The Legends travel to feudal Japan to play samurai and fall in love. Shockingly, one of those plot points works a lot better than the other.
1. Steel is essentially a boner pills commercial
Nate Heywood, Steel, or Citizen Steel, or whatever they decide to actually call him on the show, is one giant metaphor for both teenage and elderly male sexuality this week. He doesn’t understand why/how he can get hard, and he is frustrated by the ambiguities surrounding his newly discovered special purpose. He’s not getting hard when he did in the past, and not when he needs to the most. He feels useless, and like less of a
man hero when he can’t perform up to his standards.
Steel is erectile dysfunction come to life.
Thanks, Legends of Tomorrow.
On a (slightly) more serious note, Nate is an interesting choice for the early focal point of the season. Yes, in some ways, he’s the everyman, the audience surrogate who gets to pal around with the superheroes, but he’s also essential Ray 2.0. Instead of being the scientific goofball know it all, he’s the historical goofball know it all. He’s also a terrible time traveler, as he can’t stop telling people from the past things that they have absolutely no business knowing.
Plus, he breaks time travel rule #1 – don’t fall in love with someone in the past. That love takes the shape of a giant battle, where people died and a village was nearly destroyed. I hope the show begins to be a little more forthcoming with just how much they’re changing. Not to get off on aa Quantum Leap tangent, because we will be here all day, but one of the nice things about that show was the clear information as to what exactly Sam changed. Sure, they didn’t go deep into the butterfly effect of things, but he got clear answers. By doing X, Y happened.
And it isn’t like the show would have a hard time doing that. When they return to the ship, have Gideon tell them “because of your actions, 4000 people who would have been slaughtered at the hands of the Shogun survived. Nine diseases were cured earlier due to the efforts of Made-Up McFakeCharacter, the great, great, great granddaughter of Who GivesaShit, who was spared due to your actions.” It ties things up with a bow, gives some actual stakes for what they do, and might lead to some interesting interactions along the way.
2. Rip’s secret compartment
Aside from Ray’s suit going bye bye (more on that in a minute), the biggest development from this episode was the Firestorm duo finding Rip’s secret room on the Waverider, featuring an ample stock of weaponry, as well as a message from Barry Allen from 2056. I only presume this will tie in to the 4-part crossover later this season, but it was a nice bit of business from the show for two reasons.
First of all, it gave a little more mystery to Rip, which is important. Dude was a Time Master, and did a lot of insane stuff that we will never hear about – show some of that! I loved how, last season, we saw his love of the Wild West and his friendship with Jonah Hex. This, while not as illuminating, was a fun peek behind Rip’s many years of time travel, and a glimpse into future events that he, probably, knew were coming.
The second reason this worked so well was that it gave us a glimpse into the future of the Arrowverse in a way that doesn’t feel spoiler-y or cheap. I guess it will take some of the sting out of Barry’s eventual “Crisis on Infinite Earths” style sacrifice that will clearly be a season finale cliffhanger at some point, as we know he makes it to 2056, and we know that his voice will get gruffer over the next 40 years, but aside from that, it is just some nice foreshadowing. This show can do that sort of stuff in a way that feels organic – do it!
3. The Atom suit goes boom
Sometimes I wonder if I have a really great memory, or if folks on TV shows just have shit ones – remember how last season, the Atom suit was worn by the cops in the future? I know losing his pride and joy is a bummer for Ray, especially as he’s having his own doubts about his heroism due to Vixen’s snaps session last week, but this seems simple to fix: you’re a time traveler!Continued below
But, that won’t happen – we’ll get a few weeks of Ray moping around feeling like a shell of a man, before they realize that they are, in fact, on a time ship and can do whatever they want.
Side rant: Gideon can create a swallow-able translator and clothes from every era – can’t the ship replicate his Atom suit? Even if they had to find some dwarf star to kickstart the process, again, THEY ARE TIME TRAVELERS.
4. Fact checking
I know that TV shows are sausage factories, and everything happens quickly and without too much time to fact check and edit, but some of the language that the 17th century folks were using – I think the term ‘hardcore’ was floated more than once – was just silly. I’m not saying that there needs to be perfect vocabulary with no messy syntax or slang, but hardcore is a really easy one to stop. C’mon CW producers, don’t insult our intelligence. Next week, don’t make anyone say “dope” when referring to a cool, anachronistic skateboard trick.
5. Vixen and Sara, Samurai Sisters
I really love Sara’s newfound role as leader of the team, and Vixen is keeping pace with her, both from a leadership and a ass-kicking perspective. Sara is the member of the team with the blankest slate, both from a comics source material perspective and a motivation perspective. She’s there because this is better than being in the League of Assassins, and because she has a good heart. Giving her something concrete to do is a smart decision, and I like having Vixen beside her.
It will be very interesting to see how her role changes when Rip comes back and, also, if Vixen is going to stick around on the team past solving Rex’s murder/stopping the Reverse Flash.
Side question: will they eventually save Rex? They are pretty quick to fix a lot of time travel stuff, but it seems like, because the Reverse Flash is also a time traveler, they can’t? That logic had me a little confused, but we’ll see.
So, what did you think of this episode? Let me know in the comments!