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"Wait, just accept your fates! Don't walk out that door..."
"On the other hand... why not?"
Charlie and Zari Tomaz

"The One Where We're Trapped On TV" is the thirteenth episode of the fifth season of DC's Legends of Tomorrow, and the eighty-first episode overall. It aired on May 26, 2020.

Synopsis

Cast

Starring

Special appearance by

Special guest star

Guest starring

Co-starring

Plot

Loomworld title card for Legends of Tomorrow

Mona Wu is working in the historical sanitation department. After having to make several revised drafts, she tells a coworker how rewriting history to eradicate any notion of free will and rebellion is difficult. Her coworker confides that something does not feel quite right, when Atropos appears on a screen to tell him that his time has come to an end and he dies. Work has ended and Mona returns home as a message is broadcasted on repeat to remind everyone to relinquish free will and the world is perfect. Mona passes by a homeless Gary Green who yells that the world is wrong. Gary tells Mona that she looks familiar and asks if she recognizes him but she maintains that she does not know him.

Ultimate Buds title card

Mona returns home to prepare a meal of mush, and begins to turn on the tv. Zari Tarazi, Behrad Tarazi and Nate Heywood are the stars of the sitcom, named "Ultimate Buds". After a mishap, Behrad takes off the Air Totem that begins reacting strangely. Nate touches the totem and a spectral version of Zari Tomaz appears. Tomaz possesses Zari and is happy to see Nate, but realizes that he is not himself. Tomaz tells Nate she knew the timeline was different, and that there was a chance that he would have no memory of her but questions where the Waverider is and asks about the other Legends, such as Mona. This surprises Mona who is watching the show. Behrad appears and Tomaz becomes emotional at the sight of him, but Behrad and Nate believe Tomaz to be under the influence of drugs and lock her in a closet. As Zari's boss arrives as part of the sitcom plot, Tomaz summons the Air Totem to escape the closet and deduces their situation, concluding that the Legends lost against the Fates. Tomaz finds a door that leads to Constantine's house, but after going through the door, their outfits begin to change into Elizabethan era appropriate outfits. As they question where they are, John Constantine appears as a butler and welcomes them to Highcastle Abbey.

Highcastle Abbey title card

Constantine tells them they were expected guests and leaves the room to prepare tea and refreshments for them. Tomaz is bewildered at Constantine's change in personality and asks if Nate and Behrad recognize him but they do not. Tomaz sees no obvious way to escape and suggests everyone play along until she can return Constantine to his usual self. Astra Logue meets with her mother, who reveals that Behrad is to be married to Astra as he is the closest male heir to the estate. As Nate is meant to be the valet but is acting inappropriately, Natalie suggests Constantine lead Nate away. Tomaz follows them as Behrad meets with Astra and Natalie regarding the arrange marriage, where Astra is impressed by Behrad's unconventional views. Tomaz looks for Constantine and asks to speak with him in private to remind him of his previous self, and mentions Gary to Mona's surprise, leading her to wonder if Gary isn't crazy. As Nate attempts to eat the blue mush in the kitchen, Constantine instinctively uses magic to restrain him. Astra confides in Behrad that she wishes to have an adventure and to have the same opportunities as a man, which to her delight, is encouraged by Behrad. In the kitchen, Constantine tells them his character is conflicted as a part of him has been seduced by dark magic. He begs them not to tell Lady Natalie and Tomaz agrees, if he will cast a spell for them to escape. Mona brings Gary to her apartment, to show him the show. Tomaz asks Constantine to send them to Sara Lance and Constantine agrees, but first warns her that dangerous exploits lay ahead of her journey. Tomaz asks him to come with them, but while he initially refuses, Behrad arrives with Astra who tells him she wants to leave. The spell then transports them to an unknown location. Gary and Mona recognize "Captain Lance" to be a main character of the show "Star Trip" and they decide to break into Clotho Productions to discover what is happening. On "Star Trip", Sara and Ava Sharpe are Co-captains of a spaceship and encounter a "Gromulan" vessel. When they attempt to contact the vessel, it is discovered that the vessel contains Gromulan versions of the Legends.

