Monday, May 17, 2021

Legends of Tomorrow: Season 6, Episode 3 - The Ex-Factor

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


Plot


The Legends travel to 2045, where, in order to save the Earth from an alien warlord, Zari must enter a popular singing competition. As she and John try to figure out if their casual fling is still casual, Ava and Spooner stage an intervention for Mick, as Sara struggles to find a refuge in a bad place while chasing a familiar face..


Influences

Reality shows with singing competitions (particularly The X Factor and The Masked Singer), The Terminator (sequence from Lord Knoxicrillion's view-point in opening scene), The Hunger Games (Zari's transforming dress design in her first peformance), Thor: Ragnarok (evoked by Nate as what probably happened to Sara in space), Men In Black (Lord Knoxicrillion is revealed to be a tiny alien in an armored suit) and The Mandalorian (design of Lord Knoxicrillion looks a bit like Baby Yoda)

Performances

Tala Ashe rocks her musical numbers. No pun intended.


Artistry

The production design of this entire episode is top-notch. Costumes, Lighting. Design. Everything looks like it came from a futuristic reality show. The best aspect, however, is the music.


Trivia Of Tomorrow

At one point, Behrad asks Lord Knoxicrillion if they can hitch a ride back to his home planet with a Space Cabbie. Space Cabbie was the hero of a reoccurring series in the Silver Age science fiction anthology Mystery From Space, who was indeed a cabbie who flew through space in the 22nd century. The character is probably best known today for being played by Patton Oswalt in several episodes of the animated series Justice League Action.


Technobabble/Arcana

The rules of Da Throne allow for a Golden Buzzer, which automatically takes one contender to the semi-finals if they impress the judge. There is also a Wild Card entry - a secret celebrity performer who is introduced after all the other competitors have performed.

Behrad's living space had a citrine crystal which he was using to manifest abundance. 

Lord Knoxicrillion says that their species use crystals to procreate, though this is a rough translation of something that does not translate directly into English. Despite this, Lord Knoxicrillion's species does not follow a binary gender construct and all of their people carry and bear children.

Lord Knoxicrillion's technology is superior to that of the Waverider and they are able to walk through the force-field of the big without issue and senses it from several miles away when Mick activates the Waverider's weapons in the hopes of catching him off-guard.

Lord Knoxicrillion claims their armor is resistance to thermonuclear weapons.

John knows a spell that can set things on fire. He activates it by saying "Ignis."

Lord Knoxicrillion synthesizes their singing voice from the voices of 500,000 of Earth's greatest vocalists.


Dialogue Triumphs

Nate: I don't know what's more surprising: an alien attacking Zara's ex-boyfriend, or the fact that network TV still exists. 

(Johm, Zari and Behrad walk past a display showing a picture of  DJ S'more Money.)
John: 
That's your ex? (scoffs)
Zari: Jealous?
John: Oh, of some life-size s'more who judges some soulless singing competition? Real musicians don't compete to win over the masses with mediocre, autotune drivel, love.
Behrad: Spoken like a former punk guitarist. 

Zari (regarding John) Ignore him. He thinks dour people have more depth.

Spooner: Okay, so how exactly is Zari throwing her head in the ring in this circus supposed to put the kibosh on alien invasion?
Ava: Uh, we're kind of a Swiss Army knife operation. Every Legend has a utility. So when you've got a social influencer from the future, you go with it, and you hope that being a triple threat is still a thing. 
Spooner: Looks like you know how to handle your team. (chuckles) Except Rory.
Ava: Yeah, well, he's a special case.
Spooner: Yeah, back home, dealt with guys like him all the time. You give them an inch, they'll take your truck. And your virginity. 

Gary: A planet full of Ava clones?
(Gary looks to the heavens and wails.)
Gary:
Noooooooooooo! Why did you taste so good? 

