“Legends of Tomorrow” Episode 701 Recap: Big Top (Energy)

Greetings! And welcome to this recap of Legends of Tomorrow Season 7, Episode 1, “The Bullet Blondes,” aka the one that’s a bit of a circus.

And I know it hasn’t really been that long since the Season 6 finale, but I’m so glad these goofballs are back. This episode was classic Legends, top to bottom, so let’s get right into it.

The citizens of Odessa, Texas, 1925, are filing into the Sheriff’s Office one by one to report the strange goings-on of the night before. Glowing lights, dinosaur-looking creatures. The sheriff seems vaguely unamused but looks like perhaps he’ll look into it.

Back on the range, we find our Legends where we left them, their captains newly married, power walking to the Waverider, when a ship that looks alarmingly look the Waverider explodes their Waverider.

But this time we get to see past Astra’s, “What the hell?!” exclamation as the team surveys the damage. Spooner wants to just portal back in time to that imposter Waverider and give them a piece of their mind, and Sara loves that idea.

Sara Lance looking tuff

Let’s go Legends, let’s go!

They do a classic, dramatic Legends ready-up montage, and just as they’re all ready to do their thing, they realize their portal watch is out of juice and they’re stuck in 1925.

Sara looks shook

“If we’re going to be stuck in the 20s, we better befriend some bootleggers STAT.”

They start to devolve into a bicker, undoing that beautiful teamwork they just did, but then Gary mentions something about the old models of the Waveriders having a failsafe, and Ava remembers she added one to their Waverider, too. A black box of sorts, that would have emergency equipment like a backup portal watch and memory flasher, which would have come in handy when the pastor came knocking at the door asking what all the strangeness on the Cruz range was about.

The team splits up to find the black box, Behrad dutifully checking on his newly heartbroken sister. Zari channels the Fancy Zari of old and tries to brush it off, doing her best to sound less sad and more annoyed that Constantine blew her off with only a mysterious key to remember him by.

Zari looks disappointed

“Even his gifts were bad.”

Not having the honeymoon of their dreams, Sara is leading Ava through the rubble, trying to find the box while simultaneously calming her panicky wife down. She reminds Ava that where Sara is chaos, Ava is order; they are a storm and a lighthouse, a pirate ship and her anchor. Together, they are unstoppable.

Sara holds Ava's hands

W I V E S

Spooner and Astra are looking too, but Spooner can’t use her tracker skills on a space box. Astra tries to whip up a little locator spell and suddenly I had a vision of Astra and Lena practicing magic together and I need to lie down.

The spell tells Spooner and Astra that it seems someone found the black box and moved it, so they follow its trail.

Spooner and Astra look after a trail

The height difference kills me in the best way.

Team Spatula follows the trail to the Sheriff’s office, and sees the pastor handing over the black box, but wisely heads back to the team before interfering.

They have to create a diversion, and Ava knows just the rule they could follow: Rule 44. And fortunately, Rule 44 has explicit instructions on what kind of cover story they should use: a circus. Turns out, you can hide just about anything under that big top without question. Zari loves this idea because it’s the chance for a group makeover, including herself, which is just what the avoidance doctor ordered.

Zari looks excited

“Why yes I would love to cover my problems with clown makeup, thank you.”

Spooner and Astra decide they’d rather not be part of this circus, so they sneak off to fix the porch together instead.

Sara sends Nate and Ava, the whitest and straightest-passing of the group, to the sheriff’s office to try to get the black box back while she gets to work faking a circus.

Once Zari approves their looks, they head to town to tell the locals about the circus and how that explains all the strange things they saw and heard last night.

Sara in a top hat being charming

Big top energy.

And, much like I would be, the town is charmed by that blue-eyed wink and doesn’t question anything she says. Her story is helped along by Zari and Behrad saying they’re animal handlers, and Gary showing some fire tricks, calming the people slowly but surely.

Ava and Nate go to talk to the sheriff, Nate deciding his cover will be that he’s J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI. Ava almost blows their cover by getting the presidents wrong, but they manage to wiggle their way back to the ranch, box in hand.

Before the rest of the Legends get back ot safety though, a little girl asks Gary when the circus is, and he panics and tells her that it’s tonight, on the farm. Which is not how this cover story is supposed to go.

The team is furious with Gary but when they see that Nate and Ava have the box, they figure they can just undo all this anyway.

Zari Ava and Sara look excited

Just three gals excited about a box, nothing to see her.

But then they open it and it all but “womp womps” in their face, being empty of useful things. All that’s inside is a time bureau manual, a bag of Behrad’s weed gummies, and a note from Rory saying he took the spare portal on a beer run. And frankly good riddance.

