I wasn’t thrilled when I saw Rachel Talalay’s name on the director credit but it’s good direction (not just for Talalay but in general). The episode is split between the Legends in the fifties trying to find an escaped alien and Caity Lotz and Adam Tsekhman crash-landing on an alien world. Lotz and Tsekham are a very funny odd couple. Their storyline, involving Amelia Earhart (Jennifer Oleksiuk), is somewhat lacking but Lotz and Tsekhman have a lot more chemistry than it seemed last episode when they got paired off.
The main story is about an alien goo in the secret sauce at a hamburger joint. While Jes Macallan (assuming the team leader position quite well) frets about using new cast member Lisseth Chavez to communicate with the goo to find Lotz—it’s barely a plan—the rest of the cast makes themselves comfortable at the burger joint. At least, Nick Zano, Tala Ashe, and Shayan Sobhian. Everyone else—Matt Ryan and Dominic Purcell—just sort of roam around, getting the occasional one-liner.
The burger joint plot line is mostly about Ashe and Sobhian figuring out how to work together without pestering each other, which provides a nice bit of character development with Zano’s roller-skating waiter in the shorty-suits providing the comic relief. Eventually the entire town becomes meat-hungry almost zombies (zombies who can run—and, presumably, recover from their meat lust) and raid the burger joint, requiring everyone to work together as a team. There’s a bit of a deus ex machina moment but it’s fine. I mean, Ashe and Sobhian are going to be the Wonder Twins, after all, some narrative shortcuts are fine. Especially since the plot device is a welcome cameo.
Chavez does rather well in her first outing on a mission (rather than being a mission), bringing the right amount of personality to the fight scenes and so on. I’d been a little worried last episode they’d pair her off with lovesick Zano but if it’s in the cards, it’s not yet. Chavez’s character arc is all about working with the Legends in general and Macallan specifically, with Chavez the only one being frank with Macallan (minus Purcell for a beat and also minus knowing it’s “Legends” so there’s time traveling chicanery in their futures).
The fifties tone is great. Talalay brings a whole bunch of energy to it, even though they’re basically at one time specific location—the burger joint and its parking lot—and otherwise they’re at various residences, which don’t need much time adjusting.
I was on board with the season’s gimmick—outrageous aliens in history—just because it’s “Legends,” but this episode shows they’re going to be imaginative with it; I’m a lot more confident, particularly since the show took the time with Sobhian and Ashe. Now they just need to figure out what to do with Zano. Especially with Chavez playing sidekick to Macallan.
And great guest turn from Kirsten Robek.