While it definitely feels great to have Legends back on air, but it is also a fact that the show hasn’t been the same in 2018. This is partly because of the absence of both halves of Firestorm and it is quite difficult to fill this void in just a couple of episodes. Another reason for the not-so-great effect is that the show has chosen to become more plot-driven like the other shows and this is now what makes Legends so great. This episode serves as a reminder of this very important aspect.
It was a given that a team of heroes that travels through time and space to meet iconic figures and explore different areas of history would eventually also reach the Golden Age of Piracy. It had to happen sometime and it did in ‘The Curse of the Earth Totem’. The biggest failure of this episode was that the Pirates addition felt rather superfluous. The story was such that it could have been played out in any time period and in any setting and would get the same results. Yes, it was great to see Amaya get into the spirit of the pirate captain, but then again, she was the only one who really embraced the fun of it all.
Nate and Ray, on the other hand, spend a better part of the screen time just standing in the Waverider wearing their pirate outfits. The other upside in this week’s episode about the addition of pirates was the character of Blackbeard (Jonathan Cake). Instead of going down the same route and making him out to be a fearsome villain, the show decided to make it just for laughs and that was a good one. He came off as a vague and foppish dolt who was only interested in saving his own skin. Cake played the role rather well and gave the image of a well-bred yet ordinary Englishman he was before he became the notorious scourge of the sea.
The main storyline came much later in the form of a very unexpected yet satisfying payoff to Ray’s dilemma of his ‘magic gun’. The conflict found its dramatic spark in Ray’s decision to use the weapon to stop a rampaging Nora. Ray’s character has been defined by his cheerful disposition and eternal optimism and for him to know and accept that he wounded an enemy mortally is something very difficult. As far as Damien Darhk is concerned, it is always nice to see his vulnerable side, especially when he loses the one person he loves in his eternal life.
They could have just let it be and forced the characters to deal with the fallout of Nora’s death, but that would also cut her character arc, which would be a bigger problem. For now, it is enough that characters like Kuasa and Darhk are providing the pathos and depth needed, something that Mallus is unable to do. While the primary storyline of this episode was not good enough, the two subplots did rather well in their own right.
It was good to see Ava and Sara go out for a real and ordinary date night and get closer, something that doesn’t really work out well when superheroes are involved. Jes Macallan and Caity Lotz have developed an easy and clear chemistry throughout the season and this has clearly benefitted the show. Nonetheless, the most noticeable aspect of this week’s episode was of Wally West’s appearance. He may not have officially joined the Legends, but it is a given that The Flash’s loss would most certainly be a gain for this show.
The writing staff of The Flash never seems to know what to do with Wally, a fact that has become rather obvious this season and has made his transition to Legends more suitable. As Rip has said, Legends is simply a team of misfits that come together to be something more. In addition, it is also quite telling that even though he only got about five minutes of screen time in this episode, Wally already felt like a more dynamic and vibrant version of his character than he did on The Flash.
This series has a sillier vibe as opposed to The Flash and this has allowed Keiynan Lonsdale to bring out his inner comedian and have more fun in playing his role. The little Japanese Karaoke tour that Wally and Rip took is just one reminder of what makes this series so great. The characters are ready to be a bit zany and silly, even if it doesn’t add much to the show as a whole. Obviously, it is too soon to say if Wally will become an important addition to the overall team dynamic.
If we put aside the previous crossover episode, he hasn’t had a lot of interaction with other members of the team. Nonetheless, it does feel as if the character has more potential as part of the Legends and will be able to find his position in the Arrowverse. As far as Legends of Tomorrow is concerned, they may finally have the piece they need to fulfill the void left behind by Firestorm.
In a nutshell, Legends of Tomorrow has had a great time in exploring various historical settings since it began. The pirate elements were expected to add some more intrigue so it was quite a disappointment when this wasn’t the case. The plot was not very strong and the main storyline found the spark it needed very late in the episode, which wasn’t enough to save it as a whole. With the show returning after a break, a little more was expected, but that didn’t seem to be the case this time. The main storyline may have been a letdown, but the two subplots were handy in picking up some of the slack.
The episode’s suggestion that Wally West from The Flash may be joining Legends in the future is definitely good news as the show does need a bit of a pickup.