SDCC 2016 ‘Colony’: Resisting the Walls

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

We all know why we’re here, right? Some time ago, freaking aliens actually descended upon Earth and everything went to hell. Some resisted, some collaborated, and now, the thin veneer of civility under the yoke of the Raps (that’s short for ‘Raptors’, in case you didn’t know) and their human police force is being torn by the Bowman family and their various allies, enemies, and surprise visitors!

The SDCC panel for the USA Network hit Colony featured Josh Holloway (Will Bowman), Sarah Wayne Callies (Katie Bowman), Peter Jacobson (Proxy Snyder), Amanda Righetti (Maddie Kenner), Tory Kittles (Broussard), Adrian Pasdar (Nolan Burgess), and Executive Producers Ryan Condal and Carlton Cuse!

Cuse proudly talked about how they wanted to model the show after the French Nazi occupation, an “Orwellian surveillance state,” that the Raps and their humans have turned the Earth into. “We wanted to make an alien invasions show that wasn’t really about alien invasion, so we had to prove it on the page first.”

Cuse also graciously accepted compliments from the audience about the production and design of the walls on the show, announcing that, “A visual effects company in Denmark of all places called Ghost did the walls and all the visual effects and we couldn’t be more pleased with them.” Continuing with the walls theme, Cuse announced that in season two of Colony, we’d find out why the walls were put up in the first place, and why everywhere seems to be divided into bloc sections and separate colonies. For season two, the show moved filming to the Universal Studios lots, for in this new season there will be stories in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, and even a story outside the walls entirely!

Tory Kittles, who plays ex-military Resistance freedom fighter, Broussard, talked about how his character came home from the previous wars with ideas for what his life would be like, and the war of the Raps and the Occupation changed all that, “So he’s going down a much darker path now.” Despite Broussard’s reluctance, especially with the death of Resistance leader Quayle in the first season, he was forced to discover that, “Part of the journey along the way, was realizing he had a significant leader part to play.”

Sarah Wayne Callies is no stranger to playing a strong female character in the most dire of situations, and she laughed when a fan commented on the kickass women she’s already played. “I was looking to play a new character that would incite controversy, I just didn’t think it would be quite this much!” Callies went on to talk about Kate’s dangerous position in Colony season two: “She’s more vulnerable and more alone than she’s ever been.”

The fans at San Diego Comic-Con were treated to a spoof trailer for the second season of Colony, in which their son Charlie supposedly returned from Santa Monica bloc a very changed person. Starring Silicon Valley lead Kumail Nanjiani, the trailer effectively speaks very bluntly, at least in the little sisters words, for itself.

Colony returns to break down the walls of oppression on USA in 2017!

https://youtu.be/katChLS-aRI

SDCC 2016 ‘The 100’: The Earth Strikes Back!

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

Welcome back to what is arguably the most popular and controversial CW show, all at the same time! War with the Grounders and potentially the Ice Nation, internal strife with Pike, the AI Ally trying to take over what’s left of the world and the destruction of the City of Light, plus let’s not forget burgeoning gay romances and a whole lot of death; all make for a compelling show we just can’t seem to stop watching and commenting on!

The San Diego Comic-Con panel for The 100 featured Eliza Taylor (Clarke), Henry Ian Cusick (Kane), Lindsay Morgan (Raven), Marie Avgeropolous (Octavia), Chris Larkin (Monty), Richard Harmon (Murphy), and Executive Producer Jason Rothenburg.

The panel started off with a ton of applause for the stars and then went right in to the sizzle reel for the previous season, with a surprise twist at the end – the Earth literally strikes back in season four, with what appears to be floods and other major destruction. And that is the theme for the next season, the natural disasters to try and survive, while Clarke and others wonder, with all they’ve done to survive, do they now deserve to?

Eliza Taylor sports a charming Australian accent, and is always gracious to her fans, especially the ones who come to the mike to ask fan questions dressed as Clarke, or even Lexa. She stated softly that Finn’s death was the hardest scene she had to film thus far, and of course Lexa’s death too. She also charmingly stated that it was a good thing the filming crew were so good at their jobs, because for the climactic love scene between Clarke and Lexa, she and Alycia Debnam-Carey couldn’t help but keep giggling with each-other while in bed.

Marie Avgeropolous is right proud of the strength of her character Octavia, and promises her warrior has gone even darker this upcoming season, due to the loss of Lincoln and all. She doesn’t preen when fans compliment her on such a strong female character, saying rather, “Women have always been strong, and I’m so grateful to be on a show that values that – examples of empowerment should become the norm.”

