Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Legends of Tomorrow: wvrdr_error_100 oest-of-th3-gs.gid30n not found

Gideon: "I always hoped I’d get to go on a Legends mission in real life. Always hoped it would be one of the westerns. But this is fun, too."

Hello, Amy Louise Pemberton? I have this love letter addressed to you...

Legends of Tomorrow reaches its milestone 100th episode and celebrates by giving Amy Louise Pemberton a long overdue showcase. And I honestly can't think of a better decision that they could have possibly made.

After a week of not understanding the title of this episode, I finally understood what it's saying about forty-five minutes ago. Waverider Error 100, because this was the 100th episode. That was clear. Gideon not found. Gotcha, Gideon is searching for her true sense of self, plus her personality has quite literally been removed to a large extent and needs to be rediscovered. I get it. But the part in the middle has left me scratching my head ever since the title was first announced.

And then, like a fog clearing, I suddenly saw it. They regularly refer to the original lineup of the Legends as the OGs. That would of course be short for 'Original Gangstas,' which was at one time a super edgy and dangerous term until it got completely commandeered and made 'safe' enough to use on CW super hero shows. But that's a digression for another time. And of the OGs, Gideon is unquestionably the 'O-est of the G's.'  I assume most people saw that immediately without any effort, but it took my brain a ridiculously long time to put it together.

And there you have the focus, stated plainly if obliquely, in the title of the episode. Gideon, the most original Legend. This is an episode about her.

Another fun fact about this week's episode title, I've yet to find two sources that agree on the same capitalization, spacing, use of punctuation, or anything else about how this should be written. The only thing everyone seems to agree on is that we can't include the right and left pointing arrows around 'Oest of th3 gs', as that gets read as coding and screws everything up when you try to post your review. I mean... I hear.

So what we have here is a record of a very personal journey. Gideon's journey. What was sold to us in the trailers as a celebration of the show's history was instead a very cleverly disguised celebration of how the show's history has affected her. How she's gradually become more human. The moments that led her to who she is today, both happy and sad.

Intertwined with that we get the exploration of an age old theme. Is the pain of painful memories outweighed by the humanity your memories confer on you. Wouldn't it be better to have no feelings at all rather than have to live with the pain of loss, or of betrayal, or of seeing the people you love suffering? And they really go for it, bringing Gideon to the lowest possible point when confronted with that question. 'I don’t want to be me.' she says.  'How can any of this be worth it?'

There's a nice usage of the characters to explore the theme going on here as well. They clearly set up Astra in the opening sequences as having difficulty seeing Gideon as a person. She's doggedly insisting on seeing Gideon purely as a machine, even if she's a machine that currently looks like a drop dead gorgeous supermodel. Astra and Spooner's journey through Gideon's memories and subconscious is as much an exercise in bringing Astra, and by proxy the viewer, to a place where they can see Gideon as her own person as it is getting Gideon to embrace the human experience, painful emotions and all.

And I can't say enough good things about how well all of that storyline is structured, first presenting us with what's essentially a quest narrative – go unlock the saved memories and you'll restore others, repeat until you have a complete Gideon. Then, once that's established, they up the stakes and introduce an active antagonist – in this case an alternate version of Gideon that wants Gideon to be reset to completely emotionless computer mode so that she can focus on protecting the timeline. And let's not forget that that's Astra's preferred outcome as well, in the initial setup. Then Gideon 'loses' to the virus, so the memories themselves become malevolent forces instead of just a replay of prior events in Gideon's life. Then those corrupted memories are 'cured' and lay out exactly why all of this is worth it.

That's Gideon's exact emotional journey, expressed in antagonist form. Discovering her sense of self. Should I be afraid of this sense of self? See, embracing this sense of self can actively hurt me, I should give it up. No, feelings and humanity are good, actually. Really, just such a lovely use of plot structure to underscore the theme and emotional arc. Well, well done.

A particular shout out to the collected team of Legends and their final summing up of 'life advice' for Gideon, each line of which was uniquely appropriate to come from the mouth of whichever Legend was saying it. Of course Rip is the one who should be telling her she won't be doing it alone. Obviously Snart is the right person to warn her that she's going to make some mistakes. And clearly the duo of Ray and Nate are the ones to tell her that it's about doing what you know is right, and having a hell of a good time doing it. It just all feels so profoundly right.

Sigh. Which is why it hurts so much to have to talk about the thing that doesn't work.

Yes, the show is once again making me talk about Bishop. Pardon my language, but Fucking Bishop. At least it's the more tolerable younger version this time, but honestly – I could have gone a very, very long time without ever seeing Bishop again. And what luck, turns out he stole a copy of Gideon's hard drive and has managed to crack the code to interface with it. Which might have been what took advantage of Gideon's passing out in the opening of the episode and wiped her memories. Or maybe the projection of Gideon on his desk is a version of the Gideon that had just been captured by the viral agent in the good part of the episode. Or maybe all the Bishop stuff was a flashback to just prior to the events of Gideon's vision quest and we're seeing how the viral agent was created? Or maybe Bishop has an evil copy of Gideon now and we'll get to spend the rest of the season with his godawful presence. Again.

Because, in fine tradition for Bishop as a character, they didn't bother actually setting anything up, explaining anything, structuring anything, or doing even the basics of storytelling. Again, pardon my language, but God do I fucking hate Bishop. He ruins everything he comes near.

No offense intended to Raffi Barsoumian, who seems to be a very talented actor and has excellent taste in wives. Raffi, Mr. Barsoumian, if you're reading this, we're still cool, right?

