[Review] Legends Of Tomorrow Episode 2×16: “Doomworld”

written by Kate Spencer

SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT

This week: It’s Thawne’s world; we’re just living in it…because he lets us…why does he do that again?

We open in Star City, 2017, where a hooded figure is being pursued by Sara and Amaya. After a short chase, they beat up the figure who’s revealed to be Felicity Smoak and take her to see the mayor – Damien Darhk. Felicity is one of several vigilantes whom Sara and Amaya have been hunting. Darhk orders them to kill Felicity and Sara snaps her neck. That’s probably going to make the Olicity people hate Sara even more. What’s Olicity? Let’s just say it’s why I avoid shipper fans, social media, and fandom in general. Besides, we all know the one true couple is Rip and Gideon.

Over in Central City, Merlyn enters S.T.A.R. Labs looking for Thawne. They also make a point to show Black Flash in a cage of some sort, implying that Thawne used the Spear to trap him in there. I thought the whole point of getting the Spear Of Destiny was to alter Thawne’s timeline so that he can exist as more than an aberration? Why would the Black Flash still be trying to get him in this new reality – or even exist at all? Thawne exposits that Merlyn’s wife and son are alive in this reality, Thea adores him, he has his hand back, and Nyssa Al Ghul is living a miserable closeted life in Ohio…ow, that one hits a little too close to home. Merlyn wants the Spear to make further changes, but Thawne is keeping it close and he’s destroyed the manuscript seen at the end of the last episode so no one but him can use it – since he speed-read the thing beforehand. Um…except The Flash already established that knowledge gained by super-speed reading can’t be retained for long. Merlyn also berates Thawne for keeping the Legends around to toy with them. Jax is working for Thawne and Stein is working under Jax on some secret project for Thawne.

Team IcyHot is back to robbing banks, only now the cops leave them alone because Leonard and Mick own half the city. Mick doesn’t seem too pleased by that, apparently appreciating the sport of theft more than the rewards. They’re summoned by Thawne, to which Mick also objects, but Leonard reminds him that answering to Thawne is the price they pay for him agreeing to keep Mick and the Legends alive.

Rip Hunter is…somewhere? He’s aboard the Waverider and not looking particularly sane. He’s taken up cake decorating, but Gideon is the only one there to appreciate his creations. Rip has given up – the Legion has the Spear and the Legends are missing. He’s been trapped on the Waverider alone with Gideon for at least a year. In despair, Rip shoves a cake off the table. Hey hey hey! I know things are rough, but don’t waste perfectly good cake! You’re supposed to be a good guy again, Rip.

Meanwhile at thOH MY GOD AHAHAHAHA!

Wow. I appreciate the reference and they did a great job recreating the look, but in the real world that looks like an angry metal hamburger. [EDITOR’S NOTE: I maintain that it’s the secret love child of Darth Vader and Ultros.] Okay, okay. Anyway, Jax yells at Stein for not completing the reactor project on time. Stein has been working non-stop and hasn’t seen his family in weeks. Jax angrily throws a picture of Stein’s family across the room and tells him to get back to work. Pfft, the Hall Of Doom. Oh god…

Thawne gets off the phone with President Trump – wait, do we live in Evil Universe? That would explain so much. Corporate Helicopter Noises tells Snow Miser and Heat Miser to keep an eye on Merlyn. They’re interrupted by crazy conspiracy theory guy Nate, who says the world isn’t right. He’s able to detect “reality scars”, as if reality has undergone surgery recently. He’s looking to Thawne for help since he’s the genius who got cold fusion to work, saved the polar bears, and fixed global warming. Uh…why are we trying to fix reality again? Thawne doesn’t seem to be doing anything particularly evil. In fact he fixed a problem our current political leaders won’t even admit exists. Thawne orders Mick and Leonard to kill Nate. They take out him out back and when Leonard tries to kill Nate, Mick stops him and runs off with the conspiracy blogger, filling him in on what’s happened and admitting he’s made a mistake.

They go to see Ray Palmer, who’s a janitor in this reality. Ray subconsciously built a gun which can undo the reality warping…and that’s super convenient. Mick zaps Nate and he gets a belated punch for betraying the team. Mick then zaps Ray, who also punches him. Sara and Amaya follow a GPS tracker that Leonard tagged Mick with. After a fight, Amya escapes and Sara gets her memories zapped back…and she punches Mick. Seems like Mick is catching up to Rip in the “punched by allies” department. Sara is sent in undercover since the Legion doesn’t know she has her memories back.

Rip is still cake decorating and now he’s drinking rum. He orders Gideon to fabricate another bottle of rum and some nachos for him, but Gideon refuses. She tells him to start acting like a captain again, sit up straight, and show his backbone. Seriously, explore this character more! She just refused a direct order and told off her captain. She’s got free will. She’s got personality. She also found a way to reroute enough power to send out a distress signal. They get to work.

Sara and Amaya return to Darhk, Merlyn, and Leonard. Darhk suspects something immediately and taunts Sara about killing Laurel in this reality. She attacks him, but he stops her with his reacquired magic and orders Amaya to kill her. Sara zaps Amaya with the brain fixer and they make an escape. They then ambush Jax in a parking lot and make their way back to Nate’s mother’s house. With the information Jax provides, they figure out that Thawne wants to use the reactor to incinerate the Spear. Mick tells them the instructions for the Spear were in Aramaic and they use that to figure out what text they need. Sara benches Mick because she can’t trust him.

