[This is a review of Legends of Tomorrow season 2, episode 15. There will be SPOILERS.]
Throughout season 2, Legends of Tomorrow has been slowly establishing the Legion of Doom as the heroes' antagonist, with an ongoing search for the Spear of Destiny as the main storyline. All the while, the Legends have been figuring out how to work as a team following a number of major changes between the end of season 1 and the beginning of season 2. After losing team members, including the death of Leonard Snart, aka Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller), and the disappearance of Rip Hunter, Sara Lance stepped up to lead a crew that was joined by Nate Heywood, aka Citizen Steel, and Amaya Jiwe, aka Vixen.
However, Eobard Thawne, aka Reverse-Flash (Matt Letscher), was assembling his own team in his search for the Spear, including Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) and Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman). As of last week's episode, 'Moonshot', all the pieces of the Spear had been recovered but were split between the Legends and the Legion. After getting their original captain back in the previous episode, 'Land of the Lost', the Legends appear set to take on the Legion in order to claim the rest of the Spear and keep it out of the villain's' hands. But, a familiar face appears this week to throw the Legends off balance as the Legion fully assembles.
In 'Fellowship of the Spear' -- written by Keto Shimizu and Matthew Maala and directed by Ben Bray -- the Legends follow the Legion to France during World War I, where they turn to a soldier by the name of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (Jack Turner) for help. However, when they finally find the Legion, the Legends realize the villains have enlisted their old ally, Captain Cold -- but a version of him that hasn't yet become the hero from season 1.
Some Assembly Required
With only a few episodes left in Legends of Tomorrow season 2, 'Fellowship of the Spear' is both a tightening of the ship and a somewhat rushed endeavor. After spending a good portion of the season on the search for the pieces of the Spear of Destiny, which was broken up by various side missions including one to restore Rip Hunter to his rightful self, the Legends manage to locate the Legion's headquarters and their pieces of the Spear within the opening minutes of the episode.
Certainly, it's explained well enough how the team figures out where the Legion of Doom has been hiding out all this time, since Rip did spend quite some time with the villainous group. But, what could have proved to be a compelling episode on all its own - the Legends' infiltration of the Legion's HQ in the Vanishing Point - is rushed through in order to get all the pieces of the Spear together so Legends of Tomorrow can jump into the main storyline of the episode. After spending so much time tracking down each individual shard, while viewers attempted to keep track of which group had which pieces, the quick assembly of the Spear is anticlimactic.
However, the Legends' visit to the Vanishing Point does work as a way to set up the return of their teammate who sacrificed himself at that very point. Mick Rory, whose own character arc is somewhat rushed throughout 'Fellowship of the Spear', has a moment to himself in the Vanishing Point to reflect on the death of his friend and partner, Leonard Snart. It's a nice moment that foreshadows the character's proper return later in the episode.
One Does Not Simply Walk Into War
Like 'Raiders of the Lost Art' before it, 'Fellowship of the Spear' pays a great deal of homage to Tolkien's first Lord of the Rings novel with which the episode shares its name. In addition to meeting the author at a point in time before he creates the art for which he's most well known, 'Fellowship of the Spear' also works in plenty of references to The Fellowship of the Ring that seemingly imply the Legends inspire Tolkien's beloved story. Certainly, there are parallels of a sort; the Spear, with its ability to rewrite destiny, is a relic with too much power for one person to wield. As such, the Legends set out to destroy it.
Just as with 'Raiders of the Lost Art', 'Fellowship of the Spear' is obviously crafted from a place of love and respect for Tolkien's work. The references and the parallels to the Lord of the Rings are bound to be fun for both diehard and casual fans of the author's most well-known novels (that have since been turned into massively successful blockbusters by Peter Jackson). Additionally, since the Legends meet Tolkien himself - as they previously met George Lucas - 'Fellowship of the Spear' offers fans a peek behind the curtain of the beloved property at the person who created it.
That said, since this week's Legends of Tomorrow also crams in the team's journey to the Vanishing Point, 'Fellowship of the Spear' doesn't give as much time to Tolkien as the show did during their Lucas-focused episode. Additionally, with Legends of Tomorrow season 2 barreling toward its season finale in two weeks time, it's an odd placement within the overall season for an episode at least partially devoted to honoring the work of Tolkien. Still, with the beloved author set to return in the season finale, perhaps 'Fellowship of the Spear' sets up more than viewers know just yet.
Captain Cold Returns – For Real
The shadow - or ghost, or hallucination - of Leonard Snart has plagued Mick Rory for much of Legends of Tomorrow season 2. The hallucination form of his former partner often acted as a litmus test against which his own development as a hero has been measured. 'Fellowship of the Spear' builds off of that in the beginning, with Mick thinking he's talking to a hallucination, when he's actually revealing the Legends' plan to a very real Leonard - one who brings all the information back to his fellows in the Legion of Doom.
Mick's mistake, however, leads to accusations from his teammates that he'll never be completely trustworthy given his past as a thug. Ostensibly, these accusations prompt Mick to realize he'll never be accepted as a part of the Legends team, causing him to join forces with the Legion of Doom when Leonard offers him a chance to do so - as long as he brings along the Spear of Destiny. 'Fellowship of the Spear' ends with Mick and Leonard aligned with the other members of the Legion, using the Spear together.
Of course, it's entertaining to see Captain Cold officially return to the fold on Legends of Tomorrow, even as a villain. But, the turnaround of Mick is ham-fisted into 'Fellowship of the Spear' in another aspect of the episode that's rushed along to set the season up for its final two installments in season 2. Additionally, given how much time has been spent to establishing Mick's development as a hero this season, it's possible Legends of Tomorrow may be setting up the character to double cross his former partner - in a true show of how far he's come since season 1. With Legends of Tomorrow heading into an alternate reality that the Legion of Doom has created with the Spear of Destiny, Mick's true loyalties will likely be revealed when the show continues next week with 'Doomworld'.
Legends of Tomorrow continues Tuesday, March 28 with ‘Doomworld’ at 9pm on The CW.