Avgeropolous went on to laughingly tell a favorite story of a difficult, though amusing, time on set. During the scene in season three where Octavia is attempting to convince Lincoln to go get Luna, Avgeropolous was supposed to be cleaning the hoof of the horse her character was riding. And well, the horse was, how can we put it, “at attention,” we’ll say, so they had to keep changing camera angles because it looked like Avgeropolous had taken a sudden interest in beastiality. The horse trainer, who was nearby, eventually told her to flick the horsey intruder with a stick, gently, because that would make the “at-attention” go away. And the Comic-Con crowd had absolute hysterics!

Richard Harmon is forever an amused prankster, and took a few moments to himself to admire the large happy audience, before plunking down to deliver glib, grinning one-liners, like how, “Murphy is everyone’s favorite cockroach.” He gleefully displayed chipped, dark nail polish to the cheering crowd after being accused of enjoying makeup on set, drawling about he had originally auditioned for the role of Bellamy and how different that would have been.

Chris Larkin was much more lively than his character Monty on the show, trading off happy one-liners with Harmon, whom he sat next to on the panel. His scariest moment on the show thus far was learning to drive stick, as he grinned, “There’s nothing scarier than driving at night, in fog, with a huge camera mounted 2 feet away from your face on the rover, being driven by someone who’s only driven stick for an hour!”

Rothenburg dropped several surprises on the happy crowd, such as the fact that Roan and Indra are both indeed alive in the new season, and that Roan (Zack McGowan) will be joining the show as a cast regular. Rothenburg also promised that the very first episode of the new season addresses the power vacuum left in the Skycrew camp. He even stated that originally in the season three finale, Jasper was going to kill himself at the end, but that that ending, even though the crew did indeed film the whole thing, was too dark even for Rothenburg himself. And don’t think we’re not all grateful for it; The 100 is plenty lovingly dark already.

The 100 will flood its way back to us adoring fans in 2017!

SDCC 2016 ‘The Last Ship’: No Jello Shooters for You!

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

So, when we last left our intrepid survivors, the Nathan James had finally got the cure to the Red Flu and was beginning to distribute it to the world. At the celebratory peace gathering, the effective savior of humanity, Dr. Scott, was murdered in cold blood, and reluctant President Michener was finally pulling the bootstraps of the sundered country back together. This new season, currently premiering on TNT, promises intrigue and more mayhem, delicate negotiations with other countries of the world, and betrayal at nearly every turn!

The Last Ship panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2016 featured Eric Dane (Captain Chandler), Adam Baldwin (Captain Slattery), newcomer Bridget Regan (Sasha Cooper) and executive producer Steven Kane.

Baldwin is a Comic-Con favorite, due in large part to his past Firefly experience, and he often drops the best one-liners of the panel. He is also well-known for his great respect for the military and deep honor he tries to impart, playing his character in such a show. The first half of season three of The Last Ship has been especially hard for Baldwin’s character, Slattery, feeling responsible for getting his sailors kidnapped and tortured as he does. Baldwin also sympathized with his castmates having to shoot the blood-torture scenes on an island in all kinds of weather. “These were very hard conditions,” he explained, “so there was a lot of gallows humor. But we have the best crew in the world, and they did a ton to keep our spirits up.” Baldwin also laughed about his character’s entrance to the club scene that got them all kidnapped in the first place, “I was like the grumpy dad – ‘I’m not gonna enjoy these jello shooters at all.’”

Newcomer to the show, Bridget Regan, who plays Navy translator Sasha Cooper, waxed poetic on the effort the entire show, from the actors to the showrunners, goes through to be as accurate to real-life military procedures as possible. “We have real Seals on the set, and you don’t want to let those guys down.” Regan took many compliments on her strong female character in stride, stating proudly that, “A woman’s gender has nothing to do with her job here,” and listing the many high-ranking positions and dangerous jobs various female co-stars have on the show.

Everyone’s favorite, hard-nosed, incredibly foxy, silver-haired Eric Dane grinned and agreed with Regan, going on to brag that the current Secretary of the Navy himself has told the show folk, “You’re getting it right.” Dane also mentioned that his favorite episode of season three thus far was the Minefield episode, which was directed by Robocop himself, Peter Weller, and how Dane is a huge fan of the movie-star-turned-director.

Executive Producer Steven Kane talked about premiering new episodes of The Last Ship to Navy personnel every year as a private treat, and how, this year, there was a huge surprise at the end. The call for attention to award was sent out and Kane himself was given the highest commendation a civilian can receive, the Distinguished Public Service honor, complete with a medal and everything, for his work on the highly popular show The Last Ship.

The panel ended on a high note, with a trailer for the back half of season three, which promised the return of favored character Tex (John Pyper-Ferguson), to heartfelt cheers from the audience!

The Last Ship can be found in the waters of TNT on Sundays @9:00 p.m./10:00 p.m. Central!

