Legends of Tomorrow: Raiders of the Lost Art

buddy

This is becoming a bad guy buddy movie… and it’s working

 

Joining the other shows, the Legends of Tomorrow return from their holiday break. The show opens by jumping back to the accident that opened the season. Rip runs around a badly damaged Waverider after having time-scattered the other Legends. He clearly has a desperate idea, and he even shuts Gideon down to do it, after grabbing something out of a hidden compartment in the floor.

Now, which is always an uncertain proposition on a ship that travels in time, Professor Stein is wandering around the Waverider. He comes across Mick Rory, siting in the kitchen, drinking alone and apparently either toasting Snart’s memory or talking to him. Mick admits he’s been seeing Snart lately, and decides Stein can help him since he’s a doctor. Stein tries to explain a professor of nuclear physics isn’t like being either a medical doctor or a psychiatrist, but Rory isn’t one to let facts get in the way after he’s made up his mind.

In the library, Nate is listening to loud music, saying it helps him concentrate. Apparently, his music woke up Ray and Vixen, which makes me wonder how poorly insulated the ship is. They end up talking about the amulet and the bad guys, who Nate dubs the “Legion of Doom” after “an old Hanna-Barbera cartoon I used to watch.” That is, of course, Superfriends. Most of them like that name, but Sara isn’t wild about it. They also figure out, with an inspiration from Vixen, exactly what the artefact is: the amulet of Longinus, which is tied to the Crucifixition and the Spear of Destiny. The Spear is an important artefact to the Christian faith, and in DC Comics lore. Sara comments this is starting to sound like an Indiana Jones movie, and Nate replies that’s why he became a historian.

In Los Angeles in 1967, Malcolm Merlyn and Damian Darhk are hunting for something. Merlyn, amusingly, wants to make a stop by Frank Sinatra’s star on the Walk of Fame after they finish their business. They end up mugging two bikers for their rides, and the changes in time attract the attention of the Legends. Stein and Mick stay on the ship to work on his issues, but Mick won’t let Stein tell anyone what’s going on. This also provides the excuse of the week for why Firestorm doesn’t show up.

Things get a bit confusing, and even a bit “meta” although I think that word is often overused. Rip is directing a movie about… Rip Hunter fighting Vandal Savage? Things get even more confusing when his prop master turns out to be George Lucas. Yeah, THAT George Lucas. A lot of the episode sort of turns into a love letter to Lucas, actually. Chaos ensues when first the Legion of Doom, then the Legends, then the cops show up. Rip and Lucas are terrified, understandably enough. Rip recognizes no one. Whatever’s happened to him, it’s not an act. Everyone else flees, and Rip gets arrested, although it’s really unclear what for. I say that speaking as a fan of the show, a writer, and a law enforcement professional; the arrest made no sense.

Jax has Rip’s script, captured when Lucas kept hitting him with it, and it’s a slightly twisted reflection of Rip’s life. From this, the Legends figure out that Rip has at least a piece of the Spear of Destiny, and he used it to rewrite his own reality into Phil the director. After an amusing scene of Sara trying to figure out what’s going with Mick and Stein, and then giving up, the Legends mount a rescue of Rip.

They bluff their way in, with Stein posing as a psychiatrist, which is amusing given what Mick’s been asking him to do. Stein, Sara, and Mick get in, and Rip insists he’s Phil Gasmer and that “Rip Hunter” is a figment of his imagination. Mick ends the debate by knocking Rip/Phil out as Malcolm and Damian show up and start killing cops. The group flees to the roof, where Rip wakes up in time to insist there’s no such thing as a time ship… just as the Waverider appears next to them. Rip promptly passes out.

It turns out there’s another bad effect from the earlier fight. They scared George Lucas out of his movie career. Now, while that would be tragic in and of itself, Lucas’ movies not only inspired Nate, but also Ray Palmer. Without his influence, neither goes on to their respective fields, which means no ATOM, no multiple PhD’s for Ray, and no powers or historical knowledge for Nate. So not only do they need to find the Spear and defeat the Legion of Doom, but they need to get Lucas back into the movie business.

The course of trying to re-inspire Lucas ends up with a lot of lines, and even a scene, from some of his classic movies. It also has the now-powerless Ray and Nate captured by the Legion of Doom, along with Vixen, who manages to lose her Totem to Malcolm.

There’s another big fight with Sara making a rare appearance in her White Canary costume. Lucas gets steered back on to the right path, but things go badly for the team when Reverse-Flash turns up again. Rip/Phil tries a brave bluff, but it doesn’t go well, and we end the episode with a partial win for the good guys, but one of their own captured. Vixen (who has never seen Lucas’ movies, remember, she’s from the 1940’s), Nate and Ray get in a movie night, and the team moves on to their next adventure. Stein and Mick make a few discoveries about what’s been plaguing Mick.

What I liked: I’ve been saying for a while now that Nate and Ray were very similar characters. I think this episode proved that in a fairly amusing way. I liked the influence Lucas had on both of them, and thought it was believable. How many people must George Lucas have touched and inspired with his films? Malcolm and Damian are making a very amusing team. Mick’s little side trip/subplot was entertaining.

What I didn’t: Rip/Phil getting arrested made no sense. Malcolm knowing to grab Vixen’s Totem was a bit of a stretch; they don’t have that much history together. Malcolm and Damian cut through the police station a little too easily.

It was a decent episode, and I’ll give it extra for all the Lucas stuff. What can I say, I’m a fan of the man’s work. I’ll give this one a high 3.5 out of 5.

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