is no one thing. Because like real life, things are much more complicated than reducing any one person to a single trait that defines them. What Peridot represents, more than the parallels to other characters or the lessons taught to the audience through her or the always incredibly funny lines constantly flowing from her lips. Peridot is all of this and more, and she is a prime example of the brilliant writing this show is capable of. Every step of her journey has been so carefully and expertly plotted, and I can think of no better way to show anyone interested in watching Steven Universe just how smart and in tune with their characters the amazingly talented Crewniverse so often manages to be.

I understood the reservations from some fans when Peridemption theories began. I agreed with many of those reservations. Thankfully itturned out to be so line with Peridot’s established beliefs and character that I can’t imagine anyone complaining. Peridot did not even realize she was compromised until the moment came to make her ultimate choice. Such is the sign of a great character turn. The character does not so much change as adjust the person they are to a new set of beliefs.

Is even one part of Peridot’s arc not a brilliant example of a character driving the plot? She comes to Earth as a presumably young gem on what is likely her most important mission. When that mission threw an unexpected curve at her, she went back for the best of help. Something someone in her position would be expected to do. Her only priority after her ship crashing was how to escape Earth. When that escape proved impossible, and with Steven’s encouragement, she tried to stop the Cluster.

The things which ultimately changed her mind fit Peridot perfectly. So do the arguments she attempts with Yellow Diamond to save Earth. As I mentioned before, she went to great lengths to mold her behavior after the deified leader she served, which was that of cold, hard logic and maximizing the potential of a planet’s resources. Let’s not overlook that Peridot never truly wanted to save Earth the way the Crystal Gems do. Her rebuke of Yellow Diamond came mere hours after adoringly looking over Homeworld’s plans for Earth without understanding why they disgusted everyone else. She made the call intending to have Yellow Diamond resume those plans.

(Which is something SU fans should remember going forward. Peridot as of now is still acting very much out of self-preservation in her alliance with the Crystal Gems. For all the talk about possible betrayals among the gems, Peridot is definitely the leading candidate in my mind. Though “Hit the Diamond” went quite a ways in lessening that possibility.)

So when Yellow Diamond tossed aside all rationality and logic in her desire to see the Cluster form and Earth destroyed, of course Peridot would have a problem with that.

 

Over time, expect to see her entire idea of potential change with every day she spends on Earth. Earth has shown her a Pearl who can fight and build. It has shown her a fusion that can exist for reasons beyond completing a task. She has seen thunderstorms and heard music. She’s seen a half-human, half-gem hybrid that no one possibly understood. Every day Peridot sees something new which reveals not only the beauty of Earth. She sees the untapped, unusual, immeasurable potential of life.

The answer to why I love Peridot is actually pretty simple; it’s everything about her. On a consistently amazing show that improves by the week, her character arc gives a concentrated dose of everything I love and look forward to with every new episode. Through her we get it all; lore, lessons, humor, character development. Most of all the great beauty and love of all kinds that define Steven Universe.

Maybe others are sick of Peridot, but not me. Somehow, without me noticing until it was over, she became my favorite character.


 

Images courtesy of Cartoon Network

Bo

Bo relaxes after long days of staring at computers by staring at computers some more, and continues drifting wearily through the slog of summer TV.

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Away In A Manger: Black Lightning 2×09, “Gift of Magi”

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

Well, my friends, we’re nearing the end of Black Lightning S2, and I think it’s time to declare a sophomore slump. Anyone here with me? Let’s get into this week’s episode and discuss.

Jen and Kahlil are still on the run, but Kahlil was cut with one of Cutter’s Special aka Poison knives, so he’s quickly succumbing. The pair find a barn, where there’s a lot of soft lantern light and Kahlil can curl up in the hay. At first they swap cute-funny stories about when they first met, but soon Kahlil can’t manage talking let alone breathing well, so Jen goes out to steal some antibiotics from a hospital. (They don’t yet know that it’s poison, they assume his wound is infected). Jen is getting really good not only at controlling her powers, but using them for specific tasks, and I’m here for it although I really wish it wasn’t in the context of this storyline.

Manger

She manages to get the antibiotics and injects Kahlil with it, but it doesn’t work. She grows increasingly desperate, and as Kahlil’s death seems imminent, she goes outside for some air and a good cry. That’s when she goes back to her brain-salon, where she sees Perenna (her brain-version of Perenna, not the real one) and a twin version of herself. Mind-Perenna tells Jen that she already has everything she needs inside of her; it’s very Inside Out. Together with her brain creations she figures out that Cutter is actually *right there* watching them through binoculars. She manages to capture her and tie her up, tasering her with her hands as a form of torture in order to get her to tell her what she did to Kahlil. It’s not long before she figures out it was a poison knife, and cuts Cutter with it so that she’ll be forced to show Jen where on her person the antidote is. Turns out, it’s in that very obvious vial on her necklace!

