Spoilers ahead for "Legion of Doom," the latest episode of The CW's Legends of Tomorrow!
The short version: This episode is pretty much all about the Legion of Doom. Turns out the super baddies aren't playing all that nice. Stein's daughter visits the ship and learns she's a time aberration. Oh, and Black Flash is after Thawne. Dum dum dum!
The good: That intro, the focus on the Legion, Darhk and Merlyn's bromance
The intro was genius, right? The baddies took center stage in this episode, and they even went ahead and changed the show's opening voiceover to reflect that. Instead of a member of the Legends, the episode opens with Damien Darhk lamenting his murder at the hand of the Green Arrow, and once you hear it all from his perspective, you almost start to root for the guy. But then you remember he killed Laurel. Hey, we said almost.
This show has embraced its zany premise and cranked things up to maximum goofiness, and this episode's shaking up of the formula did not disappoint. Where you have typically just seen these characters popping up to menace Green Arrow and Flash, we now get a peek behind the curtain to see how all those machinations come into play. Turns out there's a lot of hair-pulling and failed plans along the way. Seeing these guys at one another's throats seems natural, considering they're all A-list villains within the Arrowverse and typically don’t take kindly to working together with, well, anyone. This show had a bit of a villain problem last season by stringing out Vandal Savage too long, but that's rectified and more this year. Long live the Legion of Doom.
Seriously, I could watch a full-fledged spinoff focused solely on Darhk and Merlyn just trying to make a go at being supervillains. The bickering, the insults. It's a delight to see these two share the screen. Here's hoping we get a whole lot more in the coming weeks.
The bad: Stein's B-story and (believe it or not) Black Flash
Though the spotlight was on the bad guys, we still got a secondary story focused on the titular heroes. We get to see Stein bring his daughter onto the time ship to meet the team, which doesn't seem all that bright considering she's literally not supposed to exist. Not surprisingly, she finds out and is angry for a bit but gets over it. There's obviously a really interesting story to mine there — learning that you were never supposed to be born — but they do a pretty poor job of trying to tell it here. Lily could be interesting, but she seems to just be following plot cue cards in this one.
Can't believe I'm saying this, but the full-fledged debut of Black Flash was kind of disappointing. The character, basically a Speed Force grim reaper, is almost certainly the remains of former Flash baddie Zoom (who was dragged away by time wraiths for screwing around with the time stream too much last season) and has apparently been pursuing Thawne for most of the season (which explains his random and frequent disappearances). So Darhk and Merlyn help him escape from Black Flash in exchange for equal treatment in the Legion of Doom (which is so insanely silly, but so fun). And their big plan is … for Thawne to stand there? This is so, so dumb. The idea is that Black Flash can't see him because he's not actively using the Speed Force. But, dude has eyes, right? And does not running somehow disconnect you from the Speed Force? Um, no? They nailed the look and the menace, but this whole sequence was just beyond idiotic.
It took most of the season, but Rip Hunter is back (though we still don't understand how they knew to check his tooth for intel)! The follow-up effort of the Legion's failed heist on Rip's lock box reveals his stored memories, and Thawne plugs them back into Rip's brain in the hope that he can tell them where to find the Spear of Destiny. He just needs to make a few tweaks first. As much as we'll miss the hapless and surprisingly cunning Phil, it looks like Rip is definitely back in action. He's just, you know, evil and brainwashed. Forcing the Legends to face off against their old captain should make for a dynamite confrontation.
Now that the gang is piecing together the fact that Thawne is the mystery speedster, you have to wonder if they'll call Barry Allen for a bit of advice on how to handle his arch-nemesis. Also, might they just kick back and let Black Flash take care of the problem for them? Playing Black Flash as the equivalent of a force of (umm) Speed Force nature could be an interesting dynamic to hang over the season ... though the fact that he apparently can't sense a speedster three inches from his face weakens our faith.
Next week: Rip's brain is officially scrambled and he's gone bad. Can the team save George Washington and Rip, too?