Star Trip title card

As Sara prepares to shoot them, Ava orders for a translation to be applied. Before Sara can fire, Tomaz tries to convince them that they are in a tv show. Still in their sitcom character mindsets, Behrad and Nate open fire on Sara and Ava's ship by accident, saying "On the other hand, why not?" when Tomaz warned them not to fire. The damage destroys Sara and Ava's ship, and Sara mourns her crew but stops once Ava points out the crew are androids. At Clotho Productions, Mona and Gary manage to break in and discover Life Threads leading into the machines, confirming that there are real people trapped in the tv shows. On Star Trip, Tomaz uses their ships teleporter and brings Sara and Ava on board. Sara attempts to hijack the ship, but Tomaz willingly surrenders control to her, explaining that in an alternate timeline she is their captain. As Star Trip is a sci fi show, Sara and Ava believe them, and also deduce that there is a possibility they are prisoners in a tv show. Ava tells them there is a strange frequency from a previously thought to be deserted area, which contains the theme song of "Mr. Parker's cul-de-sac". The Legends decide not to contact the frequency, but Nate and Behrad still in their sitcom mindsets decide "On the other hand, why not?" and contact them, causing a giant hand to grab the ship.

Mr. Parker's Cul-de-sac

The Legends arrive as new characters on "Mr. Parker's cul-de-sac" and are welcomed by Mr. Parker but Sara pushes him out of the door. The Legends wonder what their next move should be, as they cannot keep going through tv shows. Zari tells them they are Legends, and explains that they are misfits who are trying to make a difference. Inspired, Mona uses the machines to restore their true memories. Sara embraces Ava emotionally and tells Tomaz that she remembers everything, even the previous timeline where Tomaz was a Legend. As the Legends collect themselves, Gary and Mona celebrate their success when Charlie arrives, horrified at what they have done. Charlie tells them she cannot allow the Legends to escape.

Clotho Productions logo

The Legends continue to collect themselves, as Behrad and Constantine wonder where Zari is. Mr. Parker then arrives and tells them he can help with them remembering the different timelines. At Clotho Productions, Mona asks why Charlie is doing this. Charlie tells them the Legends don't realize there are consequences to disobedience. She uses the machine to make Mr. Parker sing a song about repressing their feelings and true memories and Sara and Ava are teleported back to Star Trip. Mr. Parker tells them they need to go back and magically controls Zari and Behrad to sing along. Nate attempts to stop him, but the three of them are teleported back to "Ultimate Buds". Constantine threatens to burn Mr. Parker with magic if he tries to send him and Astra back, but Astra tells him she wants to go back to see her mother. Constantine warns Astra that Natalie might just be a character on a tv show and not have her true memories, but Astra says she has to know for sure. The two of them agree to return, and are teleported back to "Highcastle Abbey" where it appears to be Christmas. As they arrive, Astra excitedly hugs Natalie but learns she really is just a tv show character without her true memories. Constantine tells Astra they can stay, as Astra's happiness is all he ever wanted. He tells her that he will willingly be "Mr. Constantine the butler" for her and the two of them return to their Highcastle Abbey personas.

