Unlike Batwoman, Supergirl, & The Flash, Legends Of Tomorrow was able to finish its season as planned! Fates be praised! So did Black Lightning & Arrow, but LOT is more enjoyable overall. Are you prepared for SPOILERS for season five of Leg Ends Of Tom Or Row? If not, various Mr. Parker’s Cul-De-Sac snippets wound up on YouTube.
Being viewed as mid-season series of castoffs not representing a specific property has given the writers lots of leeway to play. (DC published a shortlived anthology called Legends of Tomorrow after the series debuted. It only featured Firestorm because it was bad at synergy.) Since Flash & Supergirl aren’t supposed to time travel anymore, however, it feels like LOT should actually be the
Arrowverse Beeboverse’s flagship. The Feet of the Future protect or ruin reality almost every episode not just crossovers. Plus the Waverider is smokeshow central.
I kind of resent people trying to compliment LOT by dissing its first season. It is true that it got off to a rocky start & has greatly improved. The first season, however, also had enough highlights like the Captain Cold’s & Heatwave’s tumultuous friendship to recommend it. It had a superior inaugural season to Supergirl, Batwoman, & arguably Arrow.
Unlike the rest of the Beeboverse, LOT began its season with Crisis On Infinite Earths. This seemed odd at the time but turned out to be the right move. This way its narrative momentum wasn’t derailed. Maybe this approach should be standardized next time they do a crossover with every show. Certainly the series is an argument in favor of shorter seasons.
I didn’t want to see original Zari go, but new Zari won me over too. I miss the Air Totem being a necklace & Zari wearing a supersuit. (I also miss Steel’s helmet & Heatwave’s ecru ensemble.) Cleopatra is a good look on her, but not as much as her Isis throwback costume. Queen Z has more chemistry with Johnny C than Nate, though less than she & Charlie. Since Legends have a Bi-Team but no B-Team, it’s surprising they didn’t do more with Zarlie.
Astra Logue is a woman who unfridged herself, which is also something Sara has done twice. Once she boards the Waverider it doesn’t take long for the team to win her over with the magic of friendship. Astra rightly thinks Encores is a dumb term whereas they call each other Hellions (Hellians?). If only LOT had gotten to Beforeigners first! Gentleman Ghost isn’t among them despite them ripping off Jim Craddock’s shtick if not wardrobe. They’d better be saving him for something big!
Charlie lampshades to the crew to ignore that she should be played by a different actress in the flashback they can’t actually see. Given that Arrow wasn’t allowed to use Madame Xanadu or Zatanna in season four because Justice League Dark was gestating (JJ Abrams thinks he’s going to make it as a TV series for HBO Max, & Matt Ryan wants to continue being employed as Constantine there.), I did not expect to see Enchantress. She’s been in a movie that escaped Development Hell! Technically The Fates/ Moirai (not to be confused with Supergirl’s invisible Morae) & Dionysus are Wonder Woman characters, so this may be the season with the most new canon DC characters since the second. On the other paw, they aren’t directly adapting any of DC’s interpretations. They definitely debuted Sargon the Sorcerer. Hopefully they can get Swamp Thing now that his prematurely axed series will re-air on The CW.
Since “Scoobynatural” is the only full episode I’ve seen, the Supernatural crossover without any of its cast didn’t do anything for me besides predicting its final season would be incomplete. (A former fan theorized massacring Supernatural was a meta-clapback against it constantly burying its gays & fridging its women.) Since she’s a resurrected Paragon of Destiny who’s wielded the Death Totem, Sara survives beholding Atropos’s true form. It blinds her & empowers to see possible futures of whomever she touches. Being blinded doesn’t phase Sara much as she had blindfolded assassin training. Atropos, who has Mirror Masters missing Scots lilt is more successful at severing Behrad’s literal lifeline. Atropos the Thread-Cutter is nearly as impressive as Atropos the Inflexible Shearer.
Have I ever been more delighted for dialogue to confirm a personal hunch than “You adopted Son of Sam’s demon dog?” (Technically it was his neighbor’s possessed pooch.) Gary wasn’t holding a dog when he teleported out of Hell in the previous episode. This is either a huge continuity error & or he returned to Hell offscreen just to rescue a puppy. Somehow its demon dog is less hilarious than Spike Lee’s. How weird is it that attempting to kill Charlie & Zari, two characters I’m fond of, is the most I’ve liked Nate in a long time? Sightless Captain Canary backflip-kicked a Hellhound over Constantine! This installment also debuts the Waverider toilet! A timeship that big really ought to have more.
