It’s a shame that since the first season DC’s Legends of Tomorrow has not been able to find a way to fit Rip Hunter into the crew full time because when he’s back with the Legends, it’s usually a pretty good time. Despite his work to create the Time Bureau to be better at fixing time issues, Rip just feels at home with this team and it’s something that should just be a regular occurrence. Moments with Sara and the back and forth between him and Rory are always gold. At least it was all gold till the inevitable moment where Rip and the team butt heads and he goes off to do his own thing. Sadly just as Rory predicted, it was obvious this was a moment that was going to happen.
Along with Rip’s return comes the first complete focus on the big bad and villain plots of the season. A mysterious evil entity known as Mallus is gathering followers to his evil cause, taking them from some of the outlying time anachronisms including one in the past that seems to be tied to a vampire and the assassination attempt in 2042 the Legends took on that brought Zari onto their team. While last week was pure love for Spielberg and about having great fun with the E.T. format, this week builds up the plot that is deadly serious but has a great time with going back to the past and even meeting a very eccentric ancestor of Professor Stein which allows Victor Garber more time to have quite a bit of fun before his impending departure from the series.
Ray and Jax’s antics to try and keep Stein from finding out about Jax’s desire to break-up Firestorm so that Stein can go home to have his family was amusing, but it was also predictable that it would not last. With only likely a handful of episodes left, Garber begins his return to Broadway shows in January, this quest to break the halves of Firestorm up, and likely introduce a new second person for Jax to bond with hopefully rather than him just handling the power alone, should be reaching it’s end by the time of the mid-season finale. It looks like it will have some hilarious effects next week at least.
A big part of the episode was dedicated to this idea that Amaya and Zari share some connection because of their totems. Zari being the one that misses her family and can’t understand why they can’t go back to change time to save them fits because that is what would likely happen for most if they had this chance, as we saw with Sara previously. And overall it’s not a bad plot point but it got a bit cliche when she so easily fell for the medium trick and gave her amulet over to one of Mallus people from the evil cult and then had to be saved. Honestly the way Zari fit into the story last week was so much better than her part this week. Hopefully this Zari/Amaya connection goes somewhere soon as it might be one of the few parts of the plot that is dragging too much.
Damian Darhk makes his big return this week, and it proves one thing that Legends does better than the rest of the Arrowverse: the villains have way more fun. That scene of Darhk jamming out to “Return of the Mack” as he rips through the Time Bureau agents, having a good old time, proves this. Just like last season with the Legion of Doom, Legends of Tomorrow continues to prove that it seems to know how to use the villains of the other shows better than those shows. Reverse Flash, Malcolm Merlyn, Darhk and others have gotten way more spotlight and chances to really cut loose and revel in their villain ways through this series and it’s what makes it stand above the others in a great way. After season four of Arrow I felt I didn’t want to even see Darhk again but after what LOT did for him last season, I’m all in for more of him now. Especially since this is a post killed in Arrow version of the villain who remembers everything that came before.
Like with most of this new season the episode is full of a lot of fun and hilarious moments such as Rory staking a corpse, the watch busting out “Return of the Mack,” and even Nate’s apparent appreciation for sparkly Twilight vampires. Even Rory’s insistence that he be allowed to finish reading Dracula was pretty great. What wasn’t that great is the stuff near the end with Rip. This continued use of Rip as the man who trusts no one and keeps betraying people is getting a bit tiresome. Either find a way to keep him with the crew or move on from the character, as the back and forth thing can’t last forever as it will bore audiences real fast. While I love Rip as a character I do not blame Sara for turning him into the Time Bureau for what happened. No doubt he’ll be back at some point with the threat of Mallus still being out there, but it’s going to be hard to build up any sort of trust again between the team and Rip and Rip and the audience.
Score: 9 out of 10