Legends of Tomorrow Has a Wonderful Time in Old Hollywood

first_img All last season, whenever The Flash was struggling, I could always count on Legends of Tomorrow to cheer me right back up. After last night, it’s clear that will continue to be the case this season. As The Flash tries to bounce back from season three and get its story going, Legends of Tomorrow continues to have everything figured out. After last week’s story-packed episode, the Legends try to get back to fixing anachronisms. Unfortunately for them, the events of last week have complicated things a bit. They once again have a trio of supervillains doing everything they can to stop the Legends from succeeding. Also, two of them have switched bodies. There’s almost a risk of too much going on in this episode, but it actually pulls it off. I guess when your show is all about chaotic superhero hijinks, you learn to write them very well.The insanity starts when Ray builds a machine that should safely sever the connection between Martin and Jax. It doesn’t. Instead, it overloads and causes them to switch bodies. The best part of all this is Franz Drameh and Victor Garber doing their best impressions of each other. It’s pretty amazing to watch and got me cackling almost every time they were on screen. Drameh’s old professor voice is already the best part of this entire season. Also great are the rest of the crew’s reactions to what happened. They aren’t surprised or even all that angry. They’re just annoyed, like it happens all the time. Especially Sara Lance, who has clearly learned to pick her battles and decides that this isn’t one of them. They have an anachronism to fix.Todd Thomson as Eddie Rothberg, Bar Paly as Helen of Troy and Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer/Atom (Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW)This episode brought the Legends back to old Hollywood, where an extremely beautiful woman wandered onto a set one day. Two studios started fighting over her, leading to literal murders and the crumbling of the nascent American film industry. That woman was Helen of Troy. The episode never tries to explain why Helen’s mere presence causes men to fight, but acknowledges that it happens no matter what time she’s in. The studios treat her like a queen, and men start getting into fights over who knocked down a fake pillar in front of her. Soon, she’s poached by an executive from Warner Bros., and things deteriorate from there. Even the male Legends are rendered completely useless by her presence. That works out fine because it means the women get most of the fun scenes in this episode. It’s been a while since they got to show off their skills.The really cool thing about this episode is its exploration of Helen’s character. It’s one of the few Trojan War-related works that tries to imagine what she must have thought of all this. She hates being treated like an object to be won in war. When the Legends show up to take her back, she flees at first. Men still may be fighting for her in this new time, but at least they aren’t killing each other. Yet. Yeah, once the Hollywood executives start shooting guns at each other, she realizes it’s time to go.Maisie Richardson-Sellers as Amaya/Vixen and Tracy Ifeachor as Kuasa (Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW)Of course, the whole thing is complicated by Damien Darhk, his daughter Nora and Kuasa. Darhk has been posing as Helen’s agent, encouraging her to cause more chaos. We didn’t learn much about Mallus’s ultimate plans this season, but we now know that the anachronisms are important. He wants to create chaos across time for reasons that are still unknown. That gives the legends a nice driving force for the rest of the season, and ensures that they’ll run up against the Darhks and Kuasa more often, rather than them being occasional villains. The three of them make a scary effective team, and it’s much more fun to watch the Legends tangle with them than the Time Bureau. It also leads to some fantastic fight scenes, Sara and Damien swordfighting one-on-one is always cool, and so is the big climactic moment when Hedy Lamarr (yeah, she’s in this too) convinces Martin and Jax to make Firestorm even in their switched state. That means we got to see Victor Garber in a the fire-suit blasting as much fire as he can at the Darhk family.Adding even more excitement to the scene was the fact that parts of the Waverider kept disappearing. It’s always great when Legends of Tomorrow plays with the ripple effects of time travel. Because Helen of Troy replaced Hedy Lamarr, she never got her break in Hollywood. She gave up on her dreams and never invented anything. (Seriously, Hedy Lamarr was a genius, and it’s so cool that the show makes that a major plot point.) Because technology is always building off previous work, no Lamarr means no functioning Waverider. The lights go out adding yet more drama to an already tense confrontation between Kuasa and Amaya. Thankfully, Helen is inspired by all the fighting she’s seen the women do and stabs Kuasa, who turns into water and escapes to save herself.Franz Drameh as Jefferson “Jax” Jackson and Celia Massingham as Hedy Lamarr (Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW)As much as this episode was Victor Garber’s time to shine, the coolest character arc was Helen’s. She sees Sara, Amaya and Zari fight and is so glad that one day women have more control over their lives than she ever did. She’s inspired to fight and when she laments having to go back to a much worse life in Troy, Zari finds a loophole for her. This leads to a very obvious bit of DC fanservice, but it’s cool enough that I don’t mind. Zari notices that Helen now disappeared halfway through the war, but everything else played out the way it was supposed to. With that knowledge they take Helen back to her own time, but drop her on an island full of women: Themyscira. So wait… does that mean Helen of Troy was an Amazon? And does this mean that a Wonder Woman series could happen? I know she’s more of a movie hero at this point, but how great would an Arrowverse version be? Even if it doesn’t lead to anything, which it probably won’t, the reference was pretty cool.This was a strong episode on its own, giving us a promising look at what the rest of the series could be. It would have been easy for the Darhks and Kuasa to fade into the background for a few episodes after last week. Instead, they’re a major part of the story. They can still participate in these anachronism-of-the-week episodes and make them better without stealing all the focus or bogging them down. If the season continues like this, Legends of Tomorrow might become my favorite Arrowverse TV show. DC TV Comes to NYCC, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Grin & More DC NewsOur Favorite TV Superheroes Ranked Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.center_img Stay on targetlast_img

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