Legends of Tomorrow: Abominations

"It's aberration-palooza."

This episode ranged from the heavy to the ridiculous. And I think I have a problem with that.

Jax, a 21st century American, and Amaya, who hails from Africa, may have thought they'd experienced racism before they saw the extreme evils of slavery up close and personal -- mostly coming from a guy named Collins, a raging psycho who found easy prey in slaves. I thought Franz Drameh and Maisie Richardson-Sellers did a great job expressing their growing horror as they saw and experienced the worst humanity had to offer in 1863 Mississippi.

When Jax and Amaya saw a woman about to be whipped, Amaya wanted to rush in and stop it. Jax gave her the non-interference lecture, and let it happen. Later, Jax changed his mind. "The way these people are treated, that's the real aberration." And yes, I get that the more he saw, the harder it would be to do nothing. But at that point, hey, any concerns about the effect on history flew out the window. Not only did a lot of people die (including, happily, the psychotic Collins), many others died as well and Jax even freed a good number of slaves that probably would have remained in bondage in the original history. Jax also burned down the plantation house.

Which brings me to the zombie portion of the evening, which was totally ridiculous. How many Confederate soldiers died as zombies, both in the battle and in the explosion Nate caused? How many Union soldiers died, too? Wouldn't that many deaths cause a serious blip in history somehow? I sort of get that Legends is more like Doctor Who, who interferes with history all over the place and where the consequences almost never seem to come up, but we're supposedly in the same universe as Flashpoint, aren't we?


That said, I really did enjoy Sara and Nate with General Grant, especially when Sara brought Grant a zombie head and plopped it down on a table in front of him. The General clearly liked Sara; he even called her "Captain Lance." In fact, General Grant came across as modern, smart and progressive, and I'm willing to bet that historically, he wasn't. Okay, there's also no such thing as zombies, so playing fast and loose with historical characterizations isn't exactly a sin. But the seriousness of slavery and the comic relief silliness of zombies? One or the other, people. Not both in the same episode.

For me, the best part of this one took place back on the ship. Martin Stein and his irrational fear of zombies was deeply funny and kept on being funny, especially when it was combined with his already present fear of Mick Rory, who got zombified. (Dominic Purcell has turned out to be the reason I'm watching this series. Who knew?) I liked that the writers combined Martin overcoming his fear with Ray doing everything he possibly could to save Mick, and both of them succeeding. Afterward, Mick unexpectedly asked Ray to be his new partner and gave him Snart's weapon. Ray was touched, and honestly, so was I.

The message from future Barry Allen is still sitting there unresolved, but we did hear something: "A war is coming, Captain Hunter." Could that be a reference to the upcoming Belanti-verse crossover?

Everybody remember where we parked:

-- This week, we visited 1863 Mississippi because a time pirate landed there first.

-- Ray, dealing with life without his ATOM suit, was passing out comms and lunches. That was adorable. As I no doubt said before, I am liking Ray a lot more this season, probably because he's not trailing after Hawkgirl.

-- I liked that Martin tried to keep Jax from going on the mission, hoping to protect him. I also liked the bit about Jax substituting for Henry Scott from Trenton as a dispatch for the Union Army. I did some Google searches and I think Scott was a real person.

-- Nate called himself "Colonel Sanders." Haven't they done that joke before?

-- Loved Sara in the general's tent practicing her knife throwing. "What? It helps me think."

-- Ray is calling Martin "Marty" now. That's cute, considering how uncomfortable their relationship was back in season one.

-- Jax does scrimshaw. That's random.

Quotes:

Ray: "Along with comm devices, I also packed sack lunches. I figured the food in 1863 is pretty lousy."

Nate: "What the hell was that?"
Mick: "You ask me, they look like..."
Martin: "Uh-uh, don't say it! I know they're essentially a myth, but I have this irrational fear of..."
Mick: "Zombies."
Martin: "Please don't say it!"

Mick: "We were attacked by zombies. And someone put sprouts on my sandwich."
Best line in the episode.

Sara: "I smell a history lesson coming."
Nate: "Fun fact: did you know out of three million people who fought on both sides, 300 were women in drag? (Sara is unimpressed) How is that not a fun fact for you?"

Martin: (re: Mick) "I will not calm down! He was threatening enough before he was one of the walking dead."

Ray: "At least I'm not the one with an irrational fear of zombies."
Martin: "There's nothing irrational about my fear of zombies. He's a zombie!"

Ray: "Damn, it's dark."
Martin: "Even if Mr. Rory wasn't in a zombified state, I doubt he possesses the intelligence to operate a light switch."

Jax: "My name's Jackson. Jefferson Jackson."
Slave: "Those are some pretty famous slave owners you're named for, Jefferson."

Sara: "Run fast, run hard, don't die."
Nate: "I can promise you two of those things."

Martin: "You may be stronger. But I assure you, you will not eat me today."
Mick: (coming to) "Professor, what's going on? Was I just trying to kiss you?"
Their faces in this scene were adorable.

Two out of four sandwiches with sprouts,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television, especially science fiction, and spends way too much time writing about it.

2 comments:

Mallena said...

Last season was so ponderous and serious, I could barely get interested in the story. Now, it seems to be a light-hearted adventure through time every week. I'm enjoying it a lot better this way, but some connective reason for their travels might be nice. Martin was so funny, and the jokes were good, but this certainly wasn't a deep look into the civil war.

Billie Doux said...

Exactly, Mallena. Fun adventures are fine, but the fluffiness is bothering me. Maybe it's the ensemble cast?