by Billie Doux
Wow. That was the most fun I've ever had watching this show.
Centering a time mess around George Lucas was a delightful idea, and it was just right to make resident geeks Ray and Nate the focus of the aberration. What would change if there had been no Star Wars? How many people have been inspired and obsessed with the franchise? How would the movie business have changed? There could have been an entire generation of misdirected geek love, and while I'm not sure that many would have wound up with such radically different careers, some probably would have. (I don't think the lack of Indiana Jones would have had as strong an impact, but I liked that they gave it equal time.)
I also loved the trash compactor scene with all my heart, as well as the little in-joke about George Lucas getting insurance salesman of the year awards in 1977, 1980 and 1983. Of course, George was tossed into the trash compactor with two guys, Ray and Nate, and a woman, Amaya, echoing Luke, Han and Leia. And like Leia, Amaya was the one who said, don't just stand there, try to brace it with something.
Wasn't it great that Arthur Darvill finally got to do something more enjoyable than tromp about grimly spouting dire time master warnings? Anyone who's seen Doctor Who knows Darvill can do more than that, but this was pretty much the first time he got to go nuts on Legends. I thought at first that Rip was lying, but he really doesn't remember who he is. Or was. And where did that American accent come from? And the film thing was wonderful. Was calling "Vandal Savage" a wienie just a nice acknowledgement of what didn't quite work in season one? Because I'm okay with that.
The Spear of Destiny rewrites reality. We can all assume that's a bad thing. I'm sure the Legion of Doom wants it for nefarious reasons.
Which makes a perfect segue into how much I freaking loved the Legion of Doom. Damien Darhk and Malcolm Merlyn together? What an amazing pair of evildoers they make, and I mean physically as well as in a villainous sense: they're the same height, the same age and nearly the same level of gorgeousness (although I think Barrowman has a slight edge there). They practically exuded evil and cuteness while striding down hallways together, bantering about Frank Sinatra, doing villainous deeds and traveling in elevators playing with their ray guns. I even loved what the cast did with actually naming them the Legion of Doom, with the constant snickering and eye-rolling and references to the Hanna-Barbera cartoon.
(That's not to put down Reverse-Flash, but except for his handy-dandy speed force powers, I'd be happy if all we got was DD and MM. Love them. Although the prospect of them torturing poor amnesiac Rip did not make me happy.)
As if all this wasn't enough, we also had the joy of Martin Stein trying to "fix" Mick Rory's Snart hallucinations with psychoanalysis, amateur brain surgery and enjoyable doses of ridicule. That plot thread was capped by Stein masquerading as a shrink, Sara as a nurse, and Mick as a mean orderly in order to break Rip out of jail. The only thing I didn't like about this plot thread was the lack of our beloved Wentworth. Having him around too would have made this episode perfect.
I wonder what George Lucas thought of this episode? I wonder if George Lucas even noticed this episode?
Everybody remember where we parked:
-- This week, the Legends went to 1967 Los Angeles. Just fyi, Neal McDonough was born in 1966 and John Barrowman in 1967. Matt Letscher (Reverse-Flash) is the baby of the Legion, born in 1970.
-- Arthur Darvill is back in the cast. I think they wrote him out temporarily because of Broadchurch. If the change in Rip is permanent, that's also a good thing for Legends. Although, if Rip actually returns to the Waverider for good, could Sara please remain Captain?
-- Does the presence of two long-running companions (Arthur Darvill and John Barrowman) make this a Doctor Who reunion, even though they were years apart?
-- Ray finally got to fly the Waverider, and did just fine. Plus, wow. Biceps.
-- The sixties clothes were great. Especially Sara's jacket.
-- The alley "give us the bikes" scene echoed Terminator.
-- The phrase "Shogun ballistic" shuts Gideon down.
-- Since the last episode of Legends aired, I created a Crossover Guide to the Berlanti-verse. Which I need to go update right now.
-- Honestly, I'd completely forgotten Howard the Duck. Mercifully.
Mick: "You can fix me. You're a doctor."
Stein: "Of nuclear physics."
Mick: "Same thing."
Sara Lance: "They must be getting closer to the Holy Lance."
Nate: "I'm leaning toward the Spear of Destiny."
Sara Lance: "I prefer Holy Lance."
Nate: "Can't imagine why."
Rip/Phil: "A film is only as good as its villain, and I have an antagonist who's as threatening as a wiener dog."
Mick: "... and ever since, I've had a fear of giant toads."
Rip/Phil: "Oh, God! Did I drop some really bad acid?"
Mick: "I got an idea."
Stein: "So this would be a new milestone for you, then?"
Amaya: (to George Lucas) "The future of the entire world is at stake, and you're our only hope."
Ray: "Say it, George! Say it out loud!"
Nate: "George Lucas! What do you really want?"
George: "What I really want... what I really want... what I really want is to direct!"
Does this series work better when it's tongue-in-cheek? I laughed throughout the entire episode, and enjoyed it nearly as much the second time. Four out of four trash compactors,
Billie Doux loves good television, especially science fiction, and spends way too much time writing about it.