Legends Of Tomorrow, S2E5 – Compromised

Damien Darkh and Eobard Thawne come together once more in “Compromised,” and Darhk makes a deal with the KGB to obtain yet another symbol of power while Thawne promises that he has a way to give him real power. Meanwhile, the Legends of Tomorrow team are all working separately to stop time anomalies… and they all end up at the 1987 White House State Dinner in order to prevent the untimely deaths of Reagan and Gorbachev.

Obsidian & Amaya face off, but the old friends soon reunite.

Obsidian & Amaya face off, but the old friends soon reunite.

Amaya gets a little more spotlight than usual this week, as she and Nate work on a time seismograph to detect aberrations before they occur and then try to locate the Justice Society of America in 1987. Nate tries to get to know Amaya a little better in the meantime, and she’s resistant until they run into a living reminder of her past. Obsidian (Lance Henriksen) is a fellow member of the JSA who felt that Amaya abandoned the team after Rex’s death, and since then they disbanded without any new members taking it over.

The scenes between Todd Rice and Amaya were packed with so much nuance and history that Nate was rendered almost unnecessary, but it’s worth it to get a better look at what makes her tick. While this story was focused less on the plot and more on deepening her character – we confirm that she was in love with Rex Tyler and that she harbors guilt for leaving the JSA behind – there is still a great climactic sequence of Obsidian saving her from a bullet. Seeing him in action proves that a true hero never quits, even if he feels he’s gotten too old for the work. The only thing that could have made this plot more perfect would have been actually meeting Todd’s husband.

Sara Lance’s leadership skills are tested once again in this week’s Legends of Tomorrow, when running into Damien Darhk once more reignites her assassin instincts. Heart to hearts with Amaya and Martin keep her in check, and she manages to maintain her cool throughout the episode after an early assassination attempt which leads to a battle against the Secret Service. It’s a joy to watch her slide into the role of captain like she was born to do it, but her final confrontation with Darhk is perhaps the most thrilling moment of the week. After a well-executed fight sequence (and in the middle of a heist film-esque bomb threat), Sara spares Damien’s life while spoiling his future for him. Of course, giving him foreknowledge of his family’s destruction and his own demise gives him the idea to change his destiny, so perhaps it wasn’t the best move. Nevertheless, the moment felt earned.

Martin is still mesmerized by his wife decades later.

Martin is mesmerized by his wife decades later.

Martin Stein has a more lighthearted story this week, running into his younger self at the White House due to a ripple in the time stream. Instead of spending his wife Clarissa’s birthday with her, young Martin is trying to make deals with Damien Darhk and narrowly avoiding death by stabbing thanks to intervention from the other Legends members. While Jax helps out by explaining her husband’s absence to Clarissa, Martin spends the episode trying to talk some sense into himself. His relationship with Clarissa is one of the sweetest parts of his backstory, leftover mostly from The Flash, but it’s a bit rushed here. We never learn exactly why Martin is so willing to leave his wife alone if he loves her as much as he says, and it seems to only take one pep talk from his future self to change his ways. Despite that, watching Martin dance with a younger version of Clarissa and listening to him remind her how much her husband loves her was heartwarming indeed.

The most action-packed part of Legends of Tomorrow belonged to Mick and Ray, surprisingly enough. Not only do they cross streams, mixing their heat and cold guns in an explosive encounter with the Secret Service, they also have to work together to disable a bomb. Furthermore, they both struggle to get on the right footing with each other. First, Mick wants Ray to be “cool,” which makes Ray want to emulate Snart in a way that’s uncomfortable for his ex-partner who is still in mourning. It’s a relief when Mick finally tells Ray to just be himself and “science” a way out of their ordeal. While it’s another instance of a quick pep talk doing the trick, Mick calmly eating an eclair and preparing to die alongside his new friend is one of the best bits in the episode. With or without a cold gun, Atom and Heatwave make for an excellent team.

This week’s Legends of Tomorrow really honed in on characters doing a good deal of introspection. No one is who they once were, and sometimes they don’t become who they planned to be. It’s a subtle thread woven throughout the episode, but one that helps to tie all the stories together even more than the shared location of the White House. Beyond that, Darhk and Thawne’s appearance pushed the overarching plot forward for the first time in nearly a month. Both factors converged to make for perhaps the best episode of an already stellar second season.