Thursday, October 21, 2021

REVIEW: 'Legends of Tomorrow' - Nate Struggles With Reckoning the Weight of His Recent Actions in 'The Need for Speed'

The CW's Legends of Tomorrow - Episode 7.02 "The Need for Speed"

While the Legends contemplate how to get to New York City, Behrad discovers Hoover has train tickets to DC and Sara and Ava come up with a plan. With the help of Gary, Nate will have to impersonate Hoover, but he soon learns it is harder being Hoover than he expected. Since Zari is stuck without the internet, she is forced to take a digital detox and becomes obsessed with figuring out who blew up the Waverider. Astra and Spooner deal with the aftermath of Astra's special spell.

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 Need for Speed" was written by Morgan Faust & Marcelena Campos Mayhorn and directed by Alexandra LaRoche

This season has been slow to reveal its true ambitions. It appears as if it wants to slowly break the conventions that have always dictated the narrative. The Legends have always feared messing up the timeline. They have been previously motivated to remake it for the better. They always find creative solutions to their problems. They aren't as rigid as past keepers of time have been. And yet, something wants them stranded in the 1920s. They are motivated to get to New York City to help with the creation of time travel. They view that as the priority. However, only one person on the team really has to make that journey. So long as they have Constantine's key, they can just create an entrance for whomever is in the pocket dimension. That allows Sara and Ava to have the honeymoon that was denied to them because the Waverider was destroyed. They trust Nate, Behrad and Gary with being responsible enough to steer this mission on the correct path. They still get into trouble. That comes from the existential crisis Nate is in after killing J. Edgar Hoover. He didn't mean to do that. However, it's a complication the Legends must carry as they proceed with the mission. It's another thing they have to fix once they do gain access to time travel again. They know his importance in the timeline. Killing him messes up so much that is yet to occur. Sure, he's a despicable man who commits many heinous things. That's history. It should be recognized. It can't be forgotten or erased. Nate fears that's exactly what he has done. And yet, a new mystery is introduced that seems to suggest the timeline may not be that destructible anymore. Ava ordered Gary to eat Hoover's body. The crime scene was erased. Nate is walking around a train as a Hoover impersonator. He is aided by a spell from Gary that can actually make him look like the man. He struggles when in comes to the realities of what this man's life was like. He was admired by the wealthy and privileged. He kept them safe by turning the public against communities of color and other vulnerable populations. Plenty of people on this train would love to kill him. Instead, that fate belongs to Sara. She too goes down in history for killing J. Edgar Hoover. It's not a ruse to cover up the actions already done. It's not Sara attacking Nate. Instead, a new stand-in for the man has entered the proceedings. He operates with tactical procession when dealing with the men who work for Al Capone. He is no match for a bottle of alcohol in Sara's hands though. That only reveals that a robot is behind the mask. That's strange and inexplicable. It's stunning when the Legends see this man they know is dead. They kill him once more. That offers no certainty that he is gone for good. It simply suggests that a larger plot is at work. Zari is the only person questioning who possibly destroyed the Waverider in the first place. She has lots of theories. Robots are on that list. It doesn't line up just yet. But the narrative has the time to provide that hook for the story eventually. It also makes it more salient that the show's robotic companion has now become human. Astra has resurrected Gideon. She has been transformed into a human body. She is left speechless though. For a role that has always been guided by voice, it's startling to see her in a new context. It takes Astra and Spooner a long time to realize that Gideon is still trying to communicate an urgent message with them. They are scared of what happened. They blame themselves and feel powerless as a result. They aren't. They too feel personally motivated to help with the mission. Gideon still has knowledge of the timeline. She gains the ability to speak once Spooner touches her. That introduces a new mystery for the power within Spooner as well. She has become malleable to the situation. Whatever the demands of the plot are, she will then serve in that thematic role. In her first season, it was a connection to aliens. And now, she can connect to a robot when no one else can. Of course, Gideon's identity is more complicated than that. Spooner's mother certainly points that out. But it's also straining for purpose. The show has never lost sight of having fun even when being vague with its overall ambitions. It's starting to show its age though as it can be easier than ever before to lose track of the internal mechanics meant to keep everything going. It's only been two episodes so far. However, a little more focus would do a lot of good as the show once again asks the audience to commit to the absurdity of its new adventure.