by Billie Doux
Legends of Tomorrow, did you have to remind me of my struggle with the second season of Heroes? A lot of people find seventeenth-century Japan fascinating, but I don't. And didn't they do the Magnificent Seven before?
What I did like about the episode was Amaya. Or more accurately, Amaya and Sara, battling bad guys back-to-back in really cool complementary outfits, which for me was the highlight of the episode. Amaya is formidable and smart. Determined to rescue Rex, Amaya stowed away on the Waverider and nearly took everyone down all by herself, no small feat. She fit into the Waverider team as if she'd always been there. And honestly, the second best part of the episode after Sara and Amaya in battle was Amaya debating the existence of ninjas with Mick Rory, when she wasn't insulting him. I loved that little making up bit at the end when she gave him a shuriken.
While I'm giving big thumbs up to Vixen, I'm not as sure about Nate Heywood, who is now calling himself "Steel." There is definitely a poignancy to his super-sheltered and sickly childhood, and I get that he's overreacting to his new superhero body and the unexpected opportunity to time travel and have adventures. But the problem he had "getting hard" (no double entendre going on there) made no sense after it happened so easily on the Waverider in the opening scene. Why didn't it work until the dramatic moment when he needed it the most? I wish there had been a clearer indication of cause and effect there.
And Nate's experiences with the brave and beautiful Masako, her wise sword-making father, and her forced marriage to the cruel and powerful Shogun felt like mix-and-match caricature fun. Although I did learn while checking around later that Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu was a real and totally awful guy, and Masako's family name connected her to Tatsu Yamashiro, a character I liked a lot in previous seasons of Arrow.
I also like Brandon Routh, and what happened to Ray in this episode could have far-reaching ramifications for the character. Even though it's clear that his arc this season is all about his self-esteem, and of course, Ray Palmer is a lot more than a supersuit, I honestly didn't expect them to go through with the suit's destruction the way they did. It would be interesting if he doesn't come up with another one just like that (it did take years and millions of bucks, after all), and if we can explore Ray as a character without him being Iron Man.
(Although if Ray does come up with another suit, may I suggest some sort of fail-safe device so that no one could ever hijack it again?)
I wish they'd spent a little more time on Martin and Jax's search for the secret thirty-sixth compartment of Waverider (was anyone else expecting them to find Rip Hunter in stasis?) and the message from future Barry Allen in 2056. Although I'm sure it's important and we'll be getting more about that later.
In conclusion, while this was a fun introduction to Vixen and undoubtedly entertaining, and while I much prefer the focus on one time period instead of several, are the Legends simply going to let adventures happen to them? I realize that I did a lot of complaining about the deficiencies of the arc story back in season one and now I'm complaining about the lack of arc story in this episode, but what about Rex Tyler's death? What about Damien Darhk and the Nazis and Eobard Thawne?
Everybody remember where we parked:
-- This week: Kansai Region, Japan, 1641. Although I probably enjoyed Nate and Ray flying around in the timespace thingy a bit more.
-- Arthur Darvill (Rip) is no longer in the cast! Why did that surprise me? Because we don't know what happened to Rip, of course.
-- Sara is rocking as captain. Please let her stay in charge.
-- Does anyone else think Jax is channeling Geordi LaForge on Next Gen, or is it just me?
-- Amaya gave us some of her backstory, and noted regretfully that her home village is now undefended. I bet we'll hear about that again.
Sara: "Don't worry. We're professionals. We know what we're doing."
Amaya: "How is it you people haven't managed to kill yourselves yet?
Mick: "The day's still young."
Jax: "If I've learned one thing from Lost, it's that you don't go opening secret hatches."
Sara: "League of Assassins, class of '09."
Sara: "How does the Shogun even know how to use the ATOM suit?"
Ray: "I designed it so an idiot could use it."
Mick: "An idiot does."
Masako: "This master Yoda is very wise."
Mick: "Konichi wa, scumbag."
Ray: "Armor is only as strong as the man who wears it."
I'm flailing around for a rating. Whenever that happens, I tend to go for a two out of four shurikens,
Billie Doux loves good television, especially science fiction, and spends way too much time writing about it.