Sunday, August 8, 2021

REVIEW: 'Legends of Tomorrow' - The Fate of Humanity Depends on the Outcome of a Bowling Game in 'The Final Frame'

The CW's Legends of Tomorrow - Episode 6.11 "The Final Frame"

When the Legends track down another alien pod, they find a device that transports them to a cosmic bowling alley. Spooner makes a bet against the reigning champs for a ride back to the Waverider, but not everyone is happy about the plan when they realize what they are up against. Nate plans a romantic date for him and Zari, but nothing goes as planned. Behrad and Gary try to distract Ava from what's going on with wedding planning.

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.

"The Final Frame" was written by James Eagan & Ray Utarnachitt and directed by Jes Macallan

The fate of Earth rests in the results of a bowling game. That's just the kind of insane premise that fans have come to expect from this show. It's executed incredibly well too. Sure, you would think that the various Legends would know by now to stop trying to hide disasters from Sara and Ava. They always think they have to carefully manage the couple's emotions. They can't risk jumping to the worst possible conclusions given how significant Sara's abduction was at the start of the season. This job carries risks with it though. That includes moments where the fates of the Legends are uncertain. They have each signed up for that task. They remain united as a team. They are in contact with each other. They care about the emotional well-being of the team as a whole. Plus, Gary trying to keep Ava distracted allows for a fun montage of adding more and more things onto her wedding dress. That is an amusing and charming sequence. It's one that is rewarding to the characters while being a celebration of this happiness. Sure, Ava and the Legends left on the Waverider eventually make their way to the cosmic bowling alley. They have a stake in everything that happens. Again, that comes from it never being good to keep things from the captains. Constantine is most dangerous in that regard though. He is juicing with magic. That makes him more powerful than ever before. He needs to demonstrate that might to everyone he interacts with too. It's overbearing and unnecessary. All the character work done with him has disappeared now that he has made this toxic choice. Of course, it's still understandable why he has done this. This addiction to magic has warped his worldview. He seemingly can't function without it. As such, he doesn't want to deal with that reality. His powers do come in handy as well. He gets the Waverider to the bowling alley. Gideon couldn't provide that service. Her programming wouldn't allow her to take on such a risk. It's necessary for her to function in that way. Constantine is more reckless. But again, that's the energy necessary in this situation. It's fine to be worried about that unbridled energy as well. Buddy can sense it on Constantine right away. He declares that it will soon be the death of him. That's a bold proclamation that becomes more ominous because it closes the episode. That also establishes stakes for the future. Right now, the quest to track down the alien pods provides the Legends with something to do. They don't have any complicating factors from having to also contend with a larger threat to the timeline. As such, they can relax into these personal relationships. They are still blind to Constantine's change in attitude. That may be costly. Sara and her team prevail because they learn how to cut loose and just appreciate the game. They still have to win no matter what. Moreover, they receive an assist from Nate and Zari on Earth. They are caught up in all of this as well even though they are in the dark more than their teammates. They are heroes but they are also a couple who yearn for each other despite the obstacles in their way. They want to make it work. They care about each other so much. They shouldn't be pushed apart just because they can't be together all of the time. They are generous with their spirits while respecting the bond they share together as well. It's moving to watch. And then, the show just amplifies all of this with the fun on display in the actual bowling match. Sure, only one personality on the other side is given much detail. He is just enough of a pompous jerk to make all of this work though. Sara finds camaraderie in the souls she meets along this journey. That empathy has always been apparent within her. And now, the bowling alley has been returned to its rightful owner. Buddy gets to serve as a champion of this sport. He can share it across the galaxy. Yes, it's weird but it's sweet too. At first, Sara and the team want to escape this place as soon as possible. In the end, they vanquish the oppressors and celebrate all of the charms in this environment as a team. That champion spirit has long been infectious. That is still searingly true after six seasons. That makes for an incredibly strong and winning episode.