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Gangsters vs. heroes and Snart (kinda) returns in the Legends of Tomorrow midseason finale

Contributed by
Dec 8, 2016

Spoilers ahead for “The Chicago Way,” the latest episode of The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow!

The short version: The Legion of Doom (now including 100 percent more Malcolm Merlyn!) teams up with Al Capone in 1920s Chicago. The bad guys end up with that mysterious amulet. Mick hallucinates and sees Snart. Ray and Nate are bro-ing out, big time. Oh, and Rip Hunter is directing movies in the 1960s. With an American accent. WTF?

The good: The Legion of Doom, Mick in charge, Snart’s (all-too-brief) return, the dude bros

The Legion of Doom pretty much assembled this week, as Thawne and Damien Darhk recruit Malcolm Merlyn into the fold for a mission to reclaim the amulet the Legends have been protecting. In case you’re wondering how the heck Malcolm Merlyn shows up in the 1920s, you’re not alone. Apparently Thawne snatched him up from 2016 and brought him back to help out his fellow baddies. So this is “our” version of Merlyn, fully up to date on the lives of our heroes, not some younger version of himself. Seeing Merlyn in this era also had us hankering for more Torchwood. Just sayin’. Legends has always been a big team-up show, and this season that fully extended to the villains.

Adding Thawne to the ensemble has made life much harder for the Legends, and if anything, it’s a reminder of just how poorly Barry Allen uses his speed powers. Thawne makes short work of the Legends pretty much every time they meet. He zips in before they know he’s there and takes care of business. Which is smart, because you’re 100 times faster than anyone else in the room. Why doesn’t Barry Allen do this with all his Metahumans of the Week (aside from the fact each episode would take about five minutes)?

We’ve seen Mick struggle with his role on the team for much of the season, and though he’s starting to find his place, he really got a chance to shine in this one. The team needs to think like a villain to get ahead of Capone and the Legion of Doom, so they turn to the resident expert. We see Mick running the operation to near-perfection, even pulling one over on the Reverse-Flash himself. Oh, and he tries to abandon Ray and Nate mid-mission, which is hilarious. His burgeoning friendship (relationship?) with Vixen has also developed organically. They make for an interesting pairing, but for the most part it works.

Wentworth Miller’s Leonard Snart was touted in the preview for this episode, and it turns out his reappearance didn’t have anything to do with the Legion of Doom, or timey-wimey-ness. It was all in Mick’s head, as Snart speaks for the inner bad guy in Mick’s subconscious. 

The dude-bro friendship between Ray and Nate has all the makings of something that should be really annoying, but it’s actually shaping up to be a lot of fun. Ray has needed a friend on this team, and Nate fills the void nicely. It veers into silliness a bit too often, sure, but it’s fun enough that it doesn’t really matter. The dudes are alright.

Other awesome things: Vixen channels dolphin power. Sara beating the crap out of Merlyn. We got to see gangsters raid a time ship. That is all.

The bad: Merlyn’s offer to Sara, giving up the artifact

 

Merlyn doesn’t serve much purpose in this episode, but we’ll take John Barrowman wherever we can get him. He mostly exists to tempt Sara with an offer to go back (or forward from the 1920s, gosh this is confusing) in time to never sink the Queen’s Gambit. If he did that, Oliver and Sara would’ve never crashed. Oliver wouldn’t have been shipwrecked, and Sara would’ve never joined the League of Assassins and become the Canary (and eventually a Legend). And, presumably, Laurel would also be alive. It makes sense Merlyn would do this on a base level, but isn’t he forgetting Sara literally has a time ship? She doesn’t need Merlyn’s deal. If she wanted to go back and stop the ship from sinking she could (theoretically) do it anytime. No deal with the devil required.

Also, after spending all this time keeping the artifact from the Legion of Doom, Sara just hands it over to save Stein? She has Merlyn on the ropes with a knife to his throat. His greatest strength is self-preservation, so we’re to believe he would’ve chosen death over giving up Stein’s location? Also, Sara must know this artifact is insanely powerful if Thawne will go to so much trouble to steal it. So, why not try and find another way, instead of just handing it over off-screen and explaining it away with a hand wave.

Lingering questions: WTF is up with Rip? What’s up with the Spear of Destiny?

We’ve been waiting patiently for Rip Hunter to reappear, and the moment has finally arrived. It was… not what we expected. Apparently Rip has been living as a film director in the 1960s, with an American accent, directing movies based on his time as a space-traveling hero. Wha? This is certainly one of the show’s weirder cliffhangers yet. Maybe he lost his memory when he was transferred off Gideon? That’d make sense as to why he’d be directing a movie of his life (with those memories manifesting in his subconscious)? Maybe? 

Thawne needed this amulet because it apparently makes a digital projection compass that leads to the Spear of Destiny, which has the power to “rewrite reality itself.” So… it’s a cosmic cube? (kidding, kidding). Looking to DC lore, the Spear of Destiny (typically described as the spear that pierced Christ’s side during the crucifixion), is an extremely powerful weapon. It’s popped up from time to time on the mystical side of the DC Comics world, but we’re curious to see exactly how they handle it for the small screen. 

Lines of the night:

He doesn’t look like Kevin Costner.” -Ray

Did you, or did you not, see The Untouchables?!” -Nate

She is a part of me now.” -Stein

Up next: Legends is on hiatus until early 2017. Enjoy the holidays!

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