“My name is Damien Darhk. In 2016 I was murdered by the Green Arrow, but I was removed from the timeline 31 years before my death by a speedster named Eobard Thawne, together with Malcom Merlyn, the former head of the League of Assassins. The three of us are going to locate the spear of Destiny, a mystical object which can rewrite reality itself. With the spear in our possession we will change our past, and our future. And the world as you know it.”
Wouldn’t we all love to see that show, with the addition of a few more Legion of Doom members? We could probably write a popular post ranking our choices for who should fill out the remaining regulars in the Legion. (The Snart siblings, Carrie Cutter/Cupid, and Helena Bertinelli/The Huntress, for the record). Alas, it’s just the fake out opening for this week’s episode of Legends of Tomorrow.
Following that fun opening, we flashback 8 months to find Malcom watching Oliver Queen/Green Arrow killing Damien Dark to foil Damien’s evil plan to destroy Star City. Damien and Eobard pop into Malcom’s shabby little apartment and offer to take him away from all this. Malcom obviously accepts.
Flashforward to the present day. Torturing Rip/Phil isn’t going well, especially since Phil doesn’t know anything to reveal. Malcom says he’ll try hypnosis to find the information locked deep inside the part of Phil’s brain that’s still Rip. Eobard has spent most of the conversation unproductively threatening the other two, instead of coming up with ideas, because he’s one of those lazy guys who’ll just steal other people’s work instead of doing his own, if he can can.
It turns out that Rip’s memories are completely gone from his mind, so they can’t be tortured or hypnotized out of him. Time for Damien to be more creative. Eobard just stands around blaming his coworkers, because he’s that guy. Then he speeds off again. Eobard is always on the move.
Damien decides to take a relatively subtle approach with his giant knife. He extracts one of Rip’s molars, which has a security code etched onto it. It’s for a security deposit box at a Swiss bank.
The Legends are trying to figure out how to use the medallion that they got back from the Legion last week. Jax and Martin take it to Central City in 2017 to meet with Martin’s daughter at Jitters to discuss it. She accidentally activates the medallion, so they go back to the Waverider to work in private. Everyone is instructed not to tell Lily that she’s a time aberration. Ray and Lily hook the amulet up to Gideon and get it to download and decode without killing the AI. While they celebrate their success, Mick accidentally refers to Lily’s aberration status.
Meanwhile, Damien and Malcom continue to bicker over every little detail. We get lots of spectacular facing-off villain shots. The Legion of Doom sequences are gorgeously shot. It’s a standard single harsh light in a dark room, but it’s done very well. The actors look fantastic. This is the first episode of LoT that Eric Laneuville has directed, but he’s an Emmy-winning director who’s been at it since the 80’s. I hope he does more in the Berlantiverse.
Damien and Malcom continue to have differences of opinion over which methods will be most efficient. It’s not quite good cop, bad cop, because Damien wants to kill everyone and blow the structures up, which is generally out-of-bounds for law enforcement agencies. It’s an interesting day when Malcom Merlyn is the subtle person in the room who gets to complain about his unstable partners.
In amongst all of this fun banter, Malcom, Damien and Rip/Phil arrive at the bank. Rip heads off to try to open the security deposit box. Malcom and Damien have a moment to sit still and reason things out. Malcom convinces Damien that there’s more to Eobard’s story than he’s telling them. Eobard never stays in one place for more than a few minutes and he’s been very coy about what he needs the spear for. “Why does a time traveling speedster need to rely on anyone?”
Nate, Amaya, and Sara are trying to figure out who the speedster that wants the medallion could be, and what he wants with it. At first they rule out everyone who’s dead or a friend, because they’ve forgotten to think in four dimensions, Marty.
Rip doesn’t have the password for the security deposit box, so Damien finally gets to shoot people as they fight their way out of the bank. The Legion of Doom desperately needs a hacker who can stay in one place for more than 3 minutes. They could have had the passcodes and sailed through.
Back at LoD headquarters, Malcom and Damien are back to bickering, which escalates into a full-fledged sword and knife fight. They both needed some exercise to work out their tension, honestly. Rip stops them eventually, his leadership skills coming back to him. He explains to them both what Malcom has been trying to put together for the entire episode: Eobard treats them as underlings, and manipulates them both to keep them from forming an alliance against him. He’s got what they both need, but he needs both of them, too, and two former League of Assassins members are enough to take on one speedster. They finally discover the value of teamwork.
Lily confronts Martin about the Legends thinking of her as a time aberration. She realizes that he’d never wanted children, but now he’s stuck with her because of a few misplaced words to his younger self. She’s crushed in so many different ways.
Martin knows he’s made a complete mess of things. Jax finds him brooding and drinking brandy (not whiskey, he’s not a sailor!). They talk things through. Jax has to remind Martin that nobody else can read Martin’s mind. Martin has to tell Lily how much he’s come to love her and how glad he is she exists.
