Previously on Legends of Tomorrow, Charlie revealed that she’s actually the Fate Clotho and is the reason humanity has free will right now, but her sisters returned and put the Loom of Fate back together, and after a wee zombie apocalypse where all her friends died, Charlie ran back onto the Waverider to try to trick her sisters one more time.
We open this week on a typewriter, where someone is trying to write the truth about Spartacus, but being unable to. We pan out and it’s Mona in a historical sanitation department, where they’re meant to erase any instances of rebellions or humanity having free will. The workers are saying things like “Fates be praised” and one of Mona’s coworkers starts to question their work and Atropos appears to snip his thread.
Mona regretfully leaves, trudges past Gary shouting about how the world is wrong, and makes her way home where she flips on her TV, where we see a familiar set and some familiar faces.
Zari, Behrad, and Nate are on a show called Ultimate Buds that is quite obviously a parody of Friends where Zari and Behrad are Monica and Ross, and Nate is Joey. Nate says he has an audition for a show called Arrow, and Zari says it sounds dumb, and boi oh boi do I love it when Legends makes a dig at its CW siblings.
After a few classic sitcom mishaps, the air totem gets knocked and Original Zari emerges, taking control over Zari’s body. Her voice drops an octave, she kicks off her heels, uses her flannel radar to fix her outfit, and immediately asks what the hell is up with the laugh track.
Zari asks where Sara, Mick and the others are…Ava Sharpe? Mona Wu? But none of the names are ringing a bell…except to Mona, who is watching this unfold on her TV with wide eyes.
Sitcom Zari’s boss comes in – who, fun fact, was played by the same actress who played the gay bride in Episode 411, Séance and Sensibility – and is trying to just move the plot of the sitcom forward, but Zari is self-aware now and wants out of this TV sitcom.
When she mentions the fates, everyone reflexively says “Fates be praised” so Zari desperately looks around for a way out. She opens a door and sees TV status, and she tells Nate and Behrad they’re going in.
When they walk through, they’re no longer on a sound stage, but instead in Constantine’s manor…but also they’re dressed like old school British nobles.
Constantine comes down the stairs dressed like a butler and welcomes them to Highcastle Abbey. Zari thinks this is hilarious but the boys still think they’re their sitcom characters so while she figures out what the hell is going on, she tells Behrad and Nate to just play along for now.
They meet the lady of the house, Natalie, and her daughter Astra, who seems less than thrilled to meet these newcomers, which we learn is because Astra is betrothed to Behrad. Zari thinks this hilarious but harmless so she leaves to do all the heavy lifting since she can’t find her girls, while Behrad’s chill attitude about Astra’s thirst for adventure and freedom ends up charming her.
Zari tries to remind Constantine about who he really is, and when he reveals that he can still do magic, but as a butler he feels great shame about it, Zari decides to blackmail him into helping. Clever girl.
While reminding Constantine of his old life, Zari had mentioned Gary, and Mona, still glued to the TV, realizes that the doomsdayer she met on the way home from work was actually onto something, so she goes to find him.
Constantine asks Zari where he wants her to send her, and Zari doesn’t know WHERE she wants to go, but she knows she wants to find o captain, her captain, Sara Lance.
Constantine starts the spell and Fancy Astra ends up joining too, so suddenly Zari, Constantine, Astar, Behrad, and Nate all disappear.
Mona thinks this episode is WILD, and also recognizes the name Captain Lance from one of her other favorite TV shows. The TV flickers to say Clotho Productions and it becomes clear that Charlie is the one pulling the strings here.
We then get a peek at what Sara and Ava have been up to. Turns out, they’re still co-captains for life. Just…on a show called Star Trip.
They’re on the USS Faterider and when Zari’s crew shows up on the show, they’re aliens that no one can understand. Their co-captain dynamic is kind of hilarious, with two different approaches. For example, “We come in peace.” “Prepare to die.”
But Ava convinces Sara to turn on the translators before they start exploding and Zari tries to explain the situation to them.
However, since the boys ruin everything and would absolutely be dead if not for the ladies on this team, Behrad presses a button that sends an explodey beam at the USS Faterider. (I haven’t watched much of Star Trek beyond an episode here and there I caught because my dad watched, but I loved the little model recreations for the external shots, vs the CGI they usually use on a “normal” episode of the show.)
When we check back in on the Faterider, Sara is dramatically wailing over the bodies of her fallen crew. And I mean WAILING.
Caity Lotz really pulled the overdramatic good-bad acting off, I was CACKLING every time she spoke. Ava tells her that her reaction isn’t logical because their crew is composed of androids, so they pull themselves together.
Zari is still trying to play along and keep her captains calm but eventually she just beams them up, Scotty.
Zari tries to explain the truth of their situation and Ava uses some logic to decide it’s a completely plausible scenario, especially because they’ve picked up a weird radio signal lately. Perhaps they’re in a prison dimension.
Zari is so relieved that someone finally believes her that she flat-out tells Ava she loves her.
And frankly it warmed my heart. I feel like other TV shows don’t employ the platonic “I love you” enough. Or maybe I was just emotional because Zari Prime was back.
Anyway, they follow the radio signal and end up in Mr. Parker’s Cul de Sac, the children’s show Ray Palmer introduced to us. I was really hoping we were about to get some surprise Brandon Routh, but alas. It’s the original Mr. Parker, who welcomes the Legends into his home as the neighborhood helper professions. Everyone looks to Zari for help, and in this moment I’m reminded of the time loop episode and how far Zari has come. Zari spent that episode alone, frustrated, confused, not knowing what to do, not knowing how she fit in. This episode she is confident, determined to find her friends, and then gives them a speech about who they are. She reminds them that they’re the LEGENDS, they’re misfits trying to change the world for the better, they’re a team, a family.
