Tuesday, May 12, 2020

REVIEW: 'Legends of Tomorrow' - The Creation of a Sorority Helps Astra Better Fit in with the Team in 'Freaks and Greeks'

The CW's Legends of Tomorrow - Episode 5.11 "Freaks and Greeks"

The Legends find themselves going back to college and form a sorority in order to try to retrieve an ancient artifact called the Chalice of Dionysus that will help Charlie operate the Loom of Fate. Proud to be back at his college, Nate falls under Dion's spell, letting him know of Sara, Astra, Ava and Charlie's plan to get the cup. On a father-daughter weekend, Rory takes Lita on a college tour, but Rory bails on Lita for an unexpected reason.

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.

"Freaks and Greeks" was written by Matthew Maala & Ubah Mohamed and directed by Nico Sachse

Astra is a member of the Legends now. She is aligned with them mostly because they currently have the Loom of Fate. They are more likely to follow through on the promise to resurrect her mother. But she is now prone to calling out just ridiculous all of the Legends' plans seem to be. They are absolutely insane. She doesn't see why they should work out at all. It's the team sticking to a strong moral code that doesn't exactly line up with the mentality she was raised with in order to survive in Hell. She has her own way of getting things done. That is being challenged here. She wants to feel accepted. However, she doesn't want to feel like she has to compromise herself in order to fit in and be accepted by the world around her. She wants to have that independence to achieve whatever she wants. That bold stance can certainly be appreciated. The Legends want to welcome her. They just don't trust her. She was releasing Encores throughout the timeline. Her loyalties still change on a regular basis. She is once again presented with the need to help Lachesis at the end of this episode. However, she is also given the space to adjust her understanding of the world. The show frames it brilliantly through the framework of a sorority. It's all absolutely absurd. The Legends return to Nate's alma mater to retrieve a chalice from the Greek god Dionysus that can make anyone immortality for a day after they drink from it. They have to form a sorority and compete in order to win the cup from the god who continues to wield its powers to keep the party going at all times. The show may overly embrace the partying nature of fraternities. That is the priority over anything else. But again, it's meant to be ridiculousness. Nate was under Dion's spell long before magic was brought into the picture. Him falling more in love just helps the plot move further into action as the Legends have to confront a deity who isn't as willing to hand over what he has as much as he was previously. Dion feels like he is being betrayed by Charlie. He can't deal with free will being eliminated from humanity again. He has gained so much power as a result of this new hierarchy in the world. He is grateful to the loom-breaker. And now, he feels threatened. But that is mostly his ego driving the story forward. It makes it so satisfying to watch as a blind Sara beats him in beer pong. It's such an epic battle that once again sums up this show in such a phenomenal way. This is the action that defines the climax. This is the obstacle that must be overcome for the heroes to emerge victorious. They all become immortal by the end of this hour. But the story also does such delicate character work as well. It's easy to look at Greek life as being insanely vain and vapid. Charlie doesn't naturally fit in with that culture. Astra can manipulate anyone to get what she wants. She would rather just take it but she goes along with the Legends' plan for the moment. Starting a new sorority on campus means that the team has to reach out to the students. Along the way, they actually instill some life lessons on these young minds. It's a narrative that embraces an accepting and wonderful world. One where fantastical things happen on a regular basis. No one should look out into this world and see nothing but despair and misery. There is so much beauty as well. There is power that comes from being seen and accepted too. The Legends may not stay around in the long term. However, they inspire their young pledges to actually continue the sorority. That is the mindset that seemingly helps Astra along the way too. She may still be prone to overreact and want to commit murder. But she does feel seen and respected by the Legends after expressing her concerns. Those walls are starting to come down. That may make her betrayal even more bittersweet. But it makes it just as complicated and unknown too because the audience now feels torn about how she should react in any given situation. It's no longer just expected that she will be villainous. Now, she is coming into her own as someone who can have such a complicated view on the world and the people she is now working alongside.