Legends of Tomorrow: Helen Hunt


It’s not me, it’s pictures that got small. Well, I mean, I DO get small, it’s kind of my thing, but…

The title of this episode was making me curious from the first time I saw it. It ended up making a lot of sense, although not quite about what it sounded like. But, after we see an opening scene in 1937 Hollywood, with one woman walking through a movie studio causing chaos from her mere presence, it looks like the Legends are going back to Tinseltown. Like they didn’t do enough damage last time, almost scaring George Lucas out of the movie business, preventing Star Wars and the Indiana Jones movies from happening, and radically altering both Ray and Nate in the process. This time, they’ll be back earlier for their “Helen Hunt.”

Aboard the Waverider, Nate has spent some obsessive hours looking for any sign at all of Damian Darhk. Sara, recent events fresh in her mind, tells him to not get obsessive like Rip and lose all perspective. She orders him to go take a shower and take a break.

Ray is still working on the great Firestorm separation project, and Jax tells Ray he’ll haunt him if he gets this wrong and kills him. Ray tests the device, triggering a major tremor in the room and then a small explosion. When things settle, as seen in the previews for the episode, Jax and Stein have swapped bodies. This is when Gideon pages everyone to the bridge, and the rest of the crew have various reactions to Stein and Jax’s new situation. Nate briefs them that the new anachronism is in 30’s Hollywood. Foolishly, Sara says this will be a nice, easy mission. Because that ever happens. To make up for this lapse, Sara at least benches the interchanged Stein and Jax.

The team infiltrates the move studio, and tries to figure out what the current problem is. When the star of this film shows up, all the men just stop and stare. Nate manages to at least get enough brain power working to figure out she looks familiar. After a bit more chaos, Nate figures out this new star is Helen of Troy. Zari follows Helen when she flees, and sees her being picked up by a rival movie boss. History repeats itself, after a fashion.

Zari is surprised to learn that Helen was a real person, while Stein-in-Jax goes on and on about movie history being changed. Helen took the part that was supposed to launch Hedy Lemarr on her path to stardom, and Stein is a big fan. The team tries to make contact again, and goes to an industry party. Hedy is there, stealing food, which worries Stein. Cecil B. DeMille is trying to cast Ray in a new movie, which is entertaining. Helen finally makes her entrance, and all the men are enraptured. I’m sort of curious why Sara isn’t affected. I guess it only actually effects biological males. Helen has learned enough to not agree to talk to the team without her agent. At first it sounds funny, but then the agent turns up: Damian Darhk. Darhk offers the team a deal: go back to 2017 or he’ll kill them all. While he and Sara debate, Helen’s chaotic effect kicks in and the party devolves into a brawl, which at least makes Mick happy.

Regrouping, the team debates what to do next. The women blame the men for being attracted to Helen, which seems a bit unfair. No one seems sure why Darhk cares about the team dealing with anachronisms. Ray finally hears that the water witch’s name is Kuasa, and looks concerned. The women decide to go after Helen without the men, and the comms all go offline, making things more complicated and confusing.

Jax and Stein bicker about the body-swap, and we learn more about Stein’s interest in Miss LaMarr. The women manage to get into the studio boss’ house and find Helen, who has a very different take on her place in history. Helen is very impressed with Amaya and Zari, calling them warriors. She’s even more surprised and thrilled when they get her back to the Waverider, which is not doing well. The power is failing and various other systems aren’t working right, including Gideon. Stein and Jax keep bickering, but then Stein works out the newest changes in the timeline. LeMarr was more than an actress, she was a scientist, too. Apparently some of her developments are the basis for things that are eventually used in the Waverider. Helen tells them in no uncertain terms she doesn’t want to go back to Troy.

Stein-as-Jax slips out to go give Hedy LaMarr a pep talk. That part goes decently, but they run afoul of Damian Darhk, who is amused the Legends are ignoring his warnings and even running around on their own. Hedy is understandably confused by all this, and Stein tries to reassure her. When the team shows up, Darhk remarks he missed their “whimsical outfits.” Sara taunts Darhk into a duel, in part by mocking him for being killed by Oliver the first time. Their fight turns into a multi-level, old-fashioned Hollywood sword fight, which was fun to watch. Kuasa manages to get aboard the Waverider and goes after Zari and Amaya, while Eleanor Darhk wades into the fight against the Legends. She’s very powerful. LeMarr somehow figures out that Stein and Jax need to merge as Firestorm. LeMarr was a damn smart woman, and well ahead of her time, but she knows a lot about nuclear physics for a woman living before the atomic bomb was invented.

The heroes don’t exactly get a clear victory, but the villains finally flee. Ray tells Amaya what he was hiding earlier- that Kuasa is her granddaughter, sister to Mari, Vixen in 2017. Amaya found that out during her fight with Kuasa, but she appreciates him telling her.

The final scene is Zari taking Helen back. Helen is depressed at returning to the Trojan War, having already gone through five years of it. Zari did something clever instead, and it was not only a really nice thing to do for Helen, it was the first time the CW-Verse is linked to another major DC hero. I’m not sure when Zari learned to fly the jump ship, but that’s a small detail.

What I liked: They did the 30’s scenes pretty well, especially the sword fight. I was ok with Darhk being dead, but Neal McDonough plays him so very well. Stein being hung up on Hedy LeMarr makes a lot of sense. Zari did something really good for Helen, and I was excited about the link to the other DC hero at the end.

What I didn’t: Helen’s charisma being almost magical and a curse was a weird choice. The body swap was just goofy, and how Hedy knew how to fix it didn’t really make any sense. Eleanor seems ridiculously powerful.

It was fun, if not great, episode. I’ll give it a 3 out of 5.