We open where we left off last week, with Bishop on the Waverider’s only toilet, ejected into space and crashing into the first time machine ever built that was supposed to take the Legends back to the present day.
When the team learns that it’s Bishop who ruined their lives YET AGAIN, Ava scowls at him and Sara grabs him by the lapel, ready to pummel him within an inch of his life.
Bishop is saved, however, by the sound of voices fast approaching. They all scatter and shout distractions while they look for a door they can all disappear into. The first one they find is a portapotty but beggars can’t be choosers, so they all scurry into the mystical manner by way of latrine.
When they get into the manor, Sara immediately pins Bishop to the wall and asks him to explain himself.
Bishop claims he’s the good Bishop even though he also admits he is the one who shot down their Waverider and sent evil robots of historical figures after them. Bishop blames Gideon, which Human Gideon takes offense to, but then they realize it’s probably Blue Gideon from their walk down memory lane. Bishop takes an almost gross fascination with her human form and Astra, not for the first time and hopefully not for the last, puts her entire body between Gideon and danger.
But they take him at his word, for now, and know that they have to stay as tight to the timeline as possible so they don’t attract Misguided Gideon’s attention.
To minimize their damage, Sara and Ava are going to go out and scout to figure out where and, more importantly, when they are. And hope that by some chance they’re near a time machine parts store so they can get home.
And even though they were sarcastic in that hope, they do end up at the next best thing: an airplane factory. Though being in the middle of WWII still isn’t ideal for a buncha queer folks and people of color, but at least they can maybe find the parts they need.
They wonder out loud how they’re going to make their way into the factory when a woman comes out and quite literally invites them inside, because there’s a recruitment fair. Problem solved!
Sara and Ava watch a recruitment video complete with a message from Eleanor Roosevelt, inspiring Rosie the Riveters everywhere to join the war effort.
When the video is over, Ava and Sara hop right up, ready to volunteer their way into the factory.
Inside the manor, Flannel Zari takes advantage of this rare downtime to ask Nate when he plans on moving into the totem with her, and he says that he’ll do it as soon as they wrap up this mission and get back to the present. Pleased, she pops into the totem to prep the ancestors and swap out with Fancy Zari.
When Sara and Ava come back, Nate tells them about his plans to move in with Zari, and they’re so excited they squeal and it results in a full group hug. Nate promises this isn’t goodbye, that he’ll still be commuting from the totem every morning, but it’s a nice big step for his relationship with Flannel Zari.
Ava tells the team about the factory probably having the parts they need, and Spooner thinks she can find the components and make the parts with the machinery inside, so the Ladies of Legends (minus the Zaris, who are in the totem) suit up and head out.
When the squirrely man in charge sees the lot of them, he sends Ava and Sara and their arms to the factory floor, recruits cutie patootie Gideon as his new secretary, and then turns to Astra and Spooner, who await their assignment politely. But then he pulls some racist bullshit and tells them that they can’t work on the floor and sends them to the janitorial staff instead. Astra is quite sick of having to live in times where people are so blatantly and shamelessly racist right to her face.
And on top of having to put up with all the racism and sexism, Astra is worried that now Spooner won’t be able to make the parts they need. But Spooner, somehow, has become the more optimistic one of the duo, and says that they can use this assignment to their advantage by using the mop buckets to smuggle out the parts they’re stealing.
Astra can’t help but be charmed but she does her best to retain some grumpiness as she tells Spooner she hates her. But Spooner sees right through that icy sheen now and simply beams up at her bff and says, “I hate you, too.”
Astra and Spooner’s new supervisor tells them that their shift is 12 hours, no breaks, and Astra has to cover her hair because they are professionals. (Note: I don’t think they ever said this woman’s name in the episode, and IMDb had her listed as Abby, but Olivia Swann, who plays Astra, and Kimleigh Smith, who plays the woman in question, both called the character Gladys in their Instagram captions, so I’m going to call her Gladys. Plus Gladys sounds very period-appropriate, based exclusively on the character Gladys “Princess” Witham.)
Inside the manor, Fancy Zari pops out of the totem and is excited to be reunited with her phone. When she learns that Nate is going to move into the totem, her and Behrad warn him about a particularly finicky uncle and decide to teach him a bit about Persian culture, lest he get kicked out of the ancient artifact.
And since they happen to have a very annoying house guest, they decide to use Bishop to help Nate learn by way of testing his patience.
Inside the aircraft factory (listen I guarantee there are going to be phrases that are simply not used but in my defense I hated history class and only paid attention to the social dramas of Bomb Girls so please ecxuse any errors), Sara and Ava are shown the ropes and put on an assembly line.
Sara sees a part they need and decides to dip out to bring it to Spooner, asking Ava to pick up her slack. As soon as she leaves, another woman asks Ava to cover her too, distracting her momentarily, and causing her to fall a bit behind on her conveyor belt. She tries to slow the belt down but ends up speeding it up by accident, so she panics and starts to shove bolts into her pockets. The foreman catches her so she shoves them in her mouth instead, and honestly it was a very nice homage to the classic I Love Lucy bit.
When Sara finds Spooner and Astra, she’s surprised to see them on janitorial duty, until she realizes why and feels really bad about it. Without hesitation, she tells them they can sit this mission out and stay in the manor until it’s over, not wanting her team to incur unnecessary harm, but Spooner and Astra say they can handle it, especially since they think their position will help them in the long run. Sara hands off the parts and heads back to the factory, but tells them that they can change their mind about bailing at any minute, no questions asked.
Just then, Gladys catches Astra and Spooner with their stolen parts and they think the jig is up. Just as Spatula is about to bail, Gladys softens a little and lets them know that they have a secret lab where they teach themselves skills and fix machinery to keep this place running, and that Spooner and Astra can use it as long as they’re careful and discreet.
Astra is still a little hesitant but she trusts Spooner to get her home.
In the manor, Fancy Zari and Behrad do their best to teach Nate about Persian culture, and while he is a fast learner, Bishop is not making things easy. Nate isn’t sure how pretending to be a host to their hostage-turned-test-guest is going to help him with the Tarazi family, but Zari explains that a good guest makes a good host, and a bad guest can threaten to make a bad host.
At the factory, Ava and Sara are tired from all this womanual labor, but Spooner made one of the parts so she’s feeling great. Astra is frustrated though because it took them a whole day to make one part and they need 18 total.
Gideon is taking her job in stride and Astra decides to take advantage of that by using magic to fake a work order for Mr. Staples to sign.
Staples comes back into the office before she’s done though, and hits her with an extra dose of racism and sexism, dragging Astra to the end of her rope, so she snaps and accidentally freezes him with some wild magic.
Astra feels real bad because this is trouble she didn’t ask for, so she calls in her captains for help. They immediately make it clear that they don’t blame her, which I appreciate because it stresses me out SO MUCH when it’s clear to me someone blames themselves for something that isn’t really their fault and no one takes a second to say “it’s not your fault” to them.
Astra doesn’t know what exactly she did, how she did it, nor how long it will last, so they decide to keep the factory running in the meantime, partially to take advantage of the lack of oversight so they can get their parts made and partially so they don’t cause any wrinkles in time that could attract Overeager Gideon.
So Astra gets to work learning how to run the factory.
Meanwhile, Bishop is in the manor being gross and annoying and entitled in a way that makes me itchy, insulting everything from the towels no one told him he could use to Fancy Zari’s “retro” 2040s cell phone. And unfortunately for Zari, she’s in the middle of trying to teach Nate a lesson, so she has to grit her teeth and be polite to Bishop like when you’re around both jerks and children at the same time.