Sara desperately tries to keep their spirits up since her partner in time travel is devolving quickly. They try to figure out all they know about 1925 and what they can do about their predicament, and Ava finds a protocol in the time bureau handbook (TBH) that says they should just stay put.

Sara looks a little frantic

“Everything’s gonna be fine, fine, fine.”

Sara says if they’re going to be here when folks arrive for a show, they better be ready to put on a damn show. Astra still hates this plan so she sneaks off again, and Spooner tries to explain to her mom what is going on when Gloria comes home to a lot of shenanigans going on in her living room. She’s a little surprised to hear that she’s hosting a circus, but she’ll accept any trouble that comes from it if it means protecting her little girl.

Spooner realizes what all this unwanted attention will do to her mother and decides to call the whole thing off. Sara hears her and apologizes and says they’ll just skip town instead.

Spooner looks relieved

We stan a leader who listens to and respects her team.

That settled, Spooner looks around for her #1 and realizes Astra is gone. Gary is the first to find her, and she’s using magic to try to put the Waverider back together. Gary recognizes it as a resurrection spell and warns her against it, but she’s trying to be stubborn like her mentor.

Meanwhile, in town, the Sheriff sees a picture in the paper of the real Hoover and realizes he dealt with imposters, and before you know it the real Hoover is at his doorstep, saying he suspects the Midland Gang, a band of bank robbers he’s been after.

Back at the ranch, Astra keeps casting her spell, even after the Legends join her and try to stop her. It seems to be working until they notice Astra’s nose is bleeding.

Astra does magic til her nose bleeds

“If Wanda can make a whole city I can make a ship dammit!”

Spooner begs Astra to stop but of course she doesn’t. She pushes through until she collapses into Spooner’s arms. The pieces crashing to the ground causes quite the sight, and Hoover knows exactly where to look for the culprits next.

When Astra wakes up, weak and tired, Spooner is by her bedside, just as Astra was for her just yesterday. Spooner is furious with her, and the words she’s saying imply she’s angry Astra brought more negative attention to her mom, but the tone of her voice says there’s more to it than that.

Spooner sits at Astra's bedside

“There’s room enough in this bed for two, FYI.”

When Hoover rolls up, Gloria tells the Legends to hide, and they…well, they try. When it becomes clear they are all extremely bad at hide and seek, Behrad tells Zari to use the key she got from Constantine on the locked closet door. And sure enough, it fits perfectly, and when they open the door, it’s a hallway that was somehow familiar-looking to me, a viewer of this show, but not them, the people who have literally walked through this very hallway.

They hear Hoover coming to check the bedroom so Sara shoves her team into the door, leaving Astra and Spooner behind and hoping for the best. Luckily, as apparently only I could tell, the hallway leads to Constantine’s mansion.

And so, when Hoover opens the door to the bedroom, he sees only a laid-up Astra. And when he opens the closet door, it’s just a closet.

Gary quickly realizes that they’re in Constantine’s private pocket dimension, and when Nate opens the front door and sees only fire, they realize they’re in a pocket dimension…in hell.

Sara looks surprised

“Would you say we’re in…Purgatory?”

Zari doesn’t understand why Constantine would give her this space; she has to spend half her time in a space just like this except it has her ancestors to talk to. Behrad suspects it’s because Constantine knew that Zari could probably use some alone time, but Zari shrugs this off, saying she doesn’t need to be alone, she thrives in the spotlight, she’s not putting up any facades she needs to let down. But then she sees her reflection in the mirror.

Zari with messy clown makeup looking in the mirror

Me when I catch myself having genuine hope for Supercorp Endgame. #ClownLife

Meanwhile, Ava is thumbing through the TBH like it’s a comfort blanket and Sara tries to reassure her again that they can figure this out, together. Ava says they’re getting sloppy; they’re breaking rules, they don’t have any of their usual tools, and they don’t have Gideon to guide them. They’re flailing and she hates it. Sara swears that you can’t find all your answers in a rulebook, but Ava would like to hold onto it anyway, and Sara leaves her to it.

Sara comforts Ava

“It’s okay, we’ll get back to 2021 in time for Season 3 of Batwoman.”

When Hoover is gone, the Legends march out of the closet, and right past a mildly confused Astra.

Astra looks confused in bed

“What the hell, is everyone coming out of the closet but me?”

Ava’s thumbing through the TBH comes in handy once again when she finds an entry about a man named Davies in New York who might be able to help them time travel back to where they came from. Sara thinks they should pretend to be the Midvale Gang to try to lure Hoover away from suspecting Gloria, and she is almost vibrating with excitement when she adds, “All we’ll have to do is rob some banks.”

Sara looks amped

Be gay, do crime!

