++ Legends of Tomorrow 2.08, "The Chicago Way"
Perhaps it's because of my recent interest with the 1920s thanks to Fantastic Beasts (and previously with Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries), but I had been waiting for Legends to go into this particular era for a while now, and when this episode was announced that they would I was so thrilled. Mostly because I was already planning crossovers and this just added more plotbunnies into my head, but I digress.
The mid-season finale brought the team not just to Chicago in 1927, but to what the Speedster may be planning and why he needed assistance of Damien Darkh and now the added addition of Malcolm Merlyn. The need of the amulet that the team stole earlier in the season was for a bigger plot, something we have yet delve into and I'm curious on where this may lead to.
As for the team themselves, I really love everyone and their dynamic. It took some time to get used to the whole new setup, but I've been loving seeing Sara take up leadership of the team and basically becoming the "mom" of the entire group. This episode solidified that because she fully acknowledged her role not just with the team having become her family, but also that despite the traumas she had faced in the past, they made her who she is now and she wouldn't change or trade that for anything. Not even if it meant that she would be saving her sister from the horrible fate she befell, something she's been wanting to do ever since learning who did it in the first place. Sara is someone who is hurting and who has sometimes acted without thinking, but overall knows where she stands, knows where she belongs, and she has found a home and a place among the rest of her time traveling companions.
I'm actually really loving the dynamic between Amaya and Mick. Unlike last season with the seemingly random and unnecessary Ray/Kendra relationship, this unlikely partnership is happening quite organically, and is a slow-burn. They started off disliking and not trusting each other, but are slowly warming up to one another, and it's fascinating to watch.
I found Mick's hallucination of Leonard Snart interesting. While there are plenty of theories surrounding on what this means, I think it's more of Mick introspecting something part of himself than anything, since Snart was a huge aspect of who he was. Mick probably has feelings of guilt, probably confused on his growing affection for Amaya (whether it's romantic or just mere friendship and fondness) and he's still not over losing his best friend, and this hallucination is more or less his own subconscious battling these conflicted feelings. Why it appeared when he was getting closer to Amaya than with the rest of the team, I don't know, but it's rather interesting nonetheless. Granted, this is just my own guess since I haven't read any spoilers suggesting otherwise.
Also, just seeing Snart again made me sad. I miss him so much. :(
I knew sooner of later the truth about Martin's daughter would have to come out, and I'm glad that he at least confessed it to Sara. And she was rightfully upset and called him out on his hypocrisy when he told her not to do the very thing he actually did, even accidentally. Though that didn't last long since she understood that it was, in fact, an accident that he didn't foresee until it was too late. And now he views his adult daughter, who didn't exist not too long ago, as though she has been there in his life the entire time because of the memories that have been pouring into his mind. When he first found this out he knew that it was a mistake and at first wanted to fix it and erase her before things got even more screwed up, but the more he thought about it and spent time with her and the new memories that appeared, the more he couldn't bring himself to undo what had been done. It reminds me so much of the fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with Dawn, she might not have existed prior and only been recently created with implanted memories, but those memories are still real. She is real. And that is the exact situation that is happening with Martin's daughter, Lily.
But I'm worried since now the Speedster knows that Martin has a daughter, though not by name, that somehow he might use her as leverage in the future, which may cause bigger problems.
And of course the mid-season finale ends with a cliffhanger that Rip Hunter is still alive! Whee!
Marvel's Agents of SHIELD: Slingshot
I loved this webseries so much. While short, it was absolute perfection from beginning to end.
This focuses entirely on Elena Rodriguez, her becoming a member of SHIELD underneath the new director and the conflict which may arise considering her lack of trust in him, and the mission she needed to accomplish to get justice for the death of her cousin. I loved how it was all structured, starting and ending in present day with the rest of it being centered on a huge flashback to before the season started. I loved that we saw Elena interacting with most of the team at least once. I absolutely loved the dynamic between Daisy and Elena, and how this showed when they began getting into contact with each other when Daisy was on her own hunting down the Watchdogs. I loved that Coulson gave her Peggy Carter's emblem pin, so fitting and lovely. I loved seeing more of Elena/Mack. I loved seeing Elena breaking the rules and doing her own thing, and when May caught her she scolded her sloppiness, but instead of turning her own she helped her out to complete her personal mission.
Ugh, I just loved everything about this. It is absolutely complementary to the show in every way, from the sets and the effects, just in a shorter format.
And this is why a webseries was a smart choice. I know that Marvel has been trying to get some kind of spin-off happening, but I feel like an entirely separate television show would be a high risk because it would depend heavily on ratings. Webisodes have proven to be more successful at telling a confined storyline in a shorter amount of time, plus it allows more screentime of certain characters that wouldn't otherwise have it. Here, we got some of her story, her motivations, focusing on her character separately from everything else going on, while the main players were merely supporting. And I really like that format, and I want more of it. More of Elena, possibly more of other supporting characters like Robbie, or other Inhumans. Hell, they could even bring back Bobbi and Hunter since their anticipated spin-off didn't take off.
For those Agents of Shield fans who haven't checked out the Slingshot webseries, I highly recommend it. While it is very short, only six episodes and none of them that long, it is so incredibly good. It's both a stand-alone and a wonderful companion piece to the series.
++ The Sense8 Christmas special trailer came out, and it just looks absolutely amazing. Seeing these characters again, I can't wait for all the feels that will occur. We may have to wait until May of next year for the second season, but at least we'll have this two-hour special to give us something until then. It is still rather sad that they replaced the first actor who portrayed Capheus, while I'm sure the new actor will do a good job regardless, it is pretty big shoes to fill for a role already established and beloved by fans. We'll just have to wait and see.