Monday, May 10, 2021

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 6, Episode 2 - Meat The Legends

 For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


Plot

With Spooner on board, Ava hopes her special power can help lead them to Sara by tracking the various aliens now scattered across the timeline. This leads the Legends to San Bernardino in the 1950s, where the people are in a feeding frenzy for flesh! Meanwhile, as Zari and Behrad fight over ownership of the Air Totem, Sara finds herself marooned on an alien planet with another captain famous for becoming lost - Amelia Earhart!


Influences

The 1985 horror-comedy The Stuff (alien substance is made into addictive food) and Mothra (the alien is a giant moth monster).

Performances

Shayan Sobhian adds some real pathos to Behrad's character, making his refusal to give up the Air Totem all about him wanting one thing to separate him from his famous, rich, successful sister.

Lisseth Chavez has a much stronger showing here as Spooner Cruz than she did in the first episode. We don't learn much more about Spooner, but her bonding scene with Ava at the end does a lot to humanize her.


Artistry

The direction on this episode is truly tense and the mystery behind Big Bang's secret sauce is effectively paced.


Trivia Of Tomorrow

The episode title is a pun on Episode 502 - Meet The Legends.

The alien moth monster has the same roar as Godzilla in the classic Showa movies.

Bert Beeman refers to two brothers who are trying to steal his secrets as the "Mc...whatevers." This is a nod to the McDonald brothers, who established what is probably the most famous fast-food burger restaurant in the world, McDonald's, in 1948. Their first location was also in San Bernardino, California, although they were already franchising their business in 1955.

By the end of the episode, the Big Bang Burger chain becomes the Big Belly Burger chain. Big Belly Burger is, of course, a familiar eatery in the Arrowverse and one of the biggest fast food franchises in the original DC Comics Universe.


Technobabble/Arcana

Dragon Ash is a line of herbal supplements designed to enhance brain power, sex appeal, and sleep cycle  that Zari markets in the future.

A priblintz is an alien creature that is half-jaguar, half snake.

An apteroc is an alien creature that is also half-jaguar, half-snake, but with different parts than a priblintz. 

The Divination of Hor is a magic ritual that extracts all unwanted influences from a person, allowing you to speak to whatever has taken control of them.

The spellbook containing the Divination of Hor instructions also has a ritual to summon a trickster prawn.


Dialogue Triumphs

(The alien ship AI says something.)
Gary:
Oh, boy, that's not good.
Sara: What did Alien Gideon say?
Gary: Uh, it's a little hard to translate exactly, since in my language there are over ways to say "explode from the inside."

Zari: You know, I've been thinking, bro. It is time for us to start sharing the family heirloom.
Behrad: So you can dry your hair faster?
Zari: Ha ha. I helped defeat a god, or whatever that scary blonde lady was. I'm officially a Legend now. All I need is my super power. Here, I made a schedule.
(Zari holds up her phone. Nate and Behrad nervously look around to make sure nobody noticed.)
Behrad: Hey, hey.
Nate: Whoa, whoa.
Behrad: No one is more stoked than me to discover your powers, but the totem chose me.
Zari: No, you literally stole it.
Behrad: Mmm - Debatable.

(Behrad is working the grill in a trance-state.)
Behrad:
With this spatula comes a duty to transfer our positive energy into this burger and out to that town. If these are the vibes that you put into their food, they're gonna taste it, and if these are the vibes you bring to the mission, the totem's gonna feel it.
Zari: Oh, I get it. You're just looking for another excuse to keep the totem to yourself. I don't think it cares about my meaningless burger job.
Behrad: Meaningless? The Burger Herder was where I started to find real meaning in life, the first place where people cared about me, not 'cause I was "Dragon Girl's Brother" but because I was Behrad.
Zari: Okay, got it. So you're gonna just keep hogging the totem as payback because you were jealous of me. Super mature.
Behrad: I wasn't jealous. Are you even listening? It just felt good to have something to myself, okay?
Zari: Fine, keep the totem. You know what? Keep the spatula too. I wouldn't want to ruin anything else with my negative energy. 

(John works his ritual to purge the Big Bang Burger employee of alien influences. The young man projectile vomits a pink slime onto the ceiling of the Med Bay, which begins to drip back onto him.)
Spooner: That's some high-grade hooey.
Ava: Wait a second. I think I've seen this stuff before. Is that Big Bang Burger's secret sauce?
Spooner: Wait, don't touch that! And definitely don't eat it.
Ava: Why would I eat it?
Spooner: That's the alien.
Mick: That's the alien?
John: What, you mean they're charging 25 cents extra to eat an alien? (beat) That's kind of a bargain, really.
Spooner: That's why I was hearing it all over town 'cause everyone's got it in them.
John: Like an extra-terrestrial parasite.
Spooner: Driving this town to eat itself alive.
Ava: Okay, okay, so if that parasitic condiment is the alien, fine. Then that means you can talk to it.
Spooner: That's not how it works!
Ava: Will you just try?!
Mick: Sara's one day closer to dead, and your plan is to hunt mayo?

