The latest episode of ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ shifts focus a bit away from the Legends team and over to their nemeses, the so-called Legion of Doom, one of whom even delivers the opening voiceover. You’d think this would be a perfect opportunity to playfully change the on-screen title too, but apparently nobody thought of that.
We begin with a flashback to Star City eight months ago. In a depressed funk, Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) watches Damien Darhk’s death on the news. Then, from out of nowhere, Darhk himself (at least, a younger version of him from the past) pops right into the room courtesy of the time-traveling Reverse-Flash. They offer Merlyn a new opportunity for power and revenge. “Do you believe in second chances?” Reverse-Flash asks.
In the present (or whatever time it is we’re calling the present), this trio of bad guys have kidnapped Rip Hunter and interrogate him about where the missing pieces of the Spear of Destiny are. The cowardly Rip wants to answer but he doesn’t know. He still believes that he’s a 1967 film student named Philip and has no idea what they’re talking about. Merlyn attempts to hypnotize him to draw out his repressed memories, but later concedes that Rip simply doesn’t have the memories anymore. They’ve been removed from his head. Darhk wants to torture him anyway. Merlyn thinks that’s pointless. However, when Darhk extracts one of Rip’s teeth with pliers, he finds a bar code printed on it.
Reverse-Flash grows impatient with how long all this is taking, and keeps running off every time a timer on his uniform rings. Both Merlyn and Darhk think he’s an arrogant prick and can’t stand the way he treats them as his underlings. They don’t trust each other much either, for that matter.
The bar code leads to a Zurich bank in the year 2025, where Rip owns a safety deposit box. Darhk and Merlyn force Rip to go to the bank and access the box. Unfortunately, although he passes the retinal scan, he doesn’t know the passcode and can’t get in. This failure leads to a lot of in-fighting between Merlyn and Darhk. Finally, they decide that they both really hate Reverse-Flash and must work together to double-cross him.
The Spear of Destiny allegedly has the power to alter reality. Over the course of the episode, we learn that Reverse-Flash is so eager to get his hands on it because he’s a time aberration and something (even worse than a Time Wraith, he claims) is chasing him. He keeps running off because he needs to keep moving to get away from it. With the Spear of Destiny, he hopes to make himself a legitimate part of the timestream again.
Darhk and Merlyn return to the bank and simply shoot and murder their way into the vault this time. When Reverse-Flash comes back to their lair and finds Rip unguarded, Rip tells him where to find the others. He chases right after them.
Inside the safety deposit box is a device called a “pneumonic archive” that contains all of Rip’s memories. When Reverse-Flash arrives, Merlyn and Darhk lure him into the vault and then close the door, locking all of them in. After a few seconds of being trapped in there with them, Reverse-Flash gets antsy. If he stays in one place too long, the thing chasing him will catch up.
Believing they have the upper hand, Darhk and Merlyn demand a more equitable partnership. When he hears noises in the bank, Reverse-Flash agrees… if they can get him out safely. The two of them have an idea.
The thing chasing Reverse-Flash looks like a zombie version of The Flash. I’m sure we’ll get an explanation for that in a future episode, but it’s left uncommented upon here. Reverse-Flash says that it’s drawn to his Speed Force, so Darhk and Merlyn suggest that he stand very, very still. If he doesn’t move, it can’t see him. Sure enough, it works. This gives Merlyn and Darhk enough opportunity to trap the time zombie in the vault so that they and Reverse-Flash can escape.
Out of the woods for the moment, the Legion are partners again. Reverse-Flash tinkers with the pneumonic archive in order to reprogram Rip when restoring his memories. The episode ends with a trip to 1776, where Rip meets and murders George Washington.
I sense another timequake coming on.
What the Legends Are Up To
During all of this, Prof. Stein attempts to analyze the Longinus Medallion. It’s supposed to be able to lead them to the Spear of Destiny, but he can’t figure out how. With no luck at that, he recruits the assistance of his daughter, Lily. She does something to the medallion that gets it to project a holographic map. Stein brings her back to the Waverider with him, and surreptitiously asks the rest of the team not to say anything about Lily being a time aberration herself. Of course, having put that idea in Mick’s head, naturally he lets it slip right out that she’s a “fake person.”
This causes some strife between Stein and his daughter, but he eventually patches things up with a heart-to-heart. More importantly, Lily works with Ray to hook the medallion up to the Gideon computer in order to interpret the map.
This is a pretty decent episode all-in-all, but it leaves open a really big plot hole. Since a critical part of the plot hinges on Reverse-Flash being trapped in the bank vault and unable to get away, why doesn’t he simply phase through the vault door to escape? If he had, Darhk and Merlyn would have no way of besting him. Have the writers of the show forgotten that he has this power, or are they ignoring it for a plot contrivance?