‘Legends of Tomorrow’ S1E11: Welcome to a Town Called Salvation

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

Sharp-shootin’ spoilers a-comin’!

Ah, yes. Here we are hiding in the Old West, away from the Hunters the Time Masters sent after our Legends, and of course the town is called Salvation. Ray is immediately fan-boying the whole old west scene and Sarah wants to take a look around outside, so everyone gets ship-made, era-appropriate clothing and some pistols and away we go!

The entrance of our Legends in their various western-style getups with that slo-mo gangster walk and the heroic cowboy music into the town of Salvation is a hoot and a holler and looks fun and laughably ridiculous. Sarah and Rory immediately begin a drinking binge with alcohol that could take the paint off your walls, Stein surprisingly gets to gambling with Snart, and Kendra has an unexpected encounter in the saloon over (what else?) a disagreement on how to treat ladies, even saloon ladies. Next thing you know, Snart’s killed a bad guy and started a bar brawl. It’s the old west right? But things are almost immediately stopped by a smart figure in a very old uniform with a uniquely scarred face, the bounty hunter extraordinaire of the cowboy-inspired part of DC comics, Jonah Hex!

Of course, idiot Ray, with his penchant for modern history names like the highly original “John Wayne,” wants to save the town of Salvation from the tyranny of the Stillwater gang and insists the crew stay to do so. Never mind that Ray finds himself the new Sheriff and really has not a bit of experience with pistols,  he is good at planning and strategizing. So, when the Stillwater gang comes in for their first confrontation, they get an invitation to go packing from the carefully placed sharp-shooter Legends arranged about the town square!

Not a bit of this impresses Jonah Hex (Jonathon Schaech), however, who reminds our Legends that whenever they do decide to leave Salvation with the Stillwater gang matter unresolved, the same thing that happened to Calvert will happen here. What is Calvert, we ask? Gideon explains it was a town in Oklahoma a few years before their current time-location that was destroyed in the aftermath of a younger Rip Hunter and Jonah Hex feeling their oats and regrets. Yes, our Captain knew Jonah Hex from before; the show even implies that Hunter’s murdered son in the future, Jonas, is named in Hex’s honor.

Stein, meanwhile, is very taken with the kind woman with the dying son from the original bar brawl. He has the consumption, you see, and his mother wanted him to see the west and ride that stagecoach he always wanted to, before tuberculosis takes him down completely. Stein, with his large heart and science-y brain, absolutely refuses to sit by and let this happen, insisting on the Waverider synthesizing a cure as close to old western medicine as he can manage, and giving it to the boy.

Sarah and Kendra have gone off riding into the woods to go looking for the woman Kendra encountered at the saloon, who, of course, offers them a lead-lined greeting when they find her. Turns out, this older, hardened woman who lives bitterly alone is actually a former incarnation of Kendra herself, the aging Hawkgirl who endures in obscurity because in this time period, there isn’t any Carter to comfort her. She claims, in sorrow and regret, that Kendra will never love another person the way she loves Carter, that trying to love anyone else always ends in tears, that the two hawk folk are fated to be together forever and ever. Which, considering the original mission of our Legends bucking future fate and all, doesn’t go down well for Kendra.

So, the boys mistakenly went to go confront the Stillwater gang and end up with a bad guy in their med bay and down a teammate; Jax gets himself taken. Much arguing later, we’re going to have High Noon from Captain Hunter in town square and inevitably it’s not that simple – right about then is when the Hunters decide to show up, and main street of Salvation is suddenly filled with flying fire guys and laser beam future-pistol shots!

The showdown on main street is actually pretty cool. Hawkgirl is doing dive-bombs, Jax and Stein are fire-bombing their way up and down the street, Jonah Hex is firing the future pistol he borrowed from Captain Hunter, Ray’s in his A.T.O.M. suit doing damage, and the criminal twins and their assassin friend are shooting and stomping their way through the villains!

The Hunters just have to get in the last word before defeat, telling Rory that the Timemasters have sent the Pilgrim after our Legends, which can’t be good. Stein gets the most astonishing information when he goes to say goodbye to the young boy he saved from tuberculosis, who happens to not-so-coincidentally bear his father’s surname, Wells. Herbert George Wells, as a matter of fact. Absolutely adorkable. Sarah and Kendra are back from their walkabout, and it’s time to have a talk with Ray, sadly. And now it’s time for one final talk with everyone around the planning table, because the Timemasters have sent the Pilgrim, their deadliest assassin, into everyones previous timelines, to stop all our Legends from becoming thus long before they could do anything about it!

