Legends of Tomorrow has never shied away from high concept, and this week is no exception – in fact, this is probably the most ridiculous episode yet, in both good and not so good ways.
1.Everyone in Hollywood loves a western
I can’t think of a genre that gets more love from creative types than the Western – a genre that, by and large, is not popular among the viewing/reading audience nearly as much as it is by the people who make such things. Part of this is purely timing – Westerns stopped being as popular/widely produced in the late 60s/early 70s, and so anyone who grew up after that is more likely to have been interested in things like science fiction or police shows, both of which somewhat replaced the Western on TV and in cinemas.
This rule, however, didn’t apply to Ray Palmer or Rip Hunter, both of whom have a serious boner for the Wild West. And, for the most part, the show does both the time period and the sort of devices we expect for such an episode justice. There are the great costumes, the wide open spaces, the honky tonk piano, the whiskey, the poker game, the shoot out, the horses – everything you’d want.
2. Jonah Hex, doin’ that thing he does
That Thing You Do! is one of my favorite films, and so seeing James Mattingly III (aka Johnathon Schaech) as Jonah Hex was a delight. He handled the character about as well as any character given this script could have. Hex was played as tough but with a moral code, which is about what you’d expect from a TV version of Hex.
What I didn’t expect was the relationship between Hex and Rip Hunter, who apparently have had adventures before. So many adventures, in fact, that Hunter named his son Jonas after Hex. Now, that’s a bit weird, but is a nice bit of connection to give both characters a bit more depth and humanity. I wonder if the show would add someone like Hex to the mix on a more regular basis – I’d welcome it.
3. Lots of DC Easter Eggs
This episode referenced Quentin Turbull, Nighthawk, and (the) Pilgrim – three DC characters of note. The first two are Western characters that make total sense. The Pilgrim, if it is the Wildstorm Pilgrim (which it probably isn’t, but still), is a bold choice. She is a sniper who has some history with time travel, and was a member of Wetworks – that’s not the type of character the show has been bringing in. The CW seems content to stay Silver and Bronze Age with Legends, but this is a fun twist, if that is indeed the Pilgrim they are talking about.
4. What wasn’t a DC reference was the boy named Wells
I firmly thought that the little boy who was cured by Stein, after revealing the name “Wells” as his surname, would be an ancestor of Harrison. The idea that Stein just saved the life of a boy who is directly responsible for the creation of Firestorm was a fascinating idea, but alas, the show just wanted to make a reference to “The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells. This was the bit of the episode that felt the most like Back to the Future Part III and, again, that’s both a good thing and a bad thing.
5. The most gimmicky yet
For a show that has been rather gimmicky to begin with, this episode takes the cake. It had the most elaborate premise thus far, but it was essentially all just an excuse to play dress up. And that’s fine! This show doesn’t need to be as dark as Arrow or as straight superhero show as The Flash – this is the scifi show. This is the Doctor Who analogue, and it is being very Who-ish – for the third time, both in good and bad ways.
One final note: it seems like Mick gave up the ghost of being Chronos, or even his problems with the team, pretty quickly didn’t he?
So what did you guys think of the episode? Let me know in the comments!