REVIEW: Legends of Tomorrow, S3E2 – Freakshow

The band’s finally back together after Legends of Tomorrow‘s second episode, “Freakshow.” While the antagonist and anachronism for the week were pretty low stakes, the heart of the hour came from the aftermath of Nate (Nick Zano) and Amaya’s (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) relationship. The other Legends got to have fun at the circus with a delightfully smarmy PT Barnum (guest star Billy Zane), and Sara (Caity Lotz) finally got the first whiff of this season’s Big Bad… Even if the rest of us are still clueless.

Only here would this be a pivotal plot point.

The Legends decided to go for the least threatening anachronism possible for their first Time Bureau-sanctioned mission, and somehow they managed to screw even that up. But that’s exactly why we love them, so of course it was fun to watch the danger levels escalate as their unique brand of help only made things worse. That being said, the saber tooth tiger never felt like a real danger and neither did PT Barnum, despite Zane’s scenery-chewing (in the best sense) performance. It is the characters reacting to wacky situations that brings us back to Legends of Tomorrow time and again, however, and on that front “Freakshow” certainly delivered. Between Jax (Franz Drameh) being forced to play Ray’s (Brandon Routh) conjoined twin and Mick’s (Dominic Purcell) fear of clowns actually helping Stein (Victor Garber) rescue his friends, there was no shortage of hilarious interactions throughout the night. And I must give Ray an extra shout out for creating his very own shrink ray – for a guy who’s always worrying about his contributions, he’s certainly become an invaluable member of the group.

In a more serious vein, Amaya’s return to the team brought back the feelings of abandonment that Nate experienced when she left him on his birthday over the summer. Ouch! Her reasoning was solid – after seeing her granddaughter Mari on the TV and witnessing what an important hero she was, she couldn’t erase her from existence – but it still made sense for Nate to be hurt and bitter. He took it a little too far at times, endangering the whole team with his drunken confessionals about their powers, but overall it was a good mix of humor and heart. While we don’t know where the two of them stand romantically at the end of “Freakshow,” it’s clear they still have strong feelings for each other and close proximity may lead to more.

Vixen vs. the power love.

But a relationship will have to take a backseat to figuring out what’s wrong with Amaya’s totem, given that it’s caused her to lose control recently and even kill several Belgian soldiers in her village. The team having her back and welcoming her as a misfit was very sweet, but their reaction to hearing about her murderous rage was almost too subdued. Perhaps it’s something they are leaving for later in the season.

While the rest of the team was busy with circus performers and animal cages, Sara was dealing with the closest thing to a season-long antagonist so far: Agent Sharpe (guest star Jes Macallan) of the Time Bureau. Rip may believe that the Legends are up to the challenge of taking out anachronisms, but Sharpe seems determined to prove him wrong and take the Waverider away from them once more. Sara verbally sparred with Sharpe’s underling Gary (guest star Adam Tsekhman in quite possibly the standout performance of the episode) and physically sparred with Sharpe herself, and she did both with aplomb. It’s great to see her come into her own as the leader of the ship, doling out commands and holding down the fort. I just hope we get to see more of her emotional growth later on, as well. For now, though, she got some great action sequences and the first hint of a greater evil awaiting her companions.

“Freakshow” was filled with the spectacle expected of a PT Barnum show, but didn’t push the plot forward as much as I might have liked. Despite that, there was a lot of fun to be had and feelings to be shared. And with both a mysterious villain lurking and Amaya’s other granddaughter Kuasa awakening, next week’s episode is one to look forward to.

Legends of Tomorrow airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on the CW.