Olivia Swann

Legends of Tomorrow (2016) s05e13 – I Am Legends

Did you know you needed a “Legends vs. Zombies” episode of “Legends of Tomorrow”? Because I did not know I needed such a thing. I also didn’t realize I needed to see how much range Adam Tsekhman can exhibit on the drop of a… carrot. I’ve always liked Tsekhman but in a comic relief sort of way; they’re underutilizing him. They really need to bring in tough Tsekham.

And give him Amy Louise Pemberton as a partner.

But Pemberton and Tsekham in a bit.

Following the disappointing Animal House 2020 episode they did, the Legends find themselves stuck in England because hellspawn Olivia Swann had to betray them out to evil sisters Sarah Strange and Joanna Vanderham.

The Legends only have 24 hours of immortality to get to the ship and stop the sisters, only they’re stranded in Constantine Manor and Matt Ryan doesn’t believe in cars. Bumming rides is his thing. You’d think he’d know a teleportation spell.

Anyway, on their way to London to a time bureau safe house (weird but welcome Rip Hunter mention this episode), Vanderham figures out what they’re doing and sends zombies to destroy them.

So the episode’s the Legends fighting their way to London, figuring out how to do it without enough gas, Ryan and Tala Ashe argue-flirting, and Tsekhman trying to save the day with Pemberton’s help.

Pemberton, who usually just voices the ship’s computer, gets to do an in-person performance and she and Tsekhman and perfect together. Also more bi-inclusivity for “Legends.”

But it then turns out Sara (Caity Lotz) has been lying to co-captain for life Ava (Jes Macallan) about not seeing the future and the Legends are in real trouble. Can they defeat Swann, Vanderham, and Strange not to mention a swarm of zombies?

On one hand, they’re the Legends, on the other hand, it’s the second-to-last episode of the season and there is some required dramatic tension.

Really good episode. Makes up for Animal House 2020 flopping so hard.

Perfect cliffhanger too. Oh, and the costumes. Great costumes.

And whoever thought to put in the George A. Romero zombie.

And the Trash (from Return) zombie. Just wonderful touches.

Legends of Tomorrow (2016) s05e12 – Freaks and Greeks

And, now, in the “they all can’t be winners” category, we have Freaks and Greeks, which sends the Legends to Hudson University to steal a chalice from a frat. It’s not a frat in 1979. It’s a frat in 2020, run by special guest star Drew Ray Tanner; he’s Greek party god Dionysus, who’s finally found a place where the party never stops.

Maisie Richardson-Sellers recognizes him from the old days, which is cool, he’s immortal or whatever. But he recognizes Richardson-Sellers, so apparently gods can see through her shapeshifting.

Whatever.

It’s a girl power episode where Richardson-Sellers has to convince Olivia Swann to be a team player. They do it by forming their own sorority, which requires they recruit three regular college student members (Briana Skye, Jennifer Tong, and Jade Falcon). The introduction to the three is maybe the best thing in the episode, as far as editing and narrative brevity, but ignores how we’ve already met them at the sorority mixer where Richardson-Sellers and Swann get kicked out for… cat-fighting.

Now, the Legends’s sorority is going to be different than the regular ones because it’s inclusive, socially minded, empowering, and not rape culture-y.

But Tanner’s already established it’s 2020 frat rules and they don’t allow any rape culture or bullying on campus.

Speaking of campus, there’s a subplot about Mina Sundwall getting a campus tour with dad Dominic Purcell and being put off by all the students being rich, privileged assholes.

There’s also the subplot about Nate (Nick Zano) reverting to his frat boy persona from college, so they seem to have retconned out him growing up immunocompromised until he got super powers, which I already knew but just wanted to point out because why not kick writers Matthew Maala and Ubah Mohamed a little. I had to sit through their stupid episode.

Maala’s written good episodes this season, Mohamed hasn’t. Let’s blame Mohamed.

Richardson-Sellers and Swann are both okay plus this episode, with the script getting in the way a little obviously. And Sundwall and Purcell would be great if they actually spent any time together.

Was someone in the writers’ room really gung ho for this episode? Are there just ready-to-go CW college sets? Because even though it’s effects-lite, there’s a lot of speaking cast to pay. I mean, bully for the cast’s professionalism but still….