‘Dark Matter’ Season 2 Premiere: Doing Scifi the Right Way

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

Okay, so before we catch up with the current issues of the crew of the Raza, we have to have a tiny recap from the first season of one of Syfy’s best original series. There’s plenty of underlying drama and secrets that go on, but the upshot is about a crew of strangers who wake aboard a ship with no memory of their past lives, how they got there, et al. Even the shipboard Android can’t help them, due to programming malfunctions and such. So the crew of the Raza name themselves with numbers according to the order in which they woke, and attempt to reconstruct what the hell happened to their lives!

Spoilers in the void of space!

So, of course, season one ended on a cliffhanger, with the unconscious crew of the Raza being taken prisoner yet again by what appears to be a sellout, the man they knew as Six.  The crew has been separated, each according to the purported crimes of their past lives, and everyone is stuck here at the Galactic Authority-run maximum security detention center known as Hyperion-8.

Two, Three, and Four are all decontaminated in the most unpleasant manner possible and then sent to general population, where they immediately all start making friends and starting trouble. Three gets a shake-down by his accomplices from a botched job he doesn’t remember and, of course, Two just has to step in and defend him. Then, newcomer badass Nyx (Melanie Liburd) shows up and she and Three make a kind of prison friendship you’re not likely to find anywhere else. Four is minding his own business in the mess hall and, after some minor confrontations, hey, there’s a prison riot. Only for information gathering purposes, of course.

Meanwhile, elsewhere, One and Five are being held in the staff quarters and treated fairly nicely, but no answers are being presented as yet. One is the only one who can afford a lawyer, the sweeping and haughty Felicia Brand, because in one of his former lives, One was supposedly Derrick Moss, the CEO of CoreLactic Industries and the heir to the Moss fortune. One also gets a visit from the current CEO of CoreLactic, Darius, who promises to aid Derrick however he might in whatever he needs, only to balk quietly when One starts demanding information on his wife’s murder.

Oh, and the ship? The Android is still aboard the Raza, somewhat conveniently docked near the prison, but she is refusing to cooperate with the Galactic Authority folk as they attempt to de-bug her programming. As we recall from season one, the Android of the Raza is no longer Pinocchio, and she took it upon herself more than once to save the crew of the Raza, at the risk of her own existence. She never cared what their pasts were, and I’m betting she’ll save them once again when the crew makes their escape from the maximum security prison.

Six seems to have embraced his new name and job, Lieutenant Kal Varrik of the Galactic Authority, and keeps insisting he’s only trying to help the crew of the Raza when he sees them in their various shenanigans. But it’s Five’s reaction, when Varrik tries to explain all this to her and give her her real name back (he says it’s Emily Kolburn), that makes him realize that the fecal matter has really hit the whirling dervish. It’s been decided that Five will be remanded to the custody of a group home somewhere nearby, for her own good of course, but before that can come anywhere near happening, Commander Lee Shaddick of the Galactic Authority Serious Crimes Division shows up and takes control of everything.

It looks like the only one to truly escape is, oddly enough, One himself. He’s decided to take up Derrick Moss’ comfortable life, but before he can do that, a man wearing his own face (this would be Jace Corso, for those of you who paid attention in the first season) shows up and apparently shoots One all kinds of dead.

Whew! That is an awful lot to take in for a season opener. The show appears to have gotten a larger budget this time around, and are making strides in trying to give the scenes more of a realistic flair, which we the audience all appreciate. All our beloved amnesiacs are back, plus some new unsavory characters to run around with them, and this is how we truly do summer Scifi the right way.

Catch the furious flares of Dark Matter on the SyFy channel Fridays @10:00 p.m./9:00 p.m., Central!

XXX

‘Ajin Demi-Human’: Just Die, Already

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

Welcome to the not-too-distant future, where immortal beings known as Ajin are real, and the whole world knows about them. See, some time ago there was a conflagration between two warring nations and one lone guy was sent in; he proceeded to take out every last child soldier, soak up a ton of damage, and still absolutely refused to lie down and just die already. This was, somehow, the world’s introduction to Ajin, and, though the guy was scooped up by some black-ops military group, we just know had to come from America, the proverbial cat is now out of the bag and the world now treats Ajin collectively about as well as they do mutants from the X-Men world.

None of that really matters much to Kei Nagai, he has his own concerns about getting into medical school and studies and such. The knowledge of Ajin is now part of the school curriculum, as are wanted posters encouraging anyone knowing the whereabouts of Ajin to turn them in, but hey, Kei never thought it would happen to him. He and school pals are joshing with each other after school, not paying attention, and next thing you know, Kei’s been run over by a freaking truck. And I mean run over, complete with the bloody streak all the way across the intersection, the mangled body, and the horrified driver. The poor driver, Kei’s friends, and all bystanders get to be even more horrified when that dead body begins to twitch, then rises, complete with the gut-wrenching sounds of bones snapping back into place; and everyone realizes: Oh shit, Kei’s an Ajin.

