Once again DC’s Legends of Tomorrow easily takes the crown as the most fun of the Arrowverse series, hands down. The season three premiere kind of swept the season two cliffhanger two under the rug quickly, but so far the series has not lost it’s ability to just embrace the crazy insane time travel antics and fun the team gets into. This time that crazy was set within the time of P.T. Barnum (guest star Billy Zane) and included a freak show and a giant out of place Saber-tooth Tiger. The team goes to fix the Anachronism of the tiger being out of time, but instead messes things up. So a typical Tuesday for the crew of the Waverider.
In the premiere Rip Hunter and his new Time Bureau agents rendered the Legends obsolete, and told them they were more of a problem than a solution to the breaking of time. While they are clearly right, the team takes a low level Anachronism and turns it into an even bigger problem, it’s the lovable dysfunction of this team that makes things enjoyable even when they are royally screwing up. Having Sara taking the route of being smarter about how to capture the tiger to contrast the guys who kind of bungle the job in the first place, yet still stand up for her team as being good at what they do as she took on Agent Sharpe was a very nice aspect of the episode. Sara knows the team can do better and will work for them to do so but still stands alongside her teammates even when they mess up.
Normally the team spends their time in the past having to save some historical figure from changes to the timeline, which is what made the shift of Barnum becoming the antagonist of the episode so interesting. He was not a super villain or a man who wanted to destroy things, he was just a desperate man who saw an opportunity to save his livelihood after the Legends ended up putting it in danger by trying to correct the time stream. Seeing a man morph into metal after losing your Saber-tooth Tiger attraction, it’s easy to see why Barnum does what he does. Even if hie methods leave a lot to be desired. It helps that Zane is really hamming it up and having a good time as the great showman.
The return of Vixen was a great move after her unexpected off screen departure in the premiere. Tension between her and Nate, with it being revealed she ended up ditching him on his birthday, should be interesting going forward. While her departure was a bit annoying at first, it makes sense. Honestly it’s hard to justify the team talking about fixing history when they are carrying Amaya around and her missing from the time stream for too long (or even dying possibly) could have ripples including leading to the erasure of the modern day Vixen, Mari who is Amaya’s grand daughter.
Her ditching Nate with no word is messed up and looks to be something the characters will have to deal with over the long term, but her reasons can’t be fully faulted. Now that they have finally stated that Amaya’s missing from the timeline is a ticking clock that will lead to Mari’s being wiped out, it remains to be seen how the series will eventually deal with that. Especially when you add in the bit where Vixen is having trouble controlling her abilities and is losing control. Either Amaya goes back for good, or Mari is gone or some deus ex machina style event will fix it all.
No doubt it will have something in the long run to do with the first glimpses of the big evil that Rip and his Time Bureau fear, Kuasa (Tracy Ifeachor). For those that didn’t watch the CW Seed animated Vixen series, Kuasa is the sister of the modern day Vixen Mari, and therefore the other granddaughter of Amaya. Good money says that Amaya’s totem issues are something tied to Kuasa’s return.
“Freakshow” overall was a great episode as it perfectly captures what is best about the Legends and turned it up a notch. It’s the type of episode where there is no real overall plot or dire circumstances which is great because it gives the cast a chance to engage in a lot of fun and zany encounters. A giant and tiny Sabertooth Tiger on the loose in the wild and on the Waverider, Ray and Jax as fake conjoined twins, Professor Stein as a clown and Mick’s hatred of clowns among other things just add to the rebirth the series underwent last season. Gone are the days of the grim Vandal Savage days of the first season. Arrow is the designated grim series, with still touches of fun, and it’s best when the other shows leave that niche to the show that began it all.
Score: 9.5 out of 10