Zari: What the hell was that?
John: You know, I could ask you the same thing, couldn't I?
Zari: What are you talking about? You just embarrassed me in front of the entire world.
John: Oh, that's what you care about, isn't it? Trending, on bloody Chit-Chat
Zari: Cat-Chat!
John: Admit it, come on, you're using this mission to get back on top.
Zari: I can save my home and my business, and let's not pretend like we all haven't been caught up in your personal drama before.
John: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm a bastard, but at least I admit it. You'd rather be fake for the cameras than real when it counts.
Zari: This isn't real, Oh, yeah. remember? We're not together. Just the way we both like it.
John: You know, it is really difficult to keep straight what's real anymore. But try this one on for size, all right? I am done!

(The team is celebrating their victory.)
Ava: I never doubted you for an instant.
Spooner: I sure as hell did.
Zari: Well, I couldn't have done it without my team; my fashion guru, Behrad, Nate, on hair, and, of course...
(Zari smiles at John.)
Zari: ... my boyfriend.
(Ava looks stunned as John chuckles a bit.)
John:
Now, there's a word to make lesser men wilt. 
(John takes the drink from Zari's hand and then takes her hand. The two walk off somewhere more private.)
Zari: Scared?
John: Terrified.
Zari: Me too. 


Continuity

A humanoid creature in advanced armor walks into a convenience store in Palm Springs, California in 2045. After scanning the inhabitants, it demands to be taken to the leader of Earth before spying a magazine with a picture of DJ S'more Money and the headline "The King Defends His Crown."

The clerk and a kid buying a sugary drink tell the alien about DJ S'more Money and how he used to date Zari 2.0 before she mysteriously disappeared. They also tell him that DJ S'more Money is now hosting a reality singing show in Hollywood.

The public thinks Zari 2.0 is in rehab. 

The alien intends to challenge DJ S'more Money to a duel to the death.

John is a big fan of The Buzzcocks - a British punk group.

Zari had never heard The Buzzcocks before hearing their music while she and John were getting cozy in his house.

Zari asks if John chose the album for any particular reason as the song that's playing is "Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)"

Zari has four phones - a personal line, a business line, a phone for all the Persian guys her mother tries to set her up with and one for emergencies.

Behrad brings Zari her emergency phone with a call from her personal assistant Les-Lay, who tells her that DJ S'more Money was just killed by an alien and they need to plan what she's wearing to the funeral.

Les-Lay first appeared in 505.

In the altered future, DJ S'more Money was killed during a live broadcast of Da Throne - a popular reality show that is, according to Behrad, single-handedly keeping network TV alive in 2045.

The alien identifies themself as Lord Knoxicrillion.

Mick has apparently gone so long without showering that John thinks he stinks.

Mick expresses his dissatisfaction with the mission to save Zari's ex-boyfriend and asks why they aren't out in space trying to find Sara.

Ava says space is way too big to search randomly and the only lead they have is the aliens Sara released.

Ava asks Mick to QB the mission and show Spooner the ropes. Mick refuses and says he is taking the day off.

Nate evokes Thor: Ragnarok and says that Sara is probably kicking alien ass wherever she is and they're chanting her name in an arena.

Sara is still poisoned after the attack by the Amelia Earhart alien in 602.

Sara is too weak to fight and tells Gary he'll have to protect her.

When Gary says he doesn't really know how to fight, Sara points out that Kayla was able to easily kill Spartacus without fighting in 601.

Sara tells Gary about how she had to do many things she wasn't comfortable with to survive, making a vague reference to her time with the League of Assassins.

Behrad says that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was President in 2044 and that, for an old guy, he can still get down.

Nate asks if John Cena is the Chief of Staff, but does not get an answer.

Zari draws a crowd, allowing Ava, Nate and Behrad to sneak into the studio where Da Throne is filmed.

Ava, Nate and Behard watch a female singer named Saucey perform a suggestive number which is dismissed by DJ S'more Money.

Saucey apparently slept with DJ S'more Money the night before.

Nate and Behrad are able to stop Lord Knoxicrillion from killing DJ S'more Money. This is presumed to be part of the performance, and DJ S'more Money gives him the Gold Buzzer, taking him directly to the semi-finals. 

Mick has three rules for working with him on a Legends mission. The first is to stay out of his way. The second is not to unpack because the Waverider is a revolving door. The third is to remember that he always drinks while on the job.

