written by Kate Spencer
SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT
In which everything goes horribly wrong.
Sara and Ava are having breakfast and being cute when Zari interrupts to ask Sara if they can take the Waverider on a joyride. She catches herself when she sees Ava, then awkwardly notices Ava is wearing the same thing she wore the day before. Also, she says “psych” which is pretty anachronistic in any era except the ’90s, but coming from Zari I find it adorably endearing. They finally notice Ray is missing, as Agent Gary calls with a message that was left at the Time Bureau from the Darhks. On video, Ray says he’s been abducted and that Damien is talking about taking him to a Grateful Dead concert but to seriously not come searching for him or Damien will kill him. Zari and Sara agree to not tell Ray they didn’t notice he was missing. Hang on, I just noticed that Ava isn’t wearing what she was wearing when she and Sara got a room last episode. How long has Ray been missing?
After Kuasa gleefully tortures Ray, Nora complains about not being able to get the spirit totem to work. Has she tried turning it off and on again? Kuasa thinks the totem is denying Nora because of her thirst for power. Damien wants to know about the broken fire totem. Totems are eternal, so they just need to piece it back together, but only a genius could do that. All eyes turn to Ray. Convenience!
Rip and Wally portal onto the Waverider. Ava isn’t happy to see Rip, but Sara is happy to see Wally, since she remembers him from Barry and Iris’ wedding. They fought Nazis together, which gets a “wut?” out of Rip. I know he was in prison during that time, but how out of the loop can he be for a time traveler? Nate and Mick get back from searching another Grateful Dead concert. Mick swiped Jerry Garcia’s glasses and Wally thinks that’s not okay until Nate says they allow light to moderate theft of “souvenirs”. Wow.
Oh, but the Grateful Dead concert thing was just a ruse to keep the Legends occupied. Ray refuses to fix the fire totem until Damien threatens to kill his mom back in 1982. Ray needs a lab, so they go to Ray’s old job at Upswipes. Um…I don’t think “lab” when I think of internet startup companies that sell dating apps. But we get to see Damien torture Ray’s obnoxious boss from the first episode of the season, so yay.
Ava heads back to the Time Bureau, Nate hits the books, and Mick heads to the kitchen to kill a six-pack all in an effort to find Ray. I question the effectiveness of that last one, but Mick is Mick. Amaya suggests another spiritual vision to find Ray and her totem. Zari assists her as an anchor, and Wally joins in since he’s been doing meditation in China. Wally makes the worst of first impressions when he says how he knows Nate: he was his wingman in Central City after Nate’s “basic bitch” dumped him on his birthday. Fucking wow. Where did that line come from? I don’t like the b-word. I’ll use it in jest (“bitch please”) but not directed at someone. Hearing Wally do that…eugh. Do better, writers.
Damien browses the Upswipes app, disappointed by his lack of matches. “Enjoys destroying the world to remake it in his image” isn’t going over well with the ladies, which I find odd because there are a lot of supervillains out there. Maybe it’s his age.
DAMIEN: “What’s the point of living if you can’t have a bit of fun?”
NORA: “Well, I’m not enjoying myself. I’m annoyed.”
DAMIEN: “Hi Annoyed, I’m Dad.”
All right, see? That was a funny* joke. Not the joke itself; Damien making it. No sexism involved and no one gets hurt. Okay, except Ray’s former boss, who gets his neck snapped right after. Ray has a solution to the fire totem problem, but he needs a lot of energy. Damien knows a guy who invented cold fusion, and by “knows” I mean he killed him in 1962. Field trip! Only Nora convinces Damien not to go because suddenly the bad guys care about the timeline. She and Ray will handle it!
Spoiler alert: they don’t.
East Berlin, 1962! They rescue the target – Doctor Vogal – but young Damien in a bad David-Bowie-circa-1999 wig shoots Nora’s time travel stone, trapping them in the past. Nora’s magic isn’t working because fucking nanomachines, how do they work? Vogal insists on bringing his daughter’s doll with them as they make a daring escape through a window. Nora threatens to torture Vogal if he doesn’t give up the formula, but he’s got nothing left to lose. His family is in West Berlin and he fears he’ll never see them again – that’s more torture than Nora can dish out. Hey guys? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this plot a thousand times. The cold fusion formula is hidden in the doll. It’s totally in the doll. He’s going to die twenty minutes from now and with his dying breath reveal that it was in the doll the whole time.
Ray and Nora bicker like a married couple, complete with Nora dragging Ray around and smacking him physical comedy-style. The interaction between these two is great because even for enemies they have such great chemistry. I’d credit that to acting because Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford are such good actors, but a lot of it comes from the two being husband and wife in real life. They play off each other so well this episode. Kinda makes me hope we see more of Nora after this season. The trio of Ray, Nora, and Vogal forge documents to cross the border. I’ve played a lot of Papers, Please; this is not going to work!
Present-day Damien grows impatient as he talks to the corpse of Ray’s boss. Can this guy get any creepier? He’s worried because Ray and Nora should have been back an hour ago. They should have been back instantly because TIME TRAVEL!!! He thinks Nora is testing him by staying out after curfew. Hehehe. Off to the past he goes, where he finds them at the border being shot at by Bad Wig Darhk. Ray thinks present Damien is going to kill him because he had Nora out too late. Okay, yeah, I’m digging this “Nora and Ray are out on a date” running gag. The couple escape with Damien and Vogal, but Nora and Damien start bickering. She doesn’t think her dad cares about her and she’s starting to see things Ray’s way. She thinks he’s selfish for getting her possessed by Mallus just to resurrect him. Bingo, got it in one. Nora walks off for some space and gets captured by Blonde Beatle Damien.