Why is Kei on the run from virtually everyone? The government prides itself on rounding up Ajin, purportedly for their own safety, but none of the mundanes really know what happens to Ajin after they go to the facilities. How much damage can an Ajin take? Can they actually be killed? Do they have extra powers? The shadowy men behind the scenes who do eventually capture Kei seem to take sadistic delight in attempting to answer these questions using poor Kei’s disbelieving person. These scenes in particular, as the black hat government doctors (if you can still call them that after watching this) attempt to see just how much pain Kei can endure before he dies and rises yet again, are particularly brutal and worth a blanch or three.

The man in the hat, also known as Sato, claims he wants to help Kei but of course has his own agenda, once it’s readily revealed that Sato is an Ajin too. Sato seems to have gone quite insane from his own torture at the hands of the same government men who experiment on Kei, but he’s also learned a great deal from it, and uses such tricks to take out scores of bad guys against him all on his lonesome. Sato is determined, with some help, to be the leader of the Ajin revolution against all those who would try and stop him, and indeed, his methods of unexpected strategy are worthy of Light Yagami in Death Note. Of course, him being completely bugshit nuts in the bargain helps make it fun, like riding the very top of a skyscraper as it crashes onto another building, laughing hysterically.

The style of animation is very different, so much more realistic than you find in many anime these days. The subject matter, dealing with torture and repeated death as it does, is far from meant for the kidlings, I don’t recommend ages 12 or under watch Ajin. The plot is somewhat similar to the popular anime Tokyo Ghoul, even down to the torture, but character reactions and far-reaching plots are rather different and take some unexpected twists. For a Netflix-exclusive anime, the show is still subtitled rather than dubbed, and this made me happy. Rumor says Ajin Demi-Human will get a season two in October 2016!

You can watch Kei and Sato die over and over in Ajin Demi-Human on Netflix right now!

XXX

https://youtu.be/y0k65jIq7bU

‘Powers’ Season Two Premiere: Who Really Killed Retro Girl?

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

Welcome back to the continuation of the finale from the previous season, the hunt for the killer of Retro Girl, already in progress. Powers is the show about people with extraordinary powers, their long-reaching consequences, and the ordinary folk trying to live with, and occasionally police, the powers among them!

Walker (Sharlto Copley) is still keeping very much himself, despite having just defeated the psychotic murderer, Wolf, and coming off seeing the throat-slit corpse of Retro Girl laid out in a glaring statement of hate – he curses, he rages, and he absolutely fucking refuses to sit still. The Captain, of course, wants Christian off the Retro Girl case right now, considering the FBI just walked in to breathe down his neck and Walker is far too close to her death. Walker’s partner, Pilgrim got assigned to the case with Kutter, which makes no one happy, but at least someone familiar is on it in some kind of official capacity.

Did I mention the FBI? Yeah. In walks Agents Lange (Tricia Helfer) and Schlag (Timothy Douglas Perez), a dynamic duo that are giant pain in the asses as far as Captain Cross is concerned. Schlag is very obviously some kind of Power, he looks like a walking piece of granite and never speaks. And Lange, well, she has the Helfer magic to give her that give-zero-fucks attitude, which, since she’s a season two regular apparently, is just going to piss everyone at Powers Division off.

Actually, how long the Powers Division will last in the wake of the death of Retro Girl, is debatable. I still don’t get how shutting down the PD is going to help catch the murderer, but when has logic ever held sway in this grand country of ours? Zora is still laid up in the hospital after her bout with Wolf, but when she gets wind of Retro Girl’s demise, she takes off determinedly out a window. Good thing she’d been practicing her powers quietly before trying that. Speaking of practicing, our dear little wannabe, Calista, is all grown up, mostly sorta kinda, and practicing her newborn powers out there in the desert. Where, presumably, she won’t kill anyone or flatten anything of importance, as she tries so very hard to fly like Iron Man and bench press a truck.

Everyone is trying to use the aftermath of RG’s death to push forward some kind of platform or statement. Even, amazingly, the former Cobalt Knight of the UNITY trio that Retro Girl formed to fight crime way back when; he’s now Senator Bailey Brown and is trying to put forth a bill that will make the use of any and all powers illegal and prosecutable. The last member of UNITY, SuperShock (Michael Madsen), just has to show up while Christian is taking a last walk of RG’s digs and declare for vengeance.

