Wednesday, October 13, 2021

REVIEW: 'Legends of Tomorrow' - The Legends Stumble Around Chaotically Without Access to Time Travel in 'The Bullet Blondes'

The CW's Legends of Tomorrow - Episode 7.01 "The Bullet Blondes"

After defeating the aliens and saving Earth, the Legends find themselves stranded in 1925 Odessa, Texas with a destroyed Waverider. Wanting to help fix things, Astra tries using her powers, which creates unwanted attention from the town. Realizing they need to escape, Sara and Ava create a distraction by going on a crime spree. Zari is finding it hard to get over Constantine, so Behrad suggests the only thing he knows that can help.

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 season premiere of The CW's Legends of Tomorrow.

"The Bullet Blondes" was written by James Eagan & Ray Utarnachitt and directed by Kevin Mock

What are the Legends without time travel? They are still a group of wacky superheroes who threaten the stability of the timeline with each action they commit. They are simply now stuck in one particular moment in time. Now, the show has to contort itself in many different ways in order to create that reality. Time travel has become more and more accessible with each passing season. At first, the Waverider was the only way to travel through time. The jump ship was the only other option for the various side missions. But then, the time courier was introduced which made it all easy with the press of a button. And finally, more ships emerged that could make the journeys through space and time. Rory is conveniently no longer with the group. That's because he and Kayla had their own ship to escape to a hopefully bright future as a family. It was only after that exit that the Waverider was destroyed. That's a mystery that no one can make much progress on in this premiere. It's all about the Legends trying to ease growing questions in town while figuring out how to get back to a relatively safe place for them in the timeline. Sara and Ava want a peaceful honeymoon after all. And yet, that's not available to any of them because they are suddenly lacking in this specific technology. The ship is destroyed and the only courier amongst the team is out of battery. It's a forced development. The show enjoys the idea of keeping the team in one moment in time for a little bit. It does offer to shake things up. It forces Ava to overly rely on the comfort of the rules until she eventually breaks. Spooner and Astra get to admit just how meaningful their friendship has become. But the story is still quintessential to what the show has always done. The Legends interact with a historical figure who notices that they are out of place. They try to make things better but only cause more chaos that threatens everything they know about history. This is a pattern the show has employed on countless occasions. It's still relatively fun. Sara and Ava work so in sync with one another that it's delightful to watch when they turn those talents into robbing banks. This is the golden age for that kind of criminal as well. It's a measure of last resort that allows the team to have some fun. It creates enough of a diversion to keep unwanted attention off of Spooner's mother. This is her home after all. The Legends threaten her stability after she sacrificed so much based on their word. She has accepted Spooner completely. She offers Astra some solid guidance as well. Sure, that inadvertently leads to the creation of Gideon in human form. That's an exciting prospect for the season. She has been part of the team from the very beginning. Sara may feel all alone now that the other original members have gone their separate ways. The Legends still have a mission to complete. Sara is the captain. She trusts her crew. But now, the ship has been destroyed. Astra can't put it back together. Constantine could create a separate space within a pocket dimension. But she struggles to pull off this impressive magic. It still takes a great deal of skill and love for that final result. It ensures that Gideon isn't lost just because the ship is gone. Her personality has been essential to that atmosphere as well. It's already clear though that the show is tired by the limitations it has placed on itself in creating this new status quo for the team. They have no real through line for what they will now have to contend with. Previous seasons have started with mysteries. They didn't always make sense right away. And yet, the narrative could provide everyone with a hook into the proceedings. Here, it's a simple continuation of the problem created in the previous finale. Again, that's perfectly fine. It offers something different and new. It even builds to the death of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover before it was his time. That's an unexpected complication. But it's still just the show gearing itself up instead of operating with true confidence. It lays out separate paths for the various characters. One group is journeying to New York to hopefully advance the development of time travel technology. Another remains in Texas just to rest and heal. And finally, Zari unlocks a new space to mourn her relationship with Constantine. One plot has more agency than the others. And so, it's clear the show wants to create a shocking twist to balance things out.