Warning: major spoilers below! You know the drill. Don’t read this recap until you’ve seen the eighth episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. You’ve been warned!
Welcome to 1958. Apparently, Legends of Tomorrow will be staying here for a while. “Night of the Hawk” was the halfway point for Legends of Tomorrow’s first season, and arguably one of the best episodes. Guest director Joe Dante gave the show a visual flare that it hasn’t had since the pilot. But Legends of Tomorrow often lives and dies by its writing, and that was the case again this week.
Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) had the strongest moments in this episode, as she joined Professor Stein (Victor Garber) at a local hospital where Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) had been operating as a doctor named Curtis Knox. Sara quickly took over that subplot when she rejected the social conventions of the ‘50s and started making the moves on Lindsay Carlisle (Alie Liebert), another nurse in the hospital.
As hilarious as it was when Sara said she was liberating Lindsay with an option to seduce her, it was very telling that Sara couldn’t seal the deal. She hasn’t quite been herself since she came back from the dead on Arrow and the intimacy scared her. Lotz and Liebert both came off as very genuine when they shared the screen and it was the first time that Legends has done a romance that felt real.
Unfortunately, the romance between Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) and Kendra Saunders (Ciara Renée) continued to play as if it was the worst idea that this show has ever had. Routh and Renée just don’t have any chemistry together, even though they tried to make it work. The show wants to get the viewers to invest in Ray and Kendra as a couple, but we’ve already seen Kendra and Carter as well as Kendra and Cisco from The Flash. And it’s not a good sign that the guy Renée had the best scenes with is on an entirely different show.
Speaking of which, Legends tried to play fast and loose with the rules that were set up in that Arrow and The Flash crossover last year. Kendra was convinced that Savage wouldn’t try to kill her before her awakening…and yet, wasn’t that exactly what Savage tried to do in that crossover? It was a relief that Savage turned out to have been playing Kendra throughout the episode. If he was really stupid enough to let Kendra get that close to him without being ready for her then the show should have just finished him off there.
For reasons that were never actually explained, Savage was using an Nth metal meteorite to infect local teens and turn them into Hawk-creatures. One of Savage’s victims was Jax (Franz Drameh), who had a really good episode right up until he sprouted wings and bad fangs. But it felt like the height of stupidity to rely so heavily on Jax for intelligence gathering when the show had already made it clear how racist the town was. Of course he was going to get harassed by the local racist bullies and kidnapped by the local racist police. Did anyone expect anything else to happen with that setup?
Jax’s courtship of Betty (Melissa Roxburgh) was also mystifying as she was super eager to get it on with him even though her boyfriend was one of the missing teens who turned out to have gone Team Hawk. And after she was nearly fatally wounded by the human Hawks, she went right back to her boyfriend, moments after she was pining for Jax. That was really bizarre, and not an example of good writing.
It’s too bad the show can’t deliver more moments like Jax’s constant reminders that Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) may have killed his partner, Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell), after his betrayal in last week’s episode. Of course, Cold didn’t actually go through with it. Purcell’s still listed as a cast member, and he’s bound to be back within a few episodes. But that was a great source of conflict until the episode tried to pave over it by having Jax and Stein won over by Cold’s refusal to kill the mutated Jax.
Sometimes, the show’s writers don’t seem to understand what’s working and what isn’t. Instead of giving us more fun misadventures with Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) and Cold as fake FBI agents, we got more forced romance with Ray and Kendra. What’s really frustrating is that parts of the show are actually coming together, but there’s always something holding it back from delivering a truly great episode.
The conclusion of this week’s episode saw the return of Chronos the Uninteresting, as he stormed the Waverunner and apparently forced the crew to abandon Ray, Kendra, and Sara in the past. That’s not a bad cliffhanger, but Chronos is so lacking in personality that the ending didn’t have any stakes. It’s hard to care about this show’s secondary antagonist when he feels so inconsequential. Chronos just randomly appears, and he has yet to come off as a genuine threat to the team.
According to the CW, this is the last episode of Legends of Tomorrow until the end of March, so it’s time for the show’s midseason report card. Thus far, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow has lagged far behind The Flash and Arrow in terms of charm and writing. It feels like Legends of Tomorrow is squandering its potential. The last two episodes have had noticeably improved character moments, but this show needs to survive on something more than the audience’s willingness to follow these misfits through history. Compelling adversaries would be a good first step.
What did you think about the eighth episode of Legends of Tomorrow? Let us know in the comment section below!
Image Credits: DC Entertainment/The CW