The re-emergence of SuperShock, or Patrick, as Christian sometimes calls him, out of a self-imposed 40-year retirement, is one of season two’s main plots and so far quite intriguing. We’re led to believe that something, or perhaps a series of somethings, horrific, led to Patrick’s ultimate retirement and swearing off the regulated cape and uniform, and indeed, as he speaks with Walker about the death of Retro Girl, even now he seems a broken man. I look forward to much rampant destruction as Madsen’s battered hero glomps his way towards the truth of her death.

Unfortunately for him, right now the only real suspect at the moment is Krispin Stockley (Max Fowler), given his known association with Khaotic Chic and general dislike for Powers folk, plus that whole wrong-place-wrong-time deal. Despite the real-seeming possibility that Krispin, his little wannabe-anarchist girlfriend, and their anti-powers radicals, I think it’s highly unlikely that all of them could pull such a thing off. If they did it, they’d have to have dubious help, and other suspects are already cropping up. Don’t miss Walker and Pilgrim and all their powers and human friends and enemies, battling them and each-other for supremacy and Retro Girl’s legacy in Powers Season Two!

Powers is being shown exclusively on the Playstation Network, but for everyone else who doesn’t have such a thing, you can catch new episodes on their website here!

XXX

‘Cleverman’ Premiere: How Hairy are You?

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

It’s important to note that there are many different kinds of mythology from all over the world, and nothing makes any one of them more powerful than the other. In theory, ‘Aboriginal’ used as a term of categorization means that the thing or person you’re talking about is very close to nature and of the earliest times, when the world was newer than it is now.

So, work with me, here. The Australian Aboriginal mythology and world-creation stories are collectively known as The Dreaming. Spirits and creatures and Gods, oh my, The Dreaming is very much like its own version of the afterlife, astral spirit realms and other such stories more western folk may be familiar with. Each tribe has its own myths for The Dreaming, and each tribe also has its own Cleverman, the conduit between reality and The Dreaming, the man of power and guidance, like a shaman or a priest. Each tribe has their own methods for making their Cleverman, and I haven’t heard as yet whether or not a woman can be their shaman. For the purposes of the show (thus far), this particular Cleverman appears to be a title and power passed on to family by the previous chosen Cleverman, and boy, does it create an uproar when he does so.

Set in a futuristic dystopian society, the world has divided along the lines of species, rather than race, this time. The Hairy people, or ‘Hairies’ as they are sometimes referred to in a derogatory fashion, humanoid-like folk who seemed to have merged with animal characteristics and gone back to a harmony with nature and spiritualism rarely seen these days, are persecuted for being far less than human. Hairies live a lot longer than humans, have extra strength and a metaphysical awareness of The Dreaming, some even have their own Cleverman. But for all their interesting characteristics, Hairies simply don’t share the same DNA as humans any more, and that makes them different, which, to a good deal of humanity, means, “Destroy it before it destroys us!”

In this brave new world, the Zone has been set up, in theory, as a place for Hairies to exist (not live, that’s not living, not really) in peace and prosperity, if they can. Some humans choose to live there, or are forced to live there due to financial straits, and get nothing but flak for it. Some Hairies try to escape the Zone, for their families’ sake if nothing else, and this is how they encounter all sorts of shady coyote border-runner types, where we meet Koen West (Hunter Page-Lochard).

Koen seems, at the outset, to be the worst kind of coyote as, with one hand, he helps a Hairy refugee family sneak outside the Zone and into an illegal apartment, and with the other hand, he crushes any hope of kindness by reporting the refugees to the Authorities for the reward money not a few hours later. Then there’s this giant confrontation when the Authorities come to haul the Hairies off to God-knows-what-kind of jail, a beat-down ensues right in front of news cameras, and the youngest Hairy girl is gunned down in very cold blood.

It turns out, while all this is going on, that Koen’s uncle Jimmy is the Cleverman for his tribe, and has been involved in unnamed naughty escapades for which he feels the need to atone. Uncle Jimmy delivers to Koen a warrior’s club, a waddy, which he reluctantly accepts before Uncle Jimmy disappears to try and set other shenanigans right, before getting himself taken out. Uncle Jimmy passes on the power of the Cleverman to his chosen Koen rather than his older brother who assumed he was next in the succession line, and oh, does that make waves. At least Koen gets granted power right when he needs a torn-finger restoration.

How these things – the Cleverman succession line, the war between humans and Hairies, even The Dreaming creatures you just know are coming – all relate to each other inside the series, we will have to wait to see because, right now, it’s kind of a slow burn. Trying to keep the futuristic dystopian vibe while still having things like magic, shapeshifters, and fairies involved isn’t impossible, but it’s a tall order for only six episodes of the first season. After a very positive opening night, Cleverman gained an order for a second season, much to fan delight. The makeup for the show is brought to you by Jake Nash, production designer for Australia’s leading Aboriginal dance company Bangarra, and by the good folks at Weta Workshop, who brought us Lord of the Rings and Avatar, among many other astounding visuals.

