While it doesn’t seem like we’re entirely free of Constantine’s shenanigans, this episode was at least more about the team than anything. We open with Sara, Spooner, and Astra watching Mick pace back and forth, trying to follow the bleep bloops of an alien tracker somewhere in Kansas, bickering in that cute sibling way they do.
Elsewhere on Earth, Flannel Zari (aka a new and improved nickname for the badass formerly known as Original Zari) is finally in her shirt’s natural habitat because Nate is using their fleeting time together…to take her camping. :Olivia Rodrigo voice: Like a goddamn sociopath. But when they get to their campsite they see two party people already set up and glamped out. They decide not to join the loud music and yards of margs and head off to rough it on their own.
In Kansas, Mick follows the tracker to an empty pod with a shiny box inside. Because the Legends are nothing if not full grown toddlers, Spooner, Mick, and Astra immediately start touching it and arguing about it.
Sara sighs and calls Ava and says she’ll be a little longer because the kids are acting up, and their other mom says that’s fine with her because Ava is busy anyway…
Trying on wedding dresses!
As soon as Sara is done talking to Ava, she tries to keep the children from breaking the toy they’re fighting over, but as soon as she puts her hand on the cube, the four of them get beamed away
They find themselves in a bowling alley, with bowling shirts that say Legends on the back and their names on the front. And I won’t lie, they look pretty cute. (Except Mick who still just looks grumpy.)
Spooner gets major alien vibes from this place, so they try to leave, but when Astra opens the door to leave, they realize the only thing outside is…well, outer space.
Mick pulls her back to safety and the Legends realize with honestly more of an inconvenienced attitude than anything else that they have been abducted by aliens; and for Spooner and Sara? It’s not the first time.
Sara tries to contact Ava, but wherever they ended up is too far for their comms to reach, so the Legends split up to find answers. Sara, in true Captain fashion, beelines to the bowling boss, Buddy, she asks him about how they got here and he tells them that the puzzle box they found was an invitation of sorts. When he finds out that Sara is from Earth, he perks up a little – the home of bowling! – and Sara is generally suspicious of this whole situation.
Spooner, the tough guy, makes her way toward the guy who looks like the biggest bully in the room. His name is Mike the Strike and he sucks as much as he looks like he will. I’m also starting to suspect he’s the big bad of the season because this is the third character Nic Bishop (aka Jes Macallan’s real life hubby) has played this season. Unless Legends is trying to make the case for dopplegangers or something. Maybe we can blame it on CRISIS or something.
Anyway Mike the Strike tells Spooner he will give the Legends a ride home if they beat his team, the Pin Killers, at bowling. Spooner barely waits til he’s done with the challenge before enthusiastically accepting.
Sara gets more info from Buddy; turns out he just really loved the alien art form of bowling, so he made a little bowling alley in the sky. It was meant to be a little taste of Earth for aliens across the galaxy. And honestly, I get that. Bowling alleys get a bad rap but my dad was in a bowling league with his dad and sister when I was little, and my Nana has also been playing for my whole life and beyond, so I spent a lot of time in bowling alleys growing up. The league my dad was in was what we used to call “big ball bowling” so most of my time was spent, more specifically, in the arcades at bowling alleys, armed with quarters and a love of Mortal Kombat. But every single time my dad was done with one of his games, we would play air hockey together. No matter how the game went, no matter what else was going on, he always played at least one game of air hockey with me before we left. My Nana, on the other hand, played what we called “little ball bowling” which I have learned in my adulthood is called “candlepin bowling” and is actually almost exclusively an East Coast thing, so she used to take me to the bowling alley on her non-game days so she could practice, and since little ball bowling was something my tiny indoor-kid noodle arms could handle, I’d get to play with her. (For a few frames, anyway. Ryan’s Family Amusements also had a great arcade.)
Anyway, all this to say, I understand why Buddy was attracted to the vibes of bowling alleys. And when Sara said “it even smells like a bowling alley” I knew exactly what smell she was referring to.
But Mike the Strike sullied those vibes for Buddy when his band of bullies rolled in like T-birds and took over, ruining his paradise. He says he’s watched them take down squad after squad and warns Sara not to let her team go up against the Pin Killers until they’re sure they can beat him…but of course, that’s just when Spooner comes in to announce she’s already accepted the challenge.
Down on Earth, Flannel Zari and Nate are just about ready to give up the ghost on their camping trip because they can’t get in touch with Gideon, they can’t use their campsite, they don’t have their regular snacks because they accidentally took Spooner’s bag. They tune Spooner’s radio to see if they can figure out why they can’t reach their team and hear some yelling about the apocalypse and decide to hop to, asking the wacky campers to borrow their truck to head into town for supplies. But the car is dead from charging all their electronics, so they all start a group hike.
Up on the Waverider, Constantine is harshing Behrad’s vibe so they try to talk to Gideon to see if the team needs help. But then Gideon says that they can’t reach the Legends, that Sara and the gang aren’t in Kansas anymore, so they know something hinky is going on.
At the bowl-o-rama, Sara tries to get the team hype for the big game, tossing a ball down the lane just to warm up…and getting a strike. Assassin’s precision, I suppose.
Mick just kind of chucks it and it bounces into the next lane. Spooner, turns out, learned how to bowl as a pre-teen, so she has an intricate method.
She also gets a strike.
Astra…simply will not participate in this nonsense. But Sara is still feeling good about their odds (and maybe is just grateful to be back on her team) so she keeps her spirits high.
On the Waverider, when Gary learns that they are once again cosmically separated from Sara, he’s terrified this will be triggering for Ava, so he takes it upon himself to distract her by talking to her about her wedding dress. It’s actually kind of adorable, albeit misguided.
Also being misguided is Flannel Zari, who for some reason has taken her new friend’s hesitations about Zari’s long-distance relationship. She said, “If you can stand to be apart, doesn’t that mean you don’t need to be together,” and thus was planted the seed of doubt. I have like 900 OTHER reasons that Zari and Nate shouldn’t be together, but I was willing to go with this reason out of desperation.
Up at the land of the lucky strike, the Pin Killers beat the team they were playing when the Legends showed up. The red team is dismayed as Mike picks up a red ball and the losing team is poofed out of existence, then Mike adds the red ball to his almost-full trophy case ominously. The Legends realize now just how high the stakes are, and it’s their turn (🎵their turn, their turn!🎵) to roll.
Sara starts off the game on a high note, but Mick is being stubborn and still won’t take his gloves off, so he bombs his turn, which pisses Spooner off to no end, and THAT pisses Astra off and she tells Sara to get her team in line. Things aren’t looking great for our intrepid heroes.
Things on the Waverider are also not looking great but in a more aesthetic way. In his desperation to keep Ava from realizing something is amiss, Gary keeps adding more to Ava’s wedding dress. More tulle, more lace, more flowers…more more.
Constantine, hopped up on his magic juice, decides that he can just will the Waverider to Earth even though Gideon told him it was dangerous/impossible. Behrad seems to be convinced that Constantine is maybe good enough for his sister, because so far no one seems to question why Constantine is acting so strange. Which feels weird, considering Constantine has been his same boring self for years; but also, there’s a lot going on and I also try to pay as little attention to Constantine as possible so I get it.
Constantine does some elemental magic to yeet the Waverider to Earth. This transition shakes the Waverider, snapping Ava from her wedding dress reverie, causing her to march out to ask what the hell is going on. When she looks out of the window of the waverider and sees nothing but endless space and one lone bowling alley…
She tells her “dumdums” to stay put while she tries to figure out what’s going on.
Next page: ARE WE LOSERS OR ARE WE LEGENDS!