Legends of Tomorrow: Rage Against the Machines

I’m sorry, we’re fighting who?

It’s been an eventful season for the Legends. They’ve lost their home, been stranded in time, seen a major change in one of their own, picked up a new friend, and been chased by an evil version of their own ship. Nothing seems to be going smoothly for them, even more so than usual, but they’re not giving up, because that’s what they do. Now that they’ve created a major change in history, they have to deal with the ramifications as they try and spring their trap and deal with unexpected developments and consequences. All in all, they have a lot of reasons to “Rage Against the Machines” (no offense, Gideon).

Not being in on the plan, the assorted time travelers at the Fixed Point are thrilled at Sara’s success. Gideon and Davies look increasingly worried as the crowd celebrates something the Legends know can’t be allowed to stand. As the rest of the team gets set for their fight, Gideon’s attempt to calm everyone down goes badly and the group decides to go help the Legends, whether they want it or not (they don’t). The rest of the team prepares for battle and then is stunned to see the robotic duplicates of themselves come off the Waverider. I sort of wonder (aside from real world casting issues) why the robo-Legends were limited to the current group. Can you imagine if they had Firestorm, Hawkman, and Kid-Flash? Tactics from Captain Cold? The disaster an evil ATOM could cause? Why they are limited is never explained, and I’m guessing it’s the kind of thing we’re not supposed to think about. The Legends try and come up with a new plan, Evil Gideon is ahead of them again, and then the bar patrons quickly become Redshirts. You’d think a collection of time travelers with an adventurous mind-set would be a more competent, but that’s beside the point. Both groups split up as Ava gets wounded (no doubt to make Jes Macallan’s, the actress who plays her but is also directing this episode, life a bit easier) and the evil Legends similarly divide their forces.

Things go badly all around as the evil Legends prove to be sharper than the good guys would have hoped. Evil Behrad tracks the team and finds the way to Fixed Point (security is something any facility lacks in the Arrowverse with remarkably few exceptions), while the robo-Sara and -Nate confront one of the Legends’ few allies left in this era and someone who seems to die a lot does so again. Astra does a great job of protecting her team, while Sara gets someplace a bit too late and is saddled with a new responsibility. Just what she needs now. Regrouping, Sara outlines the new parameters of the disaster for her team, and comes up with a new idea no one really likes. Davies is particularly concerned about her going alone, citing his past in the military.

Not being one for subtlety, the Evil Nate shows up at a place they’ve agreed to talk and shoos everyone out. Sara arrives shortly afterward, and we learn a few things about this Nate. Sara does her best to reason with him, finds that impossible, and the ensuing fight goes badly aside from a comedic effect on Nate’s voice. Davies, against all orders and triumphing over personal trauma, shows up someplace he’s needed and does what he can to help out. Once again back at Fixed Point, a frazzled Sara is out of ideas and inspiration, but Davies has both. He makes a great speech, gets a big surprise at what he sets in motion, and then starts trying to live up to what Sara has tasked him with. After some plotting and planning, Behrad gets tapped for a special mission he’s not at all suited for, and has to try and live up to (down to?) his worst self. The first attempt doesn’t go well, because really, why would it, and Behrad has several close encounters with various robo-Legends. Finally slipping away, he meets up with the others and a modification of the plan gets set up. Zari gets in a good line and Gary is left puzzled as Astra starts acting oddly, even for her.

With Fixed Point now essentially abandoned, Davies is using it for a command post, with a lot of pacing and worrying. Sara, Nate, and Spooner return, having found their newest mission far harder than they imagined. Considering how experienced Sara is, and Nate just a bit behind her and also a historian, I find this a bit unlikely, but it gives them a chance to lean on Davies again, since he’s more or less from this time period. Davies makes some new suggestions, and things start getting amusing and entertaining. With anachronisms building, the Evil Gideon sends in reinforcements, and two of them come up with a disturbing bet. As an aside, and once again probably thinking too much, if a few small bits of tech are causing disturbances in the timeline, I’m not at all clear on why it’s a good thing to send an alien out in public. With some earlier help from Gary, Behrad has made some special arrangements to incapacitate some of the crew. Things don’t go quite as planned, and why this works on robots at all I’m really unclear on, but the Legends take out two more dopplegangers with cunning, guile, and taking full advantage of their very unique environment. Of course, that didn’t quite work as it has in the past either, but again, I suspect I’m thinking too much.

While Gideon expresses some displeasure about how some things are going and Gary is puzzled, Spooner continues spreading mayhem. She runs across the Evil Gary, and manages to bluff him. This brings on a complicated if brief chain of events that takes two more of the robo-Legends off the board. Gary has a conversation with Astra that journeys into some rarely visited emotional territory for her, but they get interrupted by an amusing spin on the old “Which one is real” conundrum as possibly the worst fight ever seen in the Arrowverse takes place when a Legend meets their duplicate. With a mixture of luck and planning, the good guys get on the Waverider and pull off a successful hijacking. The emotional aftermath lets something happen that’s been building for a while.

The team has a small celebration, but they get interrupted when arguably the most formidable of the evil Legends show up. Sara is more than happy to hold them off and let her friends escape, but the team isn’t going to abandon them. What looks like an ugly situation gets cleared up when Astra comes up with a really slick plan and shows the problem when you condition henchmen to not question orders. Sara is still weighed down by the burden of what happened earlier in the episode, but Nate shows once again why he is such a valued and useful, if underrated, member of the team. It’s worth remembering that Nate is the only one on the team, I believe ever, who actually sought out the Legends and wanted to join, rather than being picked up by weird circumstances. With that issue addressed, all’s well that ends well. Almost. A loose end pops up and injects a really tragic note to end the show on.

What I liked: There were a lot of clever plans throughout the episode. Davies finally came in to his own as something more than “Explain the exposition to me” and “I gave you a way to get around.” Nate really shone, especially near the end. Astra’s chat with Gary was fun and unexpected. Sara’s willingness to sacrifice herself for her team showed the hero and leader she has become.

What I didn’t: As mentioned above, there were a lot of small holes throughout this episode. Nothing big, just a lot of “That shouldn’t quite work that way” moments. I was sorry to see what happened to the Fixed Point crew; they could have been useful allies/contacts in the future. I really didn’t like what happened at the very end, and while I can see how it might have come to be, it felt a bit odd.

This was a fun episode, and they gave the spotlight to a few characters. I’ll give this a 3.5 out of 5. I suspect the final two episodes of the season are going to be very busy.