blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Legends of Tomorrow (2016) s07e02 – The Need for Speed

This episode is really Season Premiere, Part Two, with the season villain getting a reveal in the cliffhanger. They tease the reveal earlier, with Tala Ashe spending her time in the episode getting stoned, mooning over departed Matt Ryan, and trying to figure out what friend, foe, or category of either is the big bad this season. It’s a little forced and a waste of time for Ashe, but it references “Rip Hunter” for the first time in ages, so it’s occasionally engaging.

Plus, Ashe gets the punchline at the reveal later on, and it works out.

The main plot is Nick Zano pretending to be J. Edgar Hoover (Giacomo Baessato), so no one finds out Baessato’s dead. The show breaks its back complimenting the historical Hoover while “acknowledging” the problems, ending with Zano getting a pass for all the racism he easily commits while in the part. It’s messed up. For a while, they seem like they’re going to try with the Zano “when you look into the abyss” stuff, but then they rush the conclusion, and so it was all just pointlessly gross.

Jes Macallan and Caity Lotz spend the episode honeymooning and occasionally checking in with Ashe to move the C-plot along. Macallan’s got some funny scenes. It’s probably the least forced thing in the episode.

The B-plot is Olivia Swann and Lisseth Chavez discovering a human version of the ship’s computer, played again by Amy Louise Pemberton. Pemberton’s had physical appearances in the part on the show before, and they worked? I think they worked. Like the show never really leveraged it but could have.

Anyway. Swann resurrected and incorporated A.I. Pemberton instead of rebuilding the actual spaceship. Only Pemberton can’t talk, so it pisses Swann off. I’m not sure if it’s the script or the direction, but something’s not connecting with Swann’s performance here. Maybe because it’s shoving the character development back a few steps so there can be another life lesson from Alexandra Castillo. And Castillo’s life lessons are good and all, but it’s redundant. And derails Swann’s performance.

But it seems like it’s resolved by the finish, and we can get on with the actual show now.

What’s funny is “Legends” always sets up the next season in the finale but didn’t last season, and now they’ve spent two episodes getting it done instead of two to four minutes.

The episode’s fine. It’s just a low fine.

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