Nothing Beats Having A Compelling Villain
One thing that has plagued some of the other DC CW hero shows is the lack of coherent or compelling villain stories this season. Legends has a better ability than the rest to build their villains but also balance out episodes where the villains are not the central focus, like two weeks ago during the time loop episode. After a sort of fun but also a somewhat mediocre trip to the pirate-filled past last week, the Darhk family takes a spotlight this week and it’s pretty great.
In season four of Arrow, Damian Darhk was a pretty over the top in a bad way villain that dragged the series down a bit (though in retrospect now his season was far better than the current Arrow season). Then season two of Legends saved the character, and when Neal McDonough is allowed to cut loose Damian is a powerful, terrifying, murderous yet at the same time really fun villain. Sure he killed the guy but the whole banter over his dating profile with Ray’s former dating app company manager was pretty great. As is him donning a blonde wig to play his somewhat younger self from the 60s who was this bad ass assassin.
Seeing Ray and Nora Darhk run into the typical issues of the Legends where time travel plans go awry was kind of funny. Sometimes the bad luck can be tiresome (like the pirate episode) but other times it’s quirky and fun and adds to things. This week it allowed that because it gave us older and slightly less older Damian Darhk engage in a no holds barred fight where they show how evenly matched they are but also how different they actually are. Alongside this, all the character development of the Darhks was really welcome.
We knew who Damian was, but Nora has been very much an enigma at times because of her going from being a little girl to a grown up to a demon-possessed individual. Father and daughter squabbling over the way Darhk treated his daughter, as a commodity and a way to bring Mallus further into the world, gave a lot of insight into them. Putting Ray in the middle of it helped a lot as he was able to get them to see things from another perspective, even if they wanted to kill him.
The Totem & Mallus Plot Thickens
At last, through a vision quest of sorts, we finally begin to get pieces of what the demon Mallus is trying to do. Team Darhk’s plan to create anachronism’s through time all season has been a way to try and break time itself because once that happens Mallus, who was trapped there by totem bearers, will be able to escape the timeless world between worlds. Unfortunately not only does Nora Darhk gain the ability to use one of the totems, Amaya’s stolen one, but Ray’s attempts to get the team to come save him (blasting a hole in the Berlin wall to get their attention) causes time to begin to show visible cracks in reality as all the time aberrations are taking their toll.
At the start of the season the Legends were accused of having broken time because of their saving all of reality by meeting themselves in time, and now the breaking they began has been accelerated by the villains. Heroes having to clean up their own messes that the villains took over always has potential to be a fun storyline.
Rip Hunter Pulls Another Typical Rip Hunter
It’s good to see Rip back, even if he’s still got secrets. I’ve long not been a fan of the series constant need to make Rip a sort of ‘bad guy’ that causes issues with the team as a way to break him away from the team the last two seasons. I get it, Sara is the leader now and the type of character Rip is they think it would be really hard to have him just be on the team if he’s not a leader. They very well could have him back on the team as an advisor role to Sara instead of a leader. Instead, he’s the character they have to find reasons to bounce him out of the picture for long periods of time.
Having him bring Wally back was great and it was also great to see him finally vindicated in his pursuit of Mallus, as the others have quickly found out how right he was. Unfortunately, his admittance back into the Time Bureau came at the bloody hands of the villainous Gorilla Grodd who brutally killed the Director Bennett, making it so that Agent Sharpe is now Director Sharpe. Then Rip had to screw it all up by secretly asking Gideon to delete a secret file about Sharpe, so that Sara, who is now dating Sharpe, will never find out something about what makes Sharpe special in some way. No doubt, of course, the secret will come out at some point and Rip will be put on the spot again. Cause that’s what his new role seems to be.
Putting the spotlight on the villains and Ray in the 60s was a great move as it made the show dive back into the realm of being super fun. This series is best when it just gives into the fun. Finally revealing Mallus plan was great, as was the fact that the Legends, unfortunately, played a part in helping his plan come closer to fruition.
Score: 9 out of 10