Delivering an episode with two distinct plots and managing to make both of them intriguing and interesting (@Arrow: take a page from their book), Legends of Tomorrow keeps the trend of not taking itself too seriously as it prepares for its season final stretch. Plus, the episode was fun handling well a bunch of classic story tropes while having just one inexplicable detail I can’t warp my head around it.
The team is still trying to retrieve the pieces of the Spear of Destiny and Gideon is taking her sweet time to locate the final one from the data of the amulet. We see Rip Hunter say a special overriding code to Gideon so he can be released from his cage and subsequently take over the ship, leaving the Legends startled as the Waverider is set to self-destruct. Rip gets ahold of the amulet and destroys it, becoming now the only available way to find the piece as it is hidden in time and being kept by Nate’s grandfather as he was a member of the Justice Society of America.
Jax is able to reboot the Waverider’s system, but the ship ends up flying without control through time, crash-landing in the Cretaceous period in the year Ray had been “marooned” at the beginning of the season for six months. Gideon informs the crew that they can’t move because the ship’s time delineator had been detached during the crash. The Legends now had Rip under control and Mick suggests that they try “Cognitive Intrusion”, a technique developed by the Time Masters that would allow access to Rip’s brain which means not only the place/time of the Spear, but also a way to get the old Rip back.
So, now that the episode is in motion, let’s visit each thread separately:
The Disrupted Mind
Jax and Sara are put under the Cognitive Intrusion technique by Martin and Mick so they can access Rip’s mind. They find that his subconscious, as is now after Eobard Thawne had tampered with, was a dark version of the Waverider with evil versions of themselves – Sara fights Evil!Sara, Evil!Mick (aka Regular-ish!Mick), and Evil!Ray. She ends up separated from Jax and captured by the Evil Legends.
In the meantime, Jax starts searching for Mick, but instead finds a graphic representation of Gideon – aka Amy Pemberton. Gideon’s voice is finally allowed the chance to appear on-screen and that’s actually very exciting! Turns out she is still good because it never occurred to Thawne to disrupt her in Rip’s mind.
As Sara wakes up in the holding cell, she finds the old Rip, cowering by the wall, as he is confused by Sara thinking she is her evil counterpart. He manages to push her away using mental powers of telekinesis. Sara is able to convince him this is all in his mind, but he can’t open the cell’s doors, which is remedied by Jax and Gideon finding and releasing them – catch me giggling as Sara calls Gideon hot.
The four make their way through the spaceship to find items that could get the old Rip to take over his mind but are stopped by the evil versions of Sara (they don’t stay dead in Hunter’s mind) and Jax. Seeing his friend in trouble, Rip uses his mind control powers to win the fight, finally realizing who he is.
However, Rip’s mind starts crumbling and is being torn apart. Jax is able to get out of the intrusion and tells Martin to take Sara out as she can’t herself. With Sara returned to the real world, Rip has to do the same himself in order to fully actualize back into the grumpy Rip Hunter we all know and sort of love. He has a moment with Gideon as these two have so much history together and they actually kiss (I’m… uncomfortable). With the kiss, Rip is able to wake up as himself once again.
Sara and Rip have a couple of moments where they don’t quite agree/discuss who’s the captain now, but these are played more for laughs than for cattiness – most likely, both of them will be captains or it the mantle will remain on Sara, which I prefer. However, one extra thing happens and it is Rip talking to Gideon about their time together and, FOR SOME REASON which I have absolutely no explanation (and I don’t think the writers do either) Gideon remembers the kiss and she liked it. Huh.
So now, the Legends finally can go after the last piece being kept by Nate’s grandfather who is at NASA, prepping for an Apollo 13 mission by, plot twist, Eobard Thawne – the legion already knew where the piece was so that’s understandable. Nonetheless, the crew prepares to leave because…
The Maternal T-Rex
… Ray, Nate, and Amaya were able to locate the missing delineator and put it back together and here’s how that went down.
If one recalls, Ray mentioned that the ship had crashed at the exact same time period/place he stayed for six months after Rip had scattered the Legends. Ray explains to Nate and Amaya that there are territories they should not go in – one in particular is dominated by Gertrude, a T-Rex who got pissed at Ray after he stole one of her eggs.
