Tuesday, March 17, 2020

REVIEW: 'Legends of Tomorrow' - Ray and Nora Have Some Fun Before Leaving in 'Romeo v. Juliet: Dawn of Justness'

The CW's Legends of Tomorrow - Episode 5.07 "Romeo v. Juliet: Dawn of Justness"

The Legends continue their hunt for pieces of the Loom of Fate and find themselves face to face with William Shakespeare. Ray, Nate, Rory, Constantine, Charlie and Behrad stay a little longer on the mission making things worse after lying to Sara. Ray and Nora make another big life decision that leaves the team surprised and best buds, Nate and Ray, on the outs.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of The CW's Legends of Tomorrow.

"Romeo v. Juliet: Dawn of Justness" was written by Ray Utarnachitt & Matthew Maala and directed by Alexandra LaRoche

Endings are powerful and necessary because they prove just how deep the connection was between the character or story and the audience. No, Legends of Tomorrow isn't coming to an end. However, this episode is the end of one character's journey aboard the Waverider. Ray has decided to listen to Damien Darhk's advice of planting down roots in the timeline to better provide Nora with the life she deserves. It's a decision he makes early here. He then has the burden of telling everyone else on the ship. It's surprising just how funny but emotional those goodbyes actually turn out to be. It all starts with everyone crowded in the hallway trying to use the bathroom at the same time despite Zari hogging it. It's just an unexpected and unconventional place for this conversation to occur. Everyone is happy for Ray and Nora as well. They understand this decision and only want the best for them in the future. Nate is noticeably absent during this moment though. In fact, the narrative feels the burden of extending this news for as long as possible because Ray doesn't want to hurt his best friend's feelings. He is generous and considerate in that way. Despite the constant pushing from his teammates, Ray refuses to deliver the news. Nate accidentally overhears what's going on and immediately lashes out. It can all come across as childish. However, it's very genuine to watch because the love present between them has been earned. It's ridiculous to watch how the show frames this conversation as well. It forges a connection between this show's storytelling and the famous works of William Shakespeare. The Legends interact with the writer to retrieve the first piece of the Loom of Fate. It's a rather easy quest for them too. They just have the unfortunate consequence of ruining Shakespeare's writing career. He doubts that he has the talents to make a difference in the world through this medium. He absolutely does. His stories are so moving and play into honest, genuine emotions. The audience of the time feels that the moment they first see Romeo & Juliet performed. The Legends just have to step in to provide that confidence boost while ensuring that the play isn't ruined by superhero theatrics. It occurs in parallel to Nate and Ray expressing their true feelings. They have so much love for each other. It's the bond that only comes from true friendship. Nate fears that being vulnerable like this is a horrible impulse because it's only setting people up to one day hurt each other in ways they couldn't imagine. Ray and Nate were so awkward at first. But the bromance blossomed over time. They have come to count on each other for love and support no matter what. Ray also had this connection with Nora. He is now starting a new life with her. The previous episode was her big send off with her confronting her father and embracing this happiness with Ray. This hour deals with Ray leaving the Legends and feeling confident with that decision. Yes, it's okay to feel sad and disappointed. But it's also important to be happy. This is a move that allows the future to be full of hope. Even Gideon doesn't want to see Ray go. He operates with the confidence that this isn't a goodbye for good. It's just a departure for right now. That is rewarding despite how scary the prospects for the future can be. The team has gone through so much with Ray. His eternal optimism may not have always been appreciated but he was a member of the team from the very beginning. He will be missed. The team has evolved countless times over the show. Each member of this crew has that personal agency over how long they want to stay a part of this adventure through time. They always respect the choices made as well. It may be complicated in the moment. But it's often one of gratitude in the end because the future always looks bright. That can be true for Nate as well even though he will have to navigate a future with Sara being his new bro on the ship. That too highlights the platonic love of friendship. Sure, Shakespeare was talking about romantic love through Romeo & Juliet as well as the tragic circumstances of fate. That ending has power that resonates no matter what. This ending may not carry the same weight. But it is a seismic shift that will likely have some ripple effects for the rest of the season.