‘Legends of Tomorrow’ 2.09 Recap: “What I Really Want Is to Direct!”

I feel like one of the writers of ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ saw that ‘George Lucas in Love’ parody short from a few years back and asked his producers, “Hey, you think we can get an hour out of this?”

For the show’s return from its winter break, the Legends crew travel to 1967 southern California in search of their missing captain, Rip Hunter. In flashback, we see that, before he scattered the crew and abandoned the ship during the NYC nuke attack in 1942, Rip retrieved a wooden stick from a hidden compartment. We’ll learn that this is a piece of the Spear of Destiny, an artifact of Judeo-Christian mythology about the lance that pierced Jesus’ side. Supposedly, it was imbued with magical powers, here defined as the ability to “rewrite reality,” whatever that means. Rip escapes the ship by touching part of its time drive with his bare hand, which we’re told is very dangerous and may result in imprinting himself with a completely new personality. Or something.

Honestly, the technobabble gobbledegook this week is ever less comprehensible than normal. What it ultimately amounts to is that the 35-year-old man now thinks he’s a college film student named Philip Gassmer, whose thesis project is a sci-fi movie about a team of time-traveling superheroes. He has no idea that the story he’s directing is actually his real life. Also, his best friend is a nerdy, bearded film student with glasses, named George.

OMG, you guys. Do you get who this is supposed to be? How about if I tell you that the episode title is ‘Raiders of the Lost Art’? Do you get it yet? Do you?!

Anyway, while researching the amulets that Reverse-Flash, Damien Darhk and Malcolm Merlyn (a trio he’s decided to nickname the “Legion of Doom”) are so obsessed with, Nate determines that they both connect together to form the Longinus Medallion, which will lead them to the Spear of Destiny. That would be bad, so the Legends follow the Legion to 1967 and try to rescue Rip before the bad guys find him.

Unfortunately, Rip (or Philip) has no idea who any of his friends are. He freaks out when he sees the Legends tussle with the Legion. Worse, his friend George Lucas is so terrified that he quits film school. As it turns out, this has serious repercussions for both Nate and Ray, who become dumber over the course of the episode. You see, if George Lucas never makes ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Indiana Jones’, he’ll never inspire young Ray Palmer to become a scientist or Nate Heywood to become a historian. They’ll lose all of their knowledge on these subjects and become imbeciles.

Not only does the team have to kidnap Rip Hunter and bring him back to the Waverider, Ray and Nate must convince George Lucas to become a filmmaker rather than an insurance salesman. They bring Amaya along to help, even though she’s from 1942 and has never heard of George Lucas or any of his movies.

The boys plead with George to stay in school: “You’re our only hope!” Ha ha, get it? Later, when they learn that George (who was the propmaster on Rip’s movie) obliviously threw out the Spear of Destiny along with a bunch of other props, they have to scrounge through a garbage compactor to find it, and of course the bad guys turn on the crushers while they’re still in it. Huh, I wonder if this might inspire George in some way…

After another battle between the Legends and the League, Sara recovers both the Longinus Medallion and the piece of the Spear of Destiny, but the Reverse-Flash kidnaps Rip. Fortunately, George Lucas has decided that he wants to make movies after all. The team will have to figure out how to rescue Rip later. Also, they need to find the other hidden pieces of the Spear. First, though, Nate and Ray need to introduce Amaya to ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Raiders’ with a movie night binge. Priorities, people…

Off somewhere else, the Reverse-Flash, Merlyn and Darhk plan to torture Rip until he tells them where the other pieces of the Spear are. The only problem is, he has no idea what they’re talking about.

It Ain’t Brain Surgery

In a subplot, Mick continues to see visions of dead Snart. When Dr. Stein catches him talking to himself, Mick begs him to “fix” him. Stein does a brain scan and discovers that Mick has a transmitter/receiver chip embedded in his head, implanted there from his time as a bounty hunter working for the Time Masters. Stein theorizes that, when he blew himself up at the Vanishing Point station, Snart may not have died, so much as scattered his energy across the universe. He thinks that Snart may be trying to communicate with Mick through the chip.

Sadly, after Stein cuts into Mick’s skull and pulls out the chip, he finds that it’s been inactive for a long time. The voices Mick has been hearing didn’t come from it. Stein is no shrink, but he suggests that perhaps seeing the ghost of Snart is really a manifestation of Mick’s conscience – which would have to mean that Mick actually has a conscience.

Episode Verdict

I’m not thrilled with this episode. The George Lucas stuff is both too gimmicky/jokey and sycophantic. The actor playing him is wearing the worst fake beard I’ve seen since the ‘Gettysburg’ movie in 1993. Are you telling me that, in 2016/2017 (I assume the episode was shot a few months ago), the producers of this show couldn’t find a college-age or twenty-something actor with a beard? I seriously doubt that.

Even beyond that, the episode doesn’t do a lot for me.

1 comment

  1. Guy

    I know we make fun of this show for having zero internal logic all the time, but comparing this to the previous episode is one of the more obvious examples in Legends of Tomorrow’s young life as a series. Ray and Nate spent all of The Chicago Way making references to The Untouchables despite the aberration being that Eliot Ness had died. When they tried to save him, he actually ended up with brain damage by way of oxygen deprivation for the majority of the episode instead. Shouldn’t they have forgotten all their De Niro jokes because The Untouchables wouldn’t have existed without Eliot Ness? Using this episode’s logic more broadly, shouldn’t the team start forgetting what the hell they’re even supposed to be doing in several other episodes of the show that involve large changes in the past? Even by this show’s (lack of) standards, this was sloppily conceived just so they could make a few obvious George Lucas jokes.

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