Nate and Amaya are able to visit Ray’s shack as he proposes to prepare an iguana stew for dinner. As he’s out, the sexual tension between Nate and Amaya strikes again, but they can’t bang because Ray returns too soon. Oh, also I should add that to spark up the relationship, Amaya had saved Nate from a snake a while earlier – once again, please, CW, stop using snakes like that because I almost jumped off my chair when it appeared around Nate.
As Amaya goes out to get some logs for the fire, Ray tells Nate that he shouldn’t date Amaya because she has a future to go back to. This future includes having her village in Zambesi destroyed and having children and a granddaughter, Mari McCabe, who would inherit her position as Vixen and would come to appear on Arrow and have her own animated TV show. Ray’s point is that Nate should not interfere with this because it could disrupt every person that modern day’s Vixen has helped in Detroit.
They are able to locate the delineator at Gertrude’s nest (obviously, it would be there). Ray is able to get it while the dinosaur is out, but she quickly comes back to attack them. Nate goes for his usual strategy – becoming metallic -, but Amaya channels her inner T-Rex and is able to handle the situation peacefully.
Back at the ship, Ray and Jax are able to fix the delineator. Ray tells Nate that he changed his mind – they’re consenting adults, they should do what they want, but Nate is thoughtful of what Ray had said and wants to end things with Amaya because he can’t keep things casual. However, it can wait until another day.
Once again, I’m extremely satisfied with the way Legends of Tomorrow is doing its sophomore season especially after my severe lack of interest in season one. This episode was a shitload of fun AND moved the plot forward. What more can we ask of it?
I would point out that my one big complaint was Rip kissing Gideon which came sort of out of nowhere (she’s an AI) and also, inexplicably, she remembers it. Don’t get me wrong, I squealed with joy when I saw her make a physical appearance and her role as a support/guide to the team was well done and put, but the kiss still caught me a bit off-guard. I know that this is not Westworld in how they portray their relationships between humans and robots, more so in this case, because Gideon is fully aware of what she is and her role on the team, but I couldn’t help but feel like that came undeservedly and just as wish fulfillment, perhaps.
On other notes, I am so damn glad someone FINALLY addressed that Amaya’s granddaughter is part of the DCTV canon. I’ve been expecting someone to mention to her because of how great Mari McCabe is. Sadly, it didn’t come in these terms and, if Nate decides to keep his mouth shut, Amaya won’t even know about her — which I get because knowing about your future can be dangerous, but it was still a precious nod.
Amaya, by the way, was spectacular in “Land of The Lost”, showing that her powers are not enablers of violence, but sometimes she can actually achieve peace and lack of mistreatment through them. Not only did she save Nate’s life from the snake (again, ugh), but also had that incredible scene with Gertrude – what an amazing International Women’s Day it is when there’s positive interaction between an African superhero and a female dinosaur who was only being protective of her nest. Truly, out of this world.
When it comes to Rip Hunter, I am at least partially glad that he is back. I don’t particularly think he is a bad character and I don’t even include him in the list of things that didn’t work in Season 1. My reservation stems from the fact that it was exactly when he was missing that I really started to get into Legends of Tomorrow and, while his character has been back for a little while, it was in a villainous position which can really shed a light on stellar Arthur Darvill’s acting and (super swanky) haircut. I’m just a bit concerned about what this means for the Legends because if there’s something I REALLY don’t want to see it’s bickering for the captain chair between Sara and him.
Martin also got a bit of an arc this episode when it came to how he sees Jax and, oddly enough, the righteous pep talk came from Mick. It’s simply nice that Martin and Jax have learned to share the body and the mind and really get attached to each other emotionally. What lacked was for Martin to see Jax as more of an equal and stop infantilizing him, which I never even saw as an issue, but now that it was pointed out, at least it got fixed. Plus, I can never get enough assertions that Jax does an amazing job as chief engineer of the Waverider.
We are closing in on the season’s end and we still have to see the Apollo 13 launch next week and then the season finale set in World War I when the Legends meet up with J. R. R. Tolkien. I am all sorts of excited because this season has been outstanding and quite entertaining, and has even avoided some flaws that other DCTV shows have which, if we’re analyzing it, it probably has something to do with the 17 episodes order instead of 20-23, not leaving much room for fillers and pacing issues. Plus, it’s not every show that says the word “bisexual” these days!