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Legends of Tomorrow - The Curse of The Earth Totem/No Country for Old Dads - Double Review

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Legends has never been at it’s best when it focuses on plot driven episodes versus fun weekly romps. Since its returned from break, it seems the back half of the season is starting to consist of episodes dedicated to driving forward the Mallus plot. The problem is, all we’ve been getting is talk of Mallus from his ban of minions. That’s not to say these episodes were awful, but they weren’t nearly as enjoyable as other installments of season 3.

I Dread the Dread Pirate Jiwe.
I’m honestly surprised that it took the show 3 seasons to deliver a plot involving pirates, but as someone who isn’t the biggest fan of mixing pirates with my fantasy shows (blame Chaaaarrrrmeed) I wasn’t looking forward to the show eventually doing this. Even though I’m not a fan of pirates, I do think that the show’s usage of them this week was surface level at best. It never really connected for me, and everything was so stereotyped I spent most of time during pirate scenes scrolling social media. It was refreshing to see Amaya let loose and eventually gain a new confidence without her totem thanks to Mick helping her embrace inner pirate. I will say I was shocked that the totem was taken from Amaya by Darhk and not returned to her by the end of the episode. Amaya has always kind of been the level-headed sage on the Waverider since joining, probably because of time in which she’s from, but I never knew how much her struggles weighed on her until she told Mick at the bar. I am worried about what happens to her at season’s end with so much on her plate. She does have to go back and get married to save her grandchildren’s legacies, so I’m curious if we’ll see her depart the Waverider this season. I know this show says it tries to say it’s avoiding the token-trade-off-trope, but I’m thinking Amaya redeems Kuasa and she joins the team in her grandmother’s absence. I will say I enjoyed Legends version of Blackbeard, they had a chance to stick to formula and they didn’t and delivered a version that was different from what I expected.

I’ve never been the biggest fan of Ray Palmer, but he’s come to grow on me over the last few years, until he does something that reminds me of why he does indeed deserve the name “Boy Scout” that Mick gave him. What he did for Nora and Damien was very Ray-like and very stupid. He couldn’t live with the guilt of possibly killing her, so he thought to go back, alone, and try and make a deal for Amaya’s totem. I don’t know how he thought that would work, sure he has morals, but Nora and Damien don’t. It’s interesting to note the effects of the nanite gun though, as I’m sure it will play a part in the future when it comes time to use it on Sara. Can Ray make and stick to the decision unlike he did this time?

The Ava and Sara ship is starting to grow one me and it was nice to see them try and have a normal date, even though we all knew it could never work. It was a very formulaic first date gone wrong, with both character failing to realize what makes them good for each other is how not normal they are. Them making out after confronting each other about how the date ended being followed by them kicking pirate ass was indeed a highlight of the episode. The other huge highlight for me? Wally! I’m behind on The Flash, so I’ve yet to see how Wally gets his powers and his exit from Team Flash, so for me, I just know early whiny Wally who hates Barry, and this Wally on Legends is a hell of a lot more fun than him. Watching him get drunk with Rip was so great, and I rewound the “Careless Whisper” karaoke scene twice. Non-Sequitur sequences like that are one of the reasons I love legends so much, because it gives the characters simple moments like this.
For me, The Curse of the Earth Totem was a bit of mixed bag. It had some nice character moments but was really stalled out in the beginning. I think it really hit its stride in the last act, and even then, that’s not saying much. The earth totem has been retrieved, the spirit totem is lost, Ray has been captured after he and Nate spent the episode standing around. #AvaLance is heading forward full force and Mick and Zari are just there, but Wally looks promising. I wish that I could’ve been more engaged with the pirates or that the stakes were as high as the show wanted me to believe at times. I didn’t hate the episode and there’s a lot to unpack here, but the execution was wonky. C.

