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'Legends' recap: Witness not so protected

Season 1 | Episode 2 | “Chemistry” | Aired Aug 20, 2014

This week’s episode of Legends starts with two “cops” pulling over a family for what they assume is speeding. I put “cops” in quotation marks because they’re actually Russian mobsters looking for a Russian chemist. Aren’t there bars for this sort of thing? Just as the chemist realizes he’s in danger, an actual cop pulls up to the scene—and receives a bullet to the skull for his trouble. Probably not the way that particular officer thought his day, or life, would end.

The faux cops proceed to kidnap Richard Hubbard, real name Alexander Novelsky, who we find out is under witness protection after fleeing Russia. He’s being pursued by a gentleman known as the Colonel. Side note: What’s with the villain names on this show? First we had the Founding Father. Now we have the Colonel. Next I expect the Secretary of Pain, followed by the Pastry Chef. These are bad men!

Anyway, Richard is now being forced to create deadly VX gas for the Colonel—or else his wife and daughter, who were in the car with him, will be murdered. Martin Odum and the DCO team catch wind of this kidnapping case and begin to formulate a plan to find Hubbard. Agent Troy Buchanan has a Russian criminal informant, so they opt to use Troy’s legend, Spencer Holt. Crystal and Martin accompany Troy to his C.I.’s nightclub as Spencer Holt’s accountant and a bodyguard. What could go wrong?

For the second straight episode, Crystal McGuire, played by Ali Larter, uses her sexuality to (sigh) penetrate an operation. Now, I’m not Captain Feminism, but I hope this doesn’t become a weekly trend for the show. It just sends an outdated message that women secret agents have to use sex in order to be a useful part of a mission. In the scene with the Russian mob’s hit man, Crystal even says, “I’ll sleep with you if you’re for real,” or something hokey like that. It took me out of the story for a moment, because the scenario started to become unbelievable. I don’t mind using Crystal’s sexuality, but let’s establish that she’s a legit, qualified secret agent first, OK?

Then all hell breaks loose as a hit squad comes in to gun down Troy, his C.I. and anyone else standing around. Martin and Crystal escape and hide out at Odum’s apartment. Later, Crystal is visibly shaken by Troy’s death, but we have no idea why. Were they romantically involved? Brother and sister? Do they own a time share in Boca Raton together? A little more backstory on their relationship would’ve helped here. I hope it’s not a romantic involvement, because that would put Crystal’s interoffice relationship count at two. We get it; Ali Larter is hot. Let’s move on.

Legends: Morris Chestnut, Sean Bean (Doug Hyun/TNT)Morris Chestnut makes his debut on this week’s episode as Tony Rice, an FBI agent who covers all things transportation. Martin comes to Tony with questions about the hobo’s death from last week’s premiere. You remember our secretive, stabbed-in-the-gut hobo buddy from last week, right? Good. Tony has a name for Martin, and some background on the newly identified Robert McCombs. He was a crazy ex-Marine. That’s it.

Later on, Martin and Tony cross paths at a taco stand, where Tony reveals he now has cell phone video of Martin holding the hobo in his arms as he died. Martin seems mildly shaken by this, and then Agent Rice gives Martin a heads-up about how he handles cases:

Tony Rice: “I don’t drop the ball. I catch the ball. I run with the ball. I score with the ball, then I take the ball home and put it in my trophy case so every morning I can wake up and remind myself that I don’t drop the ball!”

Tony Rice is no ball dropper. Also, he begins tailing Martin against his boss’s orders. Tony Rice is a direct-order ignorer who doesn’t drop … you get the point.

Episode 2 of Legends fell a little flat for me. I still see great potential in the show, but this episode seemed like hour number two of the pilot. Not much new ground was broken, another team member died (we hardly knew you, Troy), and we had another brief interaction with Martin’s wife, Sonya, to remind us he’s a terrible father.

Sonya: You’re going back under again, aren’t you?
Sonya: You’re going to get yourself killed.
Sonya: (walks into the house)

Actual scene!

Next week on Legends, we’ll be fully introduced to Dante Auerbach, one of Martin’s most successful legends. The DCO will be using Dante to infiltrate the Russian mob and try to rescue Richard Hubbard and his family. Will he succeed? Will another team member go down? Will Martin once again find his Auer-back against the wall? I’m sorry. I had to. Tune in next week to Legends on TNT to find out!

TNT: No Ball Droppers Allowed.

Legends airs Wednesday at 8/9C on TNT.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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