Ava’s stress levels were not at all helped by the literal CRIME SPREE her new wife just suggested but Sara gets her to agree by promising that Ava can make a list of everything they do that could be negatively affecting the timeline, and once they get back to their timeship, they will come back and fix every single item one at a time.

Ava and Sara pinky promise

Their commitment to the pinky promise brings me such joy.

Astra is still weak and Spooner doesn’t want to leave her or her mother behind, so Sara ties them up and her and the rest of the Legends make a show of stealing Hoover’s car and bandit-ing away.

Once they get into town, Sara and Ava put on their flapper finest and stroll into a bank, ready to rob.

Sara and Ava in flapper dresses

I won’t be mad if they’re “stuck” in 20s fashion for a little while longer.

They distract the men with their wiles and steal their guns with their skills and shoot the ceiling a bunch and steal exactly how much they need to get them to New York and not a penny more.

Nate and Behrad are keeping watch outside and try to tell a passer by that they’re the Midland Gang but she’s a Murderino and knows darn well they’re not. So she helps them come up with a new name. They decide “Legends of Tomorrow” is too wordy (and as someone who has to put it in a limited-character recap title, I agree), so they go with the Bullet Blondes. And much to said blondes’ confusion, they exit the bank to a round of applause.

Ava write the amount they stole on her IOU list as they all climb into the getaway car. Hoover has already set up a roadblock, but Sara tells them to gun it anyway.

Sara narrows her eyes

Sara was making decisions this episode with the chaotic energy of my rogue when I play D&D and I was amused.

Well, not before putting their resident man of steel behind the wheel and making sure everyone else is out of the line of fire. (Adorably, she also ducks, even though she’s bulletproof, nothing to lose.) Sara tries to reassure Ava this is a small blip in the timeline, but when one thing leads to another and J. Edgar Hoover ends up dead on the ground by way of a bullet ricocheting off Nate’s metal dome, Ava can no longer take her wife at her word. With the timeline royally screwed and no Gideon to even tell her how badly, Ava looks to the sky and declare she is quite done living this life, and lies on the ground in despair.

Ava lies dramatically on the ground

Me in my apartment at the slightest inconvenience.

Sara tries to talk her down (or, well, technically up), trying to conjure images of their eventual honeymoon, where they can walk along the beach and listen to her podcast. Mention of the StabCast does get Ava to sit up, but not for the idea of listening to it with Sara. No, she decides to use her true crime knowledge to clean up their mess. She can’t save the timeline from losing Hoover, but she can at least keep the trail of clues from leading back to a ragtag bunch of time travelers.

She decides they have to get rid of the body, and tells Gary to eat it. He’s a little uncomfortable with the idea, but will do anything Ava says, so he devours the evidence.

Back in Odessa, Astra talks to Gloria about how she messed up, and Gloria tells a story about how her mother was a healer and tried to teach her but it wasn’t until Gloria went about things her own way that she truly became good at it. Like Lena Luthor learned very recently, magic isn’t about recreating, it’s about creating. Astra thinks you have to be broody and angry and walk alone on a dark path to do magic well, but Gloria reminds her that one of Astra’s best qualities is that she’s decidedly not John Constantine, so she shouldn’t be trying to do magic like him.

Astra looks thoughtful

I accidentally called Gloria Astra’s mother-in-law in my notes, that’s how deep into my Spatula ship I am.

Astra wanders off and finds Spooner making a Waverider graveyard. Astra says she’s going to hiss that hunk of metal and Spooner points out how ironic that is, coming from the former Queen of Hell. Astra apologizes to Spooner for how she acted earlier, saying that she was trying to prove herself, saying that she didn’t feel worthy of following in John’s footsteps. But Spooner agrees with me and says that we don’t need another John. Hell we barely needed the first one. And Spooner admits to Astra that she wasn’t really mad about the attention Astra’s spell caused earlier; she was mad that Astra put her life in danger. Astra is her best friend, and she doesn’t want to lose her. And Spooner is Astra’s best friend, too.

Spooner and Astra exchange looks

Finding that first friend after you start finally letting down your façade and being your true self is very important/rewarding friendship.

And as much as I do ship Spatula, because I am a trash person compost gay, I do also legitimately buy them as first-best-friends.

Astra tells Spooner that what’s funny is she had almost finished the spell. She only needed one more word. She says it now, sitting atop a heap of dirt covering a chunk of the Waverider, and then absentmindedly wishes Gideon were here. And maybe partially because it was said while thinking of friendship instead of fury, magic pours out of Astra, through the dirt and into the Waverider.

But it’s not the Waverider that is resurrected. No, instead, a familiar-looking redhead emerges from the rubble, naked as Daenerys after the fire: Gideon, in the flesh. (And only flesh.)

