DC's Legends of Tomorrow --"Abominations"-- Image LGN204b_0318.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): John Churchill as General Ulysses S. Grant, Nick Zano as Nate Heywood and Caity Lotz as Sara Lance/White Canary -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Television & Film

Recap: The LEGENDS OF TOMORROW Afterschool Special on How Slavery Was Bad. And Zombies.

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Episodes 204 “Abominations”
Written by Marc Guggenheim & Ray Utarnachitt
Directed by Michael Allowitz

It’s the last show to get its Afterschool Special episode, so let’s get it out of the way, shall we? The team intercepts a distress call from a time pirate who crashes in Mississippi 1863, smack dab in the middle of the Civil War. And he’s got a pathogen that turns people into zombies.

Oh, and slavery is bad.

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After destroying the pirate’s escape pod, the team searches for the escaped time pirate (Ian Hanlin), who apparently might be dead by the time we catch up to 1863? He attacks a group of Confederate soldiers, and we never see him again. So let’s assume he’s at least mostly dead after crashing. But at least he got the TX-90 out of the year 2235, so that’s something, right?

Meantime, we find Professor Stein (Victor Garber) and Jefferson (Franz Drameh) listening to Future Barry Allen’s warning message again, only as an audience, we still don’t get to hear it. Because of spoilers… They’re contemplation of the Very Bad Thing is interrupted by the time beacon that pulls the team to 1863, where they encounter Henry Scott (Warren Belle), spy for the Union Army and target of opportunity for the zombie horde chasing him right across the path of the Time Team. Fisticuffs ensue, in which Scott is impaled on a bayonet. His mission was to infiltrate a Southern plantation home, steal Confederate marching orders, and get them to General Ulysses S. Grant (John Churchill).

Jax has a mission to complete. (Katie Yu/The CW)
Jax has a mission to complete. (Katie Yu/The CW)

So Jax takes it upon himself to finish Scott’s mission, because the alternative is for the South to win the Civil War. He and Amaya (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) head to the plantation while Sara (Caity Lotz) and Nate (Nick Zano) — ahem, “Colonel Sanders” — travel to General Grant’s camp, where there’s a rather fun discussion of zombies, which at this point in history haven’t become an ordinary run-of-the-cider-mill thing yet (would that it were still true…). Grant has a hard time believing anything these two nuts are saying until Sara goes out, easy as you please, and comes back with a zombie head. Plunk. On the table.

Now, Sara and Nate came in as prisoners. Why in the world would Sara be able to walk right back out without so much as a backwards glance? And then when she came back carrying the head of a Confederate soldier? Come on… goofballery prevails!

Not just a pretty face... (Katie Yu/The CW)
Not just a pretty face… (Katie Yu/The CW)

The Afterschool Special centers around Jefferson and Amaya encountering slavery first-hand, as Mister Collins (Dean S. Jagger) runs a tight — read that “mean” — plantation, and Jax finds himself caught up in the midst of the terrible circumstances faced by slaves. But in the midst of it all, he has an epiphany: even though the slaves are in dire straits, they still have hope and faith that things will get better, that their lives mean something. It’s a lesson not lost on Jefferson, and certainly not lost on the audience, since it swung at us with a 2×4. Plus, one of the slaves recognizes Amaya’s amulet as coming from Zambesi, leading the slaves to trust Amaya and Jax to get them out.

At least it wasn’t as preachy as Supergirl‘s President Wonder Woman episode.

Time to go! (Katie Yu/The CW)
Time to go! (Katie Yu/The CW)

Jax gets help from one of the slaves, who knows where the Confederate information is stashed, and everyone manages to escape as the zombie horde overruns the plantation. Setting fire to the main house, Jax eliminates the threat of any of those undead coming after them.

While the Afterschool Special plays out, we get a horror story on board the Waverider, as Rory (Dominic Purcell) has been infected and turned, chasing Ray (Brandon Routh) and the Professor around the darkened halls of the ship while Ray desperately tries to work up a formula that counteracts the pathogen causing the zombie-like symptoms.

They barely make it, of course, but they make it.

Steel go boom. (Katie Yu/The CW)
Steel go boom. (Katie Yu/The CW)

Nate and Sara take care of the rest of the zombies by having Nate lure them all out to a field, where our heroes have placed a box of nitroglycerin. The whole plan depends on Nate’s sporadic control over his new “Steel On!” powers, and of course they’re going to work, despite the pile-up of undead bodies attacking him. He makes it out alive, covered in zombie guts, and Jefferson arrives with the Confederate marching orders. Giving the name Henry Scott, Jefferson restores the timeline to more or less what it was.

And they’re off.

Aftermath:

  • Sara gets a pep talk from General Grant about being a commanding officer.
  • Mick gives Ray the ice cannon that belonged to Leonard Snart, so they’re partners now?
  • TX-90 bioweapon creates zombies. Good to know.
  • “We were attacked by zombies, and someone put sprouts on my sandwich.”

 

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Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

One thought on “Recap: The LEGENDS OF TOMORROW Afterschool Special on How Slavery Was Bad. And Zombies.

  • The zombies helped the story a whole lot. The Afterschool Special part would have been a lot more annoying without it. The zombies gave it a sense of silliness that kept my teeth from grinding so much when the slave owner turned out to be pretty much as bad as he possibly could have been. Just in case we missed that slavery is bad, ‘m kay? 😛

    I actually gave up on the show after only a few eps last season, and have just picked it up again starting with this season, and I think it’s a LOT better than it was. And for whatever reason, when they get stupid about wanting to interfere, it doesn’t annoy me nearly as much as Timeless does. Maybe it’s because the show doesn’t take itself as seriously.

    Reply

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