Cleverman can be howled at on Wednesdays, on SundanceTV @ 10:00 p.m./9:00 p.m., Central!

‘Legends of Tomorrow’ S1 Finale: A Timemaster is Never Late!

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

Spoilers everywhere!

Well, now. Given the events of the previous episode, particularly what happened to our beloved Snart, Captain Hunter has decided to take all our Legends home, back to 2016. The thing is, it’s May 2016, not January, when they officially left the first time. And once again, Captain Hunter has taken it upon himself to what he believes just has to be the right thing, without consulting anyone else on the team, and our Legends are understandably upset.

Those of us who keep up with all the CW DC shows (Arrow, Flash, and, soon, Supergirl) remember that the Black Canary left us recently. Sara didn’t know that though, and she is justifiably devastated. Meanwhile, Rory is trying to go back to his old life with a new partner, and of course that isn’t working, either. Ray coming to save Rory and become his new partner is one of the most unlikely things to happen in this universe, but then again, perhaps not. Harken back to the Russian gulag episode, and we see a strange understanding begin to develop between “Haircut,” as Rory calls Ray, and Heatwave. Stein and his wife are trying to rebuild and of course our silver fox is restless, and Jax just can’t let the mission to stop Vandal Savage die, either. If nothing else, Carter and Kendra still need to be saved; bring the Waverider back here, right now!

So where, or rather when and where, the hell is Kendra anyway? Someplace called Saint Lo, France, in 1944, apparently. Some helmeted skullduggery (how did she know how to do that again?) allows our hunting Legends to figure out the answer to both questions, and off the ship goes to catch our wayward Hawk folk!

Okie doke, so now it’s time for some background, if you haven’t been paying attention to the major background plots of Legends of Tomorrow. Way back when, in ancient Egyptian times when all this stuff with Savage and our Hawk folk popped off, the Thanagarians sent three meteorites with alien technology to earth. Combined with the blood of Carter and Kendra, Savage is going to take these three meteorites he’s been chasing all over time and literally re-write time itself, according to his wishes. The Thanagarians and the Hawk people have a long and rich history in the DC-verse, so introducing this depth of a storyline is actually quite cool.

Sara Lance is perhaps the finest female character on the show, and to see her literally begging Captain Hunter to go back and save her sister is truly heartbreaking. Why can’t Hunter go back just a few measly months and help Sara save Laurel? Some muckity-muck about timelines and alternate multiple deaths, which is kind of the show’s way of saying, “Her death is now canon in the Arrow-verse and there really isn’t anything we can do about it.” I had kind of hoped for a better thought-out explanation, but hey, we recall along with Sara that Laurel was the one who convinced Sara to go serve and save as the White Canary, so perhaps that’s the encouragement she needs to never, ever give up fighting.

Dude, lookit, we now have a plan! Three plans, to be precise. Somehow, yet another thing that wasn’t explained too clearly, but who cares: Vandal Savage is able to be three places at once, crossing his own timeline. (I bet Sam Beckett could tell Savage that was never a good idea.) And he’s after the three Thanagarian meteorites, armed with Hawk folk blood, for the timeline re-write ritual too! In 1958, according to Stein, there was a rare alignment of the Earth with Thanagar, so, of course, one Savage will be there/then. The ATOM and Heatwave are waiting in hiding for their turn to heat things up! St. Roch in 2021 finds current-Savage with Kendra, preparing for the ritual, while Captain Hunter and a newly-resolved and becostumed Carter anxiously await much asskickery! And in Norway in 1975, while Sara is dealing with thugs and a nuclear bomb, Jax and Stein wait to take people out as Firestorm!

This really is the ultimate climax scene of the entire season of Legends of Tomorrow, where, in unlikely pairs, our Legends all simultaneously take out a different Vandal Savage and stop alien armageddon! Kendra bursts her bonds with a mighty flap of her wings as Carter is downed and sets upon Vandal Savage with the fury of four thousand years of deaths, persecution, and lies! Sara Lance in her leather whites besets another Vandal Savage with the quip, “A Timemaster is never late,” and proceeds to kick his ass up, down, and sideways! Wait, did she just say that, about herself? Ooh. Layers. The ATOM is dealing with flying monkey monsters while Heatwave just puts the beatdown on the man who caused the death of his beloved partner, the other half of his sundered soul, we miss you already Leonard Snart. A savage neck-snap, a pillar of fire, and an intimate stab through the heart later, and the changed timeline bubble-ripples across the land, as Rip Hunter finally gets his revenge. But it’s not over yet!

