Spoilers ahead for "Moonshot," the latest episode of The CW's Legends of Tomorrow!
The short version: The gang heads to 1970 and realizes the final fragment of the Spear of Destiny was hidden on the moon during the Apollo missions, and Eobard Thawne hitches a ride on Apollo 13 to retrieve it. Ray stops him, they crash on the moon, and Thawne and Ray have to team up to escape.
The good: Legends do Apollo, Thawne + Ray, Nate's story is silly but touching
The Space Race is prime territory to mine for the Legends of Tomorrow, and they took it up a notch by literally having the Legion of Doom hijack an Apollo mission. For a show that revels in the absurd, this was a new level of glorious ridiculousness. And it was fantastic. Reverse-Flash stealing a ride on an Apollo mission to ransack the moon is an insane story even by comic standards. The fact that this series is actually on prime-time television continues to amaze me. The space stuff was great fun, even if the effects were wildly inconsistent, but seriously, who wasn't beaming as Ray hopped his way around the moon? Or fought Thawne in a fair fight, since super-speed doesn't work in zero-G?
To that end, the mission provided a chance for a cool team-up by marooning Ray and Thawne on the moon with a wrecked lander. The two obviously do have a lot in common, though they use their scientific skills on opposite sides of the ideological spectrum. There was definitely a lot of chemistry there, though, so here's hoping these are two characters that find a way to share some screen time again in the future. We also get to see a softer side of Thawne, something that's been peeled back a bit over on The Flash. Thawne has a very basic and clear reason he's chasing after the Spear of Destiny — rewriting reality is pretty much the only way he can get Black Flash off his trail and make himself "technically" exist again. As far as bad guy motivations go, it's rock solid, and fairly easy to relate to.
Nate's story about wanting to fix his family starts off a bit on the boneheaded and cheesy side (the historian doesn't realize that fixing his family would almost certainly result in him not being a superhero, ah doy), but they still manage to find some heart. Bringing Commander Steel back for a final appearance (R.I.P. JSA, sheesh) was a nice touch, and letting Nate come face to face with his father as a child really brought that story full circle.
Other good things: Stein singing was hilarious and great. Ray playing Matt Damon was so goofy, but it's exactly what we'd expect him to do in that situation.
The bad: This show is still super dumb, but it's okay
So, let's get this straight: The Waverider can literally take a nuke, but a few space rocks wreck this thing almost beyond repair? Also, if they have to blow a hatch and kill a man to adjust their angle, how the heck did they land once they got through the atmosphere? Wouldn't they just go careening into the surface of the Earth in a blazing fast fireball?
The Legends bring Thawne back onto the Waverider as a prisoner. Umm, don't they remember the last time he was on the ship and used his super speed to get the drop on all of them? Keeping a gun on a man with super speed is pretty much useless, but Thawne goes along with it just to be polite? Then immediately escapes, because of course.
This is Sara's team, and that's awesome. Rip continues to work his way back into the ensemble, but it's clear this is Sara's crew now. And Rip absolutely sees that she's a better captain and is trying to accept his new role, whatever it may be. Giving Rip a bit of an identity crisis could be a good story, but wherever it goes next, it's great to see them leaving Sara in charge. Her journey into leadership has been an amazing story, and it would've been cheapened so much if she just fell back into line the moment Rip returned. All hail Capt. Sara.
So, Amaya decides to look into her future and see all the bad stuff that happens to her village a few decades down the line. This will certainly come back to haunt her, but this is one of the most interesting stories you can tell when dealing with a character from the distant past. How will Maya cope with seeing her entire life splayed out in black and white (or, you know, glowing blue on a hologram screen, whatever).
Lines of the night:
"And now I know how Matt Damon felt." - Ray
"I'm not dying on the moon." - Thawne