written by Kate Spencer
SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT
Three episodes left and the Legends are on top. They and their foes are at a stalemate. Neither has truly won, but time is still on our heroes’ side. If the Legends hold out long enough, victory is assured.
Let’s see how things go tits-up.
We begin in medias res, which is Latin for “Google it”. The Legends are in France circa 1916, in the midst of one of the bloodiest battles of World War I. Sara, Amaya, and Nate are undercover and under fire in a trench. Nate’s map is pointing them to the location of Jesus’ blood. Wait, what? Jesus was in WWI now? Sara is carrying the restored Spear Of Destiny, which begins to glow as it senses the presence of the blood. Amaya suggests using the Spear to change something, otherwise they won’t survive long enough to find what they’re looking for.
Seventy-two hours earlier, the Legends are planning their next move. They have two useless fragments of the Spear and no idea what to do with them. Here’s a thought: dump them on Pluto. Thawne had to hitch a ride to the moon, so he obviously has no means of space travel. The Waverider is capable of flying that far. Dump the Spear there and the Legion will never be able to get the whole thing…unless they travel back to before Rip and the JSA got their hands on it and steal it then. Why don’t they do that? Why did the medallion only point to the fragments?
Didn’t I suggest the Pluto plan for Vandal Savage too? What is it with me and Pluto?
Instead of my brilliant Pluto plan, they decide to get the Legion’s fragments because that’s a plan that can’t possibly backfire. Rip knows where they are – they’re hiding in the one place which is outside of time. The Temporal Zone? Oh, the Vanishing Point!
…wait, didn’t they blow that up?
Cut to the blown-up Vanishing Point, which is in remarkably intact – even at the Oculus, the center of the aforementioned explosion. Mick stands over the debris, thinking about Leonard and questioning what he sacrificed his life for. Sara convinces him to snap out of it and get back to work. Rip is getting “considerable vibrational energy” from the piece of the Spear he’s holding…nah, too easy. The fragment points to a small obelisk. Firestorm uses his transmutation ability to turn the obelisk into a pile of jellybeans and removes the last two Spear fragments. They book it, leaving Thawne and a waste of good jellybeans behind.
On the ship, the fragments of the Spear pull themselves together and mend. Rip instructs them all to not touch the Spear, as it will attempt to call to each of them to use it. Now this is interesting. I can mostly guess based on the characters and their histories, but I still wonder how each of them would use unlimited power. Mick attempts to burn the Spear, but all that does is reveal writing: “Natum de sanguine. Perditas a sanguine.” Nate translates this as “Born of blood. Undone by blood.” Although he uses a short U on natum so it sounds like he’s saying “natem de sanguine” or “buttocks of blood”. Latin is fun! Anyway, obvious meaning is obvious, they need the blood of Jesus to destroy the Spear.
SARA: “Gideon, plot a course to the crucifixion.”
Oh, it’s going to be one of those episodes, is it? Jesus Christ…Rip countermands the order before Gideon can even respond. He explains that the birth, life, and death of Jesus is one of those pivotal moments where any interference could have disastrous consequences for the timestream. Nate has a way to obtain the blood without bothering Jesus: a knight from the Crusades who found Jesus’ blood and was buried with it in north France. The guy who wrote the paper about this knight and likely knows where he is buried is none other than J.R.R. Tolkien.
There are going to be tons of Lord Of the Rings quotes and references throughout this episode, aren’t there? I guess a few are okay, just as long as they don’t make a hobbit of it.
Thawne ain’t happy, but he reckons the Legends won’t use the Spear and will try to destroy it instead, so they just need to be there to snag the Spear when they do. Darhk suggests adding someone else to the Legion to make sure they’re ready.
The Legends search a field hospital in 1916 for Tolkien. Amaya is taken aback by the wounded and dying, and it makes her think of what she read about the future of her village. Rip, Ray, and Nate locate Tolkien in a trench, suffering from a fever, and they evacuate him. Mick is troubled by another vision of Leonard, whom he follows outside of a tent. As he’s trying to clear his head, he lets slip what their plan is. Rip calls him to steal an ambulance and Leonard taunts him. Mick says he’s just a hallucination, but Leonard suddenly punches him, asking if that felt like a hallucination.
On the Waverider, they question Tolkien about his paper and the final resting place of the knight. He asks why they’re looking for it.
RIP: “It’s a long story.”
TOLKIEN: “I enjoy long stories.”
NATE: “Yeah he does.”
Try to keep this one under 450,000 words, fellas. These reviews run long enough as it is. They explain their “fellowship” is on a journey to destroy an object of immense power. They show him to the library to research the location of the tomb.
Amaya is troubled by what she’s seen and confesses to Sara that she knows about her future. Sara tells her what Laurel told her about Mari – that despite her hardships, she turned out to be a remarkable hero. Stein stops Mick from grabbing the Spear and notes the very real bruise on his face from where the “hallucination” punched him. Sara interrupts and sends Mick, Rip, Ray, Nate, and Tolkien to church. Man, everyone is trying to find Jesus in this episode.
No, turns out the bombed-out church is a potential burial spot for Sir Gawain, so they head there and solve some kind of puzzle thing to find the knight buried in a wall. His shield bears an engraving of some kind, but before they can investigate further, Leonard walks in. This isn’t a hallucination; this is the real thing. Leonard Snart taken before he ever joined the Legends…which I take some issue with, but hold that thought for now. Darhk joins him and calls in German soldiers to fire on the Legends. Before they evacuate, Tolkien gets a rubbing from the shield’s engraving.
