This is the episode many of the comicbook fans have been waiting for, the introduction of Jonah Hex to the Arrowverse. As each episode of the CW’s new show, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow gets a little better than the last, hopefully the fan base becomes a bit a larger. It would be a shame to lose this show before we see what it can do. If this episode is anything to judge by, it seems it can do quite a bit. This week sees the Legends in the Old West circa 1871, in a town called Salvation, which is being overrun by a group of bandits called the Stillwater Gang. What secrets and mysteries will light be shed on this time? Can the Legends unite with Jonah Hex and save the day? Will they be able to formulate a plan to stop Vandal Savage before the time bounty hunters find them? Read on to find out. But, beware of spoilers!
It’s 1871 in an Old West town called, ironically, Salvation. The Legends of Tomorrow are hiding out from the time bounty hunters, because Salvation lies in what is known as a temporal blindspot. It is hard for the Time Masters to pin down the comings and goings in a blindspot. Time wants to change and is therefore in a constant state of flux, which creates said blindspots, according to Rip and the now very knowledgable Mick. Rip is very reluctant to disembark, but the rest of the team is eager to go exploring. They don their old timey clothes and strap on their six-shooters, and off they go! Their first stop, as you might expect, is the town saloon. While Mick and Sarah get into a drinking contest at the bar, and Kendra bumps into an older woman, setting off a flashback, Leonard and Stein sit down to play cards. It turns out the professor’s dad was a gambler. So it’s not always “like father, like son”. Stein proceeds to piss off the wrong fella at the table, and as he draws to shoot the older man, Leonard draws his gun and cuts him down. Very impressive. But naturally, this starts a bar fight, which is stopped by the man of the episode, Jonah Hex.
It turns out, Jonah realizes that not only are they not from around there, they’re not even from that time period. They’re not his first run in with time travelers. It seems he knows Rip. We soon find out that he knows Rip very well. The two became friends when Rip was sent by the Time Masters to that time and place. Rip became very attached to that time period, thus his reticence to leave the ship and be seduced again. Jonah has not forgiven him for leaving his town, Calvary, to be sacked and destroyed, though, so their reunion is a little bumpy. We are told, however, that Rip’s coat was originally Mr. Hex’s, and that Rip’s son is named after the man. Makes sense.
Jonah informs the Legends that the man they killed in the saloon is part of the Stillwater Gang, the bandits who have been terrorizing the town for months now. Ray, ever the boy scout, wants to save the town from the “marauding criminals”. He storms to the sheriff’s office, introduces himself as John Wayne and offers his services, and the relieved sheriff hands his star over and runs away. Instead of being petrified, like any sane human, Ray is delighted to act out his Wild West childhood fantasy. Instead of waiting for the Stillwater Gang to find him and his friends, Ray decides they should seek out the gang themselves. Stein goes back to the saloon to get information. While there, he talks to a beautiful waitress who’s son has tuberculosis and only a few days to live. Unwilling to let the boy suffer, he goes back to the ship and has Gideon whip up the cure, which won’t be discovered for another 70 years. Probably a good thing, though, since the boy turns out to be science fiction writer H.G. Wells.
Meanwhile, Kendra and Sarah go off in search of the woman Kendra bumped into at the saloon. She can’t get over the feeling that she knew the woman in a previous life. Kendra lets her flashbacks be her guide, and they get stronger the nearer they are to the woman’s secluded house. It’s a good bonding moment for the two, though, and Sarah wears the first smile we’ve seen in a while. She seems to be at peace in the wide open space. When they find the woman, she is none too pleased to be found. She points a rifle at them and basically tells than to get or else. But of course they stay, because Kendra realizes that this woman was not a former friend of her’s, it IS her. She is a past life that Savage didn’t manage to kill. He only cut down Carter, which is part of the reason why this former Kendra lives so far away from town. The other reason being that she doesn’t want to fall in love again. She had a lover after Carter, and it ended badly. Apparently she and Carter are doomed to only work well together, if one tries to love another, fate finds ways to break them apart. Obviously this is very upsetting news for Kendra, as she’s fallen in love with Ray. Sarah convinces her to choose her own path, though, and not let that other version of her color her decision.
When the two return, the team sneaks up on the Stillwater Gang and captures Stillwater himself. Before they can make away with him, however, the rest of the gang manages to kidnap Jax. They have to leave him behind, though, in order to save everyone else and maintain their leverage. They are faced with the dilemma of making a trade and leaving the town to be further ravaged, or leaving Jax to his fate. Neither are good options. Jonah comes up with a third. He proposes they have a showdown at high noon. If Stillwater wins, he can regain the town. If they win, the gang gives them Jax and gets out of town. Ray volunteers, surprise surprise, but Rip wants to atone for his past sins and he takes the job instead. At high noon, he faces off against Stillwater. And wins.
Before they can celebrate their victory, though, three time bounty hunters come strutting in. As the second epic fight scene begins, all pretense of fitting into that time period is lost. Apparently the mentality is that the onlookers will never be believed if they try to tell others what they saw. The Legends are able to defeat the bounty hunters, but after Mick delivers the fatal blow to one, he tells them that they are all fools and will be dead soon anyway, because the Time Masters have unleashed The Pilgrim on them. What is The Pilgrim, you ask? She is the Time Masters’ deadliest weapon, a bounty hunter that goes after the younger selves of her targets, killing them early on the timestream, and wiping them out in the future. That is so dark and heartless. And awesome.
There’s some Good, Bad, and Ugly in this episode. Let’s break down one at a time, shall we? The Good: Mick. Oh wow, he has improved. He was great before, but whatever torture and brainwashing he underwent with the Time Masters has done him a world of good. Sarah told him that he was different. And how! He talks more intelligently and introspectively, but he also has a confidence that wasn’t there before. Sure, he was full of swagger and bravado, but now he seems more at ease, more comfortable. It’s great. It was also very fun to see Stein’s sensitive side come out while he was trying to save the young Wells. It was even better to see Jonah Hex, though. He was great. Hopefully we will see more of him. We have to, right?
The Bad: Ray’s one-dimensionality. Why does he always have to play the boy scout? Why??? It is getting so boring. He is less of a dynamic character than Kendra at this point. Granted, she has stepped it up some, but still. There was also a serious lack of Jax and Sarah in this episode. Sure, not everyone can be featured, but Jax especially was basically a Mary Sue.
The Ugly: the casting choice for former Kendra. No one with eyes could think they resemble each other in the slightest. The other Kendra looked completely Caucasian. Bad, bad casting choice. Get it together people!
If you liked this episode, and regardless of how you feel about the rest of the show, you’d be crazy not to like this one, stay tuned for next week’s episode, “Last Refuge”, airing Thursday at 8pm EST on the CW.