With the Time Bureau decommissioned, Heatwave is officially funding the the team with Rebecca Silver royalties & time crime. He tells his new illegitimate anachronism daughter, Lita, that the Flash locked him away for years. (Heatwave’s daughter in a tiny Captain Cold costume is too cute!) Except Golden Glider (Has anyone told her her brother died heroically yet?) busted him out immediately after he was first defeated by the Scarlet Speedster. Then Captain Cold blackmailed Barry not to arrest Mick shortly before the duo were recruited by Rip Hunter. It doesn’t seem like it would’ve been a Prime Earth change because J’onn gave all the important characters their old memories back.
Hudson University is the alma mater of Dick Grayson, Martin Stein, Duela Dent, & two Killer Frosts. Hemophiliac Nate should’ve died in that flashback from falling out a window. The dubious plot about adults infiltrating college gets a pass because “Feaks & Greeks” is a Caity Lotz arm appreciation episode with Ava briefly disguised as a moose. Sara Lance cheats at beer pong against Dionysus because WHIMSY! Charlie is the Loombreaker! Or does reassembling The Loom of Fate make her the Loomfaker?
The team knows they’re only immortal for a limited time. Gideon’s bunny hop was cute. “Get in losers, we’re going looming!” I can’t believe they just killed Sara, Astra, & Gary for realsies, no take-backs!
“The One Where We’re Trapped On TV” is the metatextual shamebaby of “Doomworld” & “Legends of To-Meow-Meow.” Much like rebooted Ducktales, it did a perfect Mojoverse episode. Will the X-Men finally get to seize this potential in the MCU? (The Mojoverse invented Cancel Culture.) This one was written by Grainne Godfree & James Eagan & featured the directorial debut of Marc Guggenheim. It’s surprisingly superlative give this episode’s complexity. Not only does the art department outdo itself, it emulates Friends, Downton Abbey, Star Trek, & Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood down to the camerawork! Given Guggenheim’s writing record on Arrow & X-Men Gold, he really should stick to directing.
The Fate’s Communist propaganda style intro is fantastic! They have a snazzy triangle logo formed of three interlocked Escher F’s! Nate as Joey is an upgrade but Behrad as Ross is uncalled for even if Zari works as Monica. The Air Totem reawakens original Zari. She namedrops lyycanthrope author Mona Wu whom returns to free the rest of her former teammates by rewriting the script! Star Trip’s android crew in short shorts get flung violently across the
Waverider Faterider’s bridge in random directions by explosions! (Ray & Nora would be on Bewitched.) Mr. Parker’s sing-along is about repressing feelings
The Fates use their Loom to turn reality into drab Stalinist nightmare, which doesn’t really work for me. If they’ve overwritten reality, why do they need mortals to censor history for them? The humans would just think boring conformism was the way life had always been. It’s an effective way to depict The Fates as despotic villains, but it undermines them as Goddesses. As primordial forces of existence embodying causality, 1984 homages should be way beneath them.
Clotho saves her teammates’ lives by putting them into propagandist TV programs that fulfill their wishes. (Why not put a mindwiped Gary in one?) It’s a nice beat that Constantine doesn’t reject his for Astra’s sake once the truth is revealed. It’s ironic that this episode positions LOT as a rebellious series. What would be a better opiate of the masses than giant corporations giving viewers false hope that misfits can overthrow the system? (Which is the most unnecessary full corporate title for a time travel show using as few canon elements as possible: Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD or DC’s Legends of Tomorrow?) Since the Legends also intervene in time disturbances as their job, it’s not like they’re laissez faire about maximizing self-determinism either. Fate isn’t blindly following direct orders nor is rebellion automatically free will.
