Legends of Tomorrow “Night of the Hawk” Review (Season 1 Episode 8)

Legends of Tomorrow has been improving at a fairly constant rate, so it feels inadequate just to say this was the best episode of the show yet. Instead, it would be more accurate to say that, for the first time, the show felt as vital and entertaining as its Arrowverse compatriots. “Night of the Hawk” was a stellar outing for the Waverider team, capturing the 1950s in obvious and subtle ways to present just a downright fun hour of television.

For one thing, just having the entire crew off the ship and engaged in the mission was a huge plus. From Rip and Leonard posing as G-Men to watching Kendra, Sara, and Jax grapple with the various prejudices of the age, this episode struck the best balance yet of giving the entire team something to do. Granted, this was probably helped by the loss of Mick last week, but it finally feels like every member of the team is vital in some way or another.

Speaking of the prejudices, I felt that the show handled things in a smart way, without ever getting too heavy-handed. Yeah, everyone had a moment to call out the racism and sexism of the times, but at no point did it feel like they were doing standing on a soapbox to do it. I really liked Sara’s arc, helping a nurse confront and accept who she really is. Just the way she never backed down from her belief that the woman would be happier if she admitted she was a lesbian, even after Stein voiced his concerns, was great.

Also great were the hawk mutates that ended up as the central threat of the episode. In a lot of ways, the costuming and effects were pretty cheesy, but that played right into the 1950s vibe of the episode. As Jacks pointed out himself early on, this episode was structured a bit like the corny monster movies of the era, right down to the teens on lover’s lane being attacked by the creatures. This general episode format captured the time period in a truly creative way, and is the sort of time-hopping hijinks we can only hope will continue in future episodes. It sets the show apart from the crowded superhero landscape and, for the first time, suggests that Legends can become appointment viewing like the shows that came before it.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!