Ava lures Lord Knoxicrillion into the Waverider brig by pretending to be a producer escorting him to the green room.

Spooner took over the den which Behrad set up for himself in the corner of the Waverider lab.

Lord Knoxicrillion says that they were abducted from their home planet and crashed in the California desert 18 hours earlier. 

Lord Knoxicrillion says their primary directive is to conquer new planets by challenging their rulers to death duels. Despite this, he is content to honor Earth custom and win the planet by competing on "Da Throne," before summoning his armada to take control of the Earth.

Les-Lay informs Zari that her business is failing because she's been out of the spotlight for too long and she needs to do something bit to save her brand.

John sets DJ S'more Money's helmet on fire after he insults Zari.

Zari tells her followers that she is the Wild Card contestant on the new season of "Da Throne."

Zari is pitted against Neon Thrills - a  twin sister duo with a K-pop theme.

Gary attacks the forces that were surrounding them, which are revealed to be soldiers with lght-mounted head-sets on their armor.

While Gary is fighting the soldiers, Sara sees Ava in the forest, watching her before walking off. Sara follows after her.

Gary realizes, to his horror, that the soldiers he was fighting and eating are Ava clones.

Nate, Behrad and Les-Lay take John off to give him a makeover so that he can appear with Zari on TV to try and win the audience over with a story about their love.

Zari and Behrad's mom shows up to grill Zari on why she is dating a street magician.

Zari tells her mother that things with John aren't serious and it is just a fling. Unbeknownst to her, John is around the corner hearing every word of this.

John complains that after his makeover he looks like Criss Angel.

Zari lies during her interview and says she's been spending the last year traveling around the world visiting historical sites. She says that she met John while at a snowga retreat on a glacier and she first noticed him because of his perfect scorpion pose. She also says John is minor royalty.

John gets fed up with Zari's act and walks out in the middle of the interview.

DJ S'more Money offers Zari a female empowerment anthem that is guaranteed to win her the contest.

The Ava Sara follows tries to lead her into a cave, but Sara knocks her out, having realized she's an Ava Clone.

Lord Knoxicrillion says he is from the planet Arkana.

Lord Knoxicrillion says that he came to Earth after being ambushed by a feared gangster named Kayla, who had what Earth people would term "a face with chicken wings on it."

Rory learned a few of the secret commands Rip Hunter programmed into the Waverider.  One of them, Matador's Last Strike, activates all the weapons.

Lord Knoxicrillion senses the Matador's Last Strike and threatens to destroy the Earth unless the contest continues.

Ava has it out with Mick and says she's sick of his attitude.

Ava says that she misses Sara too but Mick needs to get it together or get off the ship.

Lita has apparently left for college and isn't returning Mick's calls.

Smocking cigarettes is now completely illegal in 2045.

Les-Lay reveals that she intentionally tries to make Zari miserable, as it is better for her brand when she isn't happy. She reveals that she slept with DJ S'more Money  and leaked the photos of the affair on-line because it built up sympathy for Zari.

DJ S'more Money offers Lord Knoxicrillion the same song he gave Zari.

Nate, Behrad and John discover what DJ S'more Money did. 

Behrad knocks DJ S'more Money out and Nate replaces him during the final round.

Zari performs "Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)" with John playing guitar to accompany her.

Zari wins the competition and Lord Knoxicrillion pledges his fealty to her.

John and Zari officially become boyfriend and girlfriend.

Rory steps on Lord Knoxicrillion and argues that they should be looking for Kayla rather than the aliens Sara released. 

Ava agrees to give that a try after Rory draws a sketch of Kayla based on Lord Knoxicrillion's description.

The episode ends with Sara finding a man who says he's been waiting for a long time for her, while listening to the Space Girl song David Bowie wrote about her.  Though he is not named, this character is Bishop.


Location

Palm Springs, California - 2045
Northumberland County, UK - 2021
Hollywood, California - 2045


The Bottom Line

Another great episode with a lot of laughs. Great character moments. Great production values. Great songs. The only real weak spot is the fractured scenes with Sara, but hopefully there will be a good pay off next week. 

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