[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Director: Kevin Mock
Writers: Grainne Godfree & James Eagan
Starring: Brandon Routh, Caity Lotz & Franz Drameh
The Legends investigate an anachronism in which they find Vikings worshiping a toy from the 1990s as a god.
It is wonderful to have Wentworth Miller back on the ship. His delivery and comedic timing is so effective; I love Leo. His boy scout nature combined with Miller’s performance works so well. I love that Miller is pretty much giving the same performance as he did with Earth-1 Snart; it makes the material so much funnier.
I’m continuing to like Ava. She has been the most sympathetic character this season and it’s easy to side with her. She’s usually smart in situations and is put in an interesting one here. She has orders from an organization that she is loyal to, but she also knows what the right thing to do is; that’s a fun dilemma.
The cliffhanger is amazing. Matt Ryan’s Constantine is one of the best parts of DCTV and it’s always great to see him. The music cues and lighting are really effective. And I love that he’s just on the Waverider. I’m interested in the little story hint they gave us as well.
There’s a great scene in which the Legends are forming a plan on how to take on Darhk. The crossover showcased the Legends to be a competent and effective team, so I’m glad that mostly continues here. They’re being smart and thinking of various ways the situation can go; they’re trying to think and plan ahead. It’s a nice change of pace to see these characters get the chance to be clever.
Tone is a major problem. Part of the episode is given to Vikings worshiping a plush toy as their god which leads to Christmas becoming Beebo Day in the present. That sounds hilarious and could work in this goofy show. But they combine it with the team trying to deal with the death of Stein and Jax deciding to leave the team because the Waverider is too much of a reminder of Stein. The two elements don’t blend and are jarring. The episode literally starts with Leo using a Stein puppet for therapy for the others. It’s a funny scene but then the show legitimately tries to move us with heavy scenes of Jax not being able to deal with Stein’s death. The show still hasn’t quite found the balance between comedy and drama that it desperately wants.
I’m somewhat mixed in my feelings about Jax’s departure, but I’m leaning towards negative. I never really liked Jax, so him leaving isn’t a big deal to me. But I do feel like there’s a missed opportunity and the character is thrown under the bus. The writers have been setting up the idea that Victor Garber was leaving the show, so a lot of time has been spent proving that Jax is a worthwhile character in his own right and can handle himself without Stein. He has a purpose and a personality beyond Firestorm. Well, apparently he doesn’t because the writers don’t seem to know who he is without Stein and wrote him off. And it’s clear he would still be on the show if Garber hadn’t left. This choice makes so much of the season feel pointless and there are some interesting things that could have been done. They could’ve created a new Firestorm with Jax forced to be the brains instead of the body; that could have been a cool place to take this character.
This is an okay episode. Leo Snart is a blast and adds a lot of energy to the team. The Legends prove themselves to be effective heroes and I’m excited to see where the story goes next with Constantine. But the tone is beyond inconsistent to a very detrimental level and there are decisions with characters that don’t make sense. However, I do think the show is slowly improving so hopefully the new year will see this continue.