Still got to deal with those damned meteorites, right? The ATOM shrinks one of em, no problem there. Firestorm freaking vaporizes another one, and with the help of the AI ship, all our Legends are back together for the final ball of destruction. But these other methods aren’t working anymore, so once again the Captain takes it upon himself to grab the death-ball with the Waverider and fly it into the sun! Of course this means the death of Captain Rip Hunter, the AI Gideon, and the ship Waverider, and we simply cannot have that. It’s time for some final soul-searching, for forgiveness, and ultimately, for some real responsibility taken for all these actions in the shows previous episodes. Leave it to the AI to say, “I’m not ready to die.”

Since the Chronoflow was pretty much destroyed, the Oculus doesn’t help any more, either. The Timemasters scattered to the winds and there’s no real police force against Vandal Savage (or any other DC villains) messing with the timelines; that is the new job of Captain Hunter and our Legends! Sara at Laurel’s graveside remembers her dear sister and takes on the new mission in her name. Stein gets a loving but firm push out the door from his wife, and Jax, because Firestorm is truly meant for changing things for the better. Poor Rory takes a farewell jaunt back to Central City in 2013, and — aw, my heart is melting — he went to meet Snart one last time. This is what we call a loving full-circle coming around, as Rory stumbles about telling Snart he’s a hero, the best guy Rory ever knew. We all saw Snart struggle and resist the heroic ideal while part of the crew of the Waverider, and yet he truly became one somehow, perhaps because he knew it was important. Not to the universe, or even to the other Legends, but to his best friend, the guy who had his back from when they were pickpocket-y pre-teens, his partner, his brother: Mick Rory.

So now, we’re finally back where we began, the team gathered in Star City, preparing to go off on the Waverider with Captain Rip Hunter! Well, everyone but Carter and Kendra, who want to make a go at a “normal life.” Being reincarnated Hawk peoples might make that kind of difficult, you just know they’ll show up again in season two. But wait! It’s another Waverider, piloted by — holy shit, it’s Rex Tyler, a member of the Justice Society of America!

Legends of Tomorrow has never shied away from bringing in relatively obscure but beloved DC characters, and this drop of Patrick J. Adams as Rex Tyler, also known as Hourman in the DC-verse, is no exception. There was Connor Hawke, a legacy of Green Arrow; world-destroyer Per Degaton; son of Deathstroke, called Ravager in the comics; even the redoubtable cowboy of the DC world, Jonah Hex. But this finale episode really stuck it to us eternal fans in the best way possible, by introducing the Justice Society of America for season two!

I enjoyed this series way more than I ever thought I would, and hope you-all have enjoyed running through it with me and fellow Agent Nur Hussein. While, yes, there may be some issues in translating the time travel twisty funnery to the audience in a believable way, that’s honestly not really what we’re here for. These characters and their enduring story of personal drama, idealistic morals and epic ass-kickery in the face of pure evil ensures that they really are legendary. We can’t wait to see what season two brings!

XXX

‘Legends of Tomorrow’ S1E15: The Beginning of the End

by Agent Nur Hussein (a.k.a. The Robot Whisperer)

Before the end, we go back to the beginning.

We start with a flashback to when Rip Hunter first attempts to recruit the team back in 2016 … and what happens afterward. Last episode, Professor Stein sent Jax back in time to 2016 to cure his accelerated aging issues, and when he lands, he seeks out the Professor Stein of 2016, who had not left yet. It reminds me a bit of Marty McFly meeting an earlier version of Doc Brown, and like Marty, Jax needs to get back … to the future!

In the future, Rip, Ray, Kendra, Carter, and Rory have been taken prisoner by the Time Masters, who are in league with Vandal Savage himself. Sara and Snart are the only ones who manage to evade capture by hiding in a floor compartment panel of their ship, just like Han Solo. Aboard the Waverider, Sara and Snart ponder what to do, and Snart has a crisis of faith and decides the best bet is to just run and leave the team behind. Sara, however, was having none of it and they have a standoff. Luckily, Gideon intervenes just in time with a plan.

Meanwhile, at the Vanishing Point prison, Rip has been shown a vision of the past and future by the Time Masters, using a device called the Oculus that not only sees the past and future, but lets them control the timestream too. Everything that’s happened so far, including the murder of Rip’s family by Randal Savage, was plotted out in advance by the Time Masters using the Oculus. They needed Savage to unite the world against an invasion from the Thanagarians, a future scenario they see in their digital crystal ball.

Jax, back in 2016, gets Professor Stein to help him jump back to the distant future. Sara and Snart decide to free their captive teammates. They hatch a plan to destroy the Oculus, and regain their free will. In the end, a sacrifice must be made. I won’t tell you how it goes, but it’s one of the most pulse-pounding episodes of the series, so far.

