Legends Of Tomorrow, S2E10 – The Legion Of Doom

The aptly and hilariously titled Legion of Doom finally get their moment in the sun on this week’s Legends of Tomorrowas the episode opens with Damian Darkh’s (Neal McDonough) narration and takes the audience back to the start of their journey together. After Sara’s prophecy, Eobard Thawne (Matt Lescher) took Damian back to Star City just after his death in order to pick up a bedraggled Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) and join forces with him. Even though the majority of the hour is spent getting to know our villains a little better, Legends of Tomorrow makes the most of the episode’s unusual structure by having the team figure out the Legion’s motivations just as they’re unveiling them. In addition, Martin Stein (Victor Garber) has to deal with his new daughter Lily (guest star Christina Brucato).

The chemistry between the evil trio was electric, and “The Legion Of Doom” offered a refreshing change of pace for the show. Their bickering feels natural – and even though Eobard’s plan to keep them under his thumb by turning them against each other is obvious from the start, watching it unfold was incredibly entertaining.

Eobard leaves most of the torture to his underlings.

The story was so focused on their power struggles and agendas that it was almost easy to forget that they were torturing Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) all episode in order to awaken his memories of the Spear of Destiny. It’s a testament to the strength of this week’s writing and to the performances of the three actors that I found myself rooting for them at times, even though the longevity of all four DCTV shows requires that they not succeed in rewriting time.

Speaking of DCTV shows, Legends of Tomorrow made great use of its shared universe this week. This was one of the first times the larger world of the shows seemed to organically connect without requiring a crossover. When Thawne goes to grab Merlyn, Arrow scenes from last season are playing on the TV. Stein and Jax (Franz Drameh) meet Lily at Jitters, and no main character from The Flash needs to appear for them to feel right at home. Most importantly, Eobard reveals to his henchmen – sorry, partners – that the Black Flash is after him now that he no longer exists. While it’s not necessary to have watched the first two seasons of The Flash to understand what he was saying, Eddie’s death and Zoom’s transformation into Black Flash gave the revelation that much more meaning. Last night’s episode proved that these different shows can be interconnected in a way that benefits the story and not just the ratings.

The Legends of Tomorrow have to work out for themselves the identity of the speedster they’re after, which makes for a few fun group scenes and allows Nate (Nick Zano) to exercise his critical thinking skills. While it’s slightly frustrating at first to see the heroes be a step behind the villains – especially when they could just call up Barry Allen and describe the speedster to him – the reward of their discovery is worth it. It also dovetails nicely with Stein’s dealings with his daughter, who ends up creating a bit of a spark with Ray (Brandon Routh) when they work together to download information from the Medallion into Gideon’s hard drive. Ray has yet to meet a woman who likes him as much as he likes her, but if Lily becomes a recurring character, this is one pairing I could get behind for him. The crux of this storyline was Stein admitting that Lily was an aberration while still assuring her of his love for her, but it would be nice to know what his wife Clarissa is up to in this reality.

A grim moment in an otherwise fun episode.

The fact that the hi-jinx in this episode revolve around a tooth pulled from Rip Hunter’s mouth and a 2025 bank account is disturbing, but it works quite well as a device to make the Legion of Doom hash out their issues with one another. One of the main reasons this plot works so well is because the audience is in the dark just like Malcolm and Damian. Even those of us who watch all the DCTV shows can only guess what Thawne’s ultimate plan is, just like it’s been a mystery how he’s still alive after Eddie erased him from existence. Once he explains that the Black Flash has been after him ever since Barry pulled him out of the time stream in Flashpoint, everything starts clicking into place. There’s no way this can be resolved without pulling the other heroes in, is there?

Poor Arthur Darvill wanders around out of his mind for most of the episode, but it affords him another opportunity to flex his comedic muscles. And the final twist suggests that he’s going to have a much meatier role next week, facing off against George Washington. In the meantime, Legends of Tomorrow delivered one of its best episodes ever with “Legion of Doom” and set up an exciting confrontation between two groups who are both competent and enjoyable to watch. Which is not something that can be said for every show out there at the moment.