Legends Of Tomorrow, S2E8 – The Chicago Way

Legends of Tomorrow ended 2016 with a bang last week, solidifying the threat posed by the Legion of Doom and delving deeper into the team’s psyches. While the audience is not privy to how exactly the Legion forms, Damian Darhk and Eobard Thawne team up with Malcolm Merlyn and wreak havoc on the Legends with Al Capone’s help. Though the team is too preoccupied to notice the setup at first, they manage to come together and live to fight another day.

Have the Legends ever had this many plans fail?

Ray and Nate’s bromance gets a lot of play this week, as they work to take down Al Capone’s gang by going undercover. Unfortunately, Ray learned his history from the movies and ends up endangering Prohibition agent Eliot Ness (Cole Vigue). This is when Nate has to take the lead, using his handy history degree to impersonate Agent Ness and bust Capone’s liquor joint. Of course the plan doesn’t work out, but the two of them are very enjoyable to watch. Their teamwork in the final showdown on the Waverider shows they progress they’ve made, in addition to showcasing the talents of the Legends of Tomorrow stunts and VFX crews.

The raid on Capone’s speakeasy turns into a disaster when Thawne and Darhk kidnap Sara and Martin Stein, which leads to a good amount of introspection for both. Malcolm Merlyn makes Sara an offer she shouldn’t be able to refuse – give him the amulet the Legion needs to complete their quest, and he’ll return Laurel back to her. Sara is surprisingly steadfast in her rejection of this trade, which causes some conflict with Stein when she realizes that he is currently protecting an “aberration” in the form of his daughter Lily. They escape this ordeal with Amaya’s help, but it turns out to be yet another setup. Thawne disguised himself as Stein in order to board the ship, and he might have done away with all of them if Jax hadn’t noticed something was off.

Sara and Sein protect each other even when they disagree.

Watching Sara battle two of her greatest demons aboard the Waverider was quite a treat, but the most interesting part about this story line is that Sara later takes the same deal she previously scoffed at in order to keep Stein alive, which suggests that rather than having learned a hard-and-fast rule about time travel she’s simply let go of the hope of saving her sister. The Legends are her new family, and she’ll do whatever it takes to protect them.

Legends of Tomorrow is at its best when exploring unlikely team-ups, and ‘The Chicago Way’ was no exception. While a drunken vision of Leonard Snart (the dearly missed Wentworth Miller) was a major highlight of the week, Mick and Amaya’s dynamic deserves some spotlight too. Amaya is one of the more gung-ho members of the team, and yet she has to stay behind and babysit one of her most reluctant compatriots. A plot that seems like yet another opportunity for Amaya to spread some joy to Mick and help him be more human ends up delightfully switching things up a bit. This time, it is Mick who has to step up for the team and help them figure out how a criminal would behave, because that’s who they’re dealing with. In doing so, he gives Amaya the chance to see Chicago like she’s always dreamed – and saves her life a few times in the process. It’s unclear whether the show is headed in a romantic direction with these two, although dream Snart’s quip about Mick going out of his way for a kiss on the cheek suggests it will, but it’s a fun ride regardless.

Now that the Legion of Doom successfully took the amulet, they’ve unlocked a compass to what Eobard Thawne calls the Spear of Destiny. According to him, this artifact has the ability to rewrite reality itself and Rip Hunter is the key to finding it. Before the credits roll, the audience is treated to a glimpse of Rip living life as a downtrodden director in New York City 1967. Looks like the back half of the season will be a race to protect reality as we know it, and to get to Rip Hunter first! Hopefully the rest of Legends of Tomorrow‘s second season is as strong as this first batch of episodes.