First of all, apologies for that headline — I couldn’t resist.
This week’s episode of Legends of Tomorrow was slightly less trippy than Season 2’s opening two episodes. That’s not a complaint, though. It was still a solid, entertaining hour of television with plenty of easter eggs and surprises.
How Have These People Not Killed Each Other Yet?
The episode begins with Vixen taking out the Legends one-by-one, having slipped aboard the Waverider before it left 1942. She nearly takes out Mick in a knife fight before Nate Heywood wakes up and discovers the effects of the Nazi super-serum. He can literally turn his skin into steel. Well, it looks like steel; according to Ray, it’s actually an alloy many times stronger than steel.
Sara, embracing her new role as Captain, instructs Ray to train Nate in how to use his powers. Meanwhile, she has a chat with Vixen. Apparently, when Rex Tyler uttered the words “time traveler” just before his death, Vixen immediately assumed it had to be Rory. Sara assures Vixen it wasn’t Rory and lets her out of her cell with the promise that she won’t try to kill him.
Ray theorizes that an adrenal response is what caused Nate’s powers to manifest. He successfully retriggers the change by firing at Nate from his Atom suit.
Sara explains to Vixen that they cannot risk going back in time to save Rex. Since they’re dealing with a time traveling villain, he’ll be alerted and will simply go back further to kill Rex again.
Ray and Nate are still “training” when Nate is blasted against a cargo door. The impact smashes it open and sends Ray and Nate tumbling into the timestream.
Ray and Nate crash to Earth in Feudal Japan during the 17th century. Ray is immediately surrounded by samurai and knocked unconscious.
Nate awakens on the back of a horse, led by a young Japanese woman. She takes her home to care for his injuries, against the wishes of her father.
Ray is tortured by the local Shogun and his men. The Shogun takes Rays armor for himself, ignoring Ray’s warnings that the suit could kill him.
As Nate is cared for by Masako, the woman who rescued him, he learns she is engaged to be married to the same Shogun currently holding Ray.
Sara, Mick, and Amaya prepare to head down to the surface to rescue Ray and Nate. Dr. Stein and Jax are ordered to remain on board and continue repairs to the Waverider. When Stein runs a diagnostic on the ship, the two learn there is a secret compartment on the ship and set out to find it.
The Shogun’s men come to Masako’s house looking for additional strangers. Despite her claims that she is alone, Nate comes out to confront them. He antagonizes the men, thinking his powers will activate, but they don’t. In the end, he’s knocked to the ground and driven through with a sword.
Ninjas, Samurai, and Legends
Sara, Amaya, and Nick find the Shogun just as Ray escapes from his cell. Unfortunately, the Shogun has figured out how to fire blasts with the Atom suit and the Legends are forced to retreat.
They track down Nate at Masako’s house, where he’s just discovered the serum has healed his hemophilia. He insists they have to stay and defeat the Shogun. It turns out he’s historically notorious for having murdered his wives, and with Masako set to wed him, that doesn’t sit well with Nate.
Back on the Waverider, Stein and Jax make their way into the secret compartment. It’s a massive armory of some sort, filled with guns and other weapons. They discover a computer panel with a message from Barry Allen, sent from the year 2056. He has a secret to share with Rip Hunter, but it cannot be shared with the rest of the crew.
The Shogun and his men approach, and Nate is quickly incapacitated. Ray confronts them wearing the armor and sword of Masako’s dead brother. Sara and Amaya fight off a group of the Shogun’s men outside a temple. Meanwhile, Mick has a run-in with a group of ninjas.
Masako takes up her brother’s sword when Ray drops it and is about to be killed by the Shogun. Suddenly, Nate reappears, having finally gotten his powers to return. Following Ray’s earlier directions, he disengages the Atom suit, causing it to explode.
Nate bids Masako goodbye and the Legends return to the ship. Stein and Jax debate whether to tell the others about Barry Allen’s secret message. The decide to keep the secret for now.
Nick Zano continues to be the VIP this season. I didn’t expect it, but his Nate Heywood has quickly become one of my favorite characters. His unbridled enthusiasm about gaining superpowers this week was perfect.
It had been revealed previously that Vixen would be joining the Waverider crew this season. After last episode, though, it didn’t seem to make sense that she would abandon the JSA to go galavanting through time. Having her stow aboard to avenge Rex’s death was an excellent way to bring this plot point to fruition. Much better than a simple, “Hey, that sounds fun. Can I come?” (Also, is anyone else suspecting a blossoming romance between Amaya and Mick?)
I love, love, love this Barry Allen-from-the-future plot twist. With Reverse Flash assembling the Legion of Doom and causing all kinds of mayhem, it’s logical to bring Barry into the plot somehow.
Back to Nate for a second — I was seriously impressed with the special effects during his transformations into Citizen Steel. All of the Arrowverse shows have continually blown me away with what they manage to pull off on a television budget (especially Gorilla Grodd), but this was especially effective. At first glance, it was just a simple T2-style liquid metal. But if you looked closely, you could see a grit and lack of sheen on the metallic surface. It was impressive.
In case you missed it, at the end of the episode, Ray learns from Masako’s father that their family name is “Yamashiro.” Which means that Oliver Queen’s old pal Maseo and his wife Tatsu Yamashiro are Masako’s descendants. Which also means that sword Ray used was the Soultaker, used by Tatsu in her “superhero” persona, Katana.