Legends of Tomorrow (2016) s05e11 – Ship Broken

It’s a good episode with a great twist in the third act but it’s not the episode the cold open promises. We’re supposed to be getting pyromaniac, patricidal supervillain turned time-traveling adventurer and romance novelist Mick (Dominic Purcell) bringing daughter Mina Sundwall onto the time machine ship to hang out for the weekend. We’ve seen Purcell and Sundwall for really brief scenes but never actually having a subplot together.

And, we don’t again.

Because the rest of the Legends are playing with the Loom of Fate and it causes some kind of electromagnetic pulse, knocking out the ship’s systems, without actually bending reality the way they were all hoping.

Or does it. Because the more everyone digs, the more unlikely it seems the ship’s issues were caused by the pulse. Instead, it appears to be intentional sabotage and suspect number one is visiting demon (or lost soul?) Olivia Swann. Swann protests her innocence and tries to sway Tala Ashe to her side while Caity Lotz comes out of her coma (good, when she opened the episode still in it, I was worried we’d have another Sara-less episode). Only Lotz now has future sight. She touches someone and she can see their future. And they’re all dead. In the near future. From stab wounds.

And the more people she touches, the clearer the future becomes—she’s the one who’s doing it.

Throw in Gary Green bringing an emotional support dog (he’s got a note) onto the ship and it’s a pretty full episode.

Lots of fun along the way, lots of cute moments for Jes Macallan and Lotz, a few nice scenes for Purcell and Sundwall—Nick Zano, in his most appealing performance in ages, tutors history student Sundwall and reminds he joined the show as a historian.

Other reminders to the past have Lotz listing all the guys who’ve left the show over the years, which is a really nice touch. The direction, from Andi Armaganian, is really nice.

There’s a great line from Matt Ryan, who’s got less to do this episode than usual, about how as long as someone’s not a weekly villain, the Legends welcome them—Swann’s worried everyone’s still mad at her for unleashing demonic killers on the timeline and he’s assuring her. It’s got a nice echo at the end.

I still hope we get an episode where Purcell and Zano have to help Sundwall with a history report on how important historical figures would view the world of San Dimas, 1988.

Legends of Tomorrow (2016) s05e10 – The Great British Fake Off

Okay, “Legends” is going to fifteen episodes this season; this one is episode ten and it feels like they’re getting really close to resolving the season’s main plot and I’m really hoping they don’t meander this season like they did last. They got lost meandering.

This episode is split between John (Matt Ryan) and Zari (Tala Ashe) trapped in his house looking for the third magic ring, only they’re trapped there sometime in the past and there are immortal serial killers after them. The third ring gets introduced in an Ancient Egypt prologue, which sadly does not feature first season Hawks man or woman but it was an infinite shot, and the Egypt theme stays with the episode. Ashe eventually has to dress up like Cleopatra to try to save Ryan’s butt.

The other plot has Jes Macallan leading an expedition to Hell—Dominic Purcell and Adam Tsekhman tagging along—to try to convince Olivia Swann to stop messing with Ryan. Macallan’s in charge while Caity Lotz is out of commission, suffering some kind of time sickness.

The Macallan stuff with Swann proves a lot more effective than expected, which kind of makes sense. Macallan’s a time traveling super clone; “Legends”’s version of Hell probably isn’t going to freak her out too much. And she and Swann bond… which is unexpected but not unwelcome.

Purcell and Tsekhman are great comic relief; I’ve missed Tsekhman more than I realized.

But the main plot’s where it’s at; it’s Ashe’s episode. Ryan gets a lot to do and the two spend the episode developing chemistry together, which is… weird since Ashe starts the episode almost kissing alternate timeline ex-boyfriend Nick Zano.

But then Zano was never on par with Ashe; Ryan’s a much better choice, especially as this version of Ashe’s character is racing downhill with the character development now.

There’s also a cameo appearance by Samantha Cole… who’s playing “Enchantress,” a character in need of redeeming post Suicide Squad: The Movie. Cole’s only it for a couple scenes but… interesting to see them try to clean up that brand.

Wait, wait. Almost forgot—apparently following last episode’s tragic conclusion, Ashe and Maisie Richardson-Sellers got their hair done. Richardson-Sellers is a shapeshifter so okay but Ashe’s new do deserves some explanation.