Mick’s loyalties are questioned since he told not-so-hallucination Leonard about the plan to destroy the Spear. He also says that when it comes down to it, he’s always going to side with his friend, but the Legends aren’t exactly being friendly to him at the moment. Tolkien is fascinated by what Nate has told him about the Spear – how it glows in the presence of divine blood and how fire revealed a hidden message on it.
Nate dropping a book triggers Tolkien’s shell shock and makes him think about the battlefield. Suddenly he realizes the engraving is a map of a certain battlefield – the middle of Hell on Earth.
The Spear calls to Amaya. She tells Mick she can hear her mother telling her to help her people and keep her family safe. Mick says he hears his parents saying “Don’t play with fire, Mick.” Holy crap. That’s not what I would have imagined…unless Mick is lying. They’re called to a meeting where Tolkien says the map is pointing to the no-man’s land in the center of the battlefield. Stein says “One cannot simply walk into the middle of a war zone.” All right, well played. I’ll give them that one. Amaya picks up the Spear and asks why they don’t use it to eliminate the Legion. Rip and Sara are opposed to it, since trying to control the Spear is dangerous and no one should have that kind of power.
Now this is what I wanted to see. It’s actually a pretty good moral quandary. Do you eliminate the Legion to keep the Spear out of their hands? Would you be tempted to use it again when the next threat came up? What would stop you from righting every wrong in your own personal history and then the world’s history? Why stop at eliminating the Legion when you can end all suffering throughout time?
The Legends vote to do things the hard way and attempt to get the blood without the Spear’s power. Amaya reluctantly agrees, but thinks they’re making a mistake. The scene changes to the opening of the episode. They go undercover on both sides and attempt to negotiate a cease-fire long enough to get the blood. The commanders aren’t listening, so they charge onto the battlefield. Ray shrinks down and flies into a cannon, disabling it and laughing the creepiest fucking laugh ever, scaring the Germans into thinking he’s a gremlin. That added some much-needed levity.
Rip punches out the British commander, which makes this one of the few times Rip has punched someone else rather than take a punch. He then calls the cease-fire himself, telling both sides to take an opportunity to get their wounded off the battlefield. He gives a moving speech that sounds a bit familiar and may inspire Tolkien later on. Sara, Mick, Amaya, and Nate find the vial with the blood of–
DARHK: “Christ, you are so predictable!”
Darhk and Mick crash the party and demand the Spear in exchange for their lives. Sara asks Mick for the Spear, seeming like she’s ready to use it to end the Legion or destroy it in front of them. Mick instead joins the Legion, wanting to change his past and offering to change Amaya’s future. She refuses and readies to attack, but Leonard throws a grenade, reigniting the battle between the British and the Germans. Thawne speeds in and takes Leonard, Darhk, and Mick away one by one, with Mick actually expressing some remorse to Sara before departing. As the Legends try to flee the battlefield, Nate drops the vial of blood and it’s shot, leaving them with no way to destroy the Spear.
Back on the ship, Amaya blames Sara for not using the Spear when she had the chance. The others seem to blame themselves for not trusting Mick and pushing him back to the dark side. There is one hope though – the Legion may not know how to use the Spear.
At the Vanishing Point, Merlyn (oh hey, remember him?) has returned with the instruction manual for the Spear. The Legion each place a hand on the Spear as Merlyn begins to read and the Spear glows.
Well, that happened. There are several things about this episode I liked. The World War I setting, the Tolkien references throughout the episode, Tolkien himself, and especially the temptation of using the Spear even for noble reasons. I feel like more time could have been spent on the temptation part, because I feel like each Legend has a legitimate – if selfish – reason to use the Spear. Stein would want to solidify the aberration which created his daughter to ensure her safety, Sara would bring Laurel back, Jax would bring his dad back, Ray might use it to create a legacy for himself, Nate would want to save his grandfather and give himself a better upbringing, Rip would want Miranda and Jonas back, and Amaya would change the future of her descendants and her village. The one I didn’t call was Mick. I thought maybe he’d want riches or, if he went altruistic, he’d want to bring Leonard back. The regrets he has about his parents are something I would not have expected. I don’t think that plot thread has even been touched since he talked to his younger self last season.
I don’t know if that regret is enough to make Mick betray the Legends though, and neither is their mistrust of him. Mick has always seemed comfortable with who he is and how others perceive him. Maybe Leonard’s presence gave him that extra push to join the Legion, or at least join Leonard, since he doesn’t seem that interested in helping the Legion themselves. Likewise, Leonard going over to the Legion bothers me too. Yes, this is a pre-Legends Leonard Snart, but how far back are we talking? If he was taken a day before he joined the crew, then I’m calling bullshit, because Leonard was already on the path to redemption before that. Maybe he’s as tempted to use the Spear to change his past as Mick is. Leonard comes from an abusive home, so maybe wealth isn’t his motivation either. Much as I want him back, this isn’t the Leonard Snart that Legends fans grew to love.
There are two episodes left now, and I’m really interested to see where the story goes from here. I figure we’ll have at least one alternate reality episode where the Legion rules the world, but what will become of the Spear? Will any of the Legends be tempted to use it before it’s destroyed? For as long as it took to build up to this plot, it is a pretty good one.
Legends Of Tomorrow airs Tuesdays on the CW at 9 ET/8 CT. Kate can be reached on Twitter @WearyKatie.
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