The CW’s Arrowverse has evolved into a wide and expansive universe, and no show reflects that quite like Legends of Tomorrow. It can be big, weird, great, and uneven —sometimes all at the same time. But when it hits, it’s hard to beat — and it was hitting every note with “Amazing Grace.”
Spoilers ahead for “Amazing Grace,” the latest episode of The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow, which aired Monday, March 12, 2018.
Heading to Memphis in the 1950s to mess around with the birth of rock ’n' roll proved to be the perfect vehicle for a story about the mysterious sixth totem — and Nate was the perfect window into the corny, earnest love of a great song and how it can cut you all the way to the core. Nate gets to nerd out over his love for rock ’n' roll and actually help Elvis Presley himself get his career off the ground. Nate wears his heart on his sleeve, and makes a convincing case for the role music has played in shaping the world. It’s a classic time-travel pitch that fits perfectly in the Legends wheelhouse, and finds a way to add some nuance to a rip-roaring solo story that also moved the needle of the season-long narrative.
As for Elvis’ magical guitar, it turns out to be powered by the “Death Totem,” responsible for the disappearance of a lost Zambesi tribe and lost ever since. As for how it manifests here, the totem brings an entire graveyard of ghosts to life, which must be put back down by Elvis himself. He finds his inner rock ’n' roller without the power of the totem, and the Legends get to box up the most powerful of all the totems — though it seems the little jewel will be causing a whole lot of trouble soon. This also gives the Legends a leg up over Team Dhark, and helps level the playing field when it comes to arming up on totems to eventually stop Mallus.
Put simply, this one was weird in all the right ways. It melds magical guitars, a ghost invasion, a rat funeral, Kid Flash’s move-in, and the birth of rock and roll into one big, fantastically messy package. It’s a big rollicking adventure through time, and when it’s working, one of the best shows on television, genre or otherwise.
*Wally is officially part of the team, and he’s fitting in rather quickly. Teaming him up with the team’s other newbie, Zari, was a smooth way to incorporate him into the fold. It helps cement Zari’s role in the ensemble, and allows her to pass the newbie torch to Wally. One other big change with Wally’s introduction is that Legends actually grapples with the effects of adding a speedster to the team. He really is a deus ex machina of sorts, able to zip in and grab whatever the team needs before anyone can blink. And Wally does that, a few times. But Zari helps teach him a thing or two about why it’s also important to do things the “slow” way from time to time. All the speed in the world can’t help you make a human connection, and Wally taps into his own story to find the humanity in Elvis’ hardline uncle.
*Okay, for real. Someone needs to make Trombone Hero, stat. It’s an alt-reality game that really needs to exist.
*The casting for young Elvis was spot-on.
*The subplot following the death of Mick’s rat friend was hilarious in the best ways possible. Of course Mick connects closest with his pet rat, and it’s sweet to see the team actually make an effort to show him they care about his loss and want to honor how it affects him. It’s sweet, but oh so weird.
*And of course it all ends with a ghost rat running around the ship.
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