Tonight, we reach the electrifying finale. Don’t miss it!

XXX

‘Legends of Tomorrow’ S1E14: So, That’s Why it’s Called the Vanishing Point

by Agent Alicia Glass (a.k.a. Pandora the Punctuation Horror)

Flying Spoilers a-comin!

Way back in the very beginning of all this nonsense, Savage (before he was called that) did actually manage to capture Rip Hunter. Despite a few conversations with our Captain languishing in his Egyptian prison cell, he did manage to escape and damn it, Savage wants to know how Khalib did it!

Meanwhile aboard the Waverider, the thieving twins and their assassin gal pal all think we should just kill Savage already, never mind what happens to future-Carter’s somewhat scrambled brains afterwards. But the readouts from the Rock-Em-Sock-Em Robot battle of the previous episode tells our Legends that Vandal Savage really has been using all sorts of time tech and know-how that should, finally, get the Timemaster Council to deal with him once and for all!

Thing is, getting to the Vanishing Point, where the Timemasters are, is problematic. The ship was damaged in the previous episode and of course Captain Hunter’s impatience and selfishness ends up costing Jax his health and safety. Jax is aging at an accelerated rate after being dosed to hell and gone with time radiation, and there really isn’t anything anyone can do. Jax is stuck in the med bay, subconsciously recalling when he left to go on this mission, he was roofied and never got to say goodbye to his mother, which obviously bothers him.

Inevitably, every last Legend just has to go and talk to Vandal Savage personally, engaging in all sorts of mental sword-fighting with what is supposed to be their ultimate enemy. The manner in which he greets Sarah in particular, asking if she had heard from her sister Laurel lately, only managed to severely piss us Arrow fans off and remind us, oh yeah, this guy’s a total villain.

Kendra, accompanied by a rather dour Ray, is attempting to jog future-Carter’s memory and having zero luck. Why Ray thought demanding the answer from Vandal Savage on how to fix Carter would work, I have no idea. For all that Ray is a scientist, inventor, and genius, he’s still an awk-nerd fanboy, rather clueless about relationships and their long-reaching issues. Savage attempts to explain to Ray that they’re the same, at least when it comes to Kendra, because Vandal loved her and was together with her a long long time ago; it was fated. And though Ray truly wants to help Kendra, finding her speaking that ancient love Egyptian love poem to Carter to thump his head, seems to really bother him, too.

Of course, now Snart and Rory want to get off this ride, taking the jump ship and its one single pre-programmed jump back to 2016. Sara, on the other hand, never runs from a fight, even one she didn’t start, and we’re treated to a lovely goodbye scene with Nyssa Al Ghul as Sara remembers her last cleanups before embarking on this mission. Silverfox Stein thinks he can talk Savage into helping our Legends and Jax in particular somehow, only to be reminded that he’s the Enemy, sure, but he’s also very clever. So, Grandpa Jax gets roofied ah-gain and sent off on the jump ship back to 2016 all on his lonesome. And a sad Stein remembers the few bittersweet moments with his beloved wife Clarissa before he left on this insane mission, too.

Really, Ray? Really? We’re going to engage in raging fisticuffs with an effectively immortal tyrant, and we wonder how the hell Savage manages to escape. I do love how, as Rory and Ray are heading off to recapture the villain, Rory drawls, “If we live through this, you bumbling idiot, I might just kill you.”

Stein and Sara have been tasked with getting the ship flying again, which, between the former Space Ranger-turned-engineer and the effective hand of the League of Assassins, now navigator, seems actually possible. Sara can make the tough calls in extreme situations, as Rip points out, and no one can argue with that. Love you forever, Sara Lance.

So Rory and Snart, Ray and Kendra are all fighting Savage and Carter all at the same time, while the Captain and his Engineer and Navigator steer the ship with all they’ve got! Rip has to run off to martyr himself, leaving Sara to actually pilot the Waverider, and hot damn if she doesn’t do an excellent job! Is there anything that can pop the lock on the brainwashing Savage has done to Carter? Turns out, seeing his beloved potentially fated Hawkgirl almost slain by the hand of Vandal Savage is enough to make Carter sprout wings like the most badass avian hybrid ever and swoop in for the kill! Or rather, the knockout.

So we’ve actually made it to the Vanishing Point, more or less intact. But there’s still time for one last epic betrayal, and the whole of time and space may pay the price! There is one more episode before the phenomenal season finale, so it’s entirely possible that there’s way more badass villainy to deal with than just Vandal Savage. And that’s how our beloved characters become truly Legends!

Catch DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Thursdays on the CW at 8:00 p.m./7:00 p.m., Central!