DC’s Legends of Tomorrow – Season 7 Episode 4

Nov 4, 2021 | Posted by in TV

“Speakeasy Does It”

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow continues to navigate the 1920s with the two groups independently deciding to help those in need.

A time travel show will inevitably bring in alterations to the timeline. Sometimes they’re cataclysmic with the need to be undone and sometimes they’re in service of writing a wrong. In this case the timeline changes are in service of helping people for no other reason than them being in need of help. The potential consequences are completely ignored because making a difference in their here and now is what’s important. There are bound to be consequences but they aren’t foremost on anyone’s mind at this point.


Cutting a deal

Sara, Ava, Gary, Nate and Zari are still on the run with Sara and Ava saddled with the reputation of being notorious criminals. They need to find their way to New York but they also need to prevent themselves from being seen. A brief stop in a wig shop solves the problem temporarily but Robo-Hoover is still right behind them so disguises will only take them so far. Luckily they stumble into a Speakeasy run by the kind-hearted Eddie (Hamza Fouad) who is happy to let them lay low especially after they supply him with an unlimited quantity of whiskey to sell to his patrons. Eddie connects to Zari in particular who is impressed by his good nature, friendly demeanour and legitimate desire to help other people. The connection is forged in one scene but it’s so warm and genuine that it’s easy to accept Zari’s desire to return the favour. Her need to help is truly inspiring and allows the team to be heroic in a different way.

It all goes pear shaped for Eddie after the most successful night of his life when mobster Ross Bottoni (Sage Brocklebank) gets wind of him having another source of alcohol stock and takes it out on his face. The team feels responsible with everyone but Zari resigned to the notion of their being nothing they can due about it due to their lack of resources. Zari begs Sara to let her be in charge for 24 hours so that she has the chance to fix things; her request is granted and Zari sets about using her skills to help Eddie.

One of the strengths of this show is its ability to deploy the characters in exactly the right way. They all have unique skills that can play into the wide variety of plots the show delivers and they’re usually deployed in creative ways. In this case Zari tasks herself with throwing Eddie a fundraiser so that his future can be secured by raising enough money for him to buy his own platy free of mob interference. It’s well established that Zari built herself a successful empire with strong brand recognition so this is exactly in her wheelhouse. She uses the dimensional pocket mansion as a venue, decorates the space appropriately and arranges for the attendees to be entertained. It’s delightful to see her wandering around with a clipboard pulling it all together and being completely in charge. It’s a natural state for her and her the motivation behind this is strong.


There ain’t no party like a Zari party!

Added to this is an unexpectedly meaningful relationship discussion between Nate and Gary who discuss their unhealthy tendencies. It comes after Nate notices Gary taking a particular interest in Zari because she is fully in charge of the situation and bossing everyone around. Nate correctly picks up on the fact that Gary gets off on that citing the examples of Ava, Kayla and John prior to this. Hilariously Nate asks him if he would rather have a relationship where the other person loves him for who he is and he honestly answers that he wouldn’t. It’s left at that which makes complete sense considering his lack of desire to change that about himself at this time but it does open up the exploration of Nate’s less than ideal outlook. Specifically Gary references his relationship with 1.0 and asks very difficult questions about how Nate sees it. He suggests that Nate is drawn to doomed relationships which certainly rings true considering his relationship with Amaya could never last since she was fated to return to her own time.

I’ve mentioned in prior reviews that Nate has largely occupied the background. It does appear that the writers had gotten stuck in defining him by his doomed relationships which created a few problems around the character in terms of what stories could be told. This has been turned from a problem into an opportunity by providing content related to the fixation on those doomed relationships. Gary’s questioning around the relationship with Zari 1.0 is whether Nate actually sees it as sustainable. He calls him out on avoiding thinking about it and forces him to consider the reality of what the relationship is. When they last saw each other they didn’t break up and seemed to part on strong terms but the act of bringing up the prospect of breaking up when they were last together has planted the idea in his mind. It’s something he has clearly been ignoring and Gary helps him reach the point where he accepts that he will have to have a conversation with her about the true viability of their relationship. Fortunately he won’t have to wait too long for that as the episode ends with Zari 1.0 coming out of the totem.

