NOC Review: A Unique Premiere for a Unique ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ Season

“The Bullet Blondes” shows our heroes in a dire place. When we left our lovable band of time-traveling misfit superheroes at the tail end of Season 6, the unthinkable happened. Their precious Waverider ship was blown up by another Waverider that simply appeared and left! Now stranded in 1925, the Legends must figure out how to time-travel out of this period and make sure they don’t mess up history along the way.

The following has some minor spoilers for the Legends of Tomorrow Season 7 premiere “The Bullet Blondes.”

Legends of Tomorrow — “The Bullet Blondes” — Pictured (L-R) Caity Lotz as Sara Lance and Jess Macallan as Ava — Photo: Michael Courtney/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Time-travel is the baseline for how this series functions, with the Legends regularly time-skipping around, but Season 7 is going to be markedly different. Now they’re stranded in 1925 in America, and they have to make do with their individual abilities and their wits. In this, Season 7 will test the Legends as they’ve never been tested before.

The premiere already shows that. They’ve already caused a ruckus that the local townspeople and police investigate them for. Sara, Zari, and the rest decide to throw a literal circus to dissuade suspicion. They have to avoid one of the most infamous FBI agents in American history. They can’t openly rely on their powers or speak openly about their predicament in case they change the timeline, and they can’t time-travel. They’re grounded, and the actors mostly bring their A-game to facing this challenging situation, while having fun on the way.

We see especially how this situation weighs on the by-the-books Ava (Jess Macallen) who is high-key stressed. Macallen continues to shine as Ava, who has been through so much (from finding out she’s a clone, to finding out she was a clone designated for taking over Earth last season, to getting married to Sara at the end of last season…) and continues to not catch a break in this season premiere. But while we feel for Ava, we can’t help but laugh, as director Kevin Mock and Macallen play up Ava’s stress for appropriately tuned hilarity.

Zari (Tala Ashe), still reeling from the abrupt dissolution of her relationship with John Constantine (which I still have some feelings about, and his abrupt departure, sigh), is given great time to shine here as she re-centers and sets a new course for herself in this season. But John continues to be a presence in her life, leaving behind a handy pocket dimension she and the other Legends can use. It’s a nice touch for giving us a character the show sadly decided (or perhaps was forced to with the upcoming Justice League Dark series) to set aside. But Zari is moving on, including with support from her brother Behrad (Shayan Sobhian). There are wonderful Tarazi sibling scenes in this episode, cementing how they’ve become one of the best parts of the show, both individually and as a duo.

Legends of Tomorrow — “The Bullet Blondes” — Image Number: LGN701a_0420r.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Shayan Sobhian as Behrad and Tala Ashe as Zari — Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Astra is also reeling from the departure of John, and wants to prove herself as useful as the Legends new primary magic user. Olivia Swann continues to knock it out of the park as Astra, who puts herself through the ringer this episode. It’s upsetting to watch, but also compelling, and Swann continues to be a star of this show. Anyone dealing with their own insecurity of not feeling enough will likely feel seen by this storyline, which hopefully will continue in substantive ways through the season. It’ll be interesting to see Astra deal with this, especially as she’ll unfortunatley have to face more blatant systemic racism in the 1920s time period. We’ll see how the show handles that, and more aspects of her character going forward. But Swann remains one of the best players on the show, and she’ll certainly be compelling to watch. Especially as she finds out her power can create a corporeal Gideon (Amy Louise Pemberton). It’ll be exciting to see what Astra does next.

Esperanza (AKA Spooner), also reeling from the revelation that she’s actually from this time period where her mom also is, also has a lot of great material, played by Lisseth Chavez. Hers is a particularly interesting predicament. She’s not an outsider like her crewmates, and has to balance between fitting in and making sure they don’t make up the timeline. But having lived in the modern era (2021) for so long now, how is she going to reconcile that? Bring her mom to live in the future? Ultimately stay in the past, as Amaya did before, despite her not having a destined connection like the latter? I hope the season explores these questions. But for what they have Spooner did now, I thought it was overall solid. I can’t wait to see more.

As for the use of the 1920s setting, it was pretty hilarious while also being appropriately tense. The presence of the infamous J. Edgar Hoover is at times a bit jarring, but ultimately put to hilarious effect, in the trademark bonkers way only Legends can do. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like their time and location is used enough, but then I have to remember that this entire season (or at least a good chunk of it) will be set in 1920s America. I’m very intrigued for where this all goes.

“The Bullet Blondes” is a unique premiere for what is going to be a unique season. Writers James Eagan and Ray Utarnachitt have penned something that takes the typical Legends-formula and flips it on its head. There’s no easy out for our heroes, and this is certain to be one of their most challenging (and longest) adventures yet.

Rating: B+

You can watch DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Season 7, “The Bullet Blondes” now on The CW app.