Sara’s blowing off steam by throwing shurikens at a picture of Damien. Ava arrives to update her on the Time Bureau’s non-help and to comfort her about her lost teammate…with smoochies. Rip sees this and has an “oh shit” look on his face. Or maybe he’s looking at all of the shuriken holes Sara put in the walls of his old office.
Amaya and Zari are in a vision, but the more peaceful landscape Amaya had previously visited is now more like the hell dimension Sara visited in “Beebo the God Of War”. And there’s your Beebo reference for the week. Amaya’s ancestor is there and she warns them that they have to reclaim the spirit totem before it’s corrupted. Also, Mallus was imprisoned by the original six totem bearers. The prison is time itself, and anachronisms are weakening the walls of that prison. Oh, so don’t cause any more anachronisms. Shouldn’t be a problem…what’s that ominous music playing?
Damien forces Ray into being sort of his therapist, I guess? To his credit, Ray actually tells Damien to stop neglecting his daughter. He gets a ransom call from ’60s Fascist Fashion Disaster Damien, who demands Vogal in exchange for Nora. Damien ties up Ray (who gives him knot advice…dear god Ray is such a goober) and heads out to meet British Invasion Damien who immediately shoots Vogal and pushes Nora off the roof. Nora is caught by…well, I was going to say “Good Damien”…”Our Damien”? Who are we rooting for here? Anyway, Nora goes up and down like a yo-yo because of magical telekinesis while My Two Dads fight it out. She tells her father to drop her to save himself. He does because the closest thing he knows to self-sacrifice is kicking his own ass. Nora saves herself by activating the spirit totem and flying back to the roof to knock out Andy Warhol Damien.
In Amaya and Zari’s vision, Amaya’s ancestor says the spirit totem is fully corrupted and she vanishes.
Ray, who broke free thanks to issuing voice commands to his Atom suit, flies to the roof and tries to help a dying Vogal. Guess what? The doll had the formula all along. Damien shoots and kills Vogal, finishing the job he couldn’t do fifty-six years ago…or the job he did do fifty-six years ago…I mean now…why did I agree to review a show about time travel?
Ray tries to flee with the doll, but Nora stops him while Damien is dealing with some policemen a floor below. She says they both know he’s not going to blast her, something that would be hilariously punctuated by him blasting her, but Ray is too much of a softy and he blows a hole in the Berlin Wall, causing an aberration that the Legends detect. Also it tears time a new one, so GG Ray.
Wally is sent to evacuate Ray and does so in a…split-second. Oh wait, I messed it up. Flash. I meant to say Flash. He also managed to steal the fire totem from Damien’s pocket as a “souvenir.” Everyone shares what they’ve learned and then Ava calls Director Bennett of the Time Bureau. He’s busy trying to stop the real Alexander Hamilton from seeing the musical Hamilton. Ava’s trying to figure out how a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman dropped in the middle of 2018 can get tickets to Hamilton when she can’t. Grodd appears in the background and then smashes Bennett into jelly.
AVA: “Oh my god.”
RIP: “It’s ‘Grodd’, actually.”
READ THE ROOM, RIP.
Sara offers her condolences and Rip reminds Ava she’s the next highest ranking person at the Bureau and just got a promotion by default. He asks “Director Sharpe” for his old job back. Holy fuck, Rip. Are we sure your evil brainwashing got undone last season? Because that’s some really cold fucked-up shit. Ava’s still staring at the screen in shock, for crying out loud!
Nate and Ray talk. Ray makes it clear he’s holding out hope for Nora. Sara asks Wally if he’s sticking around, but he seems reluctant because a few Legends already act like they hate him. Sara gives him the “we’re the all-stars of bad first impressions” talk and convinces him to stick around. This pleases Rip, who’s about to leave with Ava. When Sara and Wally walk away, Rip asks about the relationship. Ava says Sara is special, and as soon as Ava is through the time portal and out of earshot, Rip says Ava is too. Then he asks Gideon to delete File 354Z, saying Sara can never find out the truth about Ava. Gideon complies with his orders, addressing him as “Director Hunter”. Yeah, good job, Rip. Because keeping secrets from the Legends never bit you in the ass before.
Elsewhere, Damien tries to make amends with Nora with hot chocolate and kind words like “I’m proud of you.” When he turns his back, Nora has a possession moment where scary black veins appear on her face, but she says she’s fine, not in Mallus’ voice, but her own.
Apart from the usual missteps in logic, Rip acting like as much of a sociopath as Damien, and the horrendous “basic bitch” scene, this episode was okay. Things are definitely ramping up towards the finale and they’re keeping the viewer engaged in the main plot. I’m concerned about whatever subplot they’re doing with Ava. Something tells me “the truth about Ava” isn’t something Ava herself knows either. I’ve seen theories from Ava being an android, to being a descendant of Sara’s, to being Rip’s daughter, to actually being Mallus. Personally, I’m leaning toward android, but I don’t know. Gideon addressing Rip as Director Hunter may have something to do with his access to that particular file, since it was probably added when Gideon and the Waverider were in the Time Bureau’s possession at the beginning of the season. My biggest worry is that whatever comes out of this is going to be an excuse to kill off Ava or end the relationship between her and Sara. To that I say: for the love of Bowie, just let a LGBTQ couple on TV be happy for once!
Next time: We’re saving rock and roll! But wouldn’t erasing Nickelback from history cause an aberration? Guess we’ll find out.
Legends Of Tomorrow airs (temporarily) Mondays on the CW at 8 ET/7 CT. Kate can be reached on Twitter @WearyKatie.