During this week’s episode of LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, “Turncoat”, we return to our tried and true format – time travel and rescuing historical figures. While I enjoyed heading back to the Revolution…. did they really just pretend like George Washington was this great and noble man without fault? I guess.
Last episode, we saw Rip Hunter kill George Washington on December 25, 1776. We begin this week with Rip Hunter leading the Red Coats, determined to defeat the patriots. He equips them with rifles from the future in the hopes of creating an aberration to bring the Legends to him in order to steal back his fragment of the Spear of Destiny.
Once the Legends catch on, they realize if they don’t stop Washington’s murder (which occurs the day he’s supposed to lead the troops across the Delaware), America will never win the Revolutionary War. They head to Christmas Eve, 1776, to rescue Washington before Hunter arrives to kill him. Too late. The team is surprised when they run into Rip Hunter, who humorlessly shoots Sara, leaving her for dead. Rip also turns over Mick and Washington to the Red Coats. As Sara bleeds out on the ground, they realize that Rip ain’t their friend anymore.
Back on the ship, Jax and Stein discover that Rip has used something called an EMP to disable not only their powers, but Gideon, and Antman’s suit functions. Unable to remove the bullet from Sara, Sara leaves Jax in charge, who splits up the team to figure out how to turn on the ship and how to rescue Mick and Washington. While Stein frantically tries to remove the bullet from Sara and Jax tries to get the ship back up and running, Hunter storms the ship and decides to go after Jax in order to get the Spear.
Amaya and Heywood develop a budding romance out of nowhere. She was in love with his grandpa so I mean, sure. Okay. That’s cute. They have a little side story where they talk about dating in 2017 and blah blah blah. They go off to help save Mick and Washington, and on the way, Amaya has to give him skin on skin contact to keep him warm after he falls in some water. I don’t have the time ya’ll. I don’t. I can’t. Where did this come from? Why do I care? At some point Nate apologies for his small… Johnson, and then they sleep together. Then they fall asleep and forget about their mission. Cool.
Mick and Washington are taken into custody by the British, who sends them to be hanged for treason. Mick, who like me is unimpressed with Washington, has a long conversation with Washington where he tries to convince Mick that he’s a real soldier and gives him a speech about “being an American.” K.
Amaya and Mick finally remember their mission and help rescue Washington and Mick from being hanged.
Back on the ship, things have reached a boiling point. In one last attempt to get Jax to tell him where the Spear is, Hunter threatens Sara’s life, who’s still injured from the bullet. Jax tries to reason with Hunter, giving up the information on the Spear and reminding him how important Sarah used to be to him — but new Hunter doesn’t give a rat’s hat. He kills Sara. Jax goes after Hunter, who now has the Spear fragment, and it’s up to Palmer to get Gideon back up and running so that Stein can save Sara. He does.
Jay doesn’t know that though, and goes after Hunter with the intent of killing him to avenge Sara. Luckily, just as Jax is about to do the deed, Sara arrives and to talk Jax down from killing Hunter. Not sure why, but apparently Jax is hell bent on killing Hunter now — probably because he rarely gets to see any action. Anywho, Hunter gets to escape because Sara reminds Jax that it’s Christmas and he should be a good person. I don’t agree with that logic but…. Aight.
At the end of the episode, the team celebrates Christmas. Amaya, in a heartless, but completely boss move tells Heywood that she’s not interested in “fraternizing” with him anymore. Sara gives a speech justifying why she let Rip go, and vows that they are going to save him and get the Spear back, even though they literally had that opportunity earlier.
I am living for Rogue Rip Hunter. Arthur Darvill has brought his A-game during these past few episodes and we’ve pretty much experienced 50 shades of Hunter. Hunter has gone from hero, to confused diva, to sassy hostage, to murdering psychopath in four episodes and it’s 100% believable. Hunter has been the centerpiece of the past three episodes and the energy that each week’s new Rip character brings has recharged the series in an invigorating and unexpected way.
I am not a big fan of the resolution of this episode to be honest. Fact of the matter is, Hunter killed Sara, Hunter now has a portion of the Spear of Destiny, and it’s clear now that Hunter works for the Legion of Doom. So please, someone tell me why Sara, an intelligent and strong leader thus far, would tell Jax to let him go in the name of Christmas? This week’s episode was terribly exciting, and evil Hunter presented himself as a formidable foe, so it was disappointing that when the Legends had a well earned opportunity to take him down, they let it go. It’s clear that the only reason Hunter was allowed to walk is so that the Legends have another opportunity to fight him next episode, because it literally made no sense otherwise. Come on ya’ll, you mean to tell me that “Christmas spirit” was the reason why Sara decided to allow the potential destruction of reality as we know it? Aight.
Besides the ending, the only thing I wasn’t really feeling this week was the Amaya/Palmer storyline. First off, maybe I’m blind, but their attraction seemed to appear out of nowhere. That aside, using the whole “being forced into each other’s arms by accident” cliché irritated me. Amaya was about to get down with Mick a few episodes ago, you meant to tell me she’s shook by Palmer after a couple of flirtatious glances? Getting past that, I had a hard time getting past the “it’s cold so we have to lay skin to skin” thing. Maybe, just maybe, the writers were purposefully using bad rom com clichés, but come on yall. We’ll move past that despite the fact they were on an extremely important mission, they managed to have sex AND take a nap. Okay. But then, after that rollercoaster of emotion, it ends with Amaya swerving Palmer, saying she doesn’t want a relationship with him. I don’t really like the idea of them together, but it would be great if that storyline had some kind of consequence later on down the road. Something.
All of that aside though, is it just me or has this season of Legends really picked up after the winter break? We know that the beginning of the season was dedicated to setting up the new tone and formal of the show, but now it feels like the show has really taken off. With the introduction of the Legion of Doom and Rip Hunter, my complaints about the show feeling stagnant at times have been erased. While this episode didn’t have as much forward momentum as last week’s, Hunter gaining the Spear of Destiny should set up a catastrophic problem for the Legends to face now that the Legion of Doom has access to a permanent reality changing tool. I also appreciate how, in addition to the dedication to exciting action-packed stories, we returned to this season’s time travel format in a way that didn’t feel forced.
No matter what my problems were this episode, I don’t feel like any of them were substantial enough to say that this wasn’t a good episode. I try not to be a picky viewer, so if an episode of television makes me actually care about the characters, become invested in the story, and isn’t racist, I say they’ve done a good job. Mission accomplished on that. In addition, even though the Legends’ story is loaded with unfinished business right now, I think that this episode was clear, exciting and well written. I’m excited to see what Rouge Rip will do next.
Season 2, Episode 11 (S02E11)
Legends of Tomorrow airs Tuesday at 8PM on The CW
Writer based in LA. Just trying to write good stuff while deep conditioning my hair.
Keep up with all of Vanessa’s reviews here.
Vanessa Jay | Contributor