Martin goes looking for Lily, who attempted to make a dramatic exit off the Waverider, only to find she couldn’t. He walks in on the speedster discussion. They’ve finally opened up the parameters, and started thinking about what a speedster could possibly want that they couldn’t just get for themselves, which leads them to the idea of existence itself. That reminds Martin of Eobard Thawne. Bingo! Nate figures out that Eobard must have to keep moving so that time doesn’t catch up with him.
Malcom and Damien break into the bank together. Malcom tortured some useful codes out of a bank employee, so they get to the box and open it up easily. It doesn’t hold more parts of the Spear of Destiny, like they’d hoped. It contains a neumonic archive, a device which won’t be invented for centuries. This one is storing Rip Hunter’s memories. Eobard joined them when they opened the box and he explained the device.
Malcom and Damien are ready to renegotiate the terms of their partnership. They close the door to the bank vault. Eobard gets all nervous and his alarm goes off, meaning he needs to run. I’m not sure why he doesn’t phase out of the vault? Anyway, he says that he needs to keep moving because his ancestor, Eddie Thawne, killed himself to wipe Eobard out of existence (The Flash, S1 Ep23), then Barry Allen held him hostage in another timeline for months (The Flash, S3, Ep1). When he got out, something was pursuing him. Eobard thought it was a time wraith, the speedforce’s time travel enforcers, but it’s not. It can sense the speedforce and seems like an extra vicious speedster itself. (It’s the Black Flash.)
Malcom and Damien aren’t intimidated by Black Flash. They make Eobard promise to be nicer to them if they help him get rid of it. They tell Eobard to stand still so that Black Flash can’t sense the speedforce in him. Eobard waits until the right moment, then uses a supersonic punch to send BF into the bank vault. It’s trapped, at least for a while. What is that bank vault made of? We all need to move our money there, once Black Flash escapes and they change the codes.
Lily is still trying to convince Gideon to help with her dramatic exit from the Waverider, but Gideon never had parents, so she’s unsympathetic and refuses. Martin finds her, and tells her that he needs her in his life, even though she wasn’t part of his plan. They part on good terms.
Eobard is decrypting Rip Hunter’s memories, and giving them a slight adjustment before giving them back to him. The next thing we see is an army encampment in New Jersey on December 25, 1776. Rip enters George Washington’s tent and appears to shoot him.
-Legends of Tomorrow recaps may become a regular weekly thing, or they may be sporadic, we’ll see how it goes. I’ve been considering adding it, and this episode was too good to pass up. Season 2A was missing both Rip Hunter and Leonard Snart, while Nate Heywood took too much time away from the regulars who were left. But, Rip is back now, the Legion of Doom is fun, Nate’s getting less screen time, and we’re getting Captain Cold foreshadowing. I’ll give it a shot, and see how long I can work around the silly plotting.
-Not enough Sara Lance in this episode. But, it’s SO GOOD to have Arthur Darvill back.
-We get another rephrasing of the reason why Eobard still exists. The Flash explained him as a time remnant. Now he was protected by the speedforce. And we watch Eddie die again. 😫 We actually get two references to Eddie’s death. More foreshadowing? If Eobard is back, and Barry changed the timeline, there’s no reason why Eddie can’t come back, too.
-“It’s simple, his mind is pudding.”
-“You did it, my darling! You created an interface between a mystical relic from 1st century, and a 22nd century supercomputer. Only a Stein could be so brilliant.”
-“It’s really quite simple. You see, I interacted with my younger self back in 1987, who then interacted with your mother’s former self. And when two former selves love each other…”
-Lily is no more of a time aberration as a human being than the rest of them. Their timeline is not the “original” timeline. It was created when Eobard murdered Barry Allen’s mother, and continued to be changed more times than I can keep track of by Barry, Eobard, and the Legends. Who knows how many times the “original” timeline was changed by other forces before Eobard. If Lily’s an aberration, so is Sara for being alive at all, and John Diggle’s son, who was originally a daughter before Barry created Flashpoint, on Arrow.
But none of them are true aberrations. We know this because the Berlantiverse has given us some specific ways that the speed force and time itself try to correct the mistakes that time travelers make: Time wraiths, the Black Flash, and the fabric of the universe being ripped open in the form of the worm hole/black hole at the end of season 1 on The Flash. We were reminded of all three of these in this episode.
The time aberration idea comes from the Time Masters, who were a corrupt organization. Their rules were made for their own convenience and to further Vandal Savage’s goals, not because they were true and real. And they killed Leonard Snart, so they can never be forgiven. 😢
Everyone who exists in a given timeline is a real person in that timeline, unless they’re brought in from outside the timeline in some way that cheats the normal process. Lily exists in a slightly different timeline from the one without Lily. The two timelines branch at the point where Martin talked to his younger self. That doesn’t make her unnatural, and time agrees, at least so far.