[Review] Legends of Tomorrow Episode 5×13: “The One Where We’re Trapped On TV”

written by Kate Danvers


Praise Beebo for this blessing we are about to receive.

Mona Wu is working at the Historical Sanitation Department, rewriting historical documents and accounts to remove any mention of rebellion or free will. When one of her coworkers questions this, his thread is cut by Atropos. The Fates now rule a very 1984-esque world where everyone wears drab clothes, eats mush, and watches television shows on Fates+.

One such show, Ultimate Buds, stars Behrad and Zari, who are living in an apartment that’s eighty times bigger than an actual New York apartment; and Nate, a struggling actor who just got the role of Robin of Locksley on Arrow. Zari is preparing a meal for her boss who’s coming over for dinner, but the boys keep messing everything up. Then the Air Totem starts glowing and a ghostly apparition of Old Zari appears and possesses New Zari.

Zari, the only one aware of her life as a Legend, tries and fails to have a heartfelt reunion with Nate. She then takes off her heels and puts on a flannel shirt. Could she be any more gay-coded? Behrad and Nate think she bumped her head or ate a whole Behrad Brownie, so when her boss arrives, they lock her in the closet. Huh, I guess so.

BOSS: “Where is she?”
BEHRAD: “Not in the closet, that’s for sure.”

…Yeah, I’m not touching that one.

Poor Zari. No one told her life was going to be this way. 👏👏👏👏

The Air Totem helps Zari get out of the clo–

…the Air Totem helps Zari escape, and she notices a strange door that the boys have never opened before. Breaking it down, they find a wall of static that then becomes the doorway to Constantine’s house. Their clothes change to period-appropriate attire and Constantine welcomes them to Highcastle Abbey.

The show adapts to the new characters and Behrad is now being hooked up with Astra as some sort of aristocrat family member arranged-marriage deal to keep the Abbey in the family. I dunno, it’s all about as confusing and pretentious as the real Downton Abbey. Zari tells the boys to play along until she can snap Constantine out of it, but Lord Behrad and Nate, the Tarazis’ valet, are still in their bro-y sitcom personas.

ASTRA: “Sometimes I wish I’d been born a man. At least then I’d have a chance at adventure.”
BEHRAD: “Your parents can’t hold you here. You’re a diva.”
ASTRA: “What is a diva?”
BEHRAD: “A diva is a female version of a hustler.”

God, I missed Behrad. He’d better be here to stay after all of this.

Constantine still knows dark magic, and somehow that’s written into the show. He casts a spell to send Zari, Behrad, and Nate to where Sara is, but he and Astra gets pulled in too…into a familiar teleport effect. Wait, is Sara in–?

Yes, Caity does the Shatner voice. Yes, it’s cheesy. Yes, it’s amazing.

On Star Trip, Sara and Ava co-captain the U.S.S. Faterider in a battle against the Gromulans, played by Zari, Constantine, Nate, Astra, and Behrad. After Nate and Behrad accidentally fire on the Faterider and kill the android crew, Sara and Ava are beamed to the Gromulan ship. Through Zari’s persuasion, the captains stand down and Ava uses logic to deduce that they’re all from an alternate reality and have been trapped in various prison dimensions…because that kind of thing happens to them all the time. On Star Trip, she means, not Legends.

Okay, I guess it happens a lot on Legends too, but she doesn’t know that.

In the real world, Mona recruits Gary to infiltrate Clotho Productions, the TV studio where the shows are made. They find a machine feeding life threads and randomly generated scripts into the shows to keep the Legends trapped.

Picking up a weird transmission, the Legends answer only to have the model ship they’re on picked up by Mr. Parker. They’re brought onto Mr. Parker’s Cul-De-Sac again. After kicking Mr. Parker out of his own house, they try to figure out what’s going on. Zari tries to remind them of who they are, but isn’t getting through…until Mona takes over script writing and has them remember all of it. The changing timeline, Behrad’s death, the deaths in the last episode, everything. Every Legend looks appropriately shell-shocked. Well, until Nate and Zari start making out.