Twins

Jen goes to a dark place when she’s torturing Cutter, which is kind of hard to watch. Again, I’d be more interested if this whole thing didn’t revolve around Kahlil. Anyway, Jen gives both Kahlil and Cutter the antidote and they’re on their way again. But only after they declare their undying love for each other.

I’m happy to report that no one left Kahlil’s aunt for dead in her house, as Black Lightning, Thunder, and Gambi have set up camp there to help her recover from what turned out to be one of Kahlil’s pain pills and try to figure out how to find Jen. They know Kahlil is hurt so they check hospitals, and end up being in the same hospital as Jen at the same time!

So close, yet so far

Jefferson and Anissa figure out Jen was there because she left a trail aka scorch mark in her path, but the fact that she keep eluding them is driving Jefferson to be irrational and reckless. Gambi and Anissa manage to keep him under control, but Lynn is losing it too. When she’s not crying in the wreckage of Jen’s room that she destroyed, she’s trying to get Kahlil’s mom, and then his dad, to give her clues as to where they might be.

Of course neither of them can help, but along the way she grabs a gun from the Inner Sanctum aka Gambi’s basement so that’s concerning, considering her emotional state.

My heart breaks for this heartbreak

In a parallel storyline, Tobias has set his sights on a kid named Todd, an academic prodigy who has just been rejected for a research grant in favor of the white kid whose rich dad just funded a new wing of the university. It’s unclear what Tobias wants Todd to do, and Todd seems dubious at best until Tobias deposits $100,000 into his bank account. Money is the root of all evil, amirite? I mean, capitalism is. But that’s a discussion for another place.

An invitation I hope to never get

Lastly, this episode ends with a scene in which a mysterious someone murders everyone in a bar in Texas before getting a phone call from his boss telling him that his next job is in Freeland. I feel like we’re about to meet a bigger bad than Tobias, but time will tell! Just someone end this Kahlil-Jen nonsense and give us our family back kthanks.

What do you think is in store for the final episodes? Are you happy with this season so far? Black Lightning is going on hiatus until the end of January, so I’ll be back then to see where we’re at. Enjoy what’s left of the year, friends!


Images courtesy of The CW

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Winter Hiatus Blues

Seher

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Even in December with the broadcast networks hiatus for scripted series starting, and pilot season underway, there’s so much to discuss!

The continuing behind the scenes drama of Les Moonves’ ouster from CBS, ABC’s entertainment president Channing Dungey stepping down, NBC’s Greenblatt moving on, and FOX setting up for its new leadership once the merger goes through…every big 4 network has a lot to deal with between now and the TCAs in early February. The exec panels will sure be a time… Especially if ratings come up at all.

Ratings Race

As of this Tuesday, and as always, I’m talking about scripted ratings: FOX is number 1 with a 1.13 average followed by NBC, ABC, and CBS. CW of course is last with .35. Last month, four of the five networks had six shows at or above their overall average.

Now, ABC has eight shows, the CW has five, and the rest have six.

Across the five networks, only a third of new shows are performing above the average on their network. The Connors (considered a new show), FBI, The NeighborhoodLast Man StandingNew Amsterdam, and Manifest. The highest rated new show on The CW, Legacies hovers right below the network’s average.

Interestingly, across the board, long running shows are still high rating performers (or what’s high now) for the networks. The exception to this is SVU at a tenth below the average.

Their “success” indicates that we probably won’t lose any of the longest running shows anytime soon. Still, the network with the largest average season length (including shows yet to premiere) is FOX at 5.3 followed by CBS at 4.5. Removing the shows already cancelled and predicted as canceled doesn’t make an impact because of The Simpsons‘ whopping thirty seasons! (Unrelated but with the announcement for Crisis on Infinite Earths, DCTV isn’t going anywhere either.)

Of course some of this will shift when the rest of the new slate premieres begin in January. I do not envy the folks in charge of scheduling spring shows, especially as more time slots are lost to winter reality or competition shows.

Scheduling Shenanigans

You can put whatever new show after strong shows and still have a dud in the ratings race.

On The CW, ableist In The Dark has had zero promotion beyond the scheduling announcement that it starts after Supernatural. Their other new show Roswell: New Mexico or Roswell: TVD received the coveted post Flash slot plus actual promo. Except for The 100, their other spring shows already received cancellations, so ratings definitely don’t matter.

FOX  only has two newbies to premiere, with The Passage starting after The Resident and Proven Innocent taking the 9PM slot after Cool Kids. I don’t know that people watching an hour of comedy will stick around for a procedural, but anything can happen these days.

