Sunday, June 13, 2021

REVIEW: 'Legends of Tomorrow' - Sara and Spooner Confront Shocking New Aspects of Their Identities in 'Bishop's Gambit'

The CW's Legends of Tomorrow - Episode 6.06 "Bishop's Gambit"

Mick and Kayla find themselves needing each other to survive after landing on the possible planet Sara is being held captive. After a report of an alien attack, the Legends return to their new headquarters, Constantine's manor, where both Spooner and Astra try to connect to the alien. Zari is suspicious of Constantine's behavior, but isn't surprised when she learns the truth. Sara devises a plan to escape by using her charm to win over Bishop, but she learns something more disturbing.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 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.

"Bishop's Gambit" was written by James Eagan & Emily Cheever and directed by Kevin Mock

Questions of identity have long plagued the Legends. This team serves as a grand collection of heroes and villains from throughout time. They each embark on this mission because they are searching for something to fulfill their lives elsewhere. Behrad explains that the team focuses on the present. They can't lament over the past or fear for the future. They have to be present and trust that the team will always rally behind them no matter what happens. The team is constantly evolving. People come and go from the ship. They all remain Legends. This serves as an influential time in their lives that reveals who they are at their core. They return to their lives more fully informed about their place in the world. They save time. They get to enjoy it as well. And now, this season's story is starting to come into better focus. It highlights internal conflicts that are threatening to tear these characters apart. Bishop has found a way to evade death. He is a clone himself. He can perfectly copy and download his entire being into a new body. As such, he sees himself as having more agency than the various Ava clones. He created them. He wants them to always be subservient to him. They all have unique skills. However, he always positions them into boxes of what they can hope to achieve in this world. They are incredibly disposable as well. None of them question his orders because they believe they are meant to be followers. The Legends know that an Ava can lead. Ava currently commands the Waverider. She is leading the mission to find Sara. That reunion motivates everything happening this season. Sure, threats to the timeline still exist in the form of aliens who have been scattered all over the place. However, the core concern has always been rescuing Sara. She has defeated death before. But now, the story reveals that her time on this alien planet has already been deadly. Up to this point, her adventures have been tangential without a whole lot of agency. She was in peril. However, the show was just teasing that along. It highlighted the many dangers that lurk on this planet. It's only recently that the show has put in the effort to inform why all of this is happening. Of course, it now produces the shocking reveal of Sara discovering that she too has become a clone. Bishop downloaded her essence into a new body. She is still human though. She maintains her sense of identity and agency. This revelation rattles her though. She thought she had full awareness of what has been going on. Something traumatic has happened to her. The same applies to Spooner. She realizes that she and an alien are actually fighting for control over her body. It's the same conflict that has taken root in Amelia Earhart. The show offers an explanation as to what happened to her. She was abducted and experimented on. She escaped Bishop's influence. An alien has still been fighting to get out. Running into the Legends actually cements that transformation. Spooner fears the exact same thing is going to happen to her. She suddenly feels more connected to aliens while being terrified of what's happening within her own body. It's terrifying and mysterious. She seeks out answers. That puts her in harm's way. The Legends fight to save her. They value her life. They will protect it. This conflict has gotten more personal for her. She also delivers the news that Sara was killed. That's not the full story though. Moreover, Rory and Gary continue to serve as wildcards who can potentially disrupt Bishop's plans for Sara. Rory isn't under any illusion about the failings of humanity. He still lifts Sara up as being better than that. He admires her as a result. He is willing to take this dangerous risk to save her life. That is more important. Plus, he won't allow anyone else to make that sacrifice. Of course, he also gets distracted by Kayla along the way. That cynical edge helps his survival. A romantic connection with Kayla may not end well. It's a complication that was a little obvious. It's not as frustrating as Constantine lying to everyone except Astra about losing his magical powers. That will get annoying quickly. It provides more agency to Astra as she is the one who must cast the spells to learn information. She is still just learning how to master these abilities though. The Legends need stability now as they prepare to risk it all to save their fearless and strong leader. But they are also questioning what is happening within their own bodies. They always emerge stronger and more confident than ever before. But their bodies have been abused and they are only starting to the realize the extent of that invasion.