Sunday, April 3, 2016

Legend -- Episode 11: Clueless in San Francisco

Synopsis in 3 sentences or less:
Paytents is a white woman who was separated from her parents at a young age and raised by Native Americans, and she asks for Legend's help in finding her original family in San Francisco. Once there, they stay with Legend's mother and are hunted down by a mysterious group that is trying to stop them from finding Paytents' family.

Memorable Quote:
And they call my people savages.  ~Paytents
Speaking of that, it's time to meet my mother.  ~Legend

I like the scene where Legend is snooping around in the bedroom looking at pictures and is surprised by the grandmother lurking in the background.

I have a few issues with the plot.  Several of the guests at the party, including Paytents, take measures to disguise themselves with masks so that Melissa won't recognize them.  But once the seance starts they have all taken their masks off.  If Melissa went so far as to pay people to eliminate Paytents, why would she allow her to sit at the seance table especially once it becomes clear that the spirit (or in reality the maid hiding under the table) is revealing her to be part of the family?

And the motives behind Melissa's actions seem flimsy at best.  At one point it's revealed that her husband Liam died and left her as the sole heir to the family fortune.  Legends adds, "But not if Paytents is a blood relative."  If I understand correctly, Paytents and Melissa have the same grandmother which would make them cousins, so then why would Paytents stand to inherit anything from the death of her cousin's husband?

I also found the Rain Pony character confusing and unnecessary.  He is Paytents' husband and the chief of the Blackfeet, and he follows Legend and Bartok into the building where Paytents is being held and saves Legend's life.  Paytents seems happy to see him, but then why did Paytents leave him in the first place and go off by herself to get Legend's help?  This is probably the most time and energy that anyone in world history has ever spent dissecting this particular episode of Legend.

Other thoughts, observations, and questions I didn’t ask when I was in fourth grade:
  • In the opening, Legend is reluctant to help Paytents and give up his vacation, but then he asks her if she is of the Blackfoot tribe and she says, "Only by marriage."  This causes him to immediately change his mind and decide to help for reasons that are unclear to me.
  • 8:08 mark - it's our old friend James Hong who MacGyver fans will remember from The Wish Child and Lost Love.  According to IMDB he was also in The Coltons but I don't remember him -- perhaps he was in one of the deleted scenes?
  • Why does Legend ask the journalists in town to do a story on Paytents but then he doesn't want to give any additional information to the reporter who approaches him in the alley?
  • Ouch, two blows to the head!  I'm having Bitter Harvest flashbacks. 
  • Not sure they wore button down shirts like this in the 1880's.  My wife suggests that perhaps the wardrobe department was facing cuts.

Final Analysis:
I wasn't a huge fan of this episode and found it slow and relatively uninteresting, though it was nice to meet Legend's mom.  I'm putting it at #8 out of #11.


  1. I was hoping after the very enjoyable Episode 10 that the series was gonna go out with a great surge of momentum. Unfortunately, this episode was a stinker. It started promisingly enough with a trip to San Francisco--even though they left by balloon and then appeared to be going back by stagecoach--followed by introduction of his mother and some decent footage of the streets of 19th century San Francisco. Unfortunately from there the story completely lost me and I checked out well before the time of the seance. The fact that it didn't make sense made it all the easier to check out and try as I might to reconnect I couldn't even muster up the energy you did to try to figure out what was going on. Unfortunate that series penultimate episode died with such a thud. This one was close to a tie with "Knee-High Noon" as my least favorite but the cast and production was just enough for me to rank it #10 out of the 11 so far. And James Hong was definitely not in "The Coltons". Either it was a typo on IMBD or there was a cut scene like you said. Hard to believe it would be the latter though as you don't get James Hong to do a guest-starring role on a weekly TV series and then cut it.

    1. Good to know I wasn't blanking on James Hong in the Coltons. Youtube has the deleted Coltons scenes so maybe sometime if I'm looking for something to do I'll scan through and see if I can spot James Hong.

  2. Great to meet Mrs. Pratt. What a Mom, putting her house on the line so her son would have a safety net when he fell, and telling him she's proud of him. Surely she knows he's not 100% clean in his living, but she loves him. Not fun to see Ernest whacked twice over the head and the villains so flippant about it all.
    I think Legend gave in so quick to the San Francisco trip possibly because she took her hat off and was so pretty (maybe) or more probably because he knew that eventually, like it or not, Bartok would guilt him into going and he was just saving time.
    I've seen James Hong on The A Team.

  3. And my guess on Melissa's obsession with eliminating Paytents is that she (Melissa) is *the only* living survivor of her grandmother, meaning every penny goes to herself. 100% and 50/50 is a big difference, and would make it worth her while to buy all Ernest's markers and have Paytents spirited away.

  4. I didn’t dislike this episode as much as Nick and Mark. I agree the plot made little sense (well done Nick for analysing it) but I long ago gave up trying to fathom out the plot details of Legend episodes!
    I agree with Rebekah; Pratt agrees to help once he’d realises how attractive Paytents was. I quite liked the build-up around going to meet Pratt’s mother whom. we know from previous episodes, is quite formidable.
    There were some suspenseful moments; Legend going off on his own and being knocked out, the threat of the sinister villains and the secretive buying of Pratt’s markers. I also enjoyed some of the exotic characters and the usual humorous exchanges. However I hated the badly-managed séance and, like everyone else, couldn’t understand the relevance of Paytent’s husband showing up.
    I’m still just glad that the Pratt/Legend character is much more likeable (his mum’s proud of him now) and appreciate the character development. RDA has hit his stride by now; shame it was all too late for the series. I’d rank this at no. 5.