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Mick and Kayla prove uneasy allies as they pilot the Waverider in search of Sara, but they will need to depend on each other to survive the wilds of deep space. Meanwhile, as the Legends try to deal with another alien attack in 1956, Sara tries to endear herself to her captor, only to learning something even more disturbing about the mysterious Bishop.
Max Headroom (visual effects of Gideon on the old TV), Aliens (the fight scenes between Spooner and "Amelia", the general appearance of the Zagurons and the line about Zagurons mostly coming out at night) and the general science-fiction tropes involving the humanity of clones and the questions regarding the ethics of cloning, vis a vis individuality and the soul.
It's a minor point, but one wonders, if Bishop can truly copy a person down to their mental impulses, why is he bothering trying to win over Sara Lance instead of making a copy of her and programming the copy to be a little more agreeable, like he did with all the AVAs. (Presumably he's lying about this point?)
Shayan Sobhian usually doesn't get much to do beyond be the comic relief, but he does get a great moment in this episode with Behrad's reaching out to Spooner about how he copes with the insanity of being a time-traveling hero... beyond his edibles and pizza.
Caity Lotz does some fantastic silent acting in the final scene, as the horror builds to the realization of just what is under the blanket in Bishop's lab.
The horror movie elements of Spooner handling the "Amelia" alien are brilliantly executed.
Trivia Of Tomorrow
The episode's title is take from a classic chess maneuver, as well as a pun on the name of the series' villain.
Reference is made to the alien that was bonded with Amelia Earhart also claiming to be Mary Pickford and Marion Davies. The former was a famous silent movie actress. The latter was another classic Hollywood actress, who became better known as the mistress of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst than her film work.
According to Bishop, in his time, DNA can be mapped and cloned and every data point in the brain can be likewise mapped and cloned, allowing someone to be recreated, body and mind.
An electrostatic barrier on Bishop's planet contains an artificial atmosphere while the whole planet is undergoing terraforming. Most organic creatures cannot survive outside the barrier.
Mick takes a rebreather with him, despite being told the atmosphere on Bishop's planet is safe. This turns out to be a wise idea, given what happens later when the electrostatic barrier is dropped.
Spooner's anti-alien security system includes pumiliotoxin-tipped darts.
Gary's species can compress their bodies through small openings, like an octopus.
John knows a spell that can take the memories from other people but he's only ever worked it on humans.
Bishop modified the pain receptors of his clone body so he feels less pain than a normal human.
(Bishop has just walked in on Sara, revealing that he isn't dead.)
Sara: But I just killed you!
Bishop: It's a delicious little mystery for you to turn over in that pretty little head. Isn't it, Sara Lance?
Sara: No, you're dead.
Bishop: You're not the only one who's flirted with death.
Bishop: (sing-song) You'll never guess in a billion years!
Sara: You're a clone.
Bishop: (disappointed) Okay, yes. You got it.
(Kayla notices the Waverider taking off.)
Kayla: Hey! I was gonna steal that!
(John and Zari are returning to his house from breakfast.)
John: Oh, nice one, love. You know, I thought I was gonna go batty in this madhouse.
(John looks up in the foyer. There is now a sign which reads "Welcome To Shady Acres Sanitarium." hanging on the balcony steps.)
John: What in the bloody blazes has happened now?!
Spooner: For the record, Captain, this plan is stupid. Look, I say we go right in there and talk to it.
(There's a long pause. Everyone, especially Ava, looks surprised.)
Spooner: Yeah, that's right, turned a new leaf. Maybe I'm not a shoot first, ask questions kinda gal.
Ava: That's great, Spooner. You're working on yourself. I am impressed.
Spooner: Yeah. Why just splat them when you can find out their deepest fears and exploit them?
Astra: Hm, Spooner, now I'm impressed.
Nate: (quietly) That was dark.
Behard: Let me tell you a secret. It's the only way I survive in this job. Don't think about your past, and don't think about your future. You have to live in the now. I know it seems crazy to say in a time machine, but the past and the future don't really exist. There's only right here and right now.
(Astra just lied to Zari to cover up John's lost power.)
John: Nice one. Can't have everyone in this world and below knowing that I'm disarmed.
Astra: Yeah, well, now you really owe me.
(The two sigh together and collapse on the couch.)
Bishop: We're putting our pasts behind us. Fresh start!
Sara: I meant, let's get to know each other, not let's kill each other's friends!
(Spooner growls menacingly at "Amelia." The subtitles read "Let's talk.")
Sara: Now see, this is what you got wrong about me. Every scar on my body is a memory, a lesson that I learned in blood. And it's what makes me who I am. And I don't forget any of it. Now, we've both faced death. We've both died before. The difference is I learned from my scars, and you? You've just forgotten yours.
Bishop: But, Sara, I don't see any scars on you.
(Sarah looks at him and then past him, to what appears to be a dead body on a table behind him. Sara walks over and sees a hand trailing from under the blanket A hand wearing her rings. Sara clasps her own hand in shock as she realizes she doesn't have her jewelry. Reluctantly, Sara approaches the table and pulls back the blanket, finding a corpse that appears to be her corpse)
Bishop: Oh! There are those scars. On the dead body of the real Sara Lance.
Bishop is revealed to have survived Sara's effort to kill him in 605 by downloading his mind into a clone body. Unlike the many AVAs, there is only one of Bishop at any given time.
The alien Mick teamed with in 604 is confirmed to be Kayla - Gary's fiancée.
Kayla drank all the booze on the Waverider and reportedly was drinking from 8 bottles at a time.
Kayla insists on finding her ship before helping Mick to recue Sara.
Behrad orders a dozen pizzas at John's house.