MICK: “If it wasn’t for me, you’d all be walking around like sheep.”
SARA: “If it wasn’t for you, we never would have been turned into sheep in the first place.”

Fire mages, amirite?

Mick meets up with Leonard again and tells him, Merlyn, and Darhk what Thawne is planning and what the Legends are planning. Jax tries to restore Stein’s memories, but Stein knocks the gun from his hand, destroying it. The Legends, Thawne, and the Legion arrive and a battle royale breaks out. There’s one really great moment when Nate grabs the Spear and smacks Thawne with it, sending him flying across the room and taking him out for most of the fight. And then…there are some not-so-great moments.

Once again, Mick is left holding the Spear and given a choice. He’s realized that Leonard just treats him like an attack dog, not a friend or a partner, so he tosses the Spear to Amaya, who begins speaking the incantation to use it to rewrite reality. Leonard shoots her with the cold gun, freezing her entire body and killing her. WAS NO ONE WATCHING HIM?? Mick was standing right in front of him, the trained assassin was nearby, and everyone else was just standing around! Leonard shatters Amaya and Mick once again pulls his gun on his partner, but still can’t take the shot.

Thawne steals the Spear from Leonard and drops it into the reactor, destroying it and cementing the altered reality. The Legends are powerless, the Spear is gone, and neither they nor the Legion are even remotely a match for Thawne. So he lets them all go to suffer for the rest of their lives, knowing they’re helpless to change anything.

The Legends recoup back at Nate’s house, certain that they’ve lost. Sara suggests time travel – going back to 1916 and preventing the Legion from obtaining the Spear. Or…you know…you could go to literally any point in history, obtain a fragment of the Spear or even the whole thing, ditch it somewhere no one can find it (or throw it into the sun), and be done with all of this. Jax and Ray are against Sara’s plan because changing events they’ve already participated in could cause time to fold in on itself. Uh, you mean like the time you guys killed Vandal Savage in three different time periods, two of which you’d previously visited? Time travel consequences or not, they have to find Rip and the Waverider first, assuming they still exist in this reality.

Meanwhile, Rip and Gideon have completed repairs and the Waverider is set to broadcast the signal. Rip hopes the Legends are out there somewhere and that they’re listening. As the camera pans out from the bridge, we see where the Waverider is – shrunk to model size and sitting on the desk at S.T.A.R. Labs.

I wanted to like this episode. I really did. And there are parts that were good, but as a whole it was kind of a letdown. The Spear Of Destiny gave the Legion godlike power to rewrite reality how they saw fit and the best thing they could come up with was a slightly altered 2017 where the Legion live somewhat comfy lives. Darhk is mayor of Star City, Thawne is a famous scientist, Merlyn has his family back, and Leonard and Mick are back to being bank robbers only now they don’t have to deal with law enforcement. These are lofty goals? No one wanted to be President? Emperor of the universe? LITERALLY BECOME GOD? I’m not a supervillain, but even I would be way more power-hungry than these guys. It just makes for a boring episode where you question exactly why this new reality is so terrible.

Okay, Flash, Green Arrow, and their supporting sidekicks all appear to be dead, and that’s terrible. But we’re not shown rampant crime. In fact, the police can afford to send a large number of officers to a bank robbery and then just let the robbers walk away. Thawne actually appears to be fixing some of the problems with the world. Also I’m sure he would have fixed the little problem of Trump being president in that reality eventually. Maybe I’m terrible, but “Doomworld” doesn’t seem so bad.

I mean the alternate reality, not the episode. The episode is just too unimaginative at best and hugely inconsistent at worse. I know I harp on the inconsistencies of the show’s “science” and rules a lot, but they’re becoming glaring plot holes at this point. The character inconsistency is even worse. I thought Mick had learned to stop relying on Leonard and be his own man last season. He’s betrayed the team twice in as many episodes and we’re just supposed to roll with it. If they had done more with the character this year to make him feel like an outsider, then maybe his heel turn would make more sense. Mick’s a bastard, but he’s the Legends’ bastard. Leonard’s character is just too over-the-top evil to actually sway Mick to his side. I would think even Mick would recognize that he and Leonard have grown past their old ways and that this version of his friend isn’t the real Leonard Snart. And what the fuck was with Leonard killing Amaya? I know it won’t stick because they set up how she’s going to come back five minutes later, but that’s hugely problematic. You have one of the greatest heroes from last season murdering one of the greatest from this season. They’d better be really careful about what timeline they say they took this Leonard from because if it’s any time after, say, the end of the first season of The Flash, I’m calling bullshit.

Regarding Amaya, I’m worried that while she won’t be permanently killed off, they will be getting rid of her by the end of the season. I hate that for a number of reasons, but it boils down to “I like the character”. I think they wrote themselves into a corner by making her Mari’s grandmother because they’re very limited in what they can do with her. We know she can’t die because that would retcon so many things out of existence, including Mari. I have a feeling she’ll be returning to the ’40s at the end of the finale and we’ll never hear from her again – and that makes me sad.

I hesitate to make any predictions about the finale. They’ve sort of missed the mark on plot points which could have been really great lately. Obviously they’re setting up something with the two teams of Legends next episode. The Doomworld Legends are likely going to be expendable, but I don’t even know that. They may bungle the whole thing and kill off half the team to replace with new heroes next season. It’s become unpredictable in the worst way possible.

Next week: Oh god, is it over yet?

Legends Of Tomorrow airs Tuesdays on the CW at 9 ET/8 CT. Kate can be reached on Twitter @WearyKatie.

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