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

‘Legends of Tomorrow’ S1E6: Green Arrow forever!

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

Oh, so many Spoilers! 

Welcome back, my fellow superhero lovers! When we last left our intrepid Legends, they had landed in a potential-future all but destroyed version of Star City in 2046. A masked black man wearing those iconic green leathers and shooting anything that moves with a wooden bow — who does not answer to “Oliver!” —  greets our bewildered Legends, while masked bad guys are shooting up the streets. Most everyone hurries back to the ship to repair it and the futuristic AI Gideon, while the criminal twins, our resident assassin Sarah, and Captain Hunter go out to hunt down a piece of tech from Smoak Industries.

Meanwhile, we have to have some sort of idiotic cute little dynamic going on between the folk who stayed behind on the ship to affect repairs. Jax has decided he has a thing for Kendra, and is struggling to put on his big-boy confidence pants and tell her. He needs to act fast because Ray is being his somewhat charming self and unknowingly moving in on some sweet hawk-goddess territory! Even Professor Stein notices the triangle and tries to help, in his singularly ineffective manner, by trying to steer Ray away from Kendra. Which of course backfires when Ray is like, hey yeah, I never thought of her that way, but now that you mention it … As we watch Jax headdesk.

Out on the city streets, the eternal killing has resumed and our Legends have to duck and cover. Of course, Sarah is determined to help when she sees Green Arrow 2.0 take a fall and Captain Hunter goes with her while the criminal twins Rory and Snart end up “you keep what you kill”-ing to a street gang and head off for their very own criminal kingdom! Sarah and Rip, now joined by a fabulous Joseph David-Jones as Connor Hawke, have a nice little confrontation with Deathstroke! Or actually, it’s Deathstroke Jr., Jamie Andrew Cutler as Grant Wilson, called Ravager in the comics. Now it’s off to where Ollie’s former Arrow lair was, for several hard truths and revelations, and hopefully, that piece of Felicity tech they’re looking for.

Connor told them all that Oliver Queen was dead, that he disappeared during the Uprising of Deathstroke Jr.’s troops that decimated the city, so to find a very aged and bitter and decidedly one-arm-less Oliver still hiding in the mothballed lair is certainly news to Connor. He and 50-something bearded and grizzled Oliver have a rather biting exchange, wherein Ollie reveals who Connor Hawke really is: get a load of it, Arrow fans, in this particular version of the DC-verse, Connor Hawke is John Diggle, Jr.! In the comic books, Connor Hawke is the son of Oliver Queen, but this version totally works for me.

And then there’s the makeup used for the aged and bitter Oliver Queen, I’m not talking about that amazing Smoak Industries prosthetic arm either! The show producers had actually been contemplating bringing in a whole new actor to play 50-something Green Arrow, but the more they thought about it, they just decided to take the big risk of aged makeup on Arrow Queen actor Stephen Amell. And holy crow did it pay off! The makeup and iconic Earth-31 Green Arrow look is so well captured here, it looks like they had some of their best winners from Face Off (yes, I am a fan of that show, too!) do the job.

Rory meanwhile has decided that he’s very happy as King in the Mad Max version of Star City and wants to stay. Snart, of course, is unamused, though whether it’s because this isn’t what he had in mind or because Rory is trying to think for himself, it’s hard to say. The criminal partners have the very best dynamic, and conversations, of the entire episode. Rory and Snart are the epitome of the criminal duo, the brains and the brawn, the two men not blood-related but who understood each other so well that they chose to team up better than brothers. But now, the epic dynamic between the two of them is actually breaking down because, as Rory not-so-stupidly points out, Snart has begun to desire to be an actual hero and save the world. Whereas, as Snart almost lovingly responds, Rory just wants to watch the world burn, and you know, be King of whatever wastelands are left. As much as the post-apocalyptic Star City may be horrible for Sarah, as much as we the audience might disapprove of such a thing, we all have to admit that “home” means very different things to different people, and this seems to be Rory’s version of it.

