The Legends of Tomorrow Go to World War One and Back Again
Stay on target DC TV Comes to NYCC, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Grin & More DC NewsOur Favorite TV Superheroes Ranked Things have been going a little too easy on Legends of Tomorrow. For the last few weeks, the team has been easily defeating the Legion of Doom and collecting the fragments of the Spear of Destiny. As we get closer to the end of the season (only two more now), it’s about time for everything to go wrong. You know things are about to go poorly when the episode starts us in World War I. That war didn’t turn out well for anyone involved. Including, as we learned last night, the Legends.The episode immediately flashes back to a few days earlier to show us how the Legends got themselves into this mess. Now that they’ve collected all the remaining loose pieces of the Spear, all that’s left to do is steal the rest from the Legion of Doom. That turns out to be an easy task as Rip knows exactly where they’ve been hiding: The Vanishing Point, which exists outside of time. Returning to the place where Captain Cold died starts giving Rory flashbacks. Before he can deal with that, Jax finds the rest of the spear fragments and the Legends escape before Eobard Thawne can catch them. Reverse Flash isn’t so fast anymore.So now the Legends have the spear, and they need to destroy it, so it’s power can never fall into the wrong hands. Rory tries burning it, but the spear appears indestructible. Fortunately, his fire revealed an inscription. Since Nate reads Latin, he’s able to figure out that the spear can only be destroyed by the substance that created it: The blood of Jesus.Maisie Richardson- Sellers as Amaya Jiwe/Vixen (Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW)Unfortunately, we can’t go back to biblical times because that time period is so important, nobody can risk messing with it. That or first-century Jerusalem would cost too much to recreate at this point in the season. Instead, they have to find the body of Sir Gawain, a knight rumored to have returned from the crusades with a vial of Christ’s blood. And the only person in history who knows where that is is J.R.R. Tolkien, who is conveniently located in the same general area as the corpse. The catch? He’s serving in World War I.The team finds Tolkien in the medical tent dealing with severe PTSD, and enlist his help in finding the spear. Remember how many Star Wars jokes were in the George Lucas episode two months ago? This is that for Tolkien jokes. It leads to a few nice moments, but it’s not quite as endearing the second time around. I do enjoy that the Legends started calling themselves “The Fellowship” though. Tolkien helps the Legends find the church where Sir Gawain’s body is said to be hidden. Following the clues Tolkien unearthed, they find a skeleton wearing armor in a church wall. The Legion of Doom ambushes them, along with a team of German soldiers. They also have Leonard Snart with them. It turns out he wasn’t just a hallucination of Rory’s. The Legion plucked him from the timeline before his noble sacrifice at the end of Season One, and he’s been making Rory doubt his team’s loyalty to him.Wentworth Miller as Leonard Snart/Captain Cold and Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory/Heat Wave (Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW)The Legends escape the ensuing firefight, but not before Tolkien has had a chance to copy the inscription on the dead knight’s armor. Back on the wave runner, he tries to decipher the marking, while the rest of the team faces some drama involving the spear. Amaya has been depressed since she saw her future and is tempted to use the spear to fix things. This little plot detour is over almost as soon as it begins when Sara explains what an amazing person Amaya’s granddaughter grows up to be. This brings me to one of the episodes biggest weaknesses. There is too much going on, and very little of it’s handled all that well. It’s enough to make you wish the season was closer in length to the rest of the Arrowverse shows. Maybe then these plot points would have had more time to breathe.Tolkien figures out that the vial containing the blood is buried somewhere in the middle of no man’s land. That’s how we get to where the Legends are at the beginning of the episode. Using parts of Aragorn speech from Return of the King, Rip calls a ceasefire so each army can collect their injured, and the Legends can search for the vial without dodging bullets. The spear leads them to the vial, but just after they find it, the Legion shows up. Captain Cold convinces Rory to join them, and he delivers the spear. Damien Darhk tosses a grenade to begin the fighting once more, and the now five-member Legion of Doom escapes with the help of Thawne’s speed.To make matters worse, Steel is knocked over while making his way to the Waverider and the vial is destroyed. As the episode ends, Nate points out that maybe not all is lost. It’s possible the Legion doesn’t know how to use the spear. Yeah, things aren’t going to be that easy. Malcolm Merlyn has procured a book that details exactly how to use the thing. That’s a bleak note to leave things on.Wentworth Miller as Leonard Snart/Captain Cold and Neal McDonough as Damien Darhk (Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW)While it was good to have the Legends lose after such a long streak of luck, this episode was definitely a step down for the stellar second season. There’s no way to make World War I fun, and even the Tolkien references couldn’t help that. The problem was there never seemed to be any real danger either. If you’re going to go to one of the bleakest, bloodiest wars in history, it should feel like something’s at stake. But with every plot development brought up and solved so quickly, there was never any tension. I did like the development of Rory betraying his team. That should add an interesting dynamic going forward. I doubt it’s permanent, though. In the end, I imagine he’ll choose to fight on the side of the Legends. He may even bring back Snart too. Come on, Rory is the best character. Legends of Tomorrow wouldn’t be the same without him.