John does not own a modern TV, requiring Ava hook Gideon up to an older television set with a cathode ray tube from 1974.
Spooner set up an anti-alien security system inside John's house and tells him to stay off the black tiles.
Zari took John's tea to make a skincare treatment.
Nate starts playing John's old guitar without asking.
Zari takes John out for a traditional British breakfast to calm his nerves, promising him baked beans, black pudding and bubble and squeak.
Kayla determines her ship needs a new fuel cell.
Kayla's ship was a gift from her mother for her 300th birthday (i.e. rotation).
Mick is captured by the AVA Clone soldiers.
Kayla notices the Waverider being stolen.
Gideon reports an alien-related anomaly at the Endless Meadows Asylum in Hunter, New York, in 1956. A woman was admitted to the hospital who turned out to be an alien, who massacred everyone else. Curiously, she gave the name Sara Lance when she was checked in.
The alien's victims had sting marks and exploded hearts.
Nate, Ava and Spooner go to 1956 to find the alien and get to her before she is scheduled to undergo electro shock treatment.
"Sara Lance" also goes by the names Mary Pickford, Marion Davies and Amelia Earhart.
"Sara Lance" is revealed to be the Amelia Earhart alien who poisoned Sara in 603.
Zari's preferred pizza is gluten-free mushroom.
Behrad and Spooner go to question "Amelia," using good cop/bad cop tactics.
Gary is able to sneak into Sara's cell using the sewer pipes.
Sara tells Gary to get her a replacement fuel cell for their ship and that she will find her own way out of Bishop's compound.
Spooner doesn't feel any alien thoughts coming from "Amelia" but says that's probably due to her being strung out on Quaaludes.
Kayla spies Gary trying to steal a fuel cell while she's in the middle of doing the same thing. She does nothing as Gary is captured by the AVA soldiers.
"Amelia" says the last thing she remembers is landing her plane by her old house in Rye, New York, at 37 Locust Street.
Ava and Nate go to Rye, New York in 1956 and discovered the Waverider, cloaked and parked.
Sara attempts to play friendly with Bishop, resulting in her getting her hands freed and him inviting her to dinner with him later.
Spooner slips some caffeine pills into the tea Behrad fixed for "Amelia" to speed up her recovery.
An angry Ava disrupts the interview, causing "Amelia" to change into an alien and frenzy. Luckily, Spooner has tranquilizer darts ready.
One of Bishop's AVA Clones dresses in flowery 60s dresses and makes great cannoli.
Bishop is informed of Mick Rory's capture. He orders the atmospheric barrier to be taken down for an hour to kill the rescue team..
The AVA soldiers tie Mick to a tree and leave him for dead when they realize the barrier has dropped.
Kayla is revealed to have retrieved the power cell, but begins to hyperventilate as the atmosphere dissipates.
John asks for Astra to work the memory spell instead of him, to cover up that he lost most of his magic power in 605.
Astra determines that "Amelia" is a hybrid being made from the real Amelia Earhart and a Zaguron. She senses what seem like real memories of Amelia being abducted by an alien craft while flying over the Pacific Ocean. There are also memories of being experimented on, changed, escaping, being ostracized, feeling alone and struggling to survive. She also has a flash of Amelia meeting Sara before coming to a firewall she can't cross.
"Amelia" almost breaks free at that point, roused by memories of breaking free of bondage and hunting.
Spooner reflexively speaks back to "Amelia" in her own language.
According to Spooner, Gideon's synthetic Mezcal tastes like high-grade toilet water.
Behrad doesn't drink Mezcal but does think Gideon makes an amazing blueberry kush.
Behrad copes with the insanity of being a hero by focusing on the here and now.
Mick is able to saw through the ropes and escape.
Gary saves one of the AVAs who was left for dead outside.
The other AVAs seem oddly attracted to Gary.
Nate apparently destroyed John's guitar.
Zari senses that John is lying about something. When she confronts him on this, he lie and says he's just upset about the Legends moving into his space.
When Zari calls John on this, Astra covers for him and says that John let her do the memory spell instead of him because he owed her one and she was tired of playing second fiddle.
Mick stumbles across Kayla and the two share the rebreather to try and get back to the ship carrying the fuel cell together.
Bishop tells Sara about Mick Rory coming to their planet and how he's probably dead by now.
Sara beats the ever-loving snot out of Bishop.
Kayla identifies her species as Necrians. She says that her people have learned to be smart and practical over the years.
Mick shares Kayla's view of humanity being cowards, liars, cheats, frauds and idiots but says that Sara Lance is different, which is why he has to save her.
"Amelia" reaches out to Spooner.
Zagurons typically flee from light and swarm their prey.
Mick and Kayla hide in a pod to escape from the Zagurons. They wind up making out.
Amelia confirms fighting Sara Lance and claims to have killed her.
Ava shoots Amelia when it seems she's about to kill her.
Sara tells Bishop that's defined by her struggles and scars and that isn't something Bishop's science can copy. This leads Bishop to say he doesn't see any scars on Sara.
The episode ends with Sara realizing she's not wearing her rings... but a dead body in Bishop's lab is. This suggests that Sara really did die from the poison back in 605 and had her memories implanted into a clone body.
Northumberland County, UK - 2021
Hunter, New York - 1956
Rye, New York - 1956
Bishop's Private Planet - Time Unknown
The Bottom Line
A bit all over the place with all the subplots coming together. Some parts seemed rushed, such as the sequence of the legends taking over Constantine's house. It is more than made up for by the last five minutes, however, in which Bishop becomes far more than just another spazzy billionaire bad-boy and the body horror elements of the season's storyline are cranked to 11.