ABC on Wednesday revealed that in a vote of confidence (or in hopes to increase viewers or to get Whiskey Cavalier onto the schedule earlier) is moving the last bit of A Million Little Things behind Grey’s leaving current slot holder Station 19 off the schedule until March. Considering AMLT  hit a .7 last week… The Fix is the only other newbie to get a spring slot, starting in March in The Good Doctor‘s place. Grand Hotel is now a summer show. ABC what are you doing?!

NBC and CBS have yet to fully unveil their new schedules so more on that in January! However, pilot development is in full swing and reboots (and spin-offs) continue to rule the pack.

Pilot Predictions

Predicting what pilots will make it to series this early is silly, but I do think that a chunk of the reboots in development will definitely make it to air. If they’ll get renewed is another question. Even though this year, only Charmed received a back 9 order (Last Man Standing was ordered with 22 episodes). Last year, all the shows that received fewer than 9 episodes in the fall except for Good Doctor were cancelled. So now in May, that trend continues, or the new trend is that any back order indicates a renewal.

Which is why even though I think it’s silly to bank on so many reboots in development, I know that networks are still going to do it. I won’t list all of the shows in development because there are a lot and many will die by January. The CW has three alone! And NBC already has a series order for Law and Order: Hate Crimes or as my friend calls it, “SVU but grittier” making it the seventh L&O series.

By late January, early February, the big entertainment sites will have lists of all the pilots in contention and then we can really get into the details. Until then, what shows are y’all waiting to see for the first time (or again)?


 

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‘Legends of To-Meow-Meow’ Cranks the Insanity up to Eleven

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It’s that time year of again. The Arrowverse crossover, but the Legends misplaced their invites. While Kara, Barry, and Oliver were getting acquainted with Batwoman and dealing with body switching, the Legends were dealing with their own alternate reality issues. Or should I say the Custodians were dealing with their own issues. Or, should that be the Sirens? Or the Puppets?

Yep, this was one of those kinds of episodes. ‘Legends of To-Meow-Meow’ didn’t just surpass the insanity of every other episode this season. It multiplied it, as Charlie and Constantine broke the timeline more with each attempt to fix it.

At first, Charlie hits the town on her own, going to Las Vegas to stretch her newly returned powers. Going out as Marilyn Monroe, she runs into a prison buddy, a leprechaun. She barely has the chance to warn him about faulting his powers when Mick, Nate, and Ray strut in dressed like they just walked out of an 80’s action show. Which they did, apparently, as they introduce themselves as the Custodians of the Chronology and we get ‘A-Team’ style opening credits. They kill the leprechaun without hesitation, which is a big clue for Charlie that not everything is right.

Legends already planning their own spin offs.

She returns to the Waverider with cat-Zari to figure out why the team is suddenly so murder-happy. She transforms into Sara, planning on just ordering them to stop. But it doesn’t work because in this timeline, without help from Constantine, Sara was killed by the unicorn at Woodstock. The team attacks her, recognizing her as a shapeshifter. Charlie makes a quick retreat from the ship, taking cat-Zari along to find John.

He’s being kept imprisoned at the Time Bureau. Because he was the epicentre of the timeline shift, he has memories from both timelines and his brain isn’t keeping up very well. When they find him, John turns Zari back into a human. Only to turn her right back when she’s against his and Charlie’s idea to save Sara instead of fixing their alteration. Charlie breaks John out, with some help from Mona and a very emo Ava. Some of the Lege- Custodians die in their fight out, but everything will be fine once they save Sara. At least that’s what Charlie and John tell themselves.

They travel to Woodstock, blasting the unicorn into rainbow gloop before it can gore anyone. But this time, when they return to their time Nate, Ray, and Mick are the ones with the memorial plaques. Plus, without the guys around, Sara, Ava, and an android?Gideon have formed a Charlie’s Angels style team that assassinates fugitives. Charlie attempts to infiltrate the team as Amaya, but her cover is blown almost instantly. She does learn the boys were killed by the Fairy Godmother. The fairy is also the reason Zari’s a cat.

I’d watch this show.

John and Charlie go to Salem for their next patch job. Charlie transforms into the Fairy Godmother to trick Prudence into releasing the fairy before she can kill the boys. It seems to go off without a hitch until she returns to the jumpship. Good news, Zari is no longer a cat. Bad news, she’s now a puppet.

So is the entire team, as John learns when he boards the Waverider. They aren’t just puppets. They’re puppets that sing their own intro and have a historical figure of the day. Since the Fairy Godmother didn’t kill Mick, he became her new charge. She turned the team into puppets before Mick took her along on a crime spree.

Charlie and John keep trying to Band-Aid the timeline, but each fix ends with someone else dead in the new timeline. Yet, even when they get to a point where no one has died, John’s mind has so many timelines clashing in his mind he collapses from the strain.

