Legends of Tomorrow (2016) s06e06 – Bishop’s Gambit

The episode opens with a great tracking shot of Matt Ryan walking around his British manor and seeing how the “needing a place to crash” Legends team is wrecking havoc. Who knew the (further) secret to making John Constantine click was to make him lovable? Unfortunately, it’s kind of the only impressive work director Kevin Mock does in the entire episode. It’s mostly fine direction, with some creativity as far as Jes Macallan playing a bunch of clones and then the alien world’s atmosphere being delightfully low budget and tech, but Mock can’t do two shots and the episode’s full of two shots. When Caity Lotz and season villain Raffi Barsoumian face off then do a banter thing with show tunes, the close-ups and one shots are great. The two shots—the necessary two shots—are not.

The story’s split between Lotz trying to escape from Barsoumian’s liar, not knowing Dominic Purcell has arrived to save her (he’s brought along alien-in-disguise Aliyah O'Brien for help but she’s not much help), and then the team trying to figure out what Jennifer Oleksiuk’s got to do with Lotz. Oleksiuk’s half-Amelia Earhart (literally), half-alien, and Lisseth Chavez seems to be able to communicate with the latter half, providing Chavez a subplot for most of the episode.

She’s still at best okay. Having her play a seemingly alt-right loner makes it hard to like her—though Shayan Sobhian tries to bond with her this episode and Sobhian’s so likable some of it rubs off for a good while—but it’s not the most compelling turn of events. Especially since there are some very convenient plot developments (enough it feels more like a bridging episode than anything else, which is appropriate enough six in) and the episode always seems primed for something more.

And then it turns out the more is a big cliffhanger. But not exactly a cliffhanger. It’s a reveal at the end of the episode as cliffhanger, not hard, not soft. Somewhere in between. I had expected the separate story arcs—Macallan and company staying with Ryan, Lotz and Barsoumian, Purcell and O’Brien—to get their own episodes (save on the special guest star money) but “Legends” seems to be throwing them together, which isn’t helping any of them.

It’s fine. It’s just a busy bridging episode. Some good acting from Ryan and Tala Ashe, some not good acting from O’Brien (seriously, the Arrowverse shows always manage to screw up at least one recurring guest star cast), some decent acting from Lotz, Sobhian, and Macallan (with asterisks on Macallan).

Olivia Swann’s around a very little bit after getting her own episode, learning magic, covering for Ryan. She’s got more to do than Nick Zano, who still needs to find a subplot this season.

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