Legends of Tomorrow: Turncoat

"I get that Rip is now somehow evil, but does he really have to kill Washington on Christmas?"

Another really enjoyable episode, and it didn't even feature the Legion of Doom. Has Legends finally hit its stride?

Rip worked so well as a villain because it was personal and organic, almost like it would have been if his real self had turned to villainy. He was a redcoat, showing snide British disdain for the American colonists as well as his former teammates. I wonder if Rip was fighting the old Rip inside of himself, though? He shot Sara, but he must have guessed that it wasn't fatal, but why not kill the other Legends at that moment? He may even have subconsciously guessed that Gideon could save Sara when he snapped her neck. He referred to himself as a self-righteous idiot and that there was no point in protecting history, but it seems clear to me that Rip's true motivation in finding the Spear was that it was one last chance to get his family back.

So of course, Rip offered Jax his father, but Jax didn't succumb. In fact, Sara making Jax acting captain worked; he showed that he was more than a sidekick and a mechanic with smarts, toughness and resourcefulness. Unfortunately, Jax did fail to keep Rip from taking the Spear fragment, but I really liked that in the end, Sara wouldn't let Jax kill Rip. Jax would have been ultimately devastated. Not to mention that retrieving and restoring the real Rip Hunter has to be a priority. It's a way that they could ultimately bring down the Legion, isn't it?

The historical plot was what they usually do — fixing history, the untimely murder of George Washington by Rip back in 1776. But the whole historical mess was a lot more enjoyable than usual because they paired the father of our country with Mick Rory, who showed "Georgie" what it really means to be an American. Okay, not really, but it was fun.

The writers also managed to give us a romantic hookup that worked. Nate and Amaya, who both retained their powers, flirted over breakfast, went undercover as newlyweds, and had hypothermia fun sexy time in a Hessian tent. I liked how they contrasted dating in 2017 with courting in the forties, with modern dating apps versus Amaya telling Nick that she'd seen The Wizard of Oz while on a date. The way Nate gave her a pair of ruby slippers for Christmas during the party at the end was sweet, even if Amaya did insist that, as teammate, they not continue to "fraternize." Can't have an actual permanent hookup, even though that would make sense in real life.

I also liked the look of this episode. I don't usually like night photography because it can be hard to track the action, but they countered that with lots of snow and torches to create visual contrast. It was actually fun seeing the Waverider all dark and lit by candles and glowsticks, although it wasn't fun for Martin to do surgery on Sara by candlelight. When Rip strangled Sara, I thought it might be permanent... actually, no, I didn't. Sara even reminded us that she had died before and come back.

Even Ray's story was surprisingly cute and visually striking, as he was stuck in a miniaturized state and seeing the Waverider in a new way as he had to face combat with a rat and a light switch. (Very Incredible Shrinking Man.) Seriously, though. How could a rat get on a spaceship? In their supplies, I suppose? You'd think Gideon would have an app for that.

The Christmas party at the end set to "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" was very sweet, with the emphasis on their status as a put-together family who have learned to care deeply about each other.

Did they initially intend to show this one in December?

Everybody remember where we parked:

-- New Jersey, 1776, Christmas Day and Pennsylvania, Christmas Eve, plus the temporal zone.

-- Mick Rory got the saga sell this week and it was genuinely funny. Also loved the statue of Mick that wound up in DC. It reminded me of Jayne.

-- Sara is now calling the Legion of Doom what the rest of them are calling it. No more "the speedster and his allies."

-- Rip got a haircut. The powers that be must have heard me. Maybe the Legion has sartorial requirements.

-- The next episode airs in two weeks, on February 21.

Quotes, and this was a very quotey episode:

Mick: "Seriously, you idiots haven't figured this out by now? It all started when we blew up the time pigs, the Time Masters. Now history's all screwed up and it's up to us to unscrew it up. But half the time we screw things up even worse. So don't call us heroes, we're something else. We're Legends. (pause) Who writes this crap anyway?"

Ray: "Without Washington, America wouldn't have democracy. Or Hamilton."
Mick: "If Washington's so cool, why is he on the one dollar bill? And Franklin's on the hundred dollar bill? Now he's cool."

Martin: "Our mission remains clear. We must save Washington."
Sara: "And Rory."
Martin: "That was implied."

Jax: "You and Amaya need to rescue Washington so he can cross the Delaware."
Nate: "Saving a nation, a president and Christmas."
Amaya: "And Rory."
Nate: "That was implied."

Mick: "Now I know why Franklin's on the hundred dollar bill. I bet you a hundred yous that you're wrong."
Washington: "Excuse me?"
Mick: "Bah, forget it. I hate Christmas."

Amaya: "I never got to see the end of The Wizard of Oz, though."
Nate: "You got freaked out by the flying monkeys, too, huh?"
Amaya: "No, Hitler invaded Poland and the JSA had to ship out to Europe."
Nate: "Hitler ruins everything."

Jax: "I'll handle Rip. You operate on Sara."
Martin: "Dammit, Jefferson, I'm a physicist, not a doctor."
Jax: "And I'm a mechanic, not a captain."
In case you aren't familiar, that was an obvious reference to a standing Doctor McCoy joke on original series Star Trek.

Ray: "The ship looks a lot different when you're the size of an action figure."

Washington: "By my death, I will prove to the crown what it means to be an American."
Mick: "You don't know the first thing about being an American. We're misfits, outcasts, and we're proud of it. If they attack in formation, we pop them off from the trees. If they challenge you to a duel, you raid their camp at night. And if they're gonna hang you, you fight dirty and you never, ever give up. That's the American way."

Cornwallis: "Any last words?"
Washington: "In fact, I've learned a new word from my private. Kaboom."

All of the different bits and pairings worked: acting captain Jax versus original captain Rip; Mick the anti-gentleman with the classy George Washington; modern "chill" Nate and old-fashioned Amaya. Not quite as wonderful as the last two, but a totally enjoyable episode. Three out of four really cute and appropriate Christmas presents,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television, especially science fiction, and spends way too much time writing about it.

2 comments:

Mallena said...

Another good episode. This used to be the last superhero show that I watched on my DVR after I watched the ones I like better. Now, I'm leaving Supergirl until last and sometimes Flash, but now watching Legends pretty quickly and enjoying it.

I think my favorite part of this was tiny Ray running around.

Patrick said...

Best saga sell I've seen since the days of Chuck :)