‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’ (Season 2): It was Just My Aberration, Running Away With Me

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The first two episodes of the new year of “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” have both been a lot of fun, even if the two respective groups have often been at odds with one another throughout. Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing, mind you.

Indeed, it’s precisely that quality that made the second of the two episodes, “Legion of Doom” so much fun. Even when they were more in their element on “Arrow,” there was always a darkly comedic vibe to both Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) and Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) that made them as humorous as they were conniving.

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That quality was at the forefront of the most recent episode, as Merlyn sought to recruit Darhk into banding together to go up against the Reverse Flash, aka Eobard Thawne (Matt Letscher), who had a bad habit of barking orders and making demands, before racing off to do who knows what, instead of treating the other two like equals.

In “Doom,” we found out why that really was: it seems that Thawne had been living on borrowed time ever since his initial alter ego killed himself on “The Flash,” back in the first season. This had created a sort of “Death Flash,” a skull-faced creature that sped around looking for Thawne, who should have stopped existing once the “real” Thawne offed himself, but managed to literally outrun his fate.

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By keeping moving at almost all times, like, as Darhk pointed out, a shark keeps swimming to stay alive, Thawne had managed to avoid true death- but his luck was running out, and he knew it, which was precisely why he recruited the others. Unfortunately, by playing his cards too close to the vest, it caused a rift between him and the other two, to say nothing of the rift between the two of them with one another, which led to a potential duel to the death.

Ironically, it was their kidnapee, Rip Hunter (Arthur Darville) that pointed out that, by fighting with one another, they were playing right into the hands of Thawne, who no doubt hoped that, in fighting with one another, they wouldn’t ask too many questions of him. That came to a premature halt when the two duped Thawne into a locked vault and refused to let him out until he explained himself.

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After Thawne confessed his predicament, the three were finally able to work together as a means to an end, temporarily defeating the “Death Flash” and fleeing back to their headquarters to install what was inside the vault- Rip’s memories, which he hidden in order to keep himself from blabbing about the whereabouts of the “Holy Lance”/”Spear of Destiny” Thawne was looking for, which he’d divided into pieces and stashed in various places, horcrux-style.

So, as it turned out, Rip wasn’t lying about knowing who he really was or faking it- he really didn’t know. He genuinely thought he was a film student, and had no recollection of being the captain of a time-traveling group on a spaceship that had hopscotched all over the globe- and history.

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This led to his meeting and working with another filmmaker-in-the-making, none other than George Lucas (Matt Angel)! Amusingly, in that episode, the wryly-titled “Raiders of the Lost Art,” we saw what happened when Lucas had a close encounter of the real sci-fi kind and found himself caught up in some real life “Star Wars” of a sort.

This led Lucas to bail on his dreams of being a filmmaker and make moves to drop out of film school and head home. Unfortunately, in doing so, it also led to Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) and Nate Heywood (Nick Zano) to not go into their respective fields of study, as they were both influenced by Lucas’ work, namely the “Star Wars” movies for Ray and the “Indiana Jones” ones for Nate.

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So, it was up to the gang to set things straight and inspire Lucas to stay put. It took some doing, as it turned out, leading to some cute in-jokes, notably the scene in the trash bin, in which Ray, Nate, Amaya/Vixen (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) and Lucas found themselves trapped as Darhk and Merlyn tried to crush them, a la a scene in the first “Star Wars” film.

There was also a cute scene in which a clueless Vixen tried to convince Lucas to stay in the filmmaking game, saying: “The future of the whole world is at stake, and you are our only hope,” another clear nod to “Star Wars,” and Princess Leia’s message to Obi-Wan Kenobi. I don’t doubt there were other nods as well, but those were the two that stuck out.

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Perhaps needless to say, both the episodes were a lot of fun, between the shenanigans with Lucas and the heist-type episode with the “Legion of Doom.” That said, they did make room for some emotional resonance as well, notably with Dr. Martin Stein (Victor Garber) and his daughter, Lily (Christina Brucato), who finally discovered she was what amounted to a time aberration.

(Interestingly, over on “Timeless,” the main female character there experienced a sort of reverse problem of this nature, as her sister was whiffed out of existence by something her and her time-traveling team did in the past. It’s really bizarre how much these shows reflect and compliment each other, even though they no doubt have no interaction with one another, nor any idea what the other is going to do next, although, obviously, “LOT” started up first, so “Timeless” has tread some of the same ground they already have in Season One, notably a trip back to the Old West.)

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Anyway, Dr. Stein was forced to tell Lily what she “really” was, after a disgruntled Mick (Dominic Purcell) not-so-accidentally leaked it to her after Stein wasn’t able to “cure” him of his hallucinating Snart (Wentworth Miller). (Count on that to come back in the narrative before too much longer- I’m not so sure it’s really a hallucination, per se, which Stein basically confirmed.)

This led to a great emotional scene with Stein and his daughter, where he admitted that, while he hadn’t ever wanted kids in the past, it took actually getting one to realize what he had been missing out on all these years, and how significant an impact it could have on someone’s life- even in a decidedly atypical sort of way as this one.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow --"Out Of Time"

Of course, with all this going on, it was inevitable that some characters would get slighted- such is the downside of having such a big cast. Sara (Caity Lotz) and Jefferson Jackson (Franz Drameh) in particular didn’t have that much to do, though they did get off a few good lines, notably when Sara, given the two alternate names for the magic stick everyone was looking for, naturally cited the “Holy Lance” as her favorite. I wonder why… 🙂

All in all, a solid two episodes, and a good start to the back end of the season. I like that, despite the whole splitting up of everyone, it was used as a means to an end to both have characters interact that don’t normally do so as much (Ray and Nate and Vixen; Dr. Stein and Mick), as well as highlight those that work well off of one another (Merlyn and Darhk; Stein and Lily).

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I also liked the interaction between Rip 2.0 and the Legion of Doom, which just went to show, you can take the captain off the ship, but you can’t take the captain out of Rip. His smoothing over of the tension and issues between the three within the Legion may have been somewhat counterproductive- not that he had much of a choice in the matter- and ultimately led to his undoing the carefully placed measures he’d set into motion since leaving the ship, but it was also right on the money.

Looking forward to seeing what the Legion is getting up to next with George Washington (Randall Batinkoff), and some of the upcoming episode titles look promising, notably “Camelot” and “Fellowship of the Spear.” Hoping those two live up to their names. Whatever the case, so good so far.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow --"River of Time"

Let me know what you thought of the first two episodes of the mid-season down below in the comments section, and thanks for reading. Join me next month for another update, towards the end of the February!

  • ptjackson

    I totally agree with you – these episodes were fun and enjoyable! I really like all the puns and in jokes, and heck, maybe we should start a petition for a Timeless/ Legends crossover! That would be hysterical…..

    • Mark Trammell

      Oh, that would be awesome! 🙂