This review contains spoilers.
3.5 Return Of The Mack
A couple of times a season so far, Legends Of Tomorrow has to put away the jokes and dial back the melodrama to move the ball down the field. Usually, they’re…’elegant’ isn’t the right word, because you can’t really call an episode that has Heat Wave wearing his reading glasses while he rereads Stoker’s Dracula while Commander Steel is strapped to a table humming ‘Return Of The Mack’ next to a glowing coffin. I think it’s ‘smooth’? Usually, they’re fairly smooth about it, and this week was no exception, moving the focus away from the Waverider crew’s relationships for the most part to drop some big reveals.
We were promised vampires last week, and the most disappointing part of the episode is that they’re less Vlad the Impaler and more Pete Thiel. Rip is doing his best Sherlock Holmes impression on the streets of 1895 London, investigating a dead body drained of its blood with two puncture marks in its neck. Meanwhile, on the ship, Nate is all hopped up on coffee and reworking the map of the anachronisms to figure out where they should head next. As 1895 London is outside of the greater pattern he discovered, they decide to head there and start looking into the vampire killings. They find a coroner about to perform an autopsy who’s sitting on a Palmer watch from 2017 that starts playing the titular Mark Morrison song, which sets them off on some old-fashioned investigating.
Ray and Jax study the watch on the ship (with a guest appearance from 2017 Mr. Terrific), while everyone except Stein uses Nate as vampire bait. Nate ends up captured and strapped to a table in a London secret society headquarters, where they’re gathering people for the “blood red moon” for some sort of ceremony. The team finds Nate and fights their way in (after Zari gets taken for a ride by a mystic named Madame Eleanor who clearly wants to steal her totem), where they discover the vampire is just a regular old dead body that this secret society of occultists wants to resurrect for Mallus. The regular old dead body of Damien Darhk. Sara wants to stop the resurrection; Rip wants to let it happen and use it as bait to draw out Mallus; so obviously Rip betrays the Legends to force a confrontation. All he manages to pull off, though, is he gets a bunch of Time Bureau agents killed.
Madame Eleanor has stolen Zari’s talisman, and she channels Mallus’s super dope voice and uses the talisman to whup some Time Bureau ass. Darhk is successfully resurrected, and he sings some Mark Morrison while he also whups some Time Bureau ass. Eventually the Legends arrive and turn the tide, and Vixen gets Zari’s talisman back for her as Eleanor and Darhk escape into the timestream. As punishment for Rip’s off-books catastrophe of a mission, he’s sold out by Sara and taken into custody by the Time Bureau.
That’s about the extent of it for the week. There is some character growth for Jax and Stein as Jax works with Ray to figure out a way to split the two halves of Firestorm. There’s also some work done on the idea that Vixen and Zari’s talismans (talismen?) are linked, so they’re destined to become friends. It feels a little forced, a little like the show is telling us they have to be friends rather than showing us become friends, but Maisie Richardson-Sellers and Tala Ashe are charming enough that it’s not really a problem.
Read Jim’s review of the previous episode, Phone Home, here.