blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Legends of Tomorrow (2016) s06e03 – The Ex-Factor

If there’s a cohort who hears the Buzzcocks’ Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've) and think it’s a cover of the Fine Young Cannibals song until they remember the FYC song was the cover… I am in that cohort. The episode opens with Matt Ryan and Tala Ashe having a booty call (because they’re not really dating, no emotions, he’s a hellblazer, she’s an influencer, after all) and he plays her the song so he can talk about punk rock to her. It’s a very good scene, even before Shayan Sobhian (Ashe’s brother) has to come in to call them back to the time traveling space ship for a mission. Someone on the writing staff—Grainne Godfree and Tyron B. Carter get the credit—has some music thoughts for Ryan to spout and they’re good thoughts. Plus it’s a cute way of showing him trying to date, not just play grab ass.

The crisis this episode is an alien robot arriving in Sobhian and Ashe’s future and killing Ashe’s ex-boyfriend, the host of the only show keeping network TV alive, an “American Idol”-type thing with some Eurovision thrown in. Or maybe “Idol”’s gotten more elaborate since I last watched it (whatever happened to George Huff).


The Legends are able to get back to the future before the alien (voiced by Andrew Morgado, but whoever does the suit work deserves a credit too) kills the ex-boyfriend (Ryan Bell, who’s always in a helmet too, actually). The only way to defeat the alien is for Ashe to get into the competition, which just happens to coincide with her needing to reestablish her brand after her season-long “Legends” adventuring. She also decides to trot Ryan out as her new beau—a London street magician—while telling her mom (Mitra Lohrasb) it’s just a fling. Without having told Ryan she expressly thinks of him in those terms.


And effective drama. Ryan and Ashe are really cute together. Nice scene with Lohrasb too. “Legends” does a particularly nice job finding the humanity in the fantastical this episode.

Meanwhile, Jes Macallan has captaining troubles because Dominic Purcell is in a snit over Caity Lotz still being gone and new team member Lisseth Chavez is counseling Macallan to confront Purcell. It’s an okay subplot, purely functional compared to the A plot.

Off on the unknown planet, Lotz and Adam Tsekhman are trying to survive armed pursuers (nice reveal and call back on them too) while Lotz suffers from some kind of alien infection. It’s a busy, good episode.

Even if Nick Zano’s still just around. Though he does get a nice Die Hard reference in. “Legends” doesn’t often get to do near future riffs for laughs, so handful of good “Taco Bell won the franchise wars”-esque gags are welcome.

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