Zari, Nate and Behrad cancelling the show

At Clotho productions, Charlie happily tells Gary and Mona that her algorithm machines will repair any remaining damage. Mona questions why she would do this, and Charlie tells them the Legends are her friends but her sisters wanted to kill them. She saved their lives by proposing the Legends be used to indoctrinate the masses. Gary remarks that he always thought Charlie was the most rebellious of the Fates and Charlie argues that she has no choice. Mona tells her no one on Loom world has a choice but to obey. On "Star Trip", Sara looks for a way to escape when Ava proposes they stay as tv show characters as she still remembers Sara's death. On this show, they will always win and never die. Sara tells her that is what they wished for in front of Charlie, but while life may be beautiful and terrible at the same time, only living a part of their lives mean they are not living at all. As Ava is convinced to escape, a transmission from their Star Trip enemy "Dhan" arrives, who turns out to be Mick Rory with long hair. Sara realizes that since they will always win on the show, losing on purpose may be the only way to escape and takes no action as "Dhan" opens fire on their ship. Mona tells Charlie that real people might die in the tv show and Charlie reluctantly cancels the show before they die. Sara, Ava and Mick are no longer on the show, and wonders where the others are as Mick complains that he liked Star Trip and having long hair. On Highcastle Abbey, Natalie gives Astra a ticket to London, having overheard her earlier conversation with Behrad. Astra begs Natalie not to ask her to go, but Natalie insists that she should put her happiness first and asks her to be brave, as she will always be with her. Astra then smiles and admits to a smug Constantine that they cannot stay on the show. Constantine tells her that Natalie would be proud and performs a spell that brings them to Sara, Ava and Mick. On "Ultimate Buds", Behrad says he cannot go back to eating mush again when the audience audibly gasps. Realizing that controversial opinions could let them escape, they begin to criticize the lifestyle of Loomworld. The people of Loomworld who have followed the Legends journey excitedly cheer as they successfully get the show canceled and the Legends reunite. Charlie tells them she gave them everything they wanted, but Constantine tells them she just used them to control the people of Loomworld. Charlie tells them the alternative is death and offers to put them back into the shows, even splitting Zari into Zari Tarazi and Zari Tomaz. Zari Tarazi excitedly embraces Behrad, but the Legends insist they cannot be bribed to be used. The Legends decide to leave as Charlie begs them to accept their fates. Zari Tomaz defiantly says "On the other hand, why not", and the Legends leave. As Mona and Gary cheer that the Legends are free, Charlie tells them she no longer has the power to save the Legends.

Production

Preparation ran from December 12 until December 20, 2019. Shooting ran from January 7 until January 17, 2020.[1]

Trivia

  • This episode marks the directorial debut of Marc Guggenheim.
  • The title is a take on the episode title format the TV series Friends used to name every episode, except for the two-part finale, in which the title begins with "The One". It is also the first Arrowverse episode to use this format.
  • This episode bears many similarities with the Season 2 episode "Doomworld".
    • Both were penultimate episodes of their respective seasons.
    • Both had alternate villainous takes on the title card.
    • In both episodes, the Legends are trapped in an alternate reality because the season's big bads acquired the reality-changing item the team was hunting for.
    • Both also have a major character who are trying to save the legends from an alternate reality in which they help to create such as Mick Rory and Charlie respectively.
  • The episode makes an homage to the George Orwell novel Nineteen Eighty-Four as a framing device, also known as "Loomworld", using it to rewrite and suppress rebellion and free will throughout history, similar to the total totalitarian and repressive society in Nineteen Eighty-Four.
    • Atropos appears on a monochrome screen, similar to the telescreens of Nineteen Eighty-Four.
  • A number of television series stream on Fate+, likely a parody of Disney+ and other related streaming services. These series are themselves parodies of existing real-world media:
  • On Ultimate Buds, Nate mentions how he got an audition for the role of Robin Hood on a show called Arrow, about a vigilante, an obvious nod to fellow Arrowverse series Arrow.
  • When Astra asks Behrad what a "diva" is, he tells her that "a diva is a female version of a hustler", a reference to the song Diva by Beyoncé.
  • This is the first non-crossover episode of the show where Amy Pemberton (Gideon) does not appear.

Goofs

  • Astra quickly believes that Natalie is a TV character and not her real mother when Natalie doesn't remember her original life. Astra however herself did not remember her original life until Mona restored her memories.

References

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