So yes Captain Hunter got the Smoak tech piece they needed and sent it over to help fix the ship, but he doesn’t seem very interested in helping the last few heroes left save what’s left of Star City. He’s of the opinion that since this is only a potential future, there’s no point in trying to save anything and even interfere, which of course doesn’t sit well with Sarah at all. Most of our Legends actually completely agree with Sarah and lodge a protest to Captain Hunter, while Sarah goes off on her lonesome to recruit Oliver Queen to go rescue Connor Hawke! Because the city always needs a Green Arrow!

Ultimately, this is all kinds of an epic Arrow episode for fans of all ages! Though Grant Wilson accuses Connor Hawke of simply being a hack in a Halloween costume during his would-be execution scene, and even with Sarah and Ollie and the rest of the Legends showing up for an assist, Diggle Jr. proves he can do honor to those green leathers and bow just fine, thank you. As Ollie proudly proclaims him, even though they can’t seem to agree on what name to call Connor, whatever he calls himself, it is always and forever Green Arrow. This proves that the legacy of our Legends is ongoing and that all potential futures are worth fighting for!

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

XXX

 

‘Legends of Tomorrow’ S1E5: Not our First Prison Break

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

When we last left our intrepid time-hopping Legends, fully half the team was either incapacitated or captured in a – what else? It’s 1986 – maximum-security Russian gulag. Our resident silverfox Professor Stein is being held for extra-special treatment, because the bad guys have figured out he could make a Russian Firestorm way way earlier than such a thing should be possible. Rory and Ray have been tossed into gulag gen-pop together, and the crew of the Waverider are working on how to bust them all out!

Well, mostly. Snart claims to be generally only interested in getting his partner back, which makes it odd when he very easily figures out that Captain Hunter ordered our assassin Sarah to take Stein out if it looks like rescue isn’t an option, and he has a rather surprisingly adverse reaction to the idea. Though of course the proposed plans give Snart the chance to smirk, “Not my first prison break,” to Rip, and all of us in the know have to grin. No-one seems particularly interested in rescuing the lone boy scout of the team, and indeed, Ray gets himself a good old fashioned beat-down in the gulag yard when he just can’t seem to shut his mouth, while Rory is over there fascinated by a Zippo he stole and not doing a damned thing to help. Rip also completely vetoes recovering Jax and Kendra’s offer to help, at least on the scout mission to the Bratva, the Russian mafia underground.

This episode’s scenes with Ray were particularly hard to watch, not necessarily because he takes several hard-core beatings, but because of why he does it. The first beat-down in the yard, well that was just your standard Russian cold-war welcome. But later, when it’s all gone to hell and Ray and Rory have been brought out for glorious electrical torture to goad Stein into giving up his Firestorm secrets to Vandal Savage and the crazy Russian lady scientist, Vostok, Ray’s deadly boy scout instincts kick in and he purposefully turns all attention to himself. While it’s true that as soon as they can get Ray to the Waverider his injuries can be healed quite easily, that says nothing for the here and now and those busted ribs, blackened eyes, and weeping cuts. What we see here is the run of being Superman that Brandon Routh just can’t seem to escape, the one who heroically takes it all upon himself because he just can’t stand to see others he cares about harmed. And it takes that kind of selflessness to get Heatwave, the criminal Rory who uses his S.T.A.R. labs firegun to mow down good and bad guys alike while he steals things, to go back for Ray when the rescue attempt is made.

So, the rescue attempt has degenerated into a prison riot, as often happens, and at the same time that crazy Russian chick and the Prof have melted together in the hottest forced not-sex you’ll ever see! Captain Hunter and Vandal Savage have had their posturing moment, and Jax and Kendra have decided to get in on the rescue mission regardless of what the Captain says! The small moments of humanity from our assassin Sarah, goaded on by our less-criminal-than-previously-thought Snart, are beautiful and show the team coming together despite their clear differences. And that’s how, working together once again, our Legends have made it back to the Waverider more or less whole, to jump through time while being chased by Chronos yet again!

Spoiler, Spoiler, Spoil-ers!

But wait! There’s totes more. Our Legends managed a landing despite Chronos’ best efforts, and here we are in Star City! Sort of. Star City in 2046, apparently, rather remarkably different. And of course there’s a guy in those iconic forest green leathers with a bow! But that’s not Oliver Queen. No, my fellow archer fan-atics, it’s Connor Hawke! Drool with me.

XXX