Sunday, August 22, 2021

REVIEW: 'Legends of Tomorrow' - Sara and Nate Play Chess as Ava Leads a Crucial Interrogation in 'Silence of the Sonograms'

The CW's Legends of Tomorrow - Episode 6.13 "Silence of the Sonograms"

With the Legends on high alert with their unwanted guest in their custody, Ava is tasked with the interrogation while Nate and Sara watch. Rory is struggling with the terrible pain in his head and Gary tries to help to manage it the best he can. Zari enlists Astra and Spooner's help to figure out what is going on with Constantine.

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.

"Silence of the Sonograms" was written by Phil Klemmer & Morgan Faust and directed by Nico Sachse

Sara instinctively doesn't trust Bishop when he arrives reformed on the Waverider. The rest of the Legends don't either because of what he did to her. And yet, they are quickly distracted by their own concerns. Those developments are valid based on the storytelling progress made in the recent episodes. It also makes the Legends much easier for Bishop to manipulate. They go their separate ways to the point where they don't realize what he is truly up to until it is too late. It's all centered around the question of morality. This version of Bishop isn't the same as the man who imprisoned Sara on an alien planet hellbent on ruling the galaxy after ending it through human-alien clones. Sara stopped his essence from being fully downloaded into a new body. A significant portion was kept intact though. Only six percent was left out. However, that opens up just enough debate regarding whether or not he has changed as a result. Is six percent of one's identity enough to significantly change someone? Is six percent all that it takes to operate with a corrupt intent? Is six percent of Sara's identity enough to suggest redemption within Bishop? These are the philosophical questions introduced here. The show attempts to mine the interest in some of them. But it also gets lost along the way in trying to determine who is actually succeeding in getting in the other's head. Ava hopes this can be a good exercise for delving into the depths of a depraved mind. She can flex a new interest. In reality, Bishop knows how to manipulate her by offering her the family support she has never had before. He is her creator. All he has to do is talk about how proud he is of her individual spirit. She has evolved beyond his wildest dreams. That's entirely on her own. It's not conditioned on his initial programming. It's all deceitful though. Sara trusts Ava completely. She knows that Ava can handle herself in this arena. She too knows the tricks that can manipulate someone into giving up the crucial information they have. Bishop never lets his guard down though. He only shows off his new array of skills once the team comes to those realizations elsewhere. Even then, he still wants to present himself as someone just trying to help Rory after he goes into labor. That sequence is completely insane. That can sum up this entire plot this season. It's still something that Bishop orchestrated. He sees the cracks within this team. Those cracks have always been there. They have been manipulated before. However, this team succeeds because of its unique and individual personalities. They can't be controlled. That can sometimes allow this villainy to take hold. It's startling. It mostly just cements storytelling patterns at this point. Bishop was always going to return. He was always going to maintain his agency as the villain. He can't be redeemed. He simply has knowledge from Sara based on a carefully selected six percent part of her identity. It's all rather ridiculous. That's what the audience expects. It's just not as grounded in personal stakes as the show frequently does when operating at its best. The story is pushing for that with Constantine in his addiction. He suffers through withdrawal wanting to quit this powerful magic. His secret comes out. Zari demands the truth. She loves him regardless. She is willing to stay by his side as he goes through this process. And yet, the show has established so little about this magic that it can basically produce some shocking twist whenever it wants. That's basically what happens here. It just runs the risk of taking the blame and responsibility out of Constantine's hands. It is no longer him craving this magic and ruining lives as a result. It's now some new entity that has been born as a result of this combination of addiction and magic. That allows the threat to the Legends to be more severe as this new Constantine teams up with Bishop to gain more power. It undercuts the overall story too. That's disappointing. The show is basically hoping that our affection for Constantine will be enough to ground the story as it reaches its conclusion. So much of that success comes from Tala Ashe and her ability to make most of this work. She makes it easy for the audience to invest in each of Zari's stories despite the shortcomings elsewhere. Her talents have always been remarkable. She isn't the only one in the cast with such skill. It's simply becoming more required for her to sell it so the audience can go through the motions of it all too. That still may not be as rewarding in the end as the show would want.