That moment when you remember that you should be dead in every timeline and the one you actually do remember is one where you were just living your sister’s life as a superhero except now she remembers that life too and she’s making out with your best bro. Behrad is having a fucking day.

Charlie stops Mona and Gary and writes in a musical number for Mr. Parker, who sends all of them back to their individual shows. She made a deal with her sisters: They would restore the Legends to life, weave them into the TV shows as propaganda to indoctrinate the masses, and allow them to live.

Astra asks her mom if she remembers anything from her real life, but she appears to just be a character in Highcastle Abbey. Astra thinks Constantine is going to convince her that it’s not real, but he tells her they can stay. He’s made a lot of mistakes, and he’s willing to remain there as a butler if it means that Astra can live a happy life with her family.

Ava is considering staying, too. She remembers Sara’s death at the hands of the zombies and plays it over and over in her mind. They lost. Sara died. But on Star Trip, they always win. Sara convinces Ava that life is messy and worth living, so they have a new plan to get out of the show: lose. Luckily, their adversary Dhan is back for a little wrath. The captains stand down and let Dhan blow up the Faterider. In the real world, Charlie cancels Star Trip.

You know, they could have brought Genghis Khan back just for this joke, but somehow Mick as Khan is so much better.

That’s it! That’s how they escape! They just need to get canceled! Okay, all they need to do is repeatedly get caught saying and doing racist and antisemitic things, and then…hold on. *checks notes* Ah, no, sorry, that’s how you get an exclusive deal with YouTube. Hmm, have they tried moving their shows to Fox?

Astra’s mother overheard her saying she wanted to move to London, so she surprises her with a train ticket. She won’t sacrifice her daughter’s happiness for her own sake. Astra takes this as a message from her real mother and she asks Constantine to take them back to the others.

Sara, Ava, Mick, Constantine, and Astra are all out and backstage, but Zari, Behrad, and Nate are still on the sitcom until they accidentally discover that bad-talking the mush gets an “ooooh” from the audience. Zari goes all out, saying “screw the Fates.” They inspire an insurrection, leading to their cancellation as well.

Charlie speaks directly to the Legends. She gave them what they wanted and not only have they broken out, they’ve put targets on their backs. She even goes so far as to split Zari’s thread into Old and New Zari to convince them to stay. The Legends reject the safety of Charlie’s fantasy shows and leave the studio to confront the Fates head-on.

Shame. “My Two Zaris” could have caught on.

This episode was wonderful. I love when they do these off-the-wall episodes because you can really tell that everyone is having a blast making them on every level. The set designers deserve a lot of praise here, especially for the Ultimate Buds set, which mimicks the Friends set so well it took me a second to notice the differences.

And Shayan Sobhian’s delivery of the “female version of a hustler” line made me laugh so hard that I had to pause to catch my breath.

Last episode I thought it was odd how each Legend talked about what they would do with the Loom and how Charlie was paying attention so closely. In this episode, we see the results. Nate gets to hang out with his friends all day, Mick is a criminal again, Sara and Ava are “co-captains for life,” and Constantine gets to see Astra living a happy life. The only one that didn’t really get their wish was Zari…that is, until the end. She didn’t necessarily use her talents to make the world more inclusive and better, but she used her influence as a TV character to kick off a revolution and bring free will back to the world.

I’m not even going to speculate about the finale. I just want a happy ending for all involved. Is that too much to ask?

Next time: The Legends literally defy the Fates for the future of the world. Ain’t no revolution like a Legends revolution.


Legends of Tomorrow airs Tuesdays on the CW at 9 ET/8 CT. The part about Friends that disturbed Kate the most was how no one locked their apartment doors. Also the concept of having friends was alienating to her. Follow her on Twitter @WearyKatie.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.