He finally agrees with Zari that they need to fix the timeline properly and stop Dez from leaving. When Charlie refuses to help they leave her behind, but she’s not giving up without a fight. She transforms into Ava, heading to the Waverider to clue the team in on the magical ongoings in New Orleans. But there’s something still wrong with this timeline. All the Legends are alive. No one is made of cloth. But they still have a ‘shoot first ask questions never’ policy when it comes the fugitives. Gideon picks up on the three Constantines at that point in time. The team assumes the extras are shapeshifters, sending Mick and Ray to blast them.

Charlie finally realizes it wasn’t just John’s absence from the team that caused the changes. It was her absence. Without her, the Legends don’t learn fugitives aren’t all unicorns with a taste for hearts or Fairy Godmothers that sing about murder.

…And with true love’s kiss, the curse was broken.

In New Orleans, this-episode’s-John stops Desmond after last-episode’s-Constantine broke up with him. He tells him he’s sorry for all the pain he’s going to cause him and wipes his memory just before still-in-a-relationship John can return. As Mick and Ray fire on this-episode-John, past-John and Desmond share a kiss which becomes the point from which the timeline fixes itself. Reality is right once again, where the only puppet person is the possessed Professor Stein and the Legends aren’t mythical creature murders. Ava and Mick even heal their rift from the last episode, finding some common ground.

John comes clean to Sara about their misadventure. He even tells her about Neron. Sara promises to help him take down his demon. So all’s well that ends well. Except, there’s no word on what happens to Mona after she met the business of the Kaupe’s claws. Nor is Hank happy the Kaupe escaped, which he learns about in the middle of a golf game with someone… something wearing Desmond’s face.

Analysis

Was this the strongest’s episode of Legends? Probably not. It sacrificed some substance for the sake of 80’s spoofs and sing-alongs. But that’s not to say this episode wasn’t good. Far from it. The alternate timelines were laugh out loud funny and the Puppets of Tomorrow song is going to be stuck in my head. They were so good I’m willing to overlook characters like Ray, Nate, Sara, and Ava feeling so drastically different in their respective spoof realities. I’ll chalk up to the discrepancies in their characterizations to time being so broken.

It could have easily become frustrating watching John and Charlie patch broke timeline after broken timeline while they ignored the obvious answer. But it never got to that point because every step of the way you knew John was doing this to keep Desmond alive. John Constantine, always the tortured soul, willing to let his mind be torn apart by multiple timelines before he gives up on his love again. It’s a tragedy the timeline being fixed has to come at the cost of Dez’s soul. But maybe it isn’t lost forever.

The scene between John and Desmond pulled at the heartstrings. As did the moment when Charlie finally realized she was the missing the link for the Legends. It’s always a good moment when a Legend finds their place on this mismatched, rag-tag team. It’s hard not to compare this episode to ‘Here I Go Again’, when Zari found her place on the team. Which is a glowing compliment when that episode is one of the best of Legends entire run.

The brief callbacks to the earlier episodes was a nice way to tie off the first half of the season as well. The Unicorn was only eight episodes ago. Yet, monsters, magic, and pure insanity feel like they’re always been a part of Legends of Tomorrow. Well, pure insanity has been a fundamental part of Legends since season two.

It just shows how this series isn’t afraid to shake up its own formula. Thus far it’s worked every time, with each season being better than the last. It’s still early to call season’s four place for certain. Season’s three back half had some heavy ringers, but so far this season is on the right tracks to be the most memorable one yet. They’re sure to come back strong when they return in April.

Only Legends Could

  • “You missed calls from Barry Allen, Oliver Queen, and Kara Zor-El,”
    “Sounds like the annual crossover,”
    “Yeah, that’s going to be a hard pass,”
    This whole exchange is amazing. Easily wins favorite lines of the episode.
  • You can tick off Sara Lance’s annual dalliance with death. Sara dying, almost dying, or faking dying should be a running gag at this point, but for some reason, I can never find it funny.
  • Everyone just understands cat-Zari. No explanation needed. Much like when Nate understood pig-Ray.
  • The CW tradition of bad wigs continues with emo Ava. (Kate Kane, by some miracle, avoided the curse.)
  • In the Siren’s reality, Sara’s wielding Mick’s gun and Gideon has Rip’s.
  • I want more of DC’s Puppets of Tomorrow.
  • There’s a timeline where Nate and Hank die from a Garden Gnome.
  • Why yes, Legends did give us the true love’s kiss fixes everything. And yes, it was a kiss for a mlm couple. Legends never ceases to amaze.
  • I got a flirty vibe from Charlie and Zari at the end. Time will tell where that goes.

Images courtesy of the CW

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