Legends of Tomorrow: Aruba

aruba

The Legends get reinforcements from… the Legends?

 

Legends of Tomorrow ends its second season with a really chaotic episode that has the pleasant-sounding title of “Aruba.” Well, taking a tropical vacation is a lovely idea, but it probably wouldn’t make for a very interesting episode. What we get instead is the climactic battle between the Legends and the Legion of Doom. For an idea of how serious this one is, there’s no opening voiceover at all. Instead, it’s important scenes that lead up to the dire trouble the team finds itself in now.

On the desk at STAR Labs, Rip and Gideon finally figure out the Waverider is shrunk. After some power re-engineering, they manage to get airborne, with the great line of, “Plot a course for the nearest open window.” The rest of the team is trying to figure out what to do next and what’s become of Rip. Nate is shaken by Amaya’s death at the end of last episode, and Sara tries to reassure him. That I can buy; her saying she didn’t know about the two of them doesn’t quite ring true for me. At any rate, eventually, Mini-Rip shows up and they work out the ship was shrunk by Ray’s suit, so they need to go find that.

The team breaks in to the Doomworld version of STAR Labs, taking out a few guards along the way. Finally, Ray finds his suit, which makes him happy enough that Jax really starts to wonder about his teammate. Unfortunately, Damian Darhk shows up before they’re ready, and starts using his magic to hurl the Legends around. Rip turns the Waverider’s weapons on Darhk, but in it’s miniturized state, all it manages to do is get another one of Damian’s snarky lines. Fortunately, someone else is in position to do something useful. Ray manages to enlarge the Waverider, destroying a good bit of STAR in the process.

The very desperate plan is to go back to 1916 again, and interact with what has already happened, to prevent the Legion from getting the Spear in the first place. Rip says this is amazingly dangerous, but he doesn’t have a better plan. What follows is a game of cat and mouse as the current Legends are creeping around trying to avoid the past versions of themselves. They also figure out they’ve effectively made themselves into time aberrations. But, because there are two sets of Legends now, the writers get to kill off several of the team in various gruesome ways. Things get even more complicated when Thawne from the “present” comes back to foil the Legends, uniting the Legion against them. Some of the battle doesn’t make a lot of sense, like one of Merlyn’s arrows somehow splitting Firestorm back into Jax and Stein, but there’s a lot of good action and one-liners. As all the complications are explained, a very bored Snart asks when he gets to rob a bank, for example.

The team eventually gets the Spear and tries to flee with it, but having two sets of most of the Legends aboard the Waverider goes badly. They go from time quakes to time storms, which are ugly green energy effects all around the ship that make them crash. Eventually, the team faces off against Thawne and some surprise backup on his part. Sara has control of the Spear for a short time, which lets her talk briefly with her late, lamented sister Laurel. Sara resists most of the temptation to use the Spear with one subtle exception. Sara also had a clever plan in place and finds a unique way to deal with the nigh-unstoppable Thawne.

Eventually, the heroes survive (or at least one set of them does), the villains are returned to their proper places in the time stream, and all’s well that ends well, maybe. There’s a surprise departure from one of the team (which didn’t make a lot of sense to me) and, possibly as a bone to the much abused of late Mick, they let him pick their next stop. Naturally, he picks Aruba, where he’s been wanting to go for a while and, of course, is the title of the episode. Things don’t go as planned, and we end up with a really impressive cliffhanger to carry us over to next season. Season 3 has been confirmed, so we’ll get to see the Legends again.

What I liked: The two versions of the team, and the complications from that, were nicely handled. I’m glad to see the end of the Spear storyline, and the possible end of Thawne. Damian and Snart get some great lines, and I love the delivery of both those actors. The effects of showing different versions of the same character have come a long way, and looks seamless here. I’m hoping the team letting Mick pick the destination at the end is a sign they are going to start trusting him more. The cliffhanger makes it looks like Season 3 will be really interesting.

What I didn’t: I don’t get how Merlyn’s arrow split Firestorm, as I mentioned above. I don’t think the character that left makes a lot of sense, and I’ll miss the actor, if they don’t come back.
If they’re actually done with both Damian and Snart, I’ll miss them, too.

I’ll give the episode a 3.5 out of 5. I’ll give the season itself a low 3 out of 5. Some episodes were good, but some, notably Camelot/3000, were really bad.

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