(Behrad, Nate and Zari try to convince Bert Beeman of the dangers of his secret sauce.)
Behrad: Once they eat it, they can't stop craving meat.
Bert Beeman: Son, that's called quality.
Nate: If you keep feeding people this, they're going to die, Bert!
Bert Beeman: Well, people don't eat burgers and fries to live longer. 

Spooner: Okay, so you're saying this lady found a cocoon oozing alien pus and thought, "let's put this on the menu"?
John: Yeah, you might not wanna look at what's in fast food these days.

(The alien has just swooped down and eaten Bert Beeman)
Spooner: (sarcastically) You wanna take it back to the ship? See if maybe I can talk to it?
Ava: Uh, yeah, light it up. 

(Spooner has just told Ava about her mom disappearing after they were abducted by aliens.)
Ava: Maybe she's...
Spooner: I had to stop thinking that way. No, hoping like that for that long, I mean, that can drive you crazy. Instead I... I gave up everything preparing for the moment I'd get to blow one of those things away, you know, but now that I've done it... I thought I'd feel something more. Now instead I just got nothing left.
Ava: I mean, you've got us.
Spooner: You mean...
Ava: If you'll stay.
Spooner: You want me to stay?
Ava: Yeah.
Spooner: I almost killed a furry. In the freezer.
Ava: We need to adjust some of your tactics a little, but...
Spooner: This thing in my head, I don't know how to control it.
Ava: Well, we can help you learn. This isn't the end for either of us, so... 
Spooner: Yeah You're right. It isn't over. There are still more aliens out there.
Ava: Exactly.
Spooner: You can still find your girlfriend.
Ava: Oh, I know we will.
Spooner: And that I just didn't shoot enough of 'em.
Ava: Wha... um, wait, wait, wait, that's...
Spooner: All right, I'm in. We're gonna keep killing aliens until you find Sara and I get some closure.
Ava: Yeah, that's not what...  Actually, that sounds like a perfect plan. 


Continuity

Spooner's connection with aliens allows her to determine if an alien is alive or dead, as she confirms the creature that bounced off the Waverider's windshield is dead.

Gideon detects an anomaly in San Bernardino, California on October 10, 1955. The entire town was killed overnight, but the violence seemed to start at Big Bang Burger - a restaurant owned by a man named Bert Beeman. The incident was dubbed the Massacre on Main Street by later historians.

Behrad tells Spooner that she doesn't seem to have any technology inside her head - at least none that Gideon can detect.

Gary's language has 70 different ways to say "explode from the inside."

Gary says they were heading for the planet Pliny X19 before the ship crashed. Beyond that, he was uncertain what Kayla's plans were.

According to Gary, he and Kayla had been hired by a power-hungry space lord who was gathering up the universe's most dangerous creatures and now they've crashed on his planet.

The unnamed alien world has 3 moons and a pink-purple tint to the sky. It also has an Earth-like atmosphere.

Sara and Gary see a dog on the alien world - one wearing a bandana.

Gary makes reference to having been fooled by cute dogs before. This is a reference to his adopting a Hellhound in 511.

Gary has a playing card deck of strong American women. Amelia Earhart is the Queen of Diamonds.

Zari markets a line of herbal supplements in the future.

Behrad once worked at a fast food joint called Burger Herder, where all the food was organic and free range.

Behrad notes that most of the meat used in 1955 contained ingredients that precluded it from legally being called beef.

Zari asks Behrad about using the Air Totem once in a while. He refuses.

Mick is listening to the radio signals from a nearby cop car. Calls come in regarding a 415 at a butcher (undefined disturbance), a 459A at Sali's Deli (alarm went off) and a 240 in the meat aisle at a nearby grocer (assault).

Spooner is revealed to know police codes.

The police ignore these calls in favor of eating more burgers.

Spooner gets a headache indicating the alien is nearby, but the signal keeps coming from all around her.

Behrad, Zari and Nate get jobs at Big Bang Burger while John, Ava, Spooner and Mick go to investigate the police calls.

Mick steals a cop car.

Nate is put to work as a car-hip while Zari and Behrad cook.

Gary says that his species doesn't have any special powers and is essentially the same as  a human, apart from having more tentacles. His species is also carbon-based.

Gary says his people are savage, killing for sport and eating their own. He also claims they have no concept of oral hygiene. 

