[This is a review of Legends of Tomorrow season 2, episode 10. There will be SPOILERS.]
The first half of Legends of Tomorrow season 2 largely followed the team dealing with the fallout of the season premiere, in which the crew members were scattered all across time and history -- with the exact whereabouts of their captain, Rip Hunter, unclear. As a result, the team added new members in Nate Heywood aka Citizen Steel and Amaya Jiwe, aka Vixen, while Sara Lance took up the post of captain as they traveled through time and space battling time aberrations -- most often caused by the burgeoning Legion of Doom.
Now, the Legion of Doom hasn't quite fully formed (we know Captain Cold is expected to join their ranks eventually), but they currently have quite the impressive lineup of Reverse-Flash (Matt Letscher), Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), and Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman). Last week's episode saw the return of Rip Hunter, with the Legion of Doom going after him in an attempt to locate the Spear of Destiny, but the former captain of the Waverider had no recollection of who he was and proved unhelpful to just about everyone. The episode concluded with the Legion of Doom kidnapping Rip Hunter, but the Legends obtained the device with which to find the remaining pieces of the Spear of Destiny.
In this week's episode 'The Legion of Doom' -- written by Phil Klemmer and Marc Guggenheim and directed by Eric Laneuville -- the Legends team attempts to find the Spear of Destiny, though they haven't forgotten that Rip is in the hands of their enemies. To do so, they enlist the help of Professor Stein's daughter Lily (Christina Brucato). Meanwhile, some in-fighting begins to manifest among the Legion members as they try to learn as much as they can from Rip.
The Legion of Doom Is Still Working Out the Kinks
As previously promised by executive producer Greg Berlanti, this week's episode of Legends of Tomorrow placed the majority of its focus on The Legion of Doom - with Damien Darhk even lending his talents to the opening monologue voiceover. The change in dynamic is a fantastic mix-up in the season, shifting from the team aboard the Waverider to the team of villains as they attempt to recover the Spear of Destiny through an essentially useless Rip Hunter - er, Phil.
However, much of the planning is left up to Darhk and Merlyn as Reverse-Flash keeps popping in and out of their lair. But despite Merlyn and Darhk's partnership in the past - well, Merlyn and the viewers' past, Darhk's future - the pair don't work particularly well together, squabbling over whose method of information recovery is better and whose plan is bigger (in terms of chances of success). The squabbling is entertaining and humorous in that is allows viewers to see a side to both villains that Arrow never truly delved into, making them somewhat more human.
Still, neither Darhk nor Merlyn really get anywhere until Rip points out that Reverse-Flash has pitted them against each other so that their focus remains on themselves rather than on the evil speedster. Once Rip makes this observation, Reverse-Flash's manipulations fall apart as Darhk and Merlyn team up, not only to access Rip's futuristic safety deposit box, but to get the truth out of Eobard (more on that later). These confrontations between the three Legion of Doom members put an end to the in-fighting as all three members are forced to work together. It's a compelling storyline for the Legends of Tomorrow episode, but spells bad news for the team aboard the Waverider.
Lily Joins Team Legends For A Day
Of course, 'The Legion of Doom' doesn't wholly focused on the group of villains itself (though that may have made for a more intriguing episode). Back on the Waverider, the Legends team is at somewhat of a loss for what to do. Though they have the medallion with which to find the Spear of Destiny, they don't know how to use it. So, they turn to Professor Stein's daughter Lily, who was introduced -- rather hurriedly - during The Flash episode of the 'Invasion!' crossover.
However, Stein turns to Lily without warning his fellow crewmates about it first, railroading Jax as Stein takes him to meet with Lily, then later bringing his daughter back to the Waverider itself. At this point, only Jax and Sara know about Lily, though Sara informs the whole crew - and Stein cautions them all to keep the fact that Lily is an aberration a secret from her. Mick, of course, doesn't, leading to a fight between father and daughter.
This particular storyline serves to propel the plot of Legends of Tomorrow season 2 forward a meager step, with Lily and Ray hooking up the medallion to the Waverider so that their ship can help lead them to the Spear of Destiny. But, moreso the arc further develops the thread of Lily's status as an aberration, giving the episode a more grounded emotional throughline. Stein is forced to reconcile the fact that he didn't want a daughter, but is happy to be a father to Lily, and explain it to her without messing up as a parent. It's a sweet arc, albeit somewhat jarringly placed alongside the Legion of Doom focus in the episode.
Black Flash Is After Reverse-Flash
The biggest reveal of 'The Legion of Doom' comes when Reverse-Flash finally confesses the secret he's been keeping from his teammates -- while the Legends team help to explain how exactly it all works for the viewer's sake. Essentially, this is the version of Reverse-Flash that Barry took out of the timeline when he created Flashpoint, then put back. But, Eobard Thawne has been slowly in the process of being erased from the timeline because Eddie Thawne killed himself in The Flash season 1 and, as a result, Reverse-Flash has been running from Black Flash - an entity of Death among speedsters.
The confession, which is pressured out of Eobard as Black Flash locates him in the bank vault along with Darhk and Merlyn, leads to the Legion of Doom teaming up to escape the creature. Eobard explains that Black Flash can find him through the speedforce, so the Legion lures the speedster of Death using Reverse-Flash's powers. The sequence is seemingly heavily influenced by the iconic Tyrannosaurus Rex scenes from Jurassic Park - which makes sense following a George Lucas-focused episode last week - with Eobard remaining still so that Black Flash cannot sense where he is. The Legion attacks Black Flash all at once, managing to escape -- for now.
With Black Flash hot on the heels of the Legion of Doom and the Legends fully equipped to locate the Spear of Destiny, it seems all that's left is for the heroes to save Rip Hunter. However, the Legion of Doom obtained Rip's memories from his safety deposit box, and Eobard made some changes to the former Time Master. This Rip is featured in the final sequence of the episode shooting General George Washington on a key day in the Revolutionary War. Now, the Legends will have to go after their former ally, but it should prove to make for an exciting battle as Rip is now more of an enemy.
Legends of Tomorrow continues Tuesday, February 7 with ‘Turncoat’ at 9pm on The CW.