Legends of Tomorrow (2016) s05e05 – A Head of Her Time

Continuing whatever this season is doing with its creative Arrowverse accounting, Dominic Purcell and Caity Lotz mostly sit out this episode. Lotz is in Star City on some kind of bland personal business, which leaves Jes Macallan in charge. Macallan, who used to run an extra-dimensional time agency, gets very worried about captaining the Legends, which leads to her bonding with Tala Ashe, which is fine.

Meanwhile Purcell is just heartsick and apparently off drinking about it during the action.

Apparently having Purcell and Lotz on partial duty means Maisie Richardson-Sellers and Adam Tsekhman get to do things, so they’re the backup in Matt Ryan’s Constantine story arc. They really should’ve renamed it “John Constantine and the Legends of Tomorrow,” then did a bit about how Ryan got more famous than everyone else and it’s a thing. But they didn’t and instead it’s “Legends of Tomorrow with Special Guest Star John Constantine.”

Ryan, Richardson-Sellers, and Tsekhman are doing a horror humor bit involving Ryan’s history with Hell villain Olivia Swann. Turns out Ryan used to have a thing for Swann’s mom, Alice Hunter, and maybe only consigned Swann to Hell because he was trying to resurrect Hunter. The flashbacks also allow for Ryan with a mohawk, which is a lot of fun.

Also a lot of fun is the main plot, which has Macallan, Ashe, Brandon Routh, Nick Zano, and I hope they keep him around somehow Shayan Sobhian trying to get a resurrected and not entirely unjustifiably angry Marie Antoinette (Courtney Ford) from ruining history.

Ford, who also plays another character, a fairly regular cast member, is pretty funny as Antoinette and the gimmick works.

Amidst the Antoinette arc is Ashe’s misadventures as a rookie time traveling superhero, though some of those misadventures are because she’s also a 2040 social media influencer who wants to exploit history for likes. It works out, especially with the big gala event for the action-packed finale. “Legends” is doing an excellent job integrating the character development with the action this season.

Legends of Tomorrow (2016) s05e03 – Miss Me, Kiss Me, Love Me

It’s a strong episode. Like, really strong; great pacing too. It starts with Constantine (Matt Ryan), who teleported to Hell at the end of last episode, getting to Hell and having a chat with lost soul turned season villain Olivia Swann. It’s a welcome scene not so much for the content—Swann is better in her second appearance this episode, when Ryan’s actually able to surprise her—but for its presence. I was thinking Ryan was zapping off to Hell for an unseen adventure and would be sitting out this episode—he’s still credited as a “special guest star” or some such thing; he’s not a “Legends” star proper. But, as it turns out, he seems to be a regular because he doesn’t just get one of the biggest plot threads this episode, they also get him to start acting goofy.

Ryan’s never really been goofy on “Legends” before. But now he’s getting close.

His part of the episode involves him trying to get forties gangster moll Haley Strode to turn on Bugsy Siegel (Jonathan Sadowski); Bugsy’s this week’s back-from-Hell villain. Sadowski’s doing a Vince Vaughn impression but he’s not bad. He’s got a solid sense of humor, which is the most important thing for a “Legends” actor to have. Strode’s okay—she’s playing the Annette Bening part from the movie only without enough detail to be an actual historical figure—Ryan’s really good with her.

Meanwhile, odd couple Ava (Jes Macallan) and Mick (Dominic Purcell) are bonding over drinks, leading to some truly wonderful comedic showcasing for Macallan. It seems like it’s going to be good, then it just keeps getting better and better.

Caity Lotz and Brandon Routh are doing more serious (and less interesting) mission stuff, Maisie Richardson-Sellers is M.I.A., so the third major subplot has Nick Zano and new guy Shayan Sobhian visiting his family. Sobhian’s a new regular this season, in for Tala Ashe, who blinked out of the timeline at the end of last season. Only then Zano found a Princess Leia-esque message and now he runs into her at Sobhian’s parent’s house. Only this Ashe was never a superhero or Zano’s girlfriend, she’s a social media influencer in 2044 or something. It shouldn’t exactly work but… it does because Ashe’s amazing. The writing’s really good too—credit Ray Utarnachitt, especially on the bickering between Ashe and Sobhian—but Ashe playing lovestruck Zano? Just fantastic.

Between Ryan and—eventually—Routh playing Chinatown, Ryan getting some character development, Macallan getting to be hilarious, Ashe getting to flex her range… it’s a strong episode. It’s one of those, “Now, this is why you watch ‘Legends’ episodes.”

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