The Legends just can’t do anything the same way the other shows are doing it–even when it comes to guest stars. But that’s why we love the show. Spoilers follow for Legends of Tomorrow Season 6, Episode 8, “Stressed Western.”
The Legends are constantly hopping through time, visiting the French Revolution, Star City 2040, 1950s San Bernardino, and more. One of the favorite locations for the team, though, is the Old West. I suspect this is a matter of practicality of accessible wardrobes and nearby sets, but the cast seems to love hamming it up as well, so these episodes always end up being a blast.
This time, though, things are a little different as the crew is heading there in the aftermath of Sara’s return to the Waverider. The team doesn’t know quite yet that she’s a clone of Sara Lance combined with alien DNA of some sort, which leads to some funny interactions with Spooner misreading her thoughts as coming from Gary.
Fist City, USA
Soon, though, the team is in Fist City, USA. Fist City is the name of the place even before the fighting starts. There, the townspeople are acting strangely pleasant–a far cry from the town’s historical reputation. They even have a board of rules that forbids things like cursing and fornicating. There’s even a singing narrator.
The team splits up, with the hot-headed Astra and Spooner wandering out into the woods in search of some gold Astra spotted, while the rest of the Legends try to figure out what’s going on. When they finally get a reaction out of one of the townspeople, a giant worm bursts through the ground and gobbles him up–the worm feeds on rage.
After an elaborate plan falls through, Sara challenges the outlaw controlling the worm to a duel. The outlaw, being an outlaw and all, turns around and shoots Sara in the head. As viewers, we know she’s going to be okay, but the seconds after the shot are long before Sara stands back up, revealing her new nature to her crew.
The big character moments come when the Legends have freed the townspeople from the outlaw–only to find out that they are indeed just as bad as history remembers. The team retreats into the saloon and bides their time while they figure out what to do. Here, the team breaks up into groups–John and Gary, Zari and Behrad, Sara and Ava–and descends into bickering.
Meanwhile, Astra and Spooner are still out in the woods where they run into John Digg–wait, that’s not Diggle! While David Ramsey is guesting on other Arrowverse shows as Diggle, here he’s playing historical figure Bass Reeves, the first Black Deputy U.S. Marshal, whose mustache is almost as noteworthy as his actions. Being that this is Legends of Tomorrow, this cameo is much more about it being David Ramsey than it is about the characters meeting Bass Reeves. It’s silly and fun, and yes–Sara notices that Bass looks exactly like Diggle immediately.
The bickering between the crewmembers brings up a lot of baggage quickly, from worries about Sara’s DNA to John’s desire to chase down a MacGuffin that could restore his magic. There’s nothing earth-shattering here but it’s surprisingly anxious. The Legends have more insanity than usual going on and it’s weighing on them.
Enjoyable, not memorable
It’s Nate that finally breaks the stalemate, and he seems to be stepping into more and more a leadership role with the crew–a big change from the goofy fratboy historian he joined the crew as. Meanwhile, John leaves to go track down the MacGuffin he’s been bullying Gary about all episode.
The best bit happens in the episode’s final moments with that singing narrator cowboy–some classic fourth-wall-breaking Legends nonsense.
All in all, though, this was a pretty forgettable episode. David Ramsey’s cameo was too short to be worth the time they spent on it. The villain was barely worth mentioning, and the alien/monster itself had no personality to speak of. For what should’ve been a big reveal, the team just took Sara standing up after being shot in the head pretty much in stride. With how eventful last week’s episode was, this one neither stacked up to the previous story nor felt like a release from it. It was just back to the weekly monster grind.