Legends of Tomorrow (2016) s07e01 – The Bullet Blondes

So this season of “Legends” is kind of the Back to the Future III season? I mean, they’re not stuck in the Old West, but they’re stuck in the 1920s, and they’re becoming bank robbers, so the action set pieces are all somewhat familiar—not sure if targeting “Legends of Tomorrow” fans who also love Thieves Like Us is a broad enough demographic, but it works for me. And there’s also room for some excellent character development.

Plus, the two cliffhangers are absolutely fantastic and promise at least one spectacular timey-wimey knot to untangle. While the other one has all sorts of character potential. It’s a very good season setup from a somewhat low-key, artificially subdued beginning. The team is still in Texas, having shed both Matt Ryan and Dominic Purcell from the cast, and find themselves time travelers without a time machine. Worse, the locals noticed their giant battle against the space aliens and are asking questions.

Luckily, Jes Macallan comes up with a solution for the latter, but it only works as long as someone on the team doesn’t screw it up. So, of course, someone screws it up, putting Lisseth Chavez’s mom in danger. The mom, played by Alexandra Castillo, isn’t in the episode to start (they sent her away somewhere undefined so she’d miss the alien battle). When she gets back, she becomes den mother to Olivia Swann, who’s feeling lacking as the team’s magician. So Swann’s trying to impress, and it’s not a good idea to mess with magic.

Most of the character work is for Swann and Chavez, who aren’t the best actors on the show, but their friendship is the most genuine. Because everyone on “Legends” is now basically paired off—Macallan and Caity Lotz are now married and stranded in time, no honeymoon in sight; Shayan Sobhian is trying to be a good brother to Tala Ashe as she works through her breakup with Ryan. Then Nick Zano and Adam Tsekhman become the utility men, filling in whenever a scene needs a third. Zano’s got quite a bit to do—and gets one of the two big cliffhangers—but he doesn’t have any subplots brewing, just A-plot stuff.

Ditto Tsekhman, who mostly just punctuates punchlines.

Good direction from Kevin Mock and a decent script (James Eagan and Ray Utarnachitt get the credit).

The episode drags a little in the first fifteen minutes, but it sets up the season well. Plus, Castillo’s really good when doing the den mother stuff, and she elevates her costars, making the extraordinary reasonable.

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