Legends of Tomorrow: 5.13 I Am Legends
We pick up right after last week's episode' the team (apart from Zari) are now immortal for 24 hours. Gary, not feeling well, heads back to the Waverider with his rabbit and Astra has deserted the team after being blackmailed by the Fates, who have managed to take over the Waverider and messed up Gideon.
With the team stuck in Constantine’s home in England, Ava decides that they should try and get to London and an old Time Bureau safe house set up by Rip in the old days (ahhh, Rip I miss you, you mad kidnapping bastard). Sara is a little distracted as she’s having visions of the team dying but doesn’t want to tell Ava about it. So the team set off to get to London. They go and find a bus that will take them to London – I’m not going to quibble to much with the geography of the episode and where they’re meant to be in relation to London - and the bus looks a little bit British - but I’ll give props to the actor playing the bus driver who was doing a fair stab at a regional accent. After assaulting said bus driver and stealing his bus (its okay Mick does it and it's funny!) they head off to London.
Meanwhile on the ship, Gary is having some kind of nervous breakdown after trying to fix Gideon while staying hidden from the Fates. He starts to see Gideon guiding him round the ship and follows her advice to try and save the Waverider and the Legends. It's always nice to actually see Amy Louise Pemberton, though she always looks like she’s being dubbed because you’re so used to her just being a disembodied voice! While Gary is messing about, Astra strikes a deal with the Fates. But Atropos is secretly using the Loom to locate the Legends so she can kill them.
This is where the episode starts to go Legends-Crazy, which is good but things are tonally a little off this week. After a little time on the bus, they suddenly hit a zombie. As you do. After getting out of the bus, the gang get surrounded by zombies (sent by Atropos) but manage to fight them off. These seem to be proper, full on zombies roaming the English countryside. After dealing with the zombies, the team try to fix the bus. It’s all a little lose and I don’t quite buy the wild west-ness of this part of the UK they’re meant to be in. If they were in the wilds of Wales I’d buy it maybe but for them to be as close to London as they seem to be the locations don’t really work. Eventually, Zari and Constantine set off to try and borrow a car from someone Constantine knows nearby. This allows for them to have a little more of their will they wont they arguing and Zari eventually gets in a huff with Constantine.
Meanwhile back at the bus, the Army turn up and in a genuinely shocking moment, shoot Ava in the head. After a few moments of panic, she gets up, unharmed and the team remember that they’re all immortal for the day. This was really nicely done, we could have seen an immortality test when they first drank the wine at the top of the episode but they leave the reveal of how the powers work just long enough for you to forget, so there is a nice flash of shock value when Ava is shot.
Zari really starts harnessing her powers in this episode. She saves Constantine from the zombie bus attack and again uses her power to fend of zombies when she and Constantine are searching for a car. This leads to a good scene, after they find a working van but get surrounded by zombies, where Constantine uses a spell to briefly kill Zari so the zombies wont want to eat her, as she's not immortal. Constantine has a little wobble but of course Zari is okay and they head off to rescue the rest of the team – who have been captured by the army who assumed, because they didn’t die but could speak, that they were super zombies. Once the team are rescued and all together again, they head off to the safe house.
Meanwhile Gary is still titting about on the Waverider. Turns out Gary was talking to his emotional support rabbit all along, not Gideon (which would explain why she kept hopping everywhere) but he still manages to steal part of the Loom and hide it using some parlor magic.
The episode really starts getting dark from here on in. Team Legs get to the bar but its been poorly maintained since the Bureau closed down and they have to wait for the equipment to charge up before they can get out. This gives enough time for Ava to ask Sara about her visions of everyone dying and for Zari and Constantine to hook up. This is made extra awkward by Nate starting to get hopeful that he might have a relationship with this Zari like he did with the old one. The whole episode has a weird vibe but I can’t put my finger on what doesn’t feel quite right. Towards the end Team Legs get very reflective and there is a great scene where, trapped in the bar with zombies all around, they have a drink and discuss what they’d change with the Loom. To Charlie’s surprise they all say the only thing they’d change is to save Astra's mum and Behrad, confessing they are happy with their lives and how they turned out. It’s a great scene and the highlight of the episode, even if the episode has felt oddly dark to get here. Just as they realise they’ve squandered their immortality, the zombies break in and attack.
On the ship, the Fates go full out crazy evil, killing Gary and Astra and getting all pieces of the Loom back. In the pub, the zombies overpower the Legends and we go Full Blake’s 7 as each member of the team dies while protecting Charlie, who is the only person who can use the Loom with the other fates. The old time-tech finally charges and she makes it to the Waverider just as everyone else dies. As cliffhangers go, its pretty good and while I’m not worried about our heroes – especially with two episodes left – it’s a daunting scenario to end on.
The cast are all great this week and it has some good, low key humour. Perhaps the episode falls down by trying to hard to be a legitimately scary zombie piece? It’s a little bit earnest at times which highlights the shortcomings, despite usually doing pretty well, this is a very unconvincing England. It would be fine if it was going for a grimy, 60s vibe maybe and to be fair, it is a little evocative of the origional Helblazer‘s 80s comic book artwork aesthetic but it doesn’t ring true and the Gary/Gideon aspect doesn’t feel like it adds much. I always like this show though, I love the cast and there were some nice, reflective moments which is good for a show at this stage in its life. I really miss Ray and in an episode which touches on the good and bad of what they’ve all bee through, his voice would have been a good addition.
I’m looking forward to the finale episodes and this was, if not the greatest episode of the series, a solid launch-pad into the finale arc.