An amazingly good episode, inflicted with the pus-seeping wound that is any episode involving Bishop. It's 'Bored On Board Onboard,' all over again.


Quotes:

Gideon: "That pie is historically significant."

Spooner: "They never told me you were British."
Jax: "Yeah, I’m not. This is just how Gideon’s chosen to remember me for some reason."
Super cute excuse for Franz Drameh to get to use his real accent. I'll allow it.

Astra: "So you’re going to send us inside Gideon’s head even though we’re already inside Gideon’s head?"
Spooner: "Ok, there’s a reason I don’t go to Christopher Nolan movies. Let’s not overthink things."

Gideon: "I actually understand."
Ava: "You do?"
Gideon: "I really miss Sara, too."

Gideon: "I remember them all now. Hawkman. Vandal Savage."
Spooner: "You sure that’s a good thing?"

Hawkman: "We must avenge the death of my son. And Rip’s son... I think..."

Spooner: "It ain’t Gideon’s fault. Well. Not this Gideon. Blue Gideon’s a big old bitch."

Gideon: "He’d been a person, but suddenly he was just a thing."


Bits and Pieces:

-- Oh my God, Amy Louise Pemberton has the voice of an angel! How have they not had her sing before now?

-- There was just so much joy in those last few scenes of the Legends enjoying one another's company. And having Amy Louise Pemberton physically join the team to sing 'Love Will Keep Us Together' at team karaoke night was possibly the best emotional resolution to the story arc that they could have come up with.

-- There are probably million Easter eggs littered in the panorama of little memory windows. I'll have to take some time pausing that sequence at some point when I have more free time.

-- They gave Caity Lotz this one to direct, according to interviews, in large part because she wouldn't need to have six years of Legends storylines explained to her in order to know what was going on. Also because she's just a really good director.

-- The little nod to Victor Garber and showtunes made me smile. As did the resulting mention of Gumball the baby Dominator.

-- I loved Gideon's reflection on drunken book club night. I don't remember this night, but I do remember I enjoyed it. That's a really nice bit of scripting. I do wish Mona had been there, though.

-- I get that they had limited ability to bring back all the old characters that we'd like to have seen, but Hawkman's presence here really did beg the question of where Hawkgirl was. But how great was the absurdist choice to bring Hawkman back for the celebration.

-- Similarly, having Snart back without Mick was a little odd, but the hand-waive of 'clearly not Dominic Purcell' passed out on the floor of the bridge was cute. I wonder if they actually tried to get him back for a couple scenes.

-- I get that the special effects wouldn't allow something so unnecessary, but I'd have loved to see Martin and Jax become Firestorm one more time, for old times sake.

-- Loved that Tala Ashe got to be both versions of Zari in rapid succession.

-- It was a great choice to have all of this journey chaperoned by the two newest Legends who knew the fewest previous members.

-- They can't use John Constantine due to the in-development HBO Max series, and we haven't met his new character yet, so sadly there was no space for Matt Ryan in the celebrations. Which is too bad, he's been a big part of the show.


This is really a tour de force for Amy Louise Pemberton, and a long overdue acknowledgement of how much she's brought to the show. It was well worth taking a break from the season seven storyline to celebrate both her and the 100th episode of the series. I just wish they'd left Bishop out of it.

Please don't let Bishop and evil-Gideon-clone be the pilots of the other Waverider that destroyed the ship. Please. I'm begging you. Let that just have been a flashback to how the threat inside Gideon's mind was created and we can all just never speak of him again.

Four out of five fun references to the past.

Mikey Heinrich is, among other things, a freelance writer, retired firefighter, and roughly 78% water. You can find more of his work at the 42nd Vizsla. If you'd like to see his raw notes for this and other reviews, you can find them at What Was Mikey Thinking.

5 comments:

  1. LOVE this show, LOVE this cast, LOVED that celebration, soooooooo nice to see MOST of the cast reunited..............

    ......but a huge sigh when I saw him again.......and thought about you Mikey who'd be pissed as well LOL

    Nonetheless, I have confidence this season will be awesome...regardless of.......him...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I appreciate you're thinking of me in this difficult time :)

    Yeah, I still have high hopes for this season as well. Honestly, the Bishop we got in this episode wasn't really that bad if I'm being fair.

    He's just so radioactive from how bad he was last season that I can't even with that character.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I assume most people saw that immediately without any effort...

    Oh, yeah. Totally. Like, immediately. How could anyone not see that? :-)

    Oh my God, Amy Louise Pemberton has the voice of an angel! How have they not had her sing before now?

    Yes! OMG yes!

    "Love Will Keep Up Together" played in the pilot episode, too, during the Snart, Sara, and Mick Rory bar fight scene.

    Like the above Anonymous, I thought immediately of you, Mikey, when Bishop came on screen.

    ReplyDelete
  4. A lovely episode, especially the karaoke "Love Will Keep Us Together" and the hallway scene at the end, which actually got to me. I have so missed Ray and Jax and Stein and Snart. And oddly, Rip. It was so nice to see Rip.

    I'm so sorry about Bishop, Mikey. At least it's the version without the man bun. Maybe they'll find a way to make him tolerable. This season has been so much better already.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I feel very supported by the online Legends community :)

    I'd totally forgotten that Love Will Keep Us Together was a callback to that first episode bar fight. What a nice little touch.

    Right there with you Billie. Totally teared up during the hallway scene in a happy way

    ReplyDelete

We love comments! We actively monitor, and feed mean, nasty comments to our cats. It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.