blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Legends of Tomorrow (2016) s06e08 – Stressed Western

So it doesn’t look like Fist City, the Old West town where the Legends end up this episode, was a real place. Director and star cameo David Ramsey (from “Arrow”) does play a real guy, however; first Black deputy U.S. marshal Bass Reeves. The real guy’s mustache looks better than Ramsey’s fake one. But only barely.

Ramsey’s just around for the episode, literally in the background most of the time; his lawman has become an outlaw and the town’s now run by outlaw turned lawman Nic Bishop. And Fist City has become the nicest, politest town in the West. Could the pleasantness have anything to do with the time traveling alien the Legends are hunting, especially since Nick Zano—who actually gets not just his share of the episode, but to address having not gotten his share of episodes all season—says the town should be the roughest, most dangerous town in the West?

There’s a really good reveal on the niceness thing, which leads to the cast having to be nice to one another as well, even as resentments grow. Jes Macallan isn’t totally cool with Caity Lotz coming back from space as seemingly immortal alien hybrid clone, Olivia Swann finds Lisseth Chavez annoying and doesn’t appreciate being paired with her for bonding purposes, Matt Ryan’s mad at Adam Tsekhman for not telling him more details about a magic energy-giving waterfall, and Shayan Sobhian really doesn’t want sister Tala Ashe bugging him about his sex life. Or telling him about hers.

Dominic Purcell is in the episode less than Ramsey’s cameo. Otherwise the entire cast is very, very busy.

While last episode felt like a season finale—so much so my good lady wife was surprised we had another “Legends” so quick—this one feels like a season premiere. Ish. There’s a lot of resolution and another character heading off on their own quest, so there’s setup too. Lotz and Macallan are able to find the—no pun—humanity in their newly complicated relationship (did they always call each other “babe” three times a sentence, I feel like I’d remember it) and it ends up being a rather affecting arc.

Plus the Zano stuff. He gets to loudly monologue for a few minutes and it seems like he’s got some plot developments coming. Though it also seemed like they were divvying out plot lines to maximize cast screen time before and then they just rushed to getting Lotz, Tsekham, and Purcell home as soon as possible.

Swann and Chavez’s reluctant bonding storyline also goes really well. And Ashe and Sobhian are great bickering at one another.

“Legends” seems somewhat shaky because there’s no obvious overarching narrative but it’s also incredibly solid on the acting, directing (Ramsey does a fine job), and writing fronts. The episode’s exceedingly well-plotted and very successful; it even sets goals for itself and then achieves them.

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