A Tale of Two Three Darhks
I haven’t been the biggest fan of having the Darhk’s around this season and I wish I hadn’t called the Nora-Ray a while ago, but all that aside, No Country for Old Dads, was such a fun romp that I might take back my earlier annoyance. Maybe it’s because they are married in real life, but the chemistry between Ray(Routh) and Nora(Ford) is pretty undeniable and you know they were probably having all kinds of fun playing the mismatched buddy comedy that was this script. I don’t want these characters together because I’m not sure I can trust Nora, but I think if anyone can get through to her it would be our resident “Boy Scout”.

At this point, I’d settle for Nora and Damien as the villains of the season over Mallus, because all great banter from season 2 aside, these two have a very real bond and complexity to them. Alas, it’s their love for each other that has them boned to Mallus and I just have to deal with that. It’s strange to think that Damien could care more about someone else over himself, but he really cares about Nora. His guilt over missing so much, and forcing her to Mallus seems genuine enough that I believe he does want the best for her. I loved seeing younger Damien as a villain tonight and it gave me Terminator vibes watching the young and sleek assassin Damien fight against older magic wielding dad Damien. I don’t think that Damien will ever be able to choose light, and that’s okay. I like that his only sot spot is Nora. I don’t want to see the guy who caused so much hurt in the Arrowverse be redeemed, but if Nora can be redeemed, I’d want to see that. I walked away with a couple of questions after it appeared that Mallus took Nora over at the end of the episode. Was it because of the cracks in time that Ray caused that Mallus is strong enough to do that? Was it because she had cracked the totem? Or did Damien do something? I’m ready to find out. Either way, Ray and Nora versus Damien in 1962 Berlin was a great adventure this week. I am curious as to what Ray does with the key to Cold Fusion once he uses it to restore that totem. Is it really right to have that knowledge that could completely change the shape of the world in his hands? Will he wipe his own memory and destroy it after he uses it?

The totem back and forth is getting a little tiresome, but I’m glad that we at least know now where most of them are. Amaya and Zaris’ spirit journey provided a nice break in the episode, along with Wally’s formal introduction to the Waverider crew, but for the most part this was the Palmer and Darhk show.(I did love Mick and Nate in their Grateful Dead tees and Nate schooling Wally on "souvenirs") We did learn how the spirit totem could be corrupted and we saw Nora do it when she acted selfless, but if Amaya is about to just wield another totem, it takes the umpfh of her losing hers away just a little. We did learn why Mallus wants time disrupted so he could be free, and I’m assuming those cracks that Ray caused really didn’t help matters. Wally is officially on board and I’m officially on board with that. He’s like the goofy kid brother and he seems to be more at ease here than when he was on The Flash, so I look forward to seeing what the show does with him going forward because it’ll be interesting to see how show incorporates and overcomes having a speedster on board. That brings us to Ava, who is now Director of the time bureau after her bosses’ death at the hand of Grodd. She’s sleeping over on the ship, and is there when Rip and Wally make their appearance on board. She eventually reinstates Rip, and he discovers she’s got a thing with Sara which prompts him to tell Gideon to delete a file because Sara can never know what Ava is. Say What??????

As much as it pains me to say it, Damian Darhk and his trouble daughter Nora are one of the best things Legends of Tomorrow did in this episode. I loved that Ray got to have a solo adventure this week, sat in as a therapist for Damien which led him to really acknowledging his love for Nora and that he kind of developed feelings for Nora. It was a fun episode that really worked on providing more insight to the Darhks. It’s a shame that we’re learning more about Mallus’ minions than we are about him, but when development is served up this good, I’ll eat it up and complain less. I’m glad Rip is back in the fray and I’m curious as to what he meant about Ava, as I’m just starting to really like her and Sara. The show seems to know what’s it is doing with Wally as he seems way more natural fit with the crew than Zari did at first. B.
The Next episode of Legends of Tomorrow, Amazing Grace, Airs 3/12 on The CW!

What did you think of the episodes? What are your thoughts on Wally joining the crew? What are your theories on Ava? Sound off below!

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