Gary as emotional support for the other characters is a natural role for him. He has always been adjacent to the team but never truly part of it which hasn’t changed with his upgrade to series regular status. This is another example of a problem being turned into an opportunity as Gary’s distance from the close knit team dynamic allows him to comment on the characters in unique ways. He has been accepted as a Legend and is considered part of the team but he stops short of being truly embedded in the well cultivated group dynamic. It’s an interesting position for him to be in and it enables him to challenge the others in compelling ways. It’s showcased wonderfully here with Nate being surprised at his level of insight. Gary observes rather than being truly involved and it works brilliantly. It also foreshadows growth for Nate as he has an unhealthy pattern identified that he clearly wants to get out of. Heartbreak is something he has had a lot of experience of so his desire to find a way to break that cycle is easily understandable. Gary offering to be an ear regardless of the outcome is a heart-warming display of friendship.


The old switcharoo!

Astra, Spooner and Gideon face their own struggles trying to find their way to New York but are bailed out by the kindness of a travelling performer named Maude (Aubrey Reynolds) who recognises a group of women in need and vouches for them. After a brief conversation it becomes clear that Maude and her group are being exploited by a greedy manager with a contract that doesn’t benefit them. This is another example of using the unique skills of a character in a given situation. Astra’s administrative experience in Hell provided her with an understanding of contracts and what the terms of them actually mean for people. She talks about a lot of record executives ending up there so has extensive experience of what was done to exploit artists. She encourages Maude to fire her manager and conjures up a First Class upgrade for all of them. Not only does this make use of Astra’s particular skills, it also ties into her established desire to help those who have been wronged as well as the obvious motivation to repay a kindness. All of this reinforces that Astra is a fundamentally good person who has seen a lot of examples of people being wronged during her time in Hell. This is her chance to put some of that right and she is determined to do so.

Spooner acts as the contrarian voice for much of the episode with reminders that they can’t impact the timeline. Once Astra learns that Maude is in an abusive relationship that will soon end in her death she loses all desire to protect the timeline because she can’t let Maude end up murdered by the previously mentioned Ross Bottoni. She remembers Ross from Hell and uses that knowledge against him in a really chilling exchange where Spooner uses her powers to draw out his fear of spiders. He goes from being obnoxious and in control to terrified and subservient because of the intense terror Spooner brings out in him. It’s enough to get him to back down and leave Maude alone so Astra accomplishes her goal of protecting someone who was kind to them. Ross doesn’t come across as the prominent threat he is supposed to be which lets him down some though part of the point may have been proving that he is actually powerless. If that’s the case then it doesn’t really come across as clearly as it needs to meaning that the victory is slightly hollow. It’s a minor criticism but it does stand out.


They’re not sisters!

The impact of Maude’s survival on the timeline is barely addressed. Obviously the characters have no way of knowing if it will have major consequences but it’s very far from the point of what the episode was doing. As mentioned above Astra was repaying a kindness but she was also refusing to let someone come to harm when she was in a position to do something about it. To her that was more important than preserving the timeline and it carries weight for her because she was someone who was trapped in a horrible situation that she needed to be rescued from. She is taking what the Legends did for her and paying it forward showing real growth on her part and highlighting the ongoing theme that the Legends make each other better through association.

In contrast, Spooner still has ways to go when it comes to helping others. She talks about saving Maude being pointless because there’s no way they can do the same for every woman in an abusive relationship in this time period and if they tried then they’ve never get to where they need to be. This is accurate but misses the point entirely as Astra is only concerned about making a difference in the life of one person. Saving one person means there’s one less person being victimised and that counts for a lot. Spooner is concerned with the bigger picture which is a valid position that is ably contrasted by Astra seeing things on a more personal level. Her thinking matches Zari’s which thematically connects the two groups without having them directly interact.

