The Legends of Tomorrow are going after the last piece of the Spear of Destiny. Hank Heywood, AKA Commander Steel is guarding it, and found a great way to hide it. A big clue as to where is the title of the episode, “Moonshot.” It’s time for LEGENDS……IN……SPACE. Mick does the voiceover again, although they cut out his really entertaining last line.
Just after splitting up the JSA, Rip drops Commander Steel in 1965 Manhattan. The Commander gives his dog tags to Rip to pass on to his son. Just after they part company, Rip shows up again with the Legends in tow. Nothing like time travel to make things complicated. A confused Rip insists he just dropped Heywood off. Amaya says that Steel is adept at blending in with crowds and he’s already gone. On the ship Amaya offers some insight into what Haywood would likely do, and they work out he’s working at NASA. Rip comes in a moment later, and realizes he’s a step behind the rest of the team.
Their plan to stay low-profile lasts just until they meet up with Hank. He sees Rip and punches him out with a roomful of reporters looking on. Hank tells the stunned press corps that Rip didn’t have the right credentials, and everyone hurriedly holds theirs up, in a scene reminiscent of one from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The writers really seem to be big Lucas fans.
Sara, Nate, and Amaya meet up with Hank. Sara is annoyed to see Rip in a holding cell, and Hank is surprised when Nate hugs him. The team explains to Hank about the Legion hunting the fragments of the Spear, and he seems to be not particularly concerned when they tell him Dr. Midnight is dead. The team tells him there’s no place on Earth safe for his piece of the Spear, which leads to a smirk from Hank. Remember that flagpole Neil Armstrong used for his planting of the Stars and Stripes on the moon? They learn that history has changed again when Hank tells them the flight of Apollo 13 is going perfectly.
Stein, Jax, and Mick are posing as visiting observers from the United Kingdom to get into Mission Control. I’m not sure that’s a great cover for Mick, but it does give Franz Drameh, the actor who plays Jax, a chance to speak in his regular voice. When they cut to Apollo 13, we see that Eobard Thawne, the Reverse Flash, has taken the place of one of the astronauts. Uh oh..
After Hank tells Nate why he’s holding a grudge against Rip, and what he wants to do about it, Nate tells Hank what’s become of Rip’s family. Amaya overhears this, and there will be issues later. After the team confirms things are going oddly for Apollo 13, Ray uses his ATOM suit to go EVA and get from the Waverider to Apollo. Sara tells Ray to stay hidden, but a bit too late. For reasons which make no sense at all, Thawne doesn’t have speed powers in zero gravity, so the two of them have a fight. Thawne does improbably well for a non-powered man up against high-tech armor, but Ray wins eventually.
All of this is putting Apollo behind schedule for reestablishing contact with Mission Control, so the team needs a distraction. Bizarrely, the best Martin can come up with is to start singing Harry Belafonte’s Banana Boat song. I guess he’s practicing for the Flash musical episode that’s coming up? After one of the technicians starts getting in to the song, the real mission commanders shut Stein down. Mick complements him on his voice. I think the best part of this scene is the look of complete bafflement on Rip’s face.
Ray manages to land the Lunar Module, but had to burn extra fuel because of the fight and being off course so he can’t take off again. And, naturally, somehow his suit’s thrusters were also damaged. This leads Ray to do an impression of Matt Damon in the Martian. I do sort of wonder how the time travelers manage to stay up to date on movies. Maybe they stop by their “present” for movie nights? Ray uses his suit to go get the Spear fragment out of the flagpole. Then, when complications arise with his plan to use his suit to power the module, he ends up reluctantly working with Thawne. Thawne says that he misses working with scientists like Cisco and Caitlin, and that, whatever his plans are, dying on the moon isn’t part of them.
The Waverider intercepts the other half of Apollo 13, managing to get badly damaged in the process. This provides the rest of the pressure for Ray to trust Thawne. Nate and Amaya have a side conversation about Hank’s plan to return to when he left which shows they are on very different sides of the issue. When Amaya then goes to Hank and tells him the reasons he shouldn’t go back, Nate is furious. In a fit of temper, he tells her about her own destiny back in 1942. As an aside, while the original Legends were selected because they were not important to the timeline, has anyone checked that for Nate?
Rip and Hank clear the air between them, so at least that bit of tension is relieved. Hank compliments Rip that he’s really turned the team around since the first time Hank met them. A troubled Rip says that it wasn’t him. Rip is really feeling lost this episode. I wonder if he’d prefer to be Phil the film student.
Amid bickering, Ray and Thawne get the module airborne (spaceborne?) and head for a rendezvous with the Waverider. They make it there, and Thawne is escorted to the brig. Even though the Waverider has artificial gravity, Thawne’s powers are still gone because… reasons, I guess? The badly-damaged Waverider limps back to Earth, the drives stuttering along the way. What ends up being required is manually blowing the cargo bay doors to correct the angle of the ship. While the crew argues over who should try to do this, Hank goes and sacrifices himself before a tearful Nate’s eyes. I’m with Nate, he would have been a better choice with his powers. Then again, Nate didn’t to well with being knocked of a cliff during the Revolutionary War, I’m not sure how well he would do with falling from the edge of space.
Back on Earth, Thawne’s powers return with as much explanation as they vanished. Ray meets him as he phases out of the brig. Ray taunts him that he needs to keep moving to stay ahead of the time wraiths. Thawne speeds off as his alarm signals, so he can’t search for the Spear. I believe this means the Spear’s pieces are evenly split between the Legends and the Legion.
There’s a weird scene of adult Nate talking to his father as a kid, giving him a pep talk. I appreciate the sentiment, but anyone else remember how complicated that got when Stein talked to his younger self? Rip and Sara talk about his place on the ship and the team. She comments that if he feels like an outcast or misfit, he’s a Legend, which continues the CW-verse’s trend of quoting their own openings. Nate apologizes to Amaya for their earlier fight. Off on her own, Amaya has Gideon show her what lies in her future. It’s not pretty.
What I liked: Victor Garber (Martin Stein) really does have a good singing voice. While I don’t buy Thawne losing his powers, his reasoning for why Ray should trust him was sound. Hank punching out Rip was entertaining. Ray’s little movie homages to 2001 and The Martian were fun and seemed very in character. I’m glad they addressed the redundancy of Rip and Sara.
What I didn’t: Thawne losing his powers in space makes no sense. Speed isn’t gravity dependant. I could see him not being able to run while floating, but the reflexes and such should have still been there. I get writing off Hank Heywood, but I think Nate would have been better a better choice for the cargo hold mission. I’m wondering how they are covering up an astronaut disappearing in the midst of Apollo 13’s mission.
It was a good episode. I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5.