While this was all happening, Mona and Gary had snuck into Clotho Productions, and Mona is so moved by Zari’s speech, that she decides to take matters into her own hands. She turns the magical typewriter that had been writing their scripts into manual mode and types, “The Legends remember who they truly are.”
And so, suddenly, they do indeed remember. They remember the last moments of their lives, the best moments of their lives, each other.
Sara immediately runs to Ava and Ava remembers that the last thing she did was send Charlie to her sisters so she thinks this is probably her doing.
Clotho caught wind of her TV shows doing unplanned crossovers and going off-script, so she bursts into Clotho Productions, looking amazing but also stressed. She can’t have the Legends escape.
When the Legends’ memories are restored, they get all of the timelines back. So Nate remembers Zari fully, and since this is the first iteration of Zari, she remembers him too.
They kiss, and Behrad and Constantine flinch and ask where THEIR Zari is. Zari admits that she’s kind of possessing another Zari’s body at the moment, and does feel a bit bad about it.
Clotho, basically playing a text-based video game at this point, has Mr. Parker come in and sing them a song about their sad feelings, telling them to repress and bury them. Put them in little boxes. Sara is not a fan of this singing or this plan, though.
And so Mr. Parker snaps the negativity out of his life and puts Sara and Ava back on Star Trip.
She sends the Ultimate Buds back to their show, too, though not after they sing a little bit too because not having Tala Ashe sing would have been an actual crime.
And when Mr. Parker turns to Astra, she’s actually feeling pretty willing to go back to Highcastle Abbey. Where her mother is. Constantine says that her mother could be real, but she could just be a character on a TV show, but she needs to know. So her and Constantine duet a verse of the Repression Song and head back to their manor.
Astra finds her mother and looks into her eyes, hopefully. Asks her some questions, looking for any recognition. But Natalie is fully just a person in this fictional world. Constantine apologizes to Astra. He’s growled things like it before, but now he really lays it out, earnestly and completely. He’s sorry. He ruined her life and he’ll never forgive himself for it. As penance, he would be willing to live in this fantasy world with her forever. As her butler. Just so she can live a life with her mother.
Clotho sits back, pleased with her work, and explains to Mona that this was the deal she made with her sisters. She would help them use the Loom but her friends got to be safe. Her sisters said the only way they would allow it is if they helped promote compliance, so Clotho put them on TV.
Meanwhile, Sara and Ava are back in their show, their crew back up and running, but still with their memories intact. Sara wants to find a way out, but Ava is scared. She looks at her girlfriend with big, sad eyes and says the last thing she saw in the real world was Sara dying. Again. But here? Charlie gave them exactly what they wanted. What they said made them happiest when they were sitting around the table that last night together. She made them co-captains for life, and gave them a crew that could never die. “In here, we always win.” So what if they just…stayed?
Sara understands that Charlie was trying to be kind, but she agrees with her buddy Kara on this one: escapism is fine for a while, but you can’t live in it. It’s not real. “Life is beautiful and terrible at the same time.” Truer words have never been spoken. She says you need good AND the bad, otherwise it’s not really living.
And then Mick shows up, a villain in the Star Trip universe, apparently based on a real Star Trek villain, but I was mostly amused by his hair and dramatic attitude. Sara realizes then what they have to do. Charlie set up this world so they always win. So they have to lose on purpose.
Also, this is neither here nor there but they keep showing clips fo people in the show watching the show, including Lita and her mom, and it made me laugh every time.
Charlie hates Sara and Ava’s plan and watches in horror as Mick attacks and Ava and Sara just stand their ground. They swoop each other into a dramatic kiss, just in case, and stay there as the ship explodes around them.
To save her friends, she cancels Star Trip before Sara and Ava can die a fiery death. And it reminded me of when an actress I love is trapped in a truly terrible show and when it gets cancelled I quietly think to myself, “She’s free!”
Sara, Ava, and Mick find themselves back to their regular selves and in a sort of behind-the-scenes setting. Sara even has her sunglasses back on, unable to see. Charlie must have just totally CTRL+Z’d it with no time to fix that, I guess.
In Highcastle Abbey, Astra is enjoying her new life with this version of her mother, when her mother presents her with a gift. A ticket to New York so she can go on the adventure she wanted. Natalie tells Astra to go out and live her life well, be courageous. And Astra realizes that this is what her mother would have wanted. Not to be living in a simulation with a shadow version of herself. To LIVE. So she turns to Constantine and says she’s ready to go.
And soon they find themselves on the soundstage with their friends.
Despite not knowing what their friends are up to, Zari knows exactly what she has to do, and she starts shouting anti-Fate propaganda to get Ultimate Buds cancelled, which does indeed reunite the Legends once again.
She immediately rushes into the arms of her captains, which is lovely and sweet. She must have missed them so much while she was hanging out in the air totem, and she can’t get enough of her girls.
Charlie finally breaks the fourth wall and talks to her friends. She sounds scared. “I gave you everything you wanted.” And it’s true. She not only gave Avalance their unkillable crew and endless adventures, she made Mick a criminal again, gave Astra her mother back, gave Constantine a way to look after Astra and her happiness, gave Zari her brother back and rewrote a very white show to be more inclusive. What else do they need to be happy? To stay put? Where she can keep them safe?
Desperate, Charlie tries something new: what if she splits Zari into old and new? Then will they go back to their shows?
Sara, still blind, asks Ava what’s happening, and Ava actually says the ‘c’ word to tell Sara Zari has been cloned.
Charlie pleads with her friends. “Just accept your fates.”
But they can’t do that, so they walk together out the door and into reality. Mona and Gary are excited, but Charlie just looks distraught. She can’t protect them anymore.
Next week is, unfortunately, the season finale, and I’m sure it will be quite the (star) trip.