The Legends visit 1940s LA which means gangsters (and hats!)
After one of the best – but arguably outside their normal format – episodes last week, Legends of Tomorrow provides us with some pure, oldschool Legendsness! Bad guy back from the dead this week is LA gangster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegal. That’s means the 1940s and the 1940s means… HATS! There are so many hats this week it could almost be a season two episode!
In classic Legends style, the team split up with Nate and Behrad going off to visit Behrad’s family, Sarah, Ray and Constantine chasing after Demon Bugsy and Ava and Rory staying on the ship. I’m loving having Ava on board full time now, she’s taking on much more of a central, integrated role this season. I’ve liked Ava since she was first introduced, Jes Macallan is really charismatic in the role and I adore the Sara/Ava relationship. After years on Smallville easily avoidable if people just had a conversation relationship drama I really enjoy the open, honest relation ship of these characters. Macallan brings an incredibly relatable human vulnerability to Ava, especially in regards to her relationship with Sara. The fact she‘s a bit of a geek is great and she has an occasional lack self-confidence which always feels very natural and never overriding. This weeks story plugs into this, with Ava taking her man in van role very seriously. When she does on the mission on the ground she’s still very much trying to impress her girlfriend, even if she’s a little annoyed at her.
Nate and Behrad go to visit his folks this week, which is a very good way of further introducing and feeding us information about his character without over doing it. Bharat is has been instantly likable and the show and character’s treating him as if he’s been there all along is important and well done. Of course, at his parents house Nate is introduced to his vacuous, social influencer sister, Zari (kind of like a Kardashian if the Kardashian’s weren’t totally awful). Nate recognises her as the woman he saw in the hidden message recorded on Gideon’s system and starts acting weird around her. This gives us plenty of fun comedy and a nice dynamic of Zari basically thinking Nate is pervy old guy.
Tala Ashe is great in her new version of Zari; she looks almost unrecognizable and her performance is just the right level of annoying, spoilt socialite without being unlikable. It’ll be interesting to see if we end up with an evolved version of this Zari or a return to the old version of Zari? I’d like the old Zari back but I’m interested to see where we go with this version of her. After a bit of a family argument at the end of the episode, Zari, inevitably ends up on the Waverider.
So the plot this week sees Sara and Constantine trying to get close to Bugsy while Ray starts working with the LA PD. There are some great moments and Bugsy is actually one of the scarier bad guys we’ve had for a while, whilst also being quite underwhelming. He’s very violent and threatening but not very interesting. I also felt like we’d kind of been here, don’t that with the gangster stuff but it is fun and help highlight the new season threat of the returning villains. The show also proved its ability to catch me out still; in one sequence, Ava – having decided she didn’t want to be stuck on the ship – goes to Bugsy’s nightclub to try and help in the mission and ends up posing as Jessica rabbit-esque lounge singer. She sings a whole song and it’s a fun sequence bit, un fortunately, it was pretty obvious it wasn’t actually Jes Macallan singing. Just as I started to think they were pushing it a little, Sara walks in and we suddenly see things from her perspective – Ava is drunk and stood on the stage screaming out the song like an annoying aunt at a wedding reception. It was a great gag and a great flip round of the scene. I especially liked how affectionate and understanding they both were in the aftermath; this really is one of my favourite TV relationships.
Ultimately the Legends beat Bugsy, of course, only to discover his abused girlfriend (who they were trying to help in first the place) was actually playing them all along, having been turned bad by Bugsy. She gets murdered by the cops Ray has been hanging out with, who were crooked and working fro Bugsy. This gives us a nice scene where Constantine takes Bugsy and his soul-destroying gun to hell to confront Astra. Constantine threatens to shoot Astra but doesn’t, instead destroying Bugsy. I’m really enjoying Constantine going bad-ass and he’s doing the heavy lifting of the season’s darkness so far. The show is very silly and fluffy at times but they’ve managed to keep him on brand and he keeps a grounded kind of dark turmoil to things, which contrasts well with the almost stable Legends.
This was a fun episode; not as great as last week’s but still pretty solid. We’re still adjusting to the new dynamic but it was good to get a comfortable villain of the week episode. Plus, with Zari now on board, we ended with a bit of good old fashioned Legends kidnapping!
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