REVIEW: Legends Of Tomorrow, S2E16 – Doomworld

As Legends of Tomorrow opens, Eobard Thawne (Matt Lescher) reminds the audience that the Legion of Doom – now complete with Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller) and Mick Rory (Dominic Purcell) – has rewritten reality with the Spear of Destiny. So “Doomworld” thrusts us smack dab in the middle of said new world, and it certainly is doom-worthy.

Sara (Caity Lotz) and Amaya (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) fight and capture a masked yet apparently poorly trained Felicity Smoak (guest star Emily Bett Rickards) before bringing her to “the Mayor.” The leader of this dark and dreary Star City is none other than Damien Darkh (Neil McDonough), who promptly and shockingly orders the young vigilante’s death and places her mask next to other fallen heroes such as Green Arrow and the Flash.

Over in Central City, Thawne has taken possession of STAR Labs and hilariously ignores Malcolm Merlyn’s (John Barrowman) requests for meetings. Though it was just one line, I was touched to hear that Merlyn wished his family together again… But he also forced Nyssa into a closeted existence, so he’s still the worst. Of course, the man can’t be happy with just his family back, so Merlyn wants the Spear of Destiny to make even more changes. The power struggle that threatened to tear the Legion apart earlier this season is still ongoing, in a nice bit of character continuity that outlives realities.

Mick Rory: king of switching sides.

Alternate Jax (Franz Drameh) bosses Martin Stein (Victor Garber) around in some deliciously angsty scenes, as the Legends all seem to live tortured or mediocre existences in what Thawne considers “poetic justice.” In an interesting turn of events, Mick is less than satisfied with his new reality despite being the one Legend who chose to become a minion.

Nate (Nick Zano) once again seems to be the one who knows something is wrong, and that reality has been “operated on.” Of course someone has to be aware of things, but it stretches disbelief a little that it’s always Nate. This goes far beyond his ability as a historian, although of course his story could have been rewritten to fit the needs of Legends of Tomorrow‘s plot. Mick double-crossing Leonard because he realizes the mistake he made felt more natural, and he could have dumped the Legion to look for the Legends based on his own doubts without Nate’s interference. Regardless, Mick and Nate make their way to Ray (Brandon Routh), who has been developing some alternate reality devices on his own. Given that he’s an inventor in his own life, this also feels believable – not to mention how fun it is to watch a dopier version of him than normal.

The boys are forced to face off with Sara and Amaya, and hilarity ensues as they try unsuccessfully to convince the ladies that they’re heroes. Words don’t work, but Ray’s reality-bending gun warps Sara back into herself and allows them to come up with a plan to rescue Amaya and Jax. As kooky as Legends of Tomorrow gets at times, one of its biggest strengths is the teamwork and planning that takes place every episode. Even if they fail from time to time, at least they always have a specific goal, and the way they go about achieving it always reveals character development and relationship dynamics. For example, Snart’s trust issues clash with his loyalty to Mick in a subtle undercurrent throughout the episode, and inform his decisions without taking precedence.

Once the band is almost all back together, they realize they have to prevent the destruction of the Spear lest reality be permanently rewritten. It’s a race against the clock, as Stein’s been working on a reactor precisely to destroy the Spear. Sara still can’t trust Mick, which is understandable yet ironic, because not trusting him is what made him throw in with the Legion to begin with. His own loyalties remain murky throughout the episode, but Dominic Purcell plays the ambiguity perfectly.

Perhaps the most surprising moment of the night was Martin Stein’s alternate self fighting back against Jax and furthering the process of the reactor core. Who knew the wise old Stein could come so close to being the Legends’ undoing? Thankfully the infighting among the Legion of Doom undercuts Thawne’s plans, allowing our heroes to gain the upper hand. A wonderfully choreographed group fight sequence ensues, and once again the fate of the world rests in Mick Rory’s wavering hands.

First Iris, now Amaya? Someone protect black heroines on DCTV.

“I still believe in you,” Amaya declares, once again mining the lovely friendship that she and Mick have built up throughout the season. It is her sincerity that moves Mick in the end, and he turns against an old friend who used him for a new one who trusts him. Leonard can’t let that stand and kills Amaya on the spot with his cold gun, in a horrifying moment that needs to be undone as quickly as possible next week. At that point there’s nothing to do but watch in terror as Thawne cements history as he likes it before destroying the Spear for good.

Legends of Tomorrow ends its haunting episode with Sara declaring that they must travel back in time to stop the Legion from ever getting the Spear, something they’ve been forbidden to do. But they need Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) and the Waverider to travel, which is currently residing on Thawne’s desk in STAR Labs. It promises to be an epic season finale, but it also brings up an issue with the Berlanti-verse being interconnected. How can the Spear of Destiny not have affected The Flash and Arrow if we are supposed to believe the two events are happening concurrently? And how can the problems of one show’s season be resolved through time travel when all the problems of another show’s season were caused by it? We’ll hopefully learn the answers next week, but either way it’s been one heck of a ride.