Human Gideon looks a bit confused

SIRENS OF SPACETIME REUNION LEZGO

Ahh! I’m so excited to have traded some boring boys for Gideon, and I can’t wait to see what other shenanigans these kids get up to next. For example, getting mixed up with Al Capone!

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Valerie Anne

Just a TV-loving, Twitter-addicted nerd who loves reading, watching, and writing about stories. One part Kara Danvers, two parts Waverly Earp, a dash of Cosima and an extra helping of my own brand of weirdo.

Valerie has written 373 articles for us.

6 Comments

  1. – Everybody is weaponing up, and Zari gets an iron.
    – Spooner and Astra, two women of color in strange outfits, are running around in a town in 1925 Texas and nobody is questioning it?
    – I’m dying to see the various acts of this circus.
    – I see Astra as a fortune teller.
    – Nate, why didn’t you just report the safe as stolen?
    – That’s the Legends for you. Screwing things up for the….better?
    – And Astra fell into Spooner’s…tiny…arms. No subtext there.
    – A resurrection spell for a ship. This couldn’t possibly result in Gideon becoming a person.
    – Lesbian pinky swear.
    – Wait, did they also leave Zari behind?
    – That nosy woman seems very familiar.
    – Why are those people cheering them on? The crowds cheering bank robbers didn’t happen until during the Great Depression. The banks, which often defaulted on small land owners, were seen as villains, and the robbers as sort of Robin Hood type characters.
    – “You’re like my best friend.” Yes, just gals being pals.
    – Remember that Gideon’s code name is Harddrive.
    – What I love about this episode, and the series in general, is character consistency. Ava is anal retentive. Gary is a worry wart. Nate is a pretty, but dumb, guy. Zari is a Type-A to her brother’s Type-B. Astra is easily frustrated and attempts to solve her problems with magic.

  2. The fact that Spatula continues to be the de-facto name for the Astra/Spooner ship gives me serotonin.

    Shout out to Zari for sewing all those costumes, using a foot powered sewing machine, without a pattern, in a few hours.

    Nearly half the episode in that particular costume and not one did Sara chime in with a haven’t you ever heard of closing a … damn door?

    —-

    My personal head canon about StabCast is that Ava has a file on a prolific “serial killer” that has never been caught, or even seen, but was very active from 2008 to 2013, until the trail went cold all of the sudden. It would make for a fantastic episode if she could just figure out who this person is, but every time she brings it up, Sara distracts her.

    —-

    At this point the Legends are basically an improv troupe. Our ship got blown up? We’re going to steal the ship that did it! Our time travel devices aren’t working We’re going to mosey on up to New York City and re-invent time travel. The locals are getting suspicious? We’re going put on a circus! J Edgar Hoover is in town? Let’s rob a bank!

    I would love to see the Superfriends or Team Bat join in on the mayhem and be utterly confused at how the Legends have managed to save the timeline six times.

  3. i just love sara’s positive can do attitude. marital bliss is really agreeing with her. between sara dressing up as a ringmaster, spooner and astra becoming official best friends which i totally saw coming back in “there will be brood” and human gideon showing up this has been a great premiere for legends.

  4. 1. I saw on tumblr people are calling them Esperastra, but I like Spatula better
    2. I saw this because I intentionally went looking for gifs
    3. I intentionally went looking for gifs because this ship is REAL
    4. The chat with the mother in law, I thought that was going to the pinnacle but NOOOOOO we had a best friends confession with Astra’s sneaky little adorable smile??? Unacceptable. Too cute.
    5. Ava down on the ground was me for the last 19 months.
    6. IT IS SO FUN WHEN CONSTANTINE AND RORY AREN’T HERE. STAY GONE!!

  5. So many thoughts!

    –Ava and Sara got to be enemies to lovers, so im holding out hope Astra and Spoons get to be friends to lovers

    –Also, Sara’s chaos was great this episode, like it was more extreme than usual which is a sign she’s not just rolling with it cuz thats how the Legends function but because she actually has no clue how to get them out of this and needs to keep flubbing like she does

    –That moment when Astra confronted Sara about the shitty circus plan and you saw a snippet of Sara’s stressed as shit face before she faced the team😩

    –Gidoen! Gideon! Gideon!

    –does this mean its Gideon, Astra, Spooner, and Zari in Odessa Texas together?!?!?

    –I liked the return of anal boss Ava, i feel like shes mostly just been going with Sara’s flow for a while, which is fine, but i like that everything finally just got too crazy and she put her foot down and reverted back to her pantsuit self a bit (with a flair of legends crazy cuz there’s no going back once youve got that)

    –also, Sara’s confused but turned on face when Ava started snapping orders about the best way to hide the body 😂

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