Another thing that connects the two groups is the superbly edited action/musical sequence. Gideon’s singing combined with the Bullet Blondes performance and the fight against Robo-Hoover and his men is excellent. Amy Louise Pemberton once again dazzles with her vocal ability, Caity Lotz and Jes Macallan’s dancing skills are impressive and the fight choreography compliments them nicely. Even though the two groups are separated they feel linked and the whole thing is impressively stylish with having the substance delivered through the rest of the episode to back it up. It’s something that few shows can pull off and this one accomplishes it beautifully.


The satisfaction of helping


An excellent episode that connects the separated groups through acts of kindness benefiting individuals and offers major growth for many of the characters while making great use of unique skills. Zari’s motivation to help Eddie get back on his feet is clear and well established with them forging a genuine meaningful connection after only one scene together. Zari’s unique skills are deployed when she throws him a fundraiser that has her in her element and her determination to help is truly inspiring. Added to this is the meaningful relationship conversation that Nate and Gary have following Nate identifying Gary’s attraction to those who boss him around. He cites Ava, Kayla and John as prior examples of this. Hilariously Gary accepts this and has no desire to change it which alters the subject to Nate’s relationship with Zari 1.0. He points out Nate’s unhealthy attraction to doomed relationships which forces him to consider the reality of his relationship with Zari 1.0. They discussed breaking up last time they were together and decided not to but bringing it up means that the possibility is in the air. Gary’s conversation with Nate prompts him to consider avoiding inevitable heartbreak in the future and he resolves to have a conversation with Zari 1.0 about it. Nate and Gary’s contribution to this episode is a great example of turning problems into opportunities. Nate has been in the background due to a lot of his plots being around his relationships with the show now using that to provide character growth for him. Gary has always been at a distance from the team which has continued with him being upped to series regular status. This allows his perspective to be unique and for him to challenge the characters in compelling ways. His promise to be an ear for Nate regardless of the outcome is a heart-warming display of friendship as well.

Astra, Spooner and Gideon helping out the doomed performer Maude makes for a strong showcase for Astra in particular. Her background is used brilliantly to justify her having knowledge of how contracts work and identifying how they exploit artists. When learning that Maude will soon be murdered she works to prevent it. In part it’s about repaying the kindness that Maude showed them but it’s also about paying forward the opportunity she was given by the Legends to escape an awful situation. The consequences to the timeline are barely addressed which makes sense as it’s about doing what they can to help someone in need. By contrast Spooner’s thinking is more around the big picture which shows that she still has ways to go in terms of understanding how she can help others. She does go along with Astra’s plan and use her powers to terrify Ross Bottoni thanks to Astra’s knowledge of him from Hell. It’s a chilling scene but it’s let down slightly by Ross not being a significant enough threat. The point may have been to prove that he actually has no power but it doesn’t come across clearly enough. Taking the time to help an individual in need connects the separated groups on a thematic level. Another connection can be found in the excellently executed musical/action sequence. The three component parts combine wonderfully and it’s pulled off with impressive style that contains depth brought on by the rest of the episode. Very few shows could pull this off and it’s pulled off beautifully here.

  • 9/10
    Speakeasy Does It - 9/10


Kneel Before…

  • establishing a bond between Zari and Eddie very quickly
  • Zari’s unique skills being perfectly deployed to solve a particular problem
  • the meaningful relationship discussions between Nate and Gary
  • turning the problems created around Nate and Gary’s contributions to the show into opportunities
  • Astra looking to pay forward the opportunity the Legends gave her to escape an awful situation
  • a strong example of growth for Astra through her desire to repay a kindness
  • using Astra’s unique skills
  • identifying that Spooner has ways to go in her outlook
  • the chilling sequence where Ross Bottoni’s fear is exploited
  • the brilliantly executed musical/action sequence


Rise Against…

  • Ross Bottoni failing to come across as threat he needs to be


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User Review
9.5/10 (1 vote)

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