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This week’s episode of Legends of Tomorrow gave me some really good stuff and some stuff I really don’t think I approve of. I think it was better-written than last week by a significant margin, but where it goes wrong, I feel it really goes wrong. First, let’s recap:
Rip murdered Washington and gave guns to to the redcoats, basically ruining the American Revolution. Back on board the Waverider, Mick and Ray have a brief interaction, talking about a rat in the pipes.
Amaya and Nate have a weird UST-ridden interaction in the kitchen. They are interrupted by a timequake caused by what Rip did, and there’s a team meeting to determine where each Legend will go.
Most of the team goes to a Christmas party, though Jax and Stein stay behind in the Waverider. Washington sort of flirts with Sara, and then everything goes to hell in a handbasket when the British, led by evil Rip, attack. Rip eventually sets off an EMP. Then, he shoots Sara and drags George Washington and Mick off. Sara tells Jax he’s the leader now, and I really don’t like this running gag of forgetting Mick in dialogue and then saying he was ‘implied’ in whatever was said.
Mick and George have some banter about war. Nate and Amaya talk about the Wizard of Oz and dating. Meanwhile Stein and Jax have an argument about who has to save Sara vs who has to fix the ship vs who has to stop evil Rip from breaking into the Waverider.
Then, Nate and Amaya have this little skirmish with some random guys in tricornered hats. Nate gets knocked into the roaring river while made of steel. Nate needs to be warmed up because he has hypothermia. Amaya takes off most of their clothes to enact the Shared Body Heat Cliche. Stein sets out to save Sara while Ray tries to fix the ship. Meanwhile, Rip breaks in to steal the Spear of Destiny and Jax tries to fix the problems that presents.
Mick and Washington meet Lt. Cmdr. Cornwallis, who says he’s going to hang Washington and return Mick. Nate and Amaya have sex in the tent, because apparently they have nothing better to do while their clothes dry. Jax and Rip have a bit more of a fight, and Rip tries to turn him by offering up using the spear to save Jax’s father. It fails, because Jax is stronger than most of the team.
Mick gives George Washington a pep talk about being a terrible person in service of a good cause, basically. Then we cut back to Nate and Amaya briefly for them to realize that aw shit, we should be doing actual work. Jax and Rip fight some more, then Rip finds Sara and Stein. Jax gives up the location of the spear fragment, but Rip kills Sara anyway.
Ray gets the power back on on board the ship, Gideon saves Sara, and Jax sets out to kill Rip. Mick and Washington basically rescue themselves from Washington’s hanging. Amaya and Nate basically show up at the tail end of that. Jax catches up to Rip, but hesitates long enough for Sara to show up and convince him not to kill him.
Washington and Mick talk a little about what it means to be an American, and it’s…remarkably honest, really. Basically, Mick’s courage, steadfastness, and unwillingness to lose, and his ‘crass, yet effective use of language’ make him ‘the best’ of America. Then, Sara and Jax talk about what it means to lead, and how you need to surround yourself with the people who will remind you of your best self even at your darkest hour.
Then, we end off with the team having a Christmas party. Nate gives Amaya a pair of ruby slippers, but Amaya tells him that teammates still don’t fraternize. That said, neither of them seems very interested in keeping it a one-time thing, but they’re pretending to be ‘chill. Sara gives a motivational toast telling everyone that, while the Legion may be strong, they don’t have what the Legends do: family.
I’ll start with what I loved: Someone finally treating Mick like a person. Specifically, George *****ing Washington. Mick has had a rough season, and his teammates haven’t helped much in that, so seeing someone treat him with respect feels good. I also liked hearing more about Amaya’s backstory, and seeing Jax trying to lead in the most difficult possible time.
For the most part, the episode rates well. However, there’s one glaring hole in the story that I just can’t wrap my mind around: Nate and Amaya.
Like, where did that come from? Last I can recall, the characters Amaya got the most screentime with were Mick and Sara. People made a whole big deal about a possible romance arc between Mick and Amaya, and I personally threw my weight behind Sara/Amaya.
I don’t see any development between Nate and Amaya that reasonably leads to this. I additionally don’t like how it progressed. The dick joke wasn’t funny. The Body Heat Cliche didn’t feel new or different the way it would have to to work. And, worse of all, I found myself rolling my eyes during their final interaction. The relationship feels generic in a way that, say, Ray and Kendra’s relationship last season didn’t.
And it’s bad characterization. Everything interesting about Nate, for example, gets subsumed by “I have a sexual crush on this girl and possibly also feelings.”
I could literally replace Nate with any generic white guy and the lines would be the same. That’s not effective writing.
Overall, I’d rate this episode higher than last week, but mostly because Mick finally got some of the respect he deserves. I am, however, really looking forward to seeing the team go to Camelot in two weeks!
Legends of Tomorrow airs on Tuesdays at 9pm EST/8pm Central. If you need to catch up, you can catch recent episodes on the CW’s mobile app and website. The next episode, “Camelot 3000,” will air on February 21st, 2017.