‘Legends of Tomorrow’ 2.17 Recap: “Bad Things Happened and It Sucked”

I gave up recapping ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ halfway through the second season, mostly because the show just didn’t fit into my schedule to get watched and recapped in a timely fashion. It didn’t help that, frankly, a lot of the episodes were pretty dumb, sometimes painfully so. With the season now over, I suppose it’s worth checking in to see where we stand.

In recent episodes, the evil Legion of Doom (Eobard Thawne, Malcolm Merlyn and Damien Darhk) were able to assemble all the pieces of the magical Spear of Destiny, which granted them the ability to change reality itself. Thawne used it to create a world (called Doomworld) where the three of them are in charge and the Legends team was never formed. Sara and Amaya worked for the League as mercenary assassins, Rip had his original memories but was stuck in a miniaturized Waverider, and the others were nobodies and losers. Over time, most of them regained their memories of how the world was supposed to be, but Leonard Snart (a time remnant pulled from the past before he joined the Legends or developed a conscience) murdered Amaya.

In the finale episode, the surviving team members break into S.T.A.R. Labs to find Ray’s exo-suit, which they use to re-enlarge the Waverider to normal size. Hoping to set things right, they decide to return to the World War I battlefield in 1916 at the moment the Legion obtained the final piece of the Spear. In doing so, they’ll violate the first rule of time travel, which is to never interfere with events where they’ve already been.

Sara sets a firm rule that they absolutely cannot interact with their former selves, but that goes out the window pretty quickly. Thawne figures out where they went and travels back as well. Done with playing games, he immediately shatters the vessel containing the Blood of Christ (the only thing capable of destroying the Spear), and murders Ray by ripping his heart right out of his chest. While trying to steal the Spear from themselves without being noticed, the other Legends fail at both tasks. The two sets of Legends teams of course run directly into each other, and then the episode gets hugely confusing.

The original Sara thinks the new ones must be imposters, so the Legends fight themselves for control of the Spear until original Rip realizes what’s really going on. Even with that sorted out, they next have to deal with a timequake (triggered by their meddling with their own timelines) and the Legion of Doom attacking the ship. Despite Rip’s warnings, the two Saras agree that the only way out of the situation is to time jump with duplicates of everybody (except Amaya and Ray) on board. That proves disastrous and creates a time storm that causes the ship to crash.

The two sets of Legends then separate. Those from the Doomworld future go on a suicide mission to hold off the Legion while their past selves escape with the Spear. (Because they’re all time aberrations, they’d cease to exist as soon as reality is restored anyway, so the stakes here aren’t as high as they sound.) Jax dies fighting Malcolm Merlyn, Mick is killed by Snart, and Nate falls to Damien Darhk’s hand.

To make a messy situation even more chaotic, Thawne runs around all through time and comes back with dozens of time remnant copies of himself.

Sara grabs the Spear and uses it to take a time-out so that she can have a conversation with her dead sister, Laurel. Sara is filled with self-doubt and believes that she’s too damaged to be entrusted with control over reality, but Laurel gives her some words of encouragement.

Sara returns to 1916, seemingly without changing anything. Thawne quickly zips in and grabs the Spear from her hands. He smugly announces that he’s going to erase all the Legends from existence. However, when he tries, the Spear doesn’t work. It turns out that Sara did change one piece of reality after all; she depowered the Spear from being used again. Clever girl.

Almost as soon as Thawne realizes his failure, the zombie speedster that’s been chasing him arrives and kills him. Thawne disintegrates in front of everyone, and all of his time remnant copies vanish.

Reality then restores itself, and all the Legends from Doomworld likewise fade away (though much slower), leaving only the originals. They return Malcolm Merlyn and Damien Darhk back to their proper places in the timeline (2016 and 1987 respectively). Mick drops Snart off in 2014 and wipes his memory, leaving him to be recruited by the Legends as he was supposed to.

Amaya announces that she’s going back to 1942 to follow her destined path. However, when Nate tells her that he wants to go with her, she decides not to leave after all. (She says this in a way that almost sounds convincing, even though her reasoning makes no sense at all.)

Sara catches Rip trying to sneak off the ship without anyone noticing. He says that Sara’s a better captain than he was and that he has nothing left to teach the team. He then leaves in the jump ship to have adventures of his own, or something.

Lest it seem that the crew would get a happy ending, another time storm hits the Waverider, sending it crashing into Los Angeles in the present day of 2017. For some reason, the city skyline is dotted with weird-looking buildings, and… oh yeah, dinosaurs are running around all over the place.

Sara declares: “Guys, I think we broke time.”

Episode Verdict

I still enjoy ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ enough to keep watching next season, but the show’s plotting and rules of time travel make less and less sense with each new episode. A bunch of episodes this season were flat-out bad (that King Arthur ep, oy…), and it was really hard to feel too invested in the reality-altering shenanigans of this storyline given that nothing on this show had any repercussions to ‘The Flash’ (or presumably ‘Arrow’, but I still don’t watch that one) – which, logically, it should have.

Are we supposed to believe that Eobard Thawne is now gone for good from all three shows? I tend to doubt that’s true. He’ll surely be ret-conned back in at some point.

For as little as it makes any sense, the season finale is actually a fun episode that gets pretty crazy when all the characters have to interact with themselves. It feels like the show’s writers just said, “Screw it,” threw their hands in the air, and tossed every gonzo idea they could think of into one bonkers episode. There are worse ways to end a season. If you’re gonna do it, you might as well go for broke.

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