Let me just say it upfront: I loved the opening scene for this week’s episode of Legends of Tomorrow. It was set firmly in the gaudy 1980s, complete with Miami Vice outfits, music and cars. It put a much needed smile on my face and signaled the return of our burgening Legion of Doom with Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) and Eobard Thawne (Matt Letscher). Stuffed with inside jokes, plenty of action, and the return of the season long plot, “Compromised” was a welcome addition to a strong season.
Returning to Darhk and Thawne for a moment, I have to give it up to McDonough and Letscher for delivering some dynamic performances that had me giggling as I felt a thrill, rooting for the bad guys. I mean, all things in perspective, it’s the same kind of devious joy one gets when watching the Nazis beat up Indiana Jones. You know he’s going to beat them eventually, but we need to see the crazy mystical artifact first! In fact, comparing this proto Legion of Doom to the Nazi’s is fair as it appears that Thawne and Darhk are assembling a cache of WMDs and Mystical Artifacts. While the exact reason is vague, it gives their dynamic some needed agency and presents the devilish duo as a real threat.
In an interesting twist, the writers seem to be handing Damien Darhk a “do over” of sorts as Sara revealed to her nemesis that he was destined to lose everything he cared about. This torture from the future was the slow knife of vengeance that Sara needed to deliver to regain some balance after Laurel’s death. Unfortunately it just seemed to spur Darhk into defying fate and rewriting the timeline. Will all of this signal the return of Darhk and possibly Laurel down the line? Who knows, but it’s damn interesting.
We also saw the return of the JSA this week, or at least Obsidian (Lance Henriksen). The last member of the Society has grown more grizzled and jaded, but was a welcome return. Henriksen, a veteran of many genre classics, gave Obsidian a wonderful portrayal as the lone survivor of a team that had fallen into disrepair. It was a little disappointing that we didn’t get more insight into Obsidian’s lineage, with a healthy nod to the original Green Lantern, but according to sources Henriksen insists that this is a plot point that will come up in the future. Regardless, it was a wonderful treat to see such an overlooked hero given such an incredible performer.
Back on the Legends front, we had a bunch of solid performances from the cast, but the stand out of the week was Ray and Mick continuing to find their groove. Between Brandon Routh’s clean cut good boy and Dominic Purcell’s too cool for school performances, we were treated to a wonderful odd couple as Mick tried to teach Ray how to be “cool”. Yes, the irony was thick but in the end though it became clear that there’s only one Captain Cold and Ray would have to find another way to contribute to the team. Hopefully this signals the beginning of the A.T.O.M. Suit 2.0 while Mick continues to open up to the team. His inevitable reaction to Snart’s return is going to be a thing of beauty though, I can already see it.
When you couple this with Professor Stein’s encounter with his younger, more hubris filled, self you had a week that really got the Legends back on task. Thanks to the new Temporal Seismograph, the Legends can start to become a more effective team against a Duo who just raised the stakes by jumping the time line.