After Legends of Tomorrow delivered an amazing wrap to the Invasion crossover, it may feel a little weird to expect one more episode before the mid-season break. The Legends travel back to Prohibition-Era Chicago to battle Al Capone in what could have been a colossal disappointment. Fortunately “The Chicago Way” turned out to be an excellent episode pitting the Legends against (I’m officially calling it) the Legion of Doom.
** SPOILERS BELOW**
When you deal with a show like Legends of Tomorrow it’s easy to forget that time eras can be just as colorful as the cast. Landing in an setting jammed packed with flapper fashions, tommy guns, gangsters and prohibition speakeasies serves as perfect reminder that half the fun of time travel is the “fish out of water” baked into every episode. By adding in historical figures like Al Capone and Elliot Ness, the Legends get to rub elbows with some of the most famous cops and robbers in history.
Of course, the famous cameos and memorable setting were all pieces of a grander puzzle as Reverse-Flash begins to maneuver against the Legends. In his quest to retrieve an amulet in the Legends possession, Eobard taps another famous DCW villain: Malcom Merlyn. Now with a three-strong roster, the Legion of Doom is becoming a formidable antagonist. The dynamic between the the three villains is thoroughly enjoyable as Matt Metscher’s Revers Flash has delivered a far more sinister look at speedsters. When compared to Neal McDonough’s charismatic Damien Darhk, the Reverse Flash has a partner who counterpoints that evil with sheer personality and charm. While it’s unclear why the duo needs John Barrowman’s Merlyn, he’s a welcome addition.
In fact, one of the Legion of Doom’s greatest strengths was on display this week as the super villains gained access to the Waverider through some seriously devious subterfuge. Between Thawne’s disguise as Professor Stein and the ensuing standoff, the bad guys certainly upped their A game. Of course that meant that Legends had to pull off some serious theatrics of their own as Jax figures out Thawne’s deception. This led to my favorite moment of the night, where Jax is cornered by Reverse Flash and pulls a wonderful sucker punch in the form of a minuscule Ray knocking Thawne out cold.
Speaking of Cold, we should talk about Mick and his growing isolation from the group. Ever since Snart died last year, Mick has been trying to hold it together. Unfortunately he’s starting to seriously fray at the edges as hallucinations of Captain Cold begin taunting Mick. A welcome return of Wentworth Miller, his appearance is always a delight and digs up the question of Cold’s fate. Is he really dead or simply lost in eternity? Some of you may have heard that Cold is slated to return, as a member of the Legion of Doom, which would be a fun twist. I hope it’s slightly more complex than that, though. Regardless, his smooth belittling of Mick signals just how lost our resident pyromaniac is without his counterbalance. Maybe that’s why his relationship with Amaya has become so interesting.
Out of all the Legends, Amaya is definitely the most heroic. A full fledged member of the JSA and a paragon of “Truth, Justice, and the American Way,” Amaya’s bond with a self proclaimed bad guy is a fantastic dynamic. While she may have been distant from the team, her bond with Mick has become a lifeline to the both parties as they feel the most out of sync with the rest of the team. In fact, a lot of the team created newfound bonds as Ray and Nate began a hilarious bro-mance and Sara had a pretty fantastic exchange with Stein about family. With their first real defeat by the Legion of Doom, the Legends are on the defensive. Even so, the episode felt far more positive than Arrow or Flash.
As with their sister shows, Legends of Tomorrow kicked up the ante by revealing the Legion of Doom‘s master plan: to find the Spear of Destiny; an artifact that gives them utter control of space and time. It will undoubtedly be the long term goal of the season, but you can already see how the Spear will ultimately destroy the Legion’s villainous alliance. Nothing that powerful will be shared, so it’ll be fun to see how this all shakes down.
The other big revelation leading into our break is that Rip Hunter is still alive! Hiding out in a Corman-esque Hollywood production of his life, it appears that Rip has decided to sell out. Now is he still the Time Master we all know and love or is the plot more complicated than that? I’m unsure, but it’s a pleasant treat to have him back in the fold.