Fandom Report: “Lucifer” has its best episode yet–and “Legends of Tomorrow” doesn’t

Remember when I reviewed DC TV shows on a consistent basis?

Legends of Tomorrow

Holy Chocos, what is Legends of Tomorrow turning into?

Helen of Troy ends up in 1930s Hollywood–because.

Helen either has magic that entices men, or men are all stupid. The show opts to have men be stupid, because it’s hilarious to have the female characters mock the men as just over-sexed fools. And it’s not like a man would, I don’t know, happen to not be attracted to a specific person, especially if they aren’t straight.

And all in a week when a showrunner on the DC on CW shows is outed for sexual harassment.

At least Legends avoids lapsing into lazy characterization to reduce Sara down to just her sexuality: she doesn’t have any infatuation with Helen, not even a moment of treating getting Helen back to Troy as anything but a mission. Good work.

The B-plot is that Jax and Stein somehow switched bodies. You get to hear Jax sound like Stein and Stein…try to sound like Jax. It’s all kinds of unfortunate acting–and a running gag that Stein is old and has to urinate a lot, culminating with Ray and Hank telling Mick that when he defecates to flush this time–because let’s take the one funny character, Mick, have him say something needless, then have Ray and Hank try to out-bro each other.

And now that Helen is a famous actor in Hollywood, she ends up landing a role meant for Hedy Lamarr, who then never becomes famous to develop scientific advancements all because she is not scouted by Warner Bros–

Hang on.

In our world, Hedy Lamarr was scouted by MGM, not Warner Bros. In fact, the only interaction I know of between Lamarr and Warner Bros is when she threatened to sue Warner Bros because Mel Brooks’s Blazing Saddles did a running joke about her name–because pettiness.

Oh, and Warner Bros owns most of the MGM library from the 1930s, so the producers just erase the history of MGM and replaces it all with Warner Bros logos–because synergy.

And Helen keeps complaining how she doesn’t want to be an object of men’s desires, so Vixen hands her a knife and tells her to protect herself, which she uses to stab Vixen’s future granddaughter to make her flee. Zari is so impressed that, rather than send Helen back to Troy to die in that battle, she takes her to “an island of warrior women where no men are allowed.”

Now, see, a good show would just let that be it: it’s Themyscira. That’s really cool. We know what it is. Reward the audience for knowing what we’re seeing, to know that the Amazons are in this continuity, that Wonder Woman is out there, and don’t–

Then the WaveRider puts in big letters at the end of the episode “Themyscira.” Because this show thinks its viewers are idiots.

Oh, and Dahrk is still on the show, and the writers cannot write him well. As with the Themyscira reveal, the writers don’t know how to end a line. Dahrk pretends to be a Hollywood agent. He then reveals he isn’t. His line is “I’m something far worse than a Hollywood agent.”

There. That line is enough–we get the joke: agents are evil, he’s more evil than that. It’s a dumb line, but it’s funny.

Then they ruin it by adding, “If that’s possible.”

The line was fine as it is.

Why do these kinds of action-based shows insist on adding lines that aren’t needed?

And next week’s episode is about Grodd ending up in the midst of the Vietnam War…and Ray actually saying he always wanted to go to Vietnam, as if anyone ever wanted to go into that awful war. What terrible writing and terrible characterization. And I don’t know whether to be happy that an episode about Grodd in the Vietnam War wasn’t titled “Gorilla Warfare” or be angry that the episode is titled “Welcome to the Jungle.”

Lucifer

In contrast, watch Lucifer. Yes, the titular character in this week’s episode was dense–and it suited not only the plot, the comedy, but also his character’s self-centeredness. If just for the ending alone, “Off the Record,” teleplay by Chris Rafferty and Mike Costa, story by Jen Graham Imada, was one of the best episodes I have seen from that show and in television. As well, the episode is another great analysis of the toxic masculinity in the “nice guy” trope.

I am annoyed that an episode of Lucifer that involved Linda’s life and backstory largely made her the desired object–Reese wants to reconcile with her, and Lucifer, not for bad reasons, wants to keep her safe. Therefore, I hope the show does more with her, especially as this episode also felt like a re-write of her initial characterization and relationship with Lucifer to ret-con or overcome unfortunate portrayals.

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