Gary also claims that he wasn't so much engaged to Kayla as traded to her before being sent to Earth.

Gary claims that his world has no concept of birthday parties, rose water or friendship.

Gary says he took some creative license with his background so he could fit in, similar to how Charlie hid that she was once Clotho the Muse.

Gary guesses that whoever hired him has a thing for powerful women.

Ava, John and Spooner investigate the butcher shop and find one of the Big Bang Burger employees eating all the meat he can. The decide to take him back to the Waverider MedBay.

Gary says his homeworld has plants that can liquify a person and plants that can sing.

Sara and Gary follow the dog to a hut where they meet a woman who appears to be famous pilot Amelia Earhart.

As silly as it is to be proud of being good at grilling, it still means a lot to Behrad since it was the first thing that allowed him to be more than Zari's younger brother.

Gideon confirms that the Big Bang Burger employee is human, despite his setting off Spooner's alien sense.

John's magic cleansing ritual causes the employee to vomit up a mass quantity of Big Bang Burger Secret Sauce. Spooner determines this is what has been setting off her alien sense.

Spooner says her powers don't really allow her to talk to aliens so much as sense their presence and emotional state.

Zari, Behrad and Nate try to get rid of all the secret sauce at Big Bang Burger but are stopped by the owner, Bert Beeman. He relents, however, after one of his employees who really loves the food acts like a crazed zombie.

Bert reveals that his secret sauce is made by his wife, who won't even tell him what is in it.

Amelia Earthart says she isn't sure how she came to the alien world. The last thing she remembers is flying over the Pacific with her navigator, Fred. The left engine start sputtering, her plane bucked, she hit her head and when she woke up Fred was gone and she was there. At first she thought it was Heaven, but she's not sure where they are beyond the food being good.

Amelia agrees to take a look at the ship to see if she can fix it but asks Gary and Sara to stay and let her fix them dinner first as its been too long since she had company.

To Sara's annoyance, Amelia thinks she and Gary are a couple.

Spooner confirms that she can sense the alien's presence strongly from the Beeman home.

Ava confronts Bert Beeman's wife Rhonda while pretending to be a policeman's wife, new to the neighborhood.

Rhonda claims her secret ingredient is rice vinegar.

As Ava is leaving, she notices pink goo dripping from a vent in the Beemans' kitchen.

John notices a weird bumpy box in the open garage of the Beeman house. He and Spooner investigate it and find one of the alien prison pods.

Spooner discovers that she can read the alien text on the screen of the pod. It says "Giant Air Feeder."

Ava discovers a giant slime-covered cocoon in the attic of the Beeman house, just before being knockd out by Rhonda Beeman.

When Ava wakes up, Rhonda tells her about how Bert's business was failing and their marriage was in trouble until she discovered the slime from the alien cocoon tasted great to humans after it accidentally dripped onto Bert's dinner.

Ava is rescued by Spooner, who knocks out Rhonda.

Zari, Nate and Behrad are able to escape from the horde of meat-hungry customers by serving burgers laced with Zari's Dragon Ash to calm them down.

John guesses that the alien slime's purpose is to fatten up the populace around the creature once it emerges from the cocoon.

Rhonda Beeman is devoured by the alien.

Bert Beeman is also eaten by the alien, before Spooner kills it.

Ava apologizes to Spooner for being so pushy. Spooner accepts the apology and says she's sure she'd feel the same.

Ava tells Spooner that she knows what it is like to have people mess with you and be vigilant about bad things happening again.

Spooner reveals that she and her mother were abducted by aliens and she has no idea what happened to her, but she's given her up for dead.

Spooner agrees to stay with the Legends, as it will give her the chance to kill more aliens. Ava decides to just roll with this.

In the restored timeline, Big Bang Burger is taken over by Sandy Sledge, who renames it Big Belly Burger.

Behrad and Zari agree to share the Air Totem.

Somehow, an exasperated Zari 1.0 is able to clone the totem, giving Zari and Behrard their own individual bracelets. 

Amelia Earthart is revealed to be some kind of alien shape-shifter with a poisonous bite who can run forward in a brief burst of super speed. 

The episode ends with Sara poisoned, Gary panicking, and multiple light beams surrounding them - either flashlights or glowing eyes.

Location

San Bernardino, California - October 10, 1955
A So-Far Unnamed Planet


The Bottom Line

Quite possibly the weirdest episode of Legends of Tomorrow ever... and that is saying something! Still, the mystery is well-plotted and the tension well-directed, even though the whole situation is decidedly absurd and milked for how utterly ludicrous the whole thing is, from Behrad's Zen attitude towards grilling to Gary's near supernatural ability to make every bad situation worse just by talking.

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