This week on Legends of Tomorrow, the team heads to the 1970s to NASA and retrieve the last piece of the Spear of Destiny.
Last week, we finally got the “real” Rip Hunter back. For most of the season, the former captain of the team has been either missing in time, had amnesia, or was brainwashed. Last week, as the team ventured into his mind, they managed to purge all the damage that Eobard Thawne and the Legion of Doom had caused. Now that he’s officially back, how will he fit in with his former team? After all, they have managed to function without him. In fact, they actually work better without his leadership than when they did with it.
This week, as Rip stated, he knows where the last piece of the Spear of Destiny is. He gave it to Nate’s grandfather Henry, Commander Steel of the Justice Society of America for safekeeping in the 1970s. Rip told him to disappear and blend into his surroundings, which makes it a little hard to find him and retrieve the missing piece of the spear. As the team quickly arrives in and cannot find him, they figure that a patriotic fighter pilot-turned-super-hero would not simply “blend” in and retire. Henry would try to find some way to continue his service to his country. Te best way for a fighter pilot to contribute would be to join the space program. After Gideon does some digging, they find out he’s at the space center in the 70s, and off they go to find him and retrieve the piece.
When they arrive, Henry doesn’t have a happy reunion with Rip as he promptly slugs him in the face and has security escort him away. Turns out, Henry has a beef with Rip for pulling him away from his family in service to safeguarding the piece of the spear. His wife and son think that he’s left them, and that makes him bitter towards the Time Master. Henry later talks with Nate as they are talking about sacrifices (and the presumption that Rip did not sacrifice his family) where Nate tells his grandfather that Rip’s wife and child were killed, so Rip also knows a little bit about sacrifice. The Legends inform Henry that they need the piece of the spear. Henry informs them, though, that the piece is safe as there’s no place on Earth that anyone could get to it. The piece is on the moon inside the flag that Neil Armstrong placed on the moon, so it’s safe.
Or so Henry thought. Our favorite evil speedster Eobard Thawne, has found his way to the same time period, and he’s on a shuttle flight to the moon. After dispatching with his fellow astronauts, he’s in a position to be able to retrieve the piece. It’s up to the Legends to take the Wave Rider into outer space and stop him. Because Ray Palmer’s suit is capable of withstanding the cold vacuum of space, he goes to the shuttle to try to retrieve it. He is found out by Thawne, but since Thawne cannot use his speed powers (as it would alert the Black Flash), Ray actually has a fair fight with him and subdues him. However, technical problems arise on the shuttle. Even though Ray is a scientist, he will require a partner to resolve the issue. Lucky for him, Thawne is also a genius from the future and offers his assistance.
Thawne reminds us of his time as “Harrison Wells” during season 1 of The Flash and how he misses having the team of Cisco and Caitlin. In fact, this episode we get to hear Thawne somewhat rationalize his actions as he does not see himself as a true villain (even though he has done some evil things). He’s just trying to get the Spear of Destiny because he needs it in order to not be erased from existence. We all know him as the supervillain he is, but hearing him rationalize his actions somewhat paints him in a better light, especially when he helps Ray (and the rest of the Legends) out of a jam. Of course, he could be doing all of this to curry some favor.
One interesting development this week was Rip’s new role in the team. Rip is used to being the captain of his ship. However, throughout this episode, he plays the sidelines. As he comes up with an idea for the team to implement, they’ve already beat him to the punch. The two key moments for Rip on this week’s episode was when Henry comments how he whipped the Legends into shape since he last saw them (even though Rip had nothing to do with it) and finally when he defers to Sara to make a decision for the team. He finally accepts that she is the better captain and is now the sole team leader. Not bad for a former member of the League of Assassins to now be responsible for safeguarding all of time and reality.
Nate also goes through his own journey. He wants to return his grandfather Henry back to his original time. Doing so would change history and create a time aberration, though. Nate’s father and he did not have a great relationship as a result of Nate’s father not having Henry around. If they created a time aberration where Nate’s father was different, it would make Nate different. Amaya tells Nate that even with his father’s flaws, he made Nate the man he is today, and she likes that man. If he changed as a result of a change to the timeline, it might not be good for her and him. Nate then drops the bomb on her that eventually, she will need to return back to her timeline, or she will create a time aberration as well. She already has a future and history associated with it, including her superhero decedents. This is why this show is fascinating. Every episode has the potential to pretty much require the Arrowverse at any given moment. They literally can make 20 “Flashpoints” at any given time, through their actions and have to make the best decision to ensure it doesn’t happen. (Un)luckily for Nate, he doesn’t have to send his grandfather back in time to change anything as Henry makes a sacrifice to help save the damaged Wave Rider as it’s reentering the orbit after retrieving Ray and Thawne from the moon.
The team has the last piece of the spear. Thawne escapes from his cell (as in the 22nd century he developed the anti-speedster technology), but in doing so alerted the Black Flash to his whereabouts. Faced with the choice of killing Ray and getting the piece of the spear, or escaping to ensure the Black Flash doesn’t get him, Thawne decides to leave.
The episode ends with the team getting the piece, that’s two in a row against the Legion of Doom. Amaya now curious about her future asks Gideon to show her what happens in her future and she sees various screenshots of her village burned to the ground, but also her granddaughter becoming the new Vixen. She has a decision to make.
Stein singing “The Banana Song” (Day Oh) was hilarious. He should be good on next week’s Flash/Supergirl musical crossover!
Next week, with all the pieces of the spear, the Legends have to now keep the whole thing safe.