Legends Of Tomorrow, S2E6 – Outlaw Country

Legends of Tomorrow took the team back to the Wild West this week, reuniting them with none other than Jonah Hex (guest star Jonathan Schaech). As Sara Lance teams up with Hex to stop lifelong enemy Quentin Turnbull (guest star Jeff Fahey) from using dwarf star ore to take over the West, the rest of the team has additional issues with which to contend. Martin Stein keeps having flashes of a woman he doesn’t recognize, Amaya tries to tame Mick’s inner animal, and Nate wants to prove himself as more than the group’s researcher.

Martin’s story line only takes up a few scenes in this episode’s Legends of Tomorrow, but will apparently have lasting consequences throughout the season – or at least carry over into the crossover. Professor Stein’s attempts to keep his state a secret at the start of the hour are tiresome, but thankfully he comes clean to Jax before too long. Hearing that he may have a new wife in this timeline, or that he loves a woman other than Clarissa, but it’s also a a great way to explore the consequences of time travel. So far the Legends haven’t experienced many negative side effects, so it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. Having this duo burdened with two secrets would be too much for one show, however, so hopefully it gets resolved as soon as possible.

Amaya exercises patience with Mick.

Amaya exercises patience with Mick.

Mick and Amaya had the chance to solidify their burgeoning dynamic, which was first introduced in the episode “Shogun.” Once again, Amaya proves to be a grounding force for Mick and he finds himself opening up to her in ways he might not for someone else. While many of his moments start off comedic, such as turning a stand off against Turnbull into a game of cards, there was a deeper tragedy lurking beneath the surface which Amaya helped bring to the forefront. This is another issue that can’t be resolved in one episode, and the interactions between the two characters were both realistic and poignant. Amaya knows a few things about wild animals, and can help Mick see his own humanity just as she empathizes with other creatures in this world. I’m definitely interested in where their relationship goes from here, and what they can both learn from it.

One aspect of Legends of Tomorrow that worked slightly less well was Nate’s desire to be more traditionally heroic. It seems like at least one character every week has to feel like they’re not as useful as they should be, and it’s mostly been alternating between Ray and Nate. While their worries in the first few episodes were understandable and even touching, they’ve both proven themselves plenty of times over by now. Not only that, but both characters are shown contributing through science and research respectively – which is nothing to scoff at. The story is saved, though, through the enjoyable three way team-up of Nate, Ray, and Jax. Watching them first pretend to be IRS agents and later hide behind bandanas is nothing short of delightful. Nate’s exhilaration at stopping a train with his steel body while Jax and Ray cheer him on felt like a suitable climax to the story, and I expect that Ray fashioning him a suit is the conclusion. Maybe Ray will obtain his own Atom suit upon returning to 2016, and then the show can move on from these overplayed insecurities.

Sara teaches Jonah to watch his 19th century sexism.

Sara almost rids Jonah of his 19th century sexism.

Finally, Sara Lance continues her time-traveling side mission of modernizing the past as she faces off intellectually with Jonah Hex. Their scenes make up the meat of the plot, and introduce the backstory of Jonah’s feud with Turnbull. His story about the church that Turnbull burned down – the origin of his scars – gives Sara a moment to reflect on her own vendetta with Darhk. She imparts some wisdom regarding how to deal with the desperate desire for vengeance, and her methodical approach to dealing with Turnbull contrasts with Hex’s impatience. While his loss of control almost gets Nate killed early on, Sara’s level head continues cementing her role as the natural leader of the group. Of course, she herself has landed her team in trouble trying to kill Darhk very recently, so there is a little bit of hypocritical humor here as well.

Overall, this week’s Legends of Tomorrow was a fun romp through the West and a better use of Jonah Hex than last year. We got to learn more about his character and his world, even if the regular characters didn’t get as much to do as normal. The episode didn’t push the main plot of the season forward very much, but it did plant seeds for future questions about time travel and do minimal set up for the crossover.