It was an unexpectedly busy week for the Legends, as a simple mission to find and retrieve Helen of Troy on the Warner Bros. backlot in 1937 was complicated by Ray, Jax and Stein’s shenanigans, and the reappearance of the Darhk family and Kuasa.
From the start, this episode was a joy when it came to Jax and Stein’s body-swap. It was laugh-out-loud funny to hear Garber say things like, “You can just say black, gray,” and to watch him giggle at Stein’s unintentional innuendo before quoting Futurama. That said, at times Franz Drameh sounded more like Bernie Sanders than Garber when imitating his portrayal of Stein.
2. Sympathy for the legend
Helen of Troy is not a legendary figure I’ve ever thought about in depth, I’ve always seen her as a plot device or excuse for the Greeks’ ambition to sack Troy. So it was great of the episode to find time to raise how she may feel, as a constant prisoner of men’s desire who just wants to run away, first from her husband Menelaus, and now the Trojans.
I found Bar Paly’s performance slightly strange, like a cross between an old time Hollywood vocalization and what’s likely her Israeli accent. But I still felt the character managed to evoke more interest beyond being an attractive figure with a distracting outfit (her cleavage would have been totally forbidden by the Hays Code).
I wondered if her newfound strength would mean she would be deposited back in Troy to fight for herself and kill Menelaus. Instead, Zari, ever understanding, helps her find sisterhood at Themyscira, which was an excellent idea as it demonstrates she doesn’t have to be masculine to be strong. It’s also a cool coincidence given Paly and Gal Gadot’s shared nationality.
I wondered why Sara wasn’t falling head over heels for Helen of Troy and starting fights for her like all the men. It seems the curse only affects the male gender: would Helen’s affliction influence gay or trans men as well? At least we know she won’t be starting fights on the probably gay community of Themyscira.
4. Hedy Lamarr
Actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr, who inspired the portrayal of Whitney Frost in Agent Carter and whose life is now the subject of the documentary Bombshell, was a great choice for the episode’s historical guest star, probably because I can’t think of the last female historical figure on the show. I wasn’t convinced by the notion that a lack of success in Hollywood would’ve impeded her hobby in science, given as I understand she grew disinterested in acting, but it was as good a reason as any to force another confrontation with the Darhks.
5. We are family
I’m enjoying the Darhks, who revel in being utterly camp. I’m not feeling like they’re father and daughter just yet though, as otherwise I think she would’ve found his collapsing into laughter embarassing. Nora currently comes across his assistant instead of a blood relative.
Meanwhile, Amaya finally learned Kuasa is her granddaughter. That Ray felt he had to keep that a secret from her was dangerous, and another strong reminder that Mari should really be the Vixen on the ship.
– The episode started with a shot of the Warner Bros. backlot’s water tower and all I could think was whether Yakko, Wakko and Dot were already inside there.
– Is there toilet duty on the Waverider? Nate and Ray seemed worried.
– Those swords are props, Sara.
– Nuclear Man? Please tell me he’s coming to the Arrowverse.
– There were no references to actual Helen Hunt movies, as far as I could tell. (Great, now I want the show’s version of What Women Want.)
Next week: Gorilla Grodd.