‘STAR CITY 2046’ PLOT SUMMARY:
After the Waverider malfunctions, the team is stranded in Star City 30 years in the future. Now they must face a future where they have failed and Savage rules the world.
The writers couldn’t decide if they wanted this episode to be grim and gritty and serious or if they wanted it to be light and funny and cute. So “Star City 2046” goes for both. While Snart (Wentworth Miller), Mick (Dominic Purcell), Rip (Arthur Darvill), and Sara (Caity Lotz) head out into a war torn Star City, Ray (Brandon Routh), Professor Stein (Victor Garber), Jax (Franz Drameh), and Kendra (Ciara Renée) stay back to repair Waverider. Their repairs get sidetracked, however, when a sort of love triangle between Ray, Jax, and Kendra slides into play.
I’ll get my woes out of the way first. Everything that happens on the Waverider is awful and unnecessary. The two-dimensional romance in the air made me want to puke. The Waverider scenes are chock full of forced comedy and chumminess. Jax has a crush on Kendra but he thinks Ray and Kendra are hitting it off so he gets sad and jealous. It’s like watching a Lifetime movie about high school drama.
There are way too many conversations between Jax and Professor Stein reminding us that they have a psychic connection. But there are just too many conversations between them, period. Neither is interesting or compelling and their scenes are like soppy piles of used washcloths in the corner of the laundry room; they make you distinctly uncomfortable but you can’t help but look at them every time you do the wash. So no. Light and airy is not achieved in “Star City 2046.”
Guess who’s here to save the day, though. Yeah. YEAH. Mother effin’ Oliver “Green Arrow” Queen (Stephen Amell). Honestly, when I saw him slink out from the shadows with his pointy grey beard and missing arm I gasped so hard I choked on my spit. He’s the redeeming point of this whole episode, allowing the dark and twisty side to actually, surprisingly, work.
Oliver Queen is a great moody brooder. He’s at his prime when he’s lurking around in the shadows and pushing everyone away while telling us about his losses in a gravelly voice. Oliver Queen comes to life when he has emotional obstacles that he must overcome to save his city. He is the bright and shiny point of awesomeness about “Star City 2046.”
I won’t give him all the credit. Maybe only like 85%. The other 15% goes to, I think you can guess, Leonard Snart. Snart knows what he wants. The audience knows what he wants. His goal is to steal stuff. He wants to steal stuff because he likes the rush and he likes money. It’s easy and simple. But he’s also more nuanced. Snart is an old-fashioned crook with his own moral code. This makes his burgeoning loyalty to the rest of team believable and makes his story this week pleasurable to watch.
Besides these two pillars of three-dimensional characters, “Star City 2046” is just another lame episode full of the same problems I’ve been ranting about for the last month. The dialogue is gross. Please, for the love of God, stop telling me what I just saw happen in front of my face! That is not how conversations work. Franz Drameh’s acting is painful to watch and the majority of these characters need a more natural rounding out. “Star City 2046” has flickering moments of watchability but mostly plods along the same tired path as the episodes before.
Rating: 4 out of 10
**NOTABLE MOMENT: Rip proclaiming “not where… but when” at the very end of the episode is very indicative of Community’s Doctor Who spoof, “Inspector Spacetime.”**