Charlie splits Zari into Zari I & Zari II. Atropos is somehow destroyed along with the Loom, which restores Sara to default setting. Shirtless Steel is used as superconductor. Both Astra & Clotho stand up to Lachesis, who’s become mortal since the Loom was destroyed & using Gideon to run Fatewatches. There’s a zany battle royale using dubious weapons like Shake Weights & a pogo stick where Constantine diagonally phases through the floor betwixt foes. Heatwave doesn’t interact with Vlad Tepes. It’s scored to “The Thong Song,” but Sisqo doesn’t meet Cisco Ramon. Her sister’s scheme is thwarted by Zari 2 unplugging Gideon in the ultimate power move, but Clotho opts not to kill Lacheiss. The season finale is a rollercoaster for Charlie’s psyche, but this confrontation would’ve been stronger with more scenes of the sisters interacting for context. (Is Lachesis going to back to her job in Hell?) The team doesn’t rewind time pre-Loomworld, but good luck expecting the other series to reference when everyone took orders from their watches. (As an indecisive fatalist, that seems more appealing than Obsidian Platinum VR.)
Having original Zari around causes a temporal hiccup that’d kill her brother again, so she returns to the Totem that Behrad is still bears. I wish the Zaris would’ve merged so that the team would at least have a hacker. Charlie exits also following a great punk themesong cover. (Maisie Richardson-Sellers is leaving for real this time.) Asta possibly departs as well. The Best Canary is abducted by aliens. Could this be the Thanagarian invasion promised back in season one? It’d be an opportunity to redeem Hawkgirl & Inferior Prince Vultan like this “Cooped Up” fan film. They could introduce their archnemesis, Gentleman Ghost, too! We also need King Shark & Constantine to be canon in every medium!
This is a series that’s so enjoyable that I often wonder if there’s a point to me writing about how fun it is. Then a spectacular episode comes along & suddenly there’s nearly 2,000 words on the blog. While Riverdale gets all the attention for being “outrageous,” Legends of Tomorrow is the series that puts love & care into its kookiness. (Plus its fans don’t ironically hate-watch it.) Even when I vehemently disagree with its interpretation of (the illusion of) free will, it doesn’t tank my experience! Most of my complaints about DCLOT is that it’s an A show when it could be an A+ show. Perhaps my continual complaint about this series should be reversed: There’s not enough of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow in DC Comics.
In Supergirl’s fifth season finale, Lena says she’d never built Supergirl an anti-Kryptonite suit on Prime Earth. This makes sense since Lex used COIE to rewrite history with himself as a public hero. It also means almost all of Supergirl’s fourth & best season has been struck out (despite Post-Crisis Mr. Mxyzptlk still being able to let her rewrite early fourth season events). If Lillian is also regarded as a benign public figure, much of season two would’ve also been rewritten. Of course the main characters still recall it & you can still watch the episodes so I don’t necessarily mind. I’m most curious about what events replaced the even seasons. They’ll probably never tell us exactly how everything changed.
Alexandra Daddario wants you to heckle Tyler Hoechlin until he gets her & Kate Easton supervillainess jobs on Superman & Lois. Without recasting or genderswapping their pickings are slim since Supergirl already used Maxima, Silver Banshee, Livewire, Brainiac-8, Bizarrogirl, Psi, Reign, Mercy Graves, Menagerie, Breathtaker, Acrata, & Gamemnae. For Ms. Daddario might I suggest Faora, Lashina, Cythonna, Knockout, Blaze, Rampage, or the Crime Syndicate’s Superwoman?
Instead of just recasting Kate Kane, Batwoman may be replacing her with a new character under the cowl? WHAT? After all the work they put into centralizing Kate Kane both within her series & the wider Beeboverse, that feels like even more work than implicitly asking viewers to ignore Kate’s new face. Most won’t even notice if they recast her with Krypton’s Wallis Day. If they’d rather stunt cast WWE’s Sonya DeVille, we’ll accept Kate bulked up. They’re really going to invent a new character without Kate’s training as if all lesbians are interchangeable. This so-called Ryan Wilder is described as “likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed. She’s also nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the batsuit before her,” which oddly describes Ruby Rose in the scenes where she was allowed to not act like a dour stiff. At least give the mantle to Sophie or Julia since they have comparable skills. Hell, why not upgrade Mary to Batwoman since Nicole Kang is beloved by all? Are they going to get Rose to film the final two scripts written last season to give Kate a proper sendoff? If you have get a replacement for a show about a replacement, maybe it’s time to scrap it in favor of a Wonder Woman series?
“Taking A Stab At Barbara Kean!” finally crossed 1,000 views! (This sadly remains a high watermark for this blog’s metrics.) This makes her my